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President Joe Biden accused Donald Trump and his supporters of holding a “dagger at the throat of democracy” in a forceful speech Thursday marking the anniversary of the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol. He warned that though it didn’t succeed, the insurrection remains a serious threat to America’s system of government. Biden’s criticism was blistering of the defeated president whom he blamed for the January 6 assault. “For the first time in our history, a president not just lost an election, he tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the Capitol,” Biden said. “You can’t love your country only when you win.”

President Biden promised Americans he is making 500 million coronavirus tests available free of charge for anxious Americans facing a surge of new virus cases. The President’s pledge of a half-billion tests on Tuesday was the centerpiece of a newly aggressive testing effort, announced just days before Christmas,

Though COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are way up from a month ago, deaths have not yet gone up. The variant, experts have said, appears more contagious but less severe, especially for people who are already vaccinated and boosted.

The CDC is endorsing the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendation to expand eligibility of booster doses to those 12 to 15 years old. The CDC now recommends that adolescents aged 12 to 17 years old should receive a booster shot 5 months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series.

The CDC is recommending that you avoid cruises for the time being as all cruise ships have reported COVID cases.

Some pop-up testing tents may not be what they claim to be as scammers have taken to creating false testing sites to scam people. Health officials advise you to be careful and make sure the site you use is affiliated with a hospital or city. You should also ask what test they are performing, When in doubt. Check the local health department website.

For the second year in a row, the Grammy Awards will not take place on Jan. 31 as originally planned because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Recording Academy has delayed this year’s ceremony, which was to be hosted again by Trevor Noah, the academy said in a statement.

As long lines snaked around testing sites over the past week in Cobb and Douglas. Public Health Director Dr. Janet Memark is leading the charge to warn everyone about the surge in COVID numbers in the two counties. Meanwhile, Cobb EMA is urging the County to use its remaining Cares Act funds to buy more than 60,000 test Covid 19 test kits so that Cobb families can test at home.

Tyler Perry Studios is mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for its primary cast and crew. This mandate, which includes boosters if the person is eligible, covers what is called “Zone A,” which consists of actors and those who come in close proximity to them. This won’t necessarily stop people from turning up positive because there have been more breakthrough cases with the current omicron variant. Several celebrities in recent days who are vaccinated have tested positive with no symptoms or modest symptoms including James Corden, Hugh Jackman, and Whoopi Goldberg. Sources say the studio will independently verify vaccination status to deter people from using fake vaccination cards.

A record 4.5 million American workers quit their jobs in November, a sign of confidence and more evidence the U.S. job market is bouncing back strongly from the coronavirus recession. The Labor Department also reported Tuesday that employers posted 10.6 million job openings in November, down from 11.1 million in October but still high by historical standards. 

The Cobb County Board of Education Thursday elected Republican board member David Chastain as chairman and Republican David Banks as vice-chairman. The vote was split along partisan lines, with both Chastain and Banks being elected by the board’s four Republicans. The votes were interspersed with arguing between outgoing Republican Chairman Randy Scamihorn and board member Dr. Jaha Howard, a Democrat. 

Voting rights organizations and a group of Georgia voters filed a federal lawsuit Friday challenging new congressional district lines the Republican-controlled General Assembly drew during a special session last fall. The suit claims the new boundaries for Georgia’s 6th, 13th, and 14th congressional districts unlawfully diminish the voting strength of voters of color. “The Georgia legislature has ‘cracked’ and ‘packed’ communities of color in the congressional districts map, denying voters of color an equal voice in elections,” said Jack Genberg, senior staff attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center. “This map must be remedied to prevent harm to Georgia’s communities of color for years to come.” The new lawsuit charges that the newly drawn congressional map violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by intentionally denying Black communities in Georgia representation and, therefore, equal protection under the law. Specifically, the plaintiffs accuse GOP legislative leaders of shifting voters of color out of Democratic U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath’s 6th Congressional District in Atlanta’s northern suburbs and replacing them with white voters from suburban and rural counties further north. The court case is the fourth lawsuit over redistricting filed since Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed new political maps into law last week.

A judge on Friday dismissed the only criminal charge filed against former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in connection with the sexual harassment allegations that drove him from office. The move was expected after Albany County prosecutors said they couldn’t prove the case and wanted to drop it, and Cuomo’s lawyers asked the court to agree

Republican gubernatorial candidate David Perdue is challenging a new state law that gives incumbents an advantage in fundraising. The legislation, which the Republican-controlled General Assembly passed last March virtually along party lines, allows Georgia’s governor, lieutenant governor, the general-election nominees opposing those two statewide incumbents, and the heads of the majority and minority caucuses in the legislature to create leadership committees that can raise unlimited campaign contributions. Perdue, who is running against incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp, is barred from forming a leadership committee on his behalf unless and until he wins the GOP gubernatorial primary in May. “This unconstitutional law was spearheaded by Brian Kemp to protect himself and silence those who seek to challenge him. It reeks of cronyism and corruption,” Perdue said. “Only a 20-year career politician like Kemp would create an unfair advantage to line his own campaign coffers for his own self-preservation.” The suit seeks a preliminary injunction to block the legislation to give Perdue an opportunity to make his case.

Gov. Brian Kemp will push for a new state law that would loosen the state’s handgun requirements. He announced his support for legislation that would do away with the need for a license to carry a handgun in public. In his comments, Kemp leaned heavily on concerns over crime, adding that people are “fed up” and “safety cannot just come from local government.” Opponents have said such laws escalate the danger to law enforcement and the public.

Georgia has quietly become one of the country’s top 10 states for gun manufacturing, according to data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The state is now home to 74 companies that make hunting rifles, shotguns, pistols, semi-automatic military-style rifles, parts, accessories, and ammunition, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development. It didn’t happen by accident. Firearms manufacturers were fleeing the Northeast, where some states have passed more stringent gun laws, and relocating to politically friendlier Southern climes.

BMW has unveiled a chameleon car that changes color, in the latest attempt by automotive firms to combine their vehicles with cutting-edge technology. The German car firm said it was “bringing the car body to life” with the specially developed body wrap for its all-electric iX SUV model, which uses the same technology as Amazon’s Kindle e-reader. At the touch of a button, a driver can change the shade of the car’s exterior, allowing the color to shift between black and white or even light and dark stripes by activating electronic ink in the wraparound shell.

The Captain’s Boil, a modern-casual seafood restaurant, has opened at Cumberland Mall. The restaurant, which has 20 locations throughout Canada, is set to open spots in Woodstock, Lawrenceville, and Sandy Springs in the coming months. The menu offers the choice of shrimp, crab legs, lobster, mussels, clams, and crawfish in one of four flavors — garlic, lemon pepper, Cajun, or a signature house sauce combining all three. A grand opening event will take place at the Cumberland Mall location on Jan. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m.

MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes, a fast-casual, “better burger” chain, has opened its first location in Georgia. The restaurant is located at 1400 Veterans Memorial Highway SE, Suite 150 in Mableton. The Atlanta area opening marks the first MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes restaurant for Franchise Owners Keylan and Erika Mitchell

Have a great week…


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