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Community Tea


As he marked another “tragic milestone” in the coronavirus pandemic, President Joe Biden urged all Americans on Friday to get vaccinated. In a statement, he said, “900,000 American lives have been lost to COVID-19. They were beloved mothers and fathers, grandparents, children, brothers and sisters, neighbors, and friends.” Biden said without the coronavirus vaccines the death toll would have been higher as he urged unvaccinated Americans to “get vaccinated, get your kids vaccinated, and get your booster shot if you are eligible.” He credits the vaccine with saving millions of lives.

Calling it discrimination, some Republicans have spent much of the week taking issue with President Biden’s campaign promise to pick a Black woman for the Supreme Court. Critics point to similar circumstances in 1980 when Ronald Reagan pledged to name the court’s first female justice. He named Sandra Day O’Conner to the bench. The GOP’s grievance toward Biden stems from the notion that some eminently qualified white males may be passed over for the high court because of the race and gender criteria the president has set forth. White men haven’t exactly been locked out of power in America. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS.) told a radio show that the president’s pick will be a “beneficiary” of affirmative action. For Wicker and others following racial progress in America, four Black women have flown in space, which is four more than has sat on the U. S. Supreme Court.

Republican Party officials on Friday voted to punish GOP Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for their work on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. GOP officials took a voice vote to approve censuring Cheney and Kinzinger at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting in Salt Lake City. The censure resolution accuses Kinzinger and Cheney of “participating in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse” — a striking description of the violent attack on the Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump. Cheney was joined by others who condemned the resolution’s reference to “legitimate political discourse.” Tweeting out a video of rioters assaulting police officers, Cheney said: “This was January 6th. This is not ‘legitimate political discourse.”

The prospect of pardons for supporters who participated in the deadly Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol is what former President Donald Trump is dangling if he returns to the White House. “If I run and if I win, we will treat those people from January 6th fairly. And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons because they are being treated so unfairly.” Critics say the offer represents an attempt by Trump to further minimize the most significant attack on the seat of government since the War of 1812. Protesters smashed through windows, assaulted police officers and sent lawmakers and congressional staff fleeing for their lives while trying to halt the peaceful transition of power and the certification of rival Joe Biden’s victory. 

Three lawsuits challenging Georgia’s new political maps survived their first hurdles in federal court. U.S. District Judge Steve Jones denied motions on Thursday to dismiss the cases over Georgia’s redistricting of congressional and state legislative seats. The lawsuits allege that Georgia’s redistricting in the fall violated the Voting Rights Act’s protections against discrimination of Black voters, weakening their voting strength by splitting populations into different districts. Defendants for the state of Georgia disagree, saying the new districts are fair.

The man who fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery withdrew his guilty plea in his federal hate crimes case Friday morning, setting the stage for a second high-profile trial in which prosecutors are expected to argue the 25-year old’s killing was motivated by racism. Travis McMichael; his father, Greg; and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan is set to stand trial Monday. The McMichaels were convicted of murder in November in a state trial in Brunswick and sentenced last month to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The father and son had reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors that would have avoided a second trial in Arbery’s killing. They hoped to serve the first 30 years of their life sentences in federal custody, but U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood rejected the plea agreement after the Arbery family said it never agreed to the deal. Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said she wants her son’s killers to serve their life sentences in state prison, where conditions are tougher. 

Tennessee pastor Willie McLaurin has been named interim president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, becoming the first African American to lead one of the denomination’s ministry entities in its more than 175- year history. McLaurin’s appointment as one of the top administrators for the largest Protestant church body in the United States was announced Tuesday. He will lead the day-to-day business of the committee, which acts on behalf of the convention when it is not holding its annual two-day national gathering in June.

Scammers are at it again and this time they are giving out fake parking tickets. Authorities are telling people to be on the lookout for the fake tickets that are being placed on motorist cars. City officials say they were notified of the scam this week. Drivers reported getting a parking ticket on their vehicle that looks almost identical to the city’s actual tickets. Officials say the fake tickets display “City of Atlanta” at the top of the citation and even include an officer’s name, as well as a description of the vehicle. They also have instructions on how to pay the ticket using a QR code. City leaders say authentic tickets will never have a QR code on them. They also say all certified tickets can be located online at Atlplusmobility.com. If you have questions about a ticket that you’ve received, you can contact the city’s department of transportation at 1-888-266-1360.

Delta Air Lines is asking the U.S. Justice Department to create a national Flight attendant handout. The Atlanta-based airline wants all air carriers to share no-fly lists with the FAA. Unruly passengers have become a problem for airlines during the pandemic, particularly over mask requirements. The airline has already put nearly 1,900 people on its no-fly list for refusing to comply with mask requirements and submitted more than 900 names of passengers to the Transportation Security Administration for the agency to pursue civil penalties.

This is Jeopardy!: Kennesaw State University Student Raymond Goslow will be competing in the Jeopardy! College Championship. His episode airs Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

 The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation is providing Spelman College $10 million to assist with curriculum and training to help students aspiring to become entrepreneurs and participating in different forms of research. The grant will be used to create the Arthur M. Blank Innovation Lab, a hub for Spelman’s Center for Innovation & the Arts that is slated to open in 2024. The center will house all of Spelman’s arts programs: art, art history, curatorial studies, dance, digital media, documentary filmmaking, photography, music, and theater. The college also hopes to use the center to build bridges to the Westside Atlanta community.

The Cobb County School District is awarding a $1,200 retention bonus for current bus drivers and monitors. This is the second retention bonus for bus drivers and monitors in the state’s second-largest district. In December, it issued $1,200 to those employed by Sept. 24, 2021. The second bonus will be issued in May to drivers and monitors employed as of the announcement on Feb. 1, according to a district news release. Drivers and monitors hired by Feb. 28 will receive $1,000 in May. 

Under a bill pending in the General Assembly of Georgia, motorists would be able to handle their phones at stoplights and stop signs. Senate Bill 356 would grant an exception to the state’s distracted driving law, which prohibits motorists from handling their phones while driving. SB 356 would allow drivers to handle their phones when their vehicle “is at a full and complete stop.”

Tesla is issuing a safety recall of more than 817,000 vehicles over faulty seat belt chimes, according to the top U.S. auto safety regulator, the second recall come to light in a week.

Facing a shortage of workers, Domino’s Pizza is hoping to incentivize its customers to choose carryout over delivery. Beginning Monday through May 22, Domino’s will be “tipping” customers $3 if they order online and choose carryout. The credit can be used on a future online carryout order. The promotion could help alleviate stress on its limited number of workers right before the Super Bowl, which is one of the company’s biggest pizza sales days.

Grocery giant Kroger is launching a food delivery service for metro Atlanta out of its massive new distribution facility in Forest Park. The company says it hopes to be able to drop off groceries as far away as 90 miles from Clayton County in the coming months and will serve areas where it doesn’t have physical stores, especially food deserts where getting fresh produce and meat is a challenge. The move comes as food-delivery demand has surged due to COVID-19. Americans who don’t want to go into grocery stores or restaurants have increasingly turned to Instacart, Uber Eats, DoorDash, and others to pick their food up for them, and Kroger wants a piece of that business. Walmart, one of Kroger’s biggest competitors, has launched its own grocery delivery service, Walmart Plus.

After a two-year hiatus, the Taste of Marietta is returning to Marietta Square on April 24th. It is Marietta’s largest and longest-running food festival that brings the flavors of Cobb County together. Applications are now available for vendors, and any restaurant in Cobb County is welcome to apply. The deadline to apply is March 18, 2022. Visit asteofmarietta.com/restaurants for information.

Have a wonderful week…


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