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Community Tea


President Biden will deliver his first State of the Union address on Tuesday. Fencing installed around the U. S, Capitol after the January 2021 insurrection will be put back up as concerns grow about potential demonstrations of truck convoys snarling traffic in the nation’s capital.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new strategy on mask-wearing Friday that will allow most people to ditch masks in most indoor settings, including classrooms.

As of Tuesday, Georgia was tied with Tennessee for having the seventh-lowest percentage of its population fully vaccinated at 53.5%, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics. The CDC records show that only Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Wyoming have lower rates than Georgia.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a new tool that helps people determine whether their area is at high, medium, or low risk for COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations and whether masks are needed in most public indoor places, including schools.

Go here to find the pandemic guidelines for your area.

State senators approved new maps for the Cobb Board of Commissioners and the Cobb Board of Education in a pair of votes along party lines Wednesday. With Senate approval, the maps will head to the governor’s desk for his signature. Gov. Brian Kemp is expected to sign both bills, making the maps law. The redrawing of both maps has been contentious, with Democrats alleging their Republican colleagues have drawn the maps to protect vulnerable Republican incumbents and to oust certain Democrats from their seats by drawing them out of their districts. Republicans have said the maps are compact, were drawn in accordance with the law, and combine “communities of interest.” Democrats have expressed outrage that first-term Commissioner Jerica Richardson, a Democrat, would no longer live within the boundaries of District 2 if the proposed map takes effect next year. Republicans, in turn, have said Richardson made herself vulnerable when she recently moved within her own district to a home near its border with Commissioner JoAnn Birrell’s District 3.

Marking what would have been the late congressman’s 82nd birthday, the foundation John Lewis created to carry on his legacy has announced its first public event. The John and Lillian Miles Lewis Foundation — named for Lewis and his wife will host an inaugural gala in Washington in May. The event will serve as a fundraiser for the organization as well as a celebration highlighting the civil rights activist and longtime political leader. Lewis’s son, John-Miles, will serve as an event co-chair alongside philanthropist Arthur Blank, Georgia Power Chairman, and CEO Chris Womack, and actress Alfre Woodard. Woodard came to know Lewis as they oversaw the construction of the Navy ship she christened in his honor last summer to mark one year since his death.  

Scores of metro Atlanta teens gathered outside the state Capitol on Friday to protest legislation that would limit the way race is discussed in classrooms. An estimated 200 students gathered at Liberty Plaza and had a message for the Republican lawmakers behind the bills. “Did you know that at 17-and-a-half you can register to vote? If they do not listen to us now, you will hear us in November.”

Smyrna has approved a rezoning for a new mixed-use development at South Cobb Drive and Oakdale Road. Some neighbors in the Oakdale community object to the project, saying it will create traffic issues. Arris Holdings, a division of Core Property Capital, plans to build 163 luxury apartments and 20,400 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The development will extend across three buildings on nearly seven acres. Approximately 10% of the housing units are dedicated to affordable housing and capped at 30% of the household’s monthly income, according to project plans. Smyrna City Council approved rezoning from general commercial to mixed-use allowing for the construction of the development in a 5-1 vote if certain criteria are met, including the exclusion of pool halls, gun ranges, adult novelty, and entertainment shops, massage parlors, and other types of businesses.

U.S. women soccer players reached a landmark agreement with the sport’s American governing body to end a six-year legal battle over equal pay, a deal in which they are promised $24 million-plus bonuses that match those of the men. The U.S. Soccer Federation and the women announced a deal Tuesday that will have players split $22 million, about one-third of what they had sought in damages. The USSF also agreed to establish a fund with $2 million to benefit the players in their post-soccer careers and charitable efforts aimed at growing the sport for women. The USSF committed to providing an equal rate of pay for the women’s and men’s national teams — including World Cup bonuses — subject to collective bargaining agreements with the unions that separately represent the women and men. “

 The Braves cashed in on a World Series championship season by generating franchise-record revenue. The Braves’ run to a World Series championship provided a big boost to the team’s bottom line. They posted revenue of $102 million for last year’s fourth quarter, up from $35 million for the quarter in 2020.  

With airport concessionaires still struggling to find workers, Hartsfield Jackson International plans to host a job fair next month. The job fair is scheduled for March 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the airport’s domestic terminal atrium. Airport employers will be looking to fill an array of jobs, from restaurant workers and cashiers to aircraft cleaners, baggage handlers, and security officers. Those interested should register online in advance of the event. Go to atl.com/ careerfair for more information. Parking at the airport costs $3 an hour.

Drugmaker Johnson & Johnson and three major distributors finalized nationwide settlements over their role in the opioid addiction crisis Friday, an announcement that clears the way for $26 billion to flow to nearly every state and local government in the U.S. Taken together, the settlements are the largest to date among the many opioid-related cases that have been playing out across the country.

A rodent infestation at a Family Dollar warehouse has prompted the discount store chain to recall a wide range of products sold at hundreds of stores throughout the southern United States. Health concerns about the rat infestation at an Arkansas distribution center have also reportedly led to the temporary closure of more than 400 stores in six states. Family Dollar, which is owned by the retail giant Dollar Tree, announced a voluntary recall late Friday of some products that came from the West Memphis facility. The recall covers Food and Drug Administration-regulated products, including medicine, pet food, and cosmetics, that were sold between January 2021 and February 2022 in Family Dollar stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, and Tennessee. 

Ford is recalling more than 330,000 Mustangs in the U.S. to fix backup camera displays that go blank or become distorted. The recall covers cars from the 2015 to 2017 model years. Documents posted Wednesday by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say the rear-view camera wiring can become loose or damaged, causing the problem. 

Have a wonderful week…


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