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Community Tea

Community Tea


Pfizer has asked U.S. regulators for clearance of an additional COVID-19 booster shot for seniors, in a bid to protect vulnerable adults as immunity provided by the first three doses wanes. Pfizer and partner BioNTech said they have sought an emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for a second booster of their vaccine, Comirnaty, for people 65 and older who have already received a booster.

Drugmaker Moderna asked the Food and Drug Administration last week to authorize a fourth shot of its COVID- 19 vaccine as a booster dose for all adults. The request is broader than rival pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s request earlier in the week for the regulator to approve a booster shot for all seniors. In a press release, the company said its request for approval for all adults was made “to provide flexibility” to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and medical providers to determine the “appropriate use” of a second booster dose of the mRNA vaccine, “including for those at higher risk of COVID-19 due to age or comorbidities.”

Kennesaw State officially has a new president. Kathy “Kat” Schwaig is president of Kennesaw State University after serving as the university’s interim president for eight months. The state’s Board of Regents announced her as its finalist for the top job earlier this month. The board named her president effective Wednesday.

The deadline to apply for a homestead exemption in Cobb for this tax year is April 1. As a Cobb County resident, homestead exemptions are a great way to reduce the amount of property taxes one pays for their home. Homestead exemptions are deducted from the assessed value of the qualifying property – 40% of the fair market value. Exemptions only apply to homestead property one owns and occupies as their legal residence. Residents can have a homestead exemption on only one property. If married, residents can only have one homestead exemption between them and their spouses. To file, visit https://www.cobbtax.org/property/exemptions.php.

National Faith Homebuyers Atlanta branch and Fifth Third Bank have teamed up to offer the public a free community assistance event on March 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Turner Chapel AME, 492 Marietta Parkway NE in Marietta. There will be homeownership seminars, how to avoid foreclosure, assistance viewing your credit report, financial decision tools, fraud awareness and prevention, and bill payment demonstrations.

Volunteers can join with the National Parks Service and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper for the annual Sweep the Hooch on March 26 from 9 a.m. to noon. This trash cleanup brings together hundreds of volunteers each year at dozens of parks, tributaries, and access points along the Chattahoochee River. Register at https://chattahoochee.org/sweep-the-hooch/.

The thought of playing in his hometown of Atlanta apparently wasn’t enough to sway quarterback Deshaun Watson to join the Atlanta Falcons. Watson reportedly will go to Cleveland with a $230 million contract, and Houston will get three first-round picks and two other picks. Watson didn’t play last season after requesting a trade while battling civil allegations in 22 sexual misconduct cases, He is set to receive a five-year, fully guaranteed $230 million deal from the Browns, who are moving on from quarterback Baker Mayfield. Some say the Falcons were in the running but couldn’t match the contract money and were considered the weaker of the three teams interested in Watson. The Browns and the Saints are a season removed from having gone to the playoffs. The Falcons, who are rebuilding, have not been to the playoffs since 2017.

After seeing photos and gut-wrenching videos of the war, Chicago toymaker Joe Trupia became more certain that he had to do something — anything — to help Ukraine. So Trupia, who owns the toy-manufacturing company Citizen Brick, started making miniature figurines in the likeness of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to raise money for the country. Trupia’s creative way of helping came in the form of custom Lego figurines — an initiative that raised a total of $145,388 for Direct Relief, an organization providing medical aid to Ukraine. Zelenskyy’s trademark look — military-green shirt, hoodie, and unshaven face — made it easier to turn him into a small, yellow-colored figurine, Trupia said.

Tourists and business groups on both sides of the border were happy to hear the news that the Canadian government is dropping the requirement for vaccinated travelers to show a negative COVID-19 test result to enter the country.  Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said tests will no longer be needed beginning April 1.

Amazon closed its acquisition of MGM in an $8.45 billion deal that will allow the e-commerce giant to expand its TV and movie offerings. The storied, nearly century-old MGM studio — with more than 4,000 film titles, 17,000 TV episodes, 180 Academy Awards, and 100 Emmy Awards — will complement Prime Video and Amazon Studios’ work in delivering a diverse offering of entertainment choices to customers.”

Volkswagen is recalling more than 246,000 SUVs in the U.S. and Canada because faulty wiring harnesses can make them brake unexpectedly, sometimes while in traffic. The recall comes three days after the Associated Press reported that 47 people had complained to U.S. safety regulators about the problem, some reporting nearly being rear-ended by other vehicles. Many reported that warning lights and alarms would go off, the driver’s side windows would roll down and the SUVs would suddenly brake. Volkswagen says that the recall covers certain Atlas SUVs from the 2019 through 2023 model years, as well as the 2020 through 2023 Atlas Cross Sport.

The 2022 Hummer EV got hit with its first recall. Barely out of the starting gate, automaker General Motors issued a recall last week for at least 10 of the electric pickup trucks after determining that there was something wrong with the software that powers the taillights.

Some lots of Kroger Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix have been recalled because they may include pieces of cable used to clear the processing line. The recalled product was distributed to 17 states. Continental Mills issued the recall for the two-pound boxes of Kroger Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix with UPC number 01111088219, lot codes of KX2063 and KX2064, and best by dates of 09/01/2023 and 09/02/2023. The mix was distributed to Kroger stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia, according to Continental Mills. There have been no reports by consumers of contaminated mix and no injuries have been reported, the company said. Anyone who bought the recalled products is urged to throw them away. For information on how to get a refund, call 1-800-578-7832 Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET. 

Jussie Smollett was released from Cook County Jail Wednesday after an appeals court agreed with his lawyers that he should be released pending the appeal of his conviction for lying to police about a racist and homophobic attack. The ruling came after a Cook County judge sentenced Smollett last week to immediately begin serving 150 days in jail for his conviction on five felony counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police. The appeals court said Smollett could be released after signing a personal recognizance bond of $150,000, which did not require any money to be paid.

Kanye is in trouble and continues to display bizarre behavior following his divorce from Kim Kardashian. Despite the five nominations for the highly anticipated “Donda” album, Kanye has officially been forbidden to perform at the upcoming Grammy awards citing the rapper’s “concerning online behavior” as the cause of the cancellation.

Registration is now open for the 53rd running of the Peachtree Road Race, which will be held on the Fourth of July. Race organizer, the Atlanta Track Club, has 25,000 members who will receive guaranteed entry into the 10K race if they complete their member registration before or during their registration for the Peachtree Road Race. Everyone else is entered in the lottery and selections are made at random when registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on March 31. Due to the event falling on a long weekend and the reduction of COVID concerns, which has restricted the race for the past two years, demand for remaining spots is expected to be extremely high. Regardless of the day or time of registration, all individuals who enter the lottery during the registration period will have an equal chance of being selected for the race. All lottery entrants will receive an email by April 2 notifying them if they were selected for the event.

Have a wonderful week…


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