You’ve arrived at the Aug. 2, 2022, online edition of the Georgia Today newslettera twice-weekly publication featuring original stories from GPB News reporters and the latest headlines from around the state.
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Now, the news:
Music Midtown cancellation sparks questions about gun laws
NPR reported that Music Midtown, a major festival in Atlanta scheduled for next month, has been canceled. Though the official announcement cites “circumstances beyond our control,” social media speculation centered around Georgia’s gun laws as the reason.
Sources familiar with the decision said Music Midtown pulled the plug on the event because of a recent court ruling that could limit the organizers’ ability to ban guns during the festival, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
- after the announcement, Stacey Abrams tweeted, “The cancellation of Music Midtown will cost Georgia’s economy $50 million,” but reporters clap back about the impact, asking for details about numbers of vendors and attendees.
- Atlanta City Council President Doug Shipman tweeted, “Public policy has real impacts and in this case, economic and social implications on a great tradition.”
- In an interview with Atlanta’s CBS46 Monday, hip-hop star and activist Killer Mike said he wasn’t convinced that gun laws caused the abrupt cancellation.
Warnock touts ‘bipartisanship,’ Georgia’s economy at birthday party
At an Atlanta birthday gathering for Sen. Raphael Warnock, who turned 53 last week, his Democratic supporters expressed concerns about outcomes should he lose to challenger Herschel Walker this fall, the Associated Press reported.
- “They’re going to take away our democratic rights one after another,” state lawmaker Nan Orrock said about the possibility of Republicans regaining control on Capitol Hill after the 2022 midterm elections.
But the senator’s remarks focused on his record. With inflation high, Warnock touted the state’s economy and his ability to work across the aisle.
- “I work with anybody to get something good done for the people of Georgia,” he said, highlighting recent legislative deals with Republicans including infrastructure, semiconductors and rural investment.
Warnock is one of the most vulnerable US senators on the ballot this November. But his Republican opponent Walker is struggling as well.
GPB’s Leah Fleming and Stephen Fowler discuss.
Monkeypox vaccines have arrived in Coastal Georgia. Here’s what to know
The federal government is ramping up its supply of monkeypox vaccine, with Georgia expected to receive more than 34,000 doses over the next month and a half, GPB’s Ellen Eldridge reports.
Testing and vaccination for monkeypox will be available in all Georgia health districts starting this week, according to the state health department.
Georgia’s number of monkeypox cases has risen to 430 as of Tuesday. The first case here was confirmed in June. There are now nearly 6,000 confirmed monkeypox cases nationwide, according to the CDC.
The Coastal Health District received its first shipment of Jynneos vaccine on Friday, and vaccinations began Monday, Aug. 1, for qualified individuals.
Currently, appointments are only available at the Chatham County Health Department’s main clinic at 1395 Eisenhower Drive, though additional locations will be added as vaccine supply increases. Schedule appointments here.
Minor traffic tickets land many poor Georgians in crushing debt
Georgia has the highest per capita probation rate in the country. And, as journalist Nick Barber believes, that is largely because of the privatized misdemeanor probation system. Barber investigated this and his reporting is published in July’s issue of the magazine In These Times.
There is a law that allows cities and counties in Georgia to offload their probations for misdemeanors to private companies. Those cities and counties charge the companies, and the companies then shift the cost to the person on probation.
But people who are coming through the system are often poor or low income.
barber told GPB’s Leah Fleming the story of one Georgian who got caught in the system.
- “She was placed, like many are, on probation with a private company. She was given five years of probation — one year for each of her minor traffic tickets,” he said. “The debt was insurmountable.”
Back-to-school tips from a pediatrician
When it comes to preparing kids for the new school year, there’s a lot for parents to consider. dr. Yameika Head, a pediatrician with Atrium Health Navicent, has some tips.
- Check in with kids’ mental health. While many students are excited for the return of school, that’s not true for all. For some, going back to school can bring worry or anxiety and parents need to be mindful, Head said.
- Get vaccinated. With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing across Georgia, Head recommends getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Eat a healthy breakfast. Head said a healthy breakfast will help kids to do well in school.
- Get into a routine. For those who haven’t yet started back to school, Head said to begin getting into a routine now. She said it’s important to set an expectation of how things will be once school starts.
Bald eagles nesting in Georgia in record numbers
According to Georgia’s first statewide survey of bald eagle nests in five years, America’s national bird is nesting in the Peach State in record numbers.
Nests around the state fledged 227 eagles, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, roughly 1.6 birds per nest. That’s a slight increase over the 2017 average.
in Georgia, bald eagles are classified as a threatened species.
Survey flights this winter and spring counted 229 nest territories. The record in 2017 was 218, according to survey leader Dr. Bob Sargent.
Berry College in Rome hosts a live “nest cam” for the bald eagles on its campus.
Headlines from around the state: