by Robin Kemp

UPDATE 5:49 p.m.: ADDS CCPS Board meeting 6pm

Good morning, Clayton County and the Southern Crescent! CCPS students head back to school today, the Delta variant of COVID-19 is raging like wildfire, evictions are underway after months of delay, and county leaders are making noises about raising property taxes. Plus, we have the Commission District 1 race, the School Board District 8 race, and all the usual governmental meetings.

COVID-19 numbers as of press time:

TOTAL CASES: 25,637

TOTAL DEAD: 498

PERCENT FULLY VACCINATED: 32%

PERCENT WITH AT LEAST 1 DOSE: 37%

NEW CASES JULY 24-30: 426

PERCENT INCREASE: 0.25%

AVERAGE CONFIRMED POSITIVE PCR TESTS (PAST 7 DAYS): 14.8%

TOTAL CONFIRMED PCR CASES: 8,391 per 100,000

TOTAL CASES (PCR and antigen): 9,417 per 100,000

CASES HOSPITALIZED: 5.9%

HOSPITALIZED DEATHS: 1.9%

Below is the case count by city to date. The “% total” represents the percentage of cases in Clayton County to date. Jonesboro, Riverdale, Forest Park, and Morrow have had the highest incidences of COVID-19:

Monday, Aug. 2

Federal prosecutors in U.S.A. v. Mitzi Bickers have until today to respond to the defense’s motion “for Full Disclosure of Proffer Information Pursuant to Giglio and Brady.” Judge Steve C. Jones issued the order on July 19. The motion is to find out what plea deals, if any, the feds might have offered witnesses in the case.

6 p.m.: The Clayton County Board of Education meets. Watch live via YouTube. Here’s the agenda.

6 p.m.: The Forest Park City Council holds its work session followed by the regular business meeting at 7 p.m. The agenda includes:

  • discussion of confirming Interim Fire Chief Latosha Clemons as Fire Chief
  • establishing a budget for the city’s three Sister Cities
  • consideration of two empty seats on both the Downtown Development Authority and Urban Redevelopment Authority boards that need filling. Those seats were held by Lois Wright–who currently chairs the Development Authority–and Eliot Lawrence. Their terms ended March 15, 2020. According to City Manager Dr. Marc-Antonie Cooper, ” No one has left the boards, but you have two individuals who term expired March 15, 2020.” Both Wright and Lawrence are on the list of potential candidates, along with:
    • Blake Joiner
    • William Marshall
    • Jacklyn Faith
    • Nancy Howard
    • Delores Gunn (the only resume included in the published packet; Cooper said “The URA/DDA Board resumes were inadvertently not attached to the agenda however they were sent to council after the publishing of the agenda.” The Clayton Crescent has asked for copies of those resumes before tonight’s meeting and will publish them when we get them.)
  • An unnamed property owner next to J.G. Glover Court wants the city to close the northern part of the street and let them develop it
  • The council also will consider giving the executive office a $2,500 one-time bonus for essential workers using American Rescue Plan Act funds at a total cost of $662,500 (the city got $3,738,098).The amendment references Exhibit A, which (except for the title)  is a blank piece of paper.
  • approving a donation from Family Literacy of Georgia of a Little Free Library for Starr Park.
  • The city also is considering paying the Clayton County Water Authority $14,000 to add the city logo to one of the water tanks at 1101 Forest Avenue. (CCWA is reconditioning five tanks there and at Noahs Ark Road.)

You can watch the livestream at https://bit.ly/3c28p0A. If you attend in person, masks and social distancing are recommended.

Dwayne “Buddy” Divins will be named a volunteer honorary officer at tonight’s Jonesboro City Council meeting.

6 p.m.: The Jonesboro City Council tops its agenda with a “discussion regarding the approval of a volunteer honorary officer,” Dwayne “Buddy” Divins, 18, a special-needs 10th grader and man-about-town. The council will consider $60 for an honorary uniform that Divins can wear to public events like “National Night Out, Pop Up Shops, Block Parties, and other local events where the police department is present.” The city notes that Divins loves riding to school on the bus, and loves WWE wrestling, monster trucks, football, dancing, Michael Jackson, and his sister.

Other items on the agenda include:

  • discussion of a new subdivision, Hearthside Jonesboro, on N. Main Street (Minor Subdivision Plat 21-SUB-002), by OneStreet Residential, LLC (which would combine the rear parts of 203, 205, 211, 215, and 217 N. Main Street for an apartment/duplex development). The company is run by David Dixon and specializes in “active senior” housing. The properties in question are owned by David Joseph Brannan as trustee, Lucksim Investor LLC of Grayson, and Jerry C. Graham.
  • discussion of a conditional use permit for a church at 186 North Ave. (parcel 13239B B005) by the estate of John Mitchell, property owner, and Iyabo Okuribido/Golden Crown C&S Church, applicant
  • consideration of an agreement with the county for $300,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds for Lee Street Park improvements
  • discussion of “a proposal from Geotechnical Environmental Consultants, Inc. and the City of Jonesboro for construction materials testing and special inspections.”
  • discussion of whether to cancel the September 6 work session and hold it the same day as the September 13 regular meeting”due to the Labor Day Holiday”
  • discussion of the 2021 Municipal Election

6:30 p.m.: The Zoning Advisory Group (ZAG) Board will hold a public hearing via Zoom. Register online at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_L9BvPjDoSzac_fBjWbFyPA

Tuesday, Aug. 3

6:30 p.m.: The Clayton County Board of Commissioners holds its regular meeting. Chief Strategy Officer Dr. Chalonda Smith will present on the county’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) recommendations. An exhibit listing those recommendations was not attached to the published agenda as of press time. The county was awarded $66,847,996.

On the consent agenda:

  • The BOC will approve its wish list for the upcoming legislative session.
  • Qualifying fees for the District 8 School Board race will be set at $360.
  • A budget amendment will “carry forward revenue collected in fiscal year 2021 of wellness savings received from Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan for fees and supplies in the amount of $133,186.”
  • A request to change an awarded vendor name from Infogroup Inc. to Data Axle, Inc.
  • A contract with Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus LLC of Union Grove, AL
  • A contract with Mowrey Elevator Company of Marianna, FL for elevator repair and maintenance.
  • A contract amendment with Bound Tree Medical LLC of Dublin, OH “due to a manufacturer price increase.”
  • A new kind of residential zoning district, “RMTSF,” is up for consideration
  • Permission for the Police Department to apply for an Urban Area Security Initiative Grant (amount unspecified) to upgrade the department’s bomb-retrieving (EOD) robot, as well as for a $151,899 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistant Grant for an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and 300 Brazos mobile electronic citation system licenses
  • Renew the training and clinical experience agreement between Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services and Southern Crescent Technical College’s EMS programs
  • Approve a construction agreement with GDOT for milling and resurfacing McDonough Road ($2.8 million will come from GDOT, $1.53 million will come from the county), along with a construction oversight fee to GDOT ($10,000 from 2015 SPLOST)
  • enter a $708,149.44 Aging Subgrant Agreement with the Atlanta Regional Commission “providing for services to be rendered in connection with older adult programs”

Also on the agenda: approval of the county’s ARPA funds spending plan, two Zoning Advisory Group appointments (Commissioner Felicia Franklin and an at-large seat) and one seat on the Board of Appeals (Chairman Jeff Turner). The terms of ZAG members Carlton Holloway and Pastor Daunta Long and Board fo Appeals member Kathy Robinson all expire on August 19.

Wednesday, Aug. 4

4:30 p.m.: The Jonesboro Design Review Commission meets via Zoom. On the agenda:

  • exterior design upgrades to the Long John Silver’s at 8502 Tara Boulevard
  • enclosure of the carport at 108 Raymond with Hardiplank siding (the city wants a brick water table at the base of the enclosure)
  • new signs and a fueling station design for the Kroger at 8059 Tara Boulevard. The city wants to annex the property where the old Buffalo’s is, which is where the fueling station would go.
  • new signs for Hot Crab at 8071 Tara Boulevard, also at the Kroger shopping center
  • an 1,800-square-foot storage addition to the rear of Tara Package, 8525 Tara Boulevard
  • recommended denial of a new metal carport at 105 Pine Circle in the Historic District (due to setback requirements)
  • new signs for YeYe’s Botanica at 841 Highway 138

Thursday, Aug. 5

10 a.m.: Sheriff Victor Hill is scheduled to appear before Magistrate Judge Linda T. Walker on August 5 at 10 a.m. in Room 1810. A superseding federal indictment alleges Hill was present in 2020 when a man who had been arrested for speeding on a suspended Florida license had a hood placed over his head and was punched in the face. A CCSO deputy later is alleged to have used a paper bib to cover blood on the man’s shirt before taking his photo. Gov. Brian Kemp suspended Hill when he was indicted on federal charges that he used his power under color of law to strap four other pretrial detainees in restraining chairs for hours at a time. Hill has pleaded not guilty to the charges in the original indictment and his attorneys have called the charges “politically motivated.”

Friday, Aug. 6

10 a.m.: A pre-bid meeting will be held for potential bidders on the contract to replace the wooden boardwalk “along the Small Shops at The District,” better known as Olde Towne Morrow. According to the bid advertisement, “the construction must be in compliance with all state and federal guidelines and in accordance with the scope of work and construction plans issued with this request for bids.” The meeting will take place on site at 1065 Old Town Morrow Road (also known as Boca Raton Drive), which is next to Southlake Mall. The deadline to submit bids is August 26 at 2 p.m. You can see the request for bids on the city’s website.

Did we miss anything? Please e-mail us directly at KempWrites@gmail.com and we’ll get it in!

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