by Robin Kemp

Good morning and Happy Hanukkah! 

Make a child’s holiday a little brighter this season:

  • This Monday through Friday, the City of Riverdale is accepting unwrapped toys from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 7210 Church Street for Santa’s Workshop (to be distributed Saturday, December 4). Call (770) 909-5300 for details.
  • Chairman Turner’s holiday toy drive for children in foster and Kinship Care is December 9. Only new, unwrapped toys and/or monetary donations will be accepted. The event takes place at Legends Headquarters Sports Bar and Grill, 7240 N. Davidson Pkwy, Stockbridge. Toy dropboxes are outside and masks are required for entry.

Tuesday is Giving Tuesday, which is the perfect time to make a tax-deductible donation to The Clayton Crescent. We are fighting hard to keep you informed but can’t do it without your financial support. Please give generously at https://findyournews.org/organization/the-clayton-crescent-inc/ so that we can bring you many more Monday Morning Roundups! This service costs $200 per day, $6,000 per month.

Wednesday, December 1 is World AIDS Day. We at The Clayton Crescent remember our friends lost to this vicious disease and offer this information for your well-being:

It has been 40 years since the AIDS virus was identified. Back then, the outbreak was largely among gay men, and the stigma attached to the disease due to  homophobia caused  some doctors and dentists to refuse care to people with AIDS. After the 1987 March on Washington, The Names Project’s AIDS Quilt focused national attention on the epidemic and ensured that those who had died were memorialized at a time when many LGBTQ people were disowned by their families. LGBTQ people fought and continue to fight for a cure and several treatments have been developed that allow people living with HIV to control the disease and live longer.

Today, you can get free HIV testing, with results in under one minute, every Monday through Friday at the Clayton County Health Department Annex clinic at 685 Forest Parkway in Forest Park. You also can get tested every Monday at Clayton State University, 5809 N Lake Drive, Bldg. 1000 in Morrow. These free HIV testing walk-in clinics are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You don’t need an appointment and you don’t have to pay anything to know your HIV status. You also can get free condoms and at-home HIV self-test kits through the Clayton County Health Department.

If you are at high risk of HIV infection, you can reduce your risk by taking PrEP medicine every day. According to CCHD, “When taken daily, PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99%, reduces the risk of getting HIV from injecting drugs by 74%, and is even more effective if combined with other preventative measures.” Call (470) 618-4045 for more information about PrEP referrals.

In 2019, about 1.2 people in the United States and 2,929 people in Clayton County were living with HIV. 82.6% of people living with HIV were African-American. 72.5% were gay and bisexual men. Almost half of those newly diagnosed with HIV were ages 20 through 29.

The Clayton County Health District will hold a live-streaming event, “Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice,” from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Facebook, www.facebook.com/cchdpreventhiv . You can ask questions about preventing, testing for, and treating HIV.  https://www.claytoncountypublichealth.org/services/adult-health/hiv-prevention/

  • The human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is the virus that causes AIDS, or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. HIV attacks your body’s T cells, making it harder for you to fight off all kinds of infections and cancers.
  • You can get HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, by having unprotected sex (regardless of sexual preference or gender), by sharing needles, or through exposure to certain bodily fluids (for example, blood, sexual secretions, and breast milk).I f it goes untreated, your body will become less able to defend itself against infections and cancers, eventually resulting in death.
  • You can be infected after one sexual encounter. You can greatly reduce your risk through practicing safe sex, no matter your age or your partner’s age.
  • HIV does not care about your gender, your sexual preference, your religion, your marital status, how much money you make, or where you live.

Protect yourself and those you love. Educate yourself about HIV, AIDS, safe sex, and available treatments for living with HIV.

Monday, Nov. 29

6 p.m.: The Clayton County Board of Education holds its work session. On the agenda:

  • The proposed 2022-2023 Academic Calendar is on the action agenda, along with approval of the proposed board meeting agenda for the December 6 meeting. 
  • Look for updates on half a dozen grants for STEM programs, schools seeking STEM certification, and various STEM partners
  • details on the Virtual Learning Academy and requirements to apply
  • the graduation rate (down 0.1 percent systemwide, with drops of 16% at Perry Learning Academy, 5.1% at Lovejoy high, 0.6% at Charles Drew High, and 0.5%t at Mt. Zion High and an increase of 5.6% at Jonesboro High and 4.2% at North Clayton High and 0.9% at Forest Park High)
  • COVID-19, vaccination, and related incentives.

On the consent agenda are reports on finances, SPLOST revenue, purchasing, SPLOST construction, and personnel changes.

There’s also an executive session with recommendations to follow, as well as as an item listed as “Board Matters” on the proposed agenda.

The next Jonesboro City Council work session is scheduled for Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. at the Jonesboro Police Department, 170 S. Main Street.

The next Forest Park City Council work session is scheduled for December 6 at 6 p.m., followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 745 Forest Parkway.

The next Riverdale City Council meeting is scheduled for December 13 at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 7200 Church Street.

The next Lake City City Council Meeting is scheduled for December 13 at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 5455 Jonesboro Road.

Tuesday, Nov. 30

7 a.m.-7 p.m.: Forest Park holds its runoff for mayor between incumbent Angelyne Butler and challenger Tommy Smith. Vote at the Elaine Corley Recreation Center Gym, 804 Forest Parkway. If you are registered to vote and did not vote in the primary, you are eligible to vote in the runoff. The votes will be counted immediately after the polls close and the public is invited to watch.

The next Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 7.

The next Morrow City Council work session is scheduled for December 14 at City Hall, 1500 Morrow Road, and is followed by the regular meeting at 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 1

World AIDS Day: “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.” — Mother Jones

10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.: The Clayton County Health District’s World AIDS Day Facebook Live event, “Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice,” at www.facebook.com/cchdpreventhiv, will answer your questions about preventing, testing for, and treating HIV. Learn more at https://www.claytoncountypublichealth.org/services/adult-health/hiv-prevention/

4:30 p.m.: The Jonesboro Design Review Commission meets at City Hall, 124 North Ave., to consider six applications:

Hearthside Jonesboro conceptual drawing, downtown Jonesboro

Thursday, Dec. 2

TBA

Friday, Dec. 3

5 p.m.-11 p.m.: Riverdale hosts Santa’s Playland Carnival at Riverdale Town Center, 7210 Church Street. For information, call (478) 444-1197 or e-mail vividfaircreations@gmail.com.

Saturday, Dec. 4

  • 7:30 a.m.: Clayton County District 1 Commissioner Dr. Alieka Anderson holds Clean Up Day at several meeting spots around the district:
    • 7:30 a.m.: Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center, 3499 Rex Road, Rex
    • 8 a.m.: Morrow High School, 2299 Old Rex Road, Rex
    • 8:30 a.m.: Sonna Singleton Gregory Senior Center, 3215 Anvil Block Road, Ellenwood
    • 9 a.m.: Forest Park High School, 5452 Phillips Drive, Forest Park
    • 9:30 a.m.: New Morning Light Baptist Church, 1392 Conley Road, Conley

For information, call LaVona Cooper at (770) 473-5770.

10 a.m.-12 p.m.: Clayton County District 3’s “Home for the Holidays” Community Town Hall Meeting with Commissioner Felicia Franklin takes place both virtually and in person at the South Clayton Recreation Center, 1837 McDonough Road, Hampton. Register in advance for this event, whether online or in person. Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services will offer free COVID-19 testing.

12 p.m.: Riverdale holds its annual Christmas Parade and tree lighting. The parade steps off at 3 p.m. from 6690 Church Street to 7210 Church Street. The gospel concert starts at 5 p.m. Enjoy parade balloons, kids’ activities, a skating rink, and phots with Santa until 8 p.m. The carnival at Riverdale Town Center is open from 1 p.m. until 11  p.m. From 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., children can stop by Santa’s Workshop at 7210 Church Street for a free unwrapped toy while supplies last. All children are welcome. Call 770-909-5300 for details.

4 p.m.-8 p.m.: Morrow holds its annual Christmas in the Park event at Morrow City Hall, 1500 Morrow road. Enjoy hot cocoa, food trucks, face painting, balloon artists, bungee jumping, a Ferris wheel, and Santa Claus

5 p.m.: Jonesboro holds its annual Christmas Parade and tree lighting on Main Street.

6 p.m.: Forest Park holds its annual Holiday Parade and tree lighting. The parade starts on Main Street, turns left on Lake Drive, and ends at the amphitheater in Starr Park, where you can take your photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus and sip hot chocolate. 

7 p.m.: Reynolds Nature Preserve holds its annual Yule Log celebration and bonfire (parking at Morrow Elementary School, 6115 Reynolds Road, Morrow). Bring your own mug for cocoa and you’ll be entered into a prize drawing–plus Mother Nature will thank you for not using disposable cups! Enjoy storytelling, music, refreshments, and the natural beauty of Clayton County’s own 146-acre wildlife preserve.

Sunday, Dec. 5

2 p.m.-10 p.m.: Riverdale hosts Santa’s Playland at Riverdale Town Center, 7210 Church Street. For information, call (478) 444-1197 or e-mail vividfaircreations@gmail.com.

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