🌱 Blood Donors' Big Incentives + Olympic Hopeful's Skis Stolen

·6 min read

Happy Tuesday, people of Atlanta! Here's everything you need to know to get this day started. Here's everything you need to know in town today.

First, today's weather:

Cloudy with a touch of rain. High: 47 Low: 36.

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Here are the top 5 stories in Atlanta today:

  1. Although fewer people typically donate blood and plasma during the holidays, the American Red Cross is offering a pair of incentives sure to appeal to many donors: A chance to win tickets to the Super Bowl as well as a shot at winning a home theater package. Anyone who gives blood or plasma during January will automatically be entered to win two tickets to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles, a package that includes round-trip airfare, entry to the official NFL tailgate event and three-night hotel accommodations, plus a $500 gift card for other expenses. What's more, January donors also will have a chance to win a home theater package. To make donating - and possibly winning - easier, a number of Red Cross blood drives are planned throughout the metro area. (Atlanta Patch)

  2. The U.S. now has more than 49.9 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, after adding over 979,000 new cases throughout the last week. The nation also has the highest death toll of any country, with more than 790,000 COVID-19-related deaths. While there are some metro Atlanta counties where COVID-19 is getting worse, there are also some counties where cases are slowing, as illustrated by an infographic compiled by 24/7 Wall St. (24/7 Wall St. - Atlanta)

  3. Keisha Lance Bottoms - with just days left in her one term as Atlanta mayor - discussed both the good and the bad events that shaped her administration. Positives include big pay raises for police officers and firefighters, and huge revenues from the 2019 Super Bowl, which was played in Atlanta. But there were also negatives, such as headlines concerning her handling of the May 2020 riots after the killing of Rayshard Brooks. As for what’s next, Bottoms said she'll spend time during the holidays considering employment opportunities she's been offered. She also plans to continue volunteering as vice chair of the Democratic National Convention and with Clark Atlanta University. (CBS46 News Atlanta)

  4. Dani Loeb, a U.S. National Ski Team member and Olympic hopeful, had her skis and bags stolen from a vehicle in Atlanta less than a month before the Olympic qualifier. The vehicle was parked in a deck on Peachtree Street, and Loeb said in an Instagram post Wednesday that she and her family were only in Atlanta for about an hour when her bags were taken. A two-year member of the United States National Ski Team, the Olympic hopeful and Alabama native is the first person from the state to make the team. “I just really need my skis back before the Olympic qualifier,” she said, pleading for anyone with information to contact Atlanta police. (Free: 11 Alive.com WXIA; Subscription: The Atlanta Journal Constitution)

  5. Thanks to many donations, the Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta distributed about 7,300 bags of gifts to children and seniors in the area Thursday, making sure thousands of metro Atlanta families have presents to unwrap Christmas morning. Capt. Kathy Parker, Area Commander for the Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta, oversees the organization's Angel Tree program and said, "It has been amazing what we have received this year. We just really appreciate each person that has helped us help someone have a Christmas." (CBS46 News Atlanta)

Today's Atlanta Daily is brought to you in part by our friends at Ring, the home security company. Ring does a lot more than doorbells: check out their full suite of smart home products at Ring.com. And thank you Ring for helping to make local news happen in Atlanta!

Today in Atlanta:

  • Brighten The First Day Of Winter With 15 Percent Off FTD’s Sunniest Blooms (9:00 PM)

  • Blood Drive In The Café at Little Five Points Center for Arts and Community (10:00 AM)

  • Fernbank 's Newest Exhibit, "Antarctic Dinosaurs," runs through Jan. 2, 2022 (10:00 AM)

  • Winter Solstice Event Providing Mind, Body & Soul Connection at Ambient+Studio (1:00 PM)

  • Pop-up Christmas Cocktail Bar Sippin' Santa at Bon Ton Atlanta (5:00 PM)

From my notebook:

  • The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has provided the Atlanta Humane Society with a transformational $4 million grant to support its new westside campus. This location will enable it to provide more specialized shelter medicine care for Atlanta's animals, expand community engagement opportunities, and more. (Facebook)

  • Check out the Atlanta History Center's photo of Brenda Mae Tarpley performing at a school in Atlanta in 1958. Later known as Brenda Lee, she ended up becoming a country music star, selling more than 100 million records worldwide. A top-charting solo female vocalist of the 1960s, Lee finished the decade with 47 U.S. chart hits! She is also the only woman to be inducted into both the Rock and Roll and Country Music Halls of Fame. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree," her signature song, still tops the charts today at this time of year. She recorded it at age 13. (Facebook)

  • What's cooking with the Fulton County Library System? Soup! Check out this recipe for Lemony White Bean Soup with Turkey and Greens. (Facebook)

  • A reminder from MARTA: Bus service changes are now in effect as of Dec. 18. The posted schedules have been updated at itsmarta.com and the MARTA On-The-Go app. (Facebook)

  • The Atlanta Habitat for Humanity & ReStore is so grateful this season because of over 400 donors who gave $770,000 to the organization's Home Matters fund, including individuals, corporations and foundations. (Facebook)

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Thanks for following along and staying informed. I'll be back in your inbox tomorrow with your next update!

Kathy Cioffi

This article originally appeared on the Atlanta Patch

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