🌱 Kemp Deploys Guard For COVID + Recycling Trees + ATL Heat Wave

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Rise and shine, Atlanta! Here's everything you need to know to get this day started. Here's everything worth knowing in Atlanta today.

First, today's weather:

Warm with rain and a t-storm. High: 74 Low: 62.

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Here are the top 5 stories today in Atlanta:

  1. With Georgia setting a new single-day record for confirmed COVID-19 cases Wednesday, Gov. Brian Kemp said he will deploy National Guard troops to hospitals and COVID-19 test sites across the state starting Monday. Additional vaccination or mask-wearing measures, however, will not be required. "It is time to trust our citizens to do what's right for themselves and their families," Kemp said. "That is why I will absolutely not be implementing any measures that shutter businesses or divide the vaccinated from the unvaccinated, or the masked from the unmasked." Wednesday, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported 13,834 confirmed COVID-19 cases, breaking the record the state had set just Tuesday, which itself shattered the previous record set in January at 10,165 cases. To find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you, visit vaccines.gov. For a testing site, go to dph.georgia.gov/covidtesting. (Atlanta Patch)

  2. For residents wondering how to recycle their live Christmas trees, the Keep Atlanta Beautiful Commission and Atlanta’s Department of Public Works will be collecting them from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 9 at three Atlanta Home Depot locations. As a thank-you for recycling, free tree seedlings or garden seed packets will be distributed, while supplies last. Live Christmas trees are also collected in Atlanta with normal yard trimming collections at the curb, with no bag required. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

  3. This has been a record-breaking week for high temperatures in Atlanta, and the heat wave isn't over. Tuesday, Atlanta's high was 75, which was 21 degrees above the average high of 54. A record-breaker for Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the old record high was 74 degrees set in 1971 and 1984. Wednesday's unofficial high of 73 also topped the record high - 72, set in 1984. With forecast highs at, or above, 70 today and Friday, Atlanta could hit 70 degrees nine times so far this month, when we typically only see two 70-degree days each December. (CBS46 News Atlanta)

  4. Thanks to an impact fund from MARTA, the historic GE Towers loft apartments will be renovated into affordable housing, preserving 201 affordable housing units within a half mile or 10-minute walk from MARTA’s West End rail station. Nearly a year ago, MARTA, Morgan Stanley and its partner, National Equity Fund launched the Greater Atlanta Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Preservation Fund to boost MARTA’s affordable housing effort as part of its transit-oriented development program. It's a partnership that supports long-term preservation of affordable housing near MARTA rail stations by incentivizing and providing gap funding for owners of affordable housing. (MDJOnline.com)

  5. Atlanta food writers, ATL restaurant insiders and readers have already helped Eater Atlanta list the best new restaurants and pop-ups of 2021, as well as their top meals in the metro area. Now the same Atlanta dining authorities have revealed the 20 establishments they frequent when they're not working - in other words, the food experts' favorite Atlanta restaurants of 2021. (Eater Atlanta)

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Today in Atlanta:

  • Celebrate the Holidays with Seed Hospitality Group's Three Locations! (9:00 AM)

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

  • Habari Gani, What's the news? Kuumba kits available at DeKalb County Public Library! (1:00 PM)

  • New Year's Dance Party with Mr. Jahmir at DeKalb County Public Library (3:30 PM)

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

From my notebook:

  • The Atlanta Falcons' Foye Oluokun is the NFC Defensive Player of the Week‼️ (Instagram)

  • Featuring over 33,000 books, photographs, manuscripts, seed catalogs, and landscape drawings, the Atlanta History Center's Cherokee Garden Library tells the story of horticulture and botanical history in the Southeastern United States and areas of influence throughout the world. 🪴📚 (Instagram)

  • More than just a trail, the Atlanta BeltLine supports growth for the city of Atlanta. Opening more segments of the corridor leads to new forms of transportation for citizens, neighborhood connectivity across the city, and job opportunities on and adjacent to the BeltLine. (Facebook)

  • All Fulton County facilities will again require masks be worn at all times, including throughout the Fulton County Library System. (Facebook)

  • Atlanta Habitat for Humanity & ReStore thanks Clark Howard for his continued support of our families. Clark helped build four Habitat for Humanity homes in 2021! (Facebook)

More from our sponsors — thanks for supporting local news!


  • Psychic Fair 12/31/21-1/03/22 12P-6P Daily (December 31)

  • Bubbles & Bow Ties NYE 2022 (December 31)

  • Ring In the New Year With 15 Percent Off Beautiful Blooms From FTD! (December 31)

  • Latin Night Atlanta Live Salsa Band @ Hilton Atlanta Northeast Sat Jan 1, 2022 (January 1)

  • Latin Night Atlanta w/ Live Salsa Band - Live Music - Bonus Bachata room (January 1)

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Now you're in the loop and ready to head out the door on this Thursday. I'll see you around!

Kathy Cioffi

This article originally appeared on the Atlanta Patch

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