🌱 Many Schools Go Online + It's Dawgs vs Tide + RIP Betty White

·5 min read

Good day, neighbors! Kathy Cioffi here with today's copy of the Atlanta Daily.

First, today's weather:

Cloudy, a shower; very warm. High: 76 Low: 63.

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Here are the top 5 stories in Atlanta today:

  1. Amid record-breaking reports of coronavirus infections in Georgia, DeKalb County Public Schools and Fulton County Schools announced Friday that they will start classes online when students return from winter break next week. Clayton County Schools and Rockdale County Public Schools have also pushed back the return to in-person classes. Several metro Atlanta colleges and universities have similarly announced they are beginning the spring semester remotely, including Agnes Scott College, Emory University, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Spellman College. (Free: Decaturish.com; Subscription: The Atlanta Journal Constitution)

  2. SEC teams were dominate in the College Football Playoffs, meaning Georgia will face Alabama in the CFP final on Jan. 10. UGA battered Big 10 champion Michigan 34-11 after the Crimson Tide crushed Cincinnati 27-6. Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett propelled the Dawgs to victory while its dominating defense grabbed two interceptions. The championship game will be a rematch of the 2021 SEC Championship game in which Alabama knocked UGA from its No. 1 position with a 41-24 victory. It will be the second time in the last five years that the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide will meet in the title game. (CBSsports.com)

  3. The beloved Betty White, who died Friday at the age of 99, was an animal-loving icon who left her mark on Atlanta during a 2010 visit to the Georgia Aquarium. After the "Golden Girls" actress spent time with a beluga whale named Beethoven, she returned to Atlanta the next year to learn the aquarium had named its new dolphin mascot in her honor. "We've been waiting for our dear friend Betty White's return to the Georgia Aquarium to make our official announcement that we named our dolphin mascot, Betty, in her honor," the aquarium wrote at the time. "Betty the dolphin represents White’s support and love for animals." (11Alive.com WXIA)

  4. A missing 12-year-old girl has been found safe. Atlanta police had been searching for Zariya Guthrie, who had been missing since around 6 p.m. on Dec. 30. According to a report from authorities Friday, Zariya has been located in good health and returned to her family. (FOX 5 Atlanta)

  5. A pilot program offering cash payments to financially strapped families is now taking applications. Atlanta residents who qualify can now apply for the Mayors for a Guaranteed Income Pilot Program or I.M.P.A.C.T. Three hundred Atlanta residents living on the margin will receive direct cash payments of $500 per month for up to 12 months, a program approved by city leaders and funded with taxpayer money. Joining about 50 other mayors in the program, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said, "We are seizing this moment to realize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s vision for addressing economic security and pervasive poverty. Dr. King said, ‘The curse of poverty has no justification in our age.' In the spirit of Dr. King's vision for the beloved community, the launch of the I.M.P.A.C.T. program takes us another step closer to creating One Atlanta — an affordable, resilient and equitable Atlanta." To learn more about the program or to apply go to ulgacoaimpact.org. (FOX 5 Atlanta)

Today in Atlanta:

  • Latin Night Atlanta with a Live Salsa Band at Bonus Bachata room at Hilton Atlanta Northeast (8:30 PM)

  • New Year, New Mind, New You at Kadampa Meditation Center Georgia (10:00 AM)

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

From my notebook:

  • Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the launch of the city of Atlanta's first guaranteed income pilot program, I.M.P.A.C.T. (Income Mobility Program for Atlanta Community Transformation). The program, based on Dr. King's economic dream, is already living up to its name and making a difference. (Facebook)

  • Did you know the City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation’s oldest park, Ormond-Grant Park, was awarded an Atlanta Urban Design Commission Award of Excellence for Parks and Landscape Design for their new playground. #StrengthInUnity (Facebook)

  • From orchid care and container gardening to your very first Garden drawing session, 2022's Q1 classes at Atlanta Botanical Garden are ready for registration! Sign up before slots fill up: https://bit.ly/ABGATLEventsCla... (Facebook)

  • MARTA has no rail schedule changes for today & Sunday. Today: All rail lines operate on Saturday schedules. Sunday: All rail lines operate on Sunday schedules. View rail schedules here: http://www.itsmarta.com/specia... (Facebook)

  • Happy New Year from the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles team. @bettyburgessdesign embraced a master bedroom’s angled ceilings to create a charming and cozy retreat. @schumacher1889 's Chinois Palais fabric brings cohesion throughout the space, while a custom linen velvet banquette offers the perfect spot to read and enjoy a glass of wine. (Instagram)

More from our sponsors — thanks for supporting local news!


  • 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)

  • Feeling Overwhelmed? Anxieties? Re-center yourself with Holistic Fitness for all levels! (January 8)

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Now you're in the loop and ready to head out the door on this Saturday. See you all tomorrow for another update!

Kathy Cioffi

This article originally appeared on the Atlanta Patch

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