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Friday!

October 29 — 🎃 Happy Halloween! Chad here, alongside Collin and Amy, bracing ourselves for next week's candy coma and crossing our fingers the Braves can wrap it up in five games 🤞.

🌧 More rain today, with a high of only 55°. Same goes for tomorrow, but don't mothball your costume or ditch any trick-or-treating plans just yet. Or, consider the Dutch hipster poncho look.

The clouds should part on Sunday with temps ranging from 48° - 64°.


🗳️ Today is the last day for early voting before the Nov. 2 elections. If you're planning to vote on Tuesday, be sure to confirm you know where to go via this site

📺 Rapper, philanthropist, and hometown hero Killer Mike is rolling out a new talk show, called “Love and Respect” — a stylish departure from his Netflix series “Trigger Warning.” This week, Mike posted via Instagram that it will be “a conversational style show ... vs. arguing and insulting. It is talks vs debates, and I believe it is what these times really need.”

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will be his first guest. Catch the show tonight at 10 and 10:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7 and 7:30 p.m. on WPBA.


🧛 A collection of Bram Stoker materials has arrived at Emory's Rose Library. Some say it's the most comprehensive collection of Stoker materials in the world. The 19th century Irish writer is most famously known for “Dracula.” Listen to a podcast featuring rare book librarian Beth Shoemaker and author, educator, and filmmaker Eddy Von Mueller discussing Dracula's timeless allure.

🍽️ On Mon., Nov. 1, Watchman's is hosting the Private Dancer pop up from 5-9 p.m. The menu features Mexican-inspired food by chefs Diana Prescott of Kimball House, Erick Fernandez of Watchman’s, Miller Union's pastry chef Claudia Martinez, and cocktails by Evan Sewell. No reservations, so get there early

🕖 Today's Draft is ⑤ stories ➼

• Walkable city centers
• PAD: An alternative to 9-1-1
• Lori Geary's apolitical Top 5
• A big sports weekend
• Play Squid Game IRL...kind of

Have a great weekend! See you Monday.
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1. Is OTP v ITP over?

🚧 A team is envisioning how a 200-acre district along Peachtree Rd. could become Brookhaven’s walkable center. New projects are bringing community gathering spaces around Perimeter Mall and the Dunwoody Village. Sandy Springs is studying how to expand its town center to bring more restaurants and possibly a hotel. Developers are reshaping areas in Buckhead with new tenants and community events.  

It’s all being done in an effort to create more walkability across each of these communities. What’s motivating this trend? Creating a better quality of life for these communities.

Other suburban cities have led the way, such as Roswell, Alpharetta, Woodstock, and Duluth, which have all remade their historic downtowns into modern town centers. 

“These projects build the connective tissue of the community,” said Rusty Paul, mayor of Sandy Springs, which is now looking to expand its town center project City Springs. “It’s really created a sense of unity, cohesion, and identity for the whole community.”

Amy takes a deeper look at the development efforts that are happening across the region, making us ask the question: Is OTP v ITP a thing of the past?
2. A compassionate alternative to 9-1-1

❤️ Preston Marshall (above) works in an art-deco fantasy called Atlanta’s Hotel Midtown with lots of gold, giant floral wallpaper, and furniture that looks like it’s from the set of "Mad Men." Marshall runs loss prevention at the hotel, and in his line of work, keeping the fantasy intact sometimes means keeping people out.

“Well in the past, the only option we had was calling 9-1-1 and calling the police,” said Marshall. 

He’s had to do it a lot, but there have been times when it gives him an uneasy feeling. 

“My heart reached out to some of the individuals, especially knowing that some of these people have substance abuse issues or some of them had mental health issues,” he said.

But since this summer, Marshall’s had a new option. He’s one of more than 800 Atlantans who’ve called 3-1-1 as an alternative to calling the police when they see someone struggling with their mental health, extreme poverty, or a range of other non-emergency quality-of-life concerns.

It’s called the Policing Alternative and Diversion Initiative (PAD) which sends out response teams from their office downtown.

Via our partners at WABE, reporter Lisa Hagen examines the PAD program, which helps get people medical care, deal with financial entanglements, find emergency shelter or ideally, long-term housing.

This story was made possible with support from The 4am Fund for reporting on mental health and policing.
3. Lori Geary of “The Georgia Gang”

🍑 Political reporter Lori Geary has spent decades in the media industry covering local, state, and national campaigns. She joined WSB-TV in 1997, while anchoring at CNN Headline News. Since then, her work has earned multiple accolades including two Emmy Awards, two Telly Awards, awards from the League of Women Voters, Common Cause Georgia, and many more.

These days, Lori is the host and executive producer of Fox 5’s Sunday morning Peach State political gabfest “The Georgia Gang,” and is a frequent guest on GPB's “Political Rewind.”

In advance of Tuesday's elections, we asked Lori for her Top 5 Something, and she delivered a list of her (decidedly apolitical) favorite people, places, and things.

1. The Sidelines – I’m a mom to a 13-year girl and a ten-year-old boy who love sports. You’ll find me and my husband on the sidelines all over the Southeast, because my daughter plays travel soccer at SSA, and my son plays football and baseball at NYO. It’s so much fun to cheer them on AND watch them grow when things don’t always go as planned. We’re huge fans of Atlanta United — we’ve had season tickets since the  inaugural year! Love Josef Martinez!


2. Sunshine on a Ranney Day – This Roswell-based charity stole my heart nine years ago. I was there in its infancy, and was board chairwoman for seven years, as Holly and Peter Ranney grew the nonprofit to what it is today. The husband-and-wife team continue to change lives as they remodel homes for children with special needs. It’s hard to put into words the feeling you get when these families see their surprise home makeover for the first time, knowing it will lessen their day-to-day struggles.

3. Chastain Park – I’ve lived all over Metro Atlanta – from Cobb County to Midtown to Brookhaven and now Sandy Springs, and this is just the best neighborhood! We love walking around the park and running into neighbors. There’s still a small-town feel here in Chastain Park. We’re looking forward to attending more concerts at Cadence Bank Amphitheatre, and enjoy walking to The Chastain to grab a bite or a drink. You can’t beat the outdoor atmosphere, and while I was a huge fan of the Horseradish Grille, we love the new vibe.

4. Home Grown – If you haven’t been to this gem, you must go! Kevin and Lisa Clark are just amazing people who opened this restaurant on Memorial Dr. more than a decade ago. It’s simple comfort food, and attracts a who’s who of Atlanta. We love to support local businesses run by good people.


5.
Holy Innocents' Episcopal School– Choosing a school is one of the most difficult choices a parent can make. It took us a few tries (not gonna lie!), but we finally found the perfect home for both of our kids. I really can’t say enough about HIES — the community, parents, teachers, administrators, academics, sports, etc. It truly has everything we could want in a school, and our kids are thriving there.
*Sponsor Message* 🍺🍷🥃 Grapes & Grains, Your Neighborhood Store for Wine and More, is expanding with a new store in Chamblee / Brookhaven. Our 22,000 square foot superstore has more than 6,000 wine, beer, and spirits products, as well as fine cigars. Introducing  “The Cellar," climate-controlled and secure individual wine storage lockers. Visit us today online or at 4783 Peachtree Rd.
4. The Sports Section

Even if Los Bravos weren't in the World Series, it's a big sports weekend. So much so that the Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court is not looking very impartial (above).

Here's what you need to know:

⚾ The World Series resumes tonight at 8:09 p.m. at Truist Park. The Braves and Astros are tied at one game apiece. Tickets are pretty pricey.

Game 4 is Saturday at 8:09 p.m. and Game 5 will be Sunday at 8:15 p.m. (TV: FOX)

💰A neighbor just reported they sold their upper level seats ($400 face value) for $1,200 EACH (before fees)! If the ticket prices are too much, you could just buy stock in the Braves, MLB's only publicly traded team.

🏈 The annual Georgia/Florida cocktail-party-turned-football game is Saturday in Jacksonville, FL. The Bulldogs are #1 in the country, and bring a 7-0 record into the matchup with the 4-3 Gators. 3:30 p.m. (TV: CBS)

Georgia Tech hosts Virginia Tech at noon on Saturday. Both teams are 3-4. (TV: ESPN3)

Georgia State and Georgia Southern kick-off at 6 p.m. in Statesboro. (TV: ESPN+)


➡➡ In the weekend's other border skirmish, the Falcons are hosting their division rival Carolina Panthers at 1 p.m. on Sunday. (TV: FOX)  

⚽ Atlanta United is at home on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. against Toronto for their final regular season home match. The Five Stripes are holding onto a playoff spot by two points with three matches remaining.

🏀 Hawks are on the road at Philadelphia. Saturday, 7:30 p.m. (TV: NBA-TV)
5. Squid Game IRL

🦑 A real-life version of Netflix’s hit show “Squid Game” is coming to State Farm Arena Jan. 22-23, but without the part where you get shot to death if you lose.

However, there is an air of mystery surrounding the unauthorized event. For one, there’s no game organizer listed, although it’s being publicized by Big Fish Events.

Billed as an “immersive experience,” it’s free to play (registration is required) and, just like the show, there’s a “colossal cash prize” for the winner.

Teams of 200 people will play children’s games Red Light Green Light, the Dalgona Candy challenge, Tug of War, and more.

Netflix is doing its own pop-up version of “Squid Game,” most recently in Paris, but Forbes recently reported that knock-off versions are popping up around the world.

Can't wait until January?
This weekend, Squid Game ATL in Doraville will follow a similar format with players being eliminated by paintball. There’s a cash prize of $5,000 for the winner.
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