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Happy Friday!

January 14 — The team is back and bundled up for a wintry weekend.

☀️ Sunny with a high of 53° today, but a winter storm is headed our way on Sunday. Be prepared on how to drive (if you must) and where to sled (if you're adventurous). 

🦍 Sad news from Zoo Atlanta: Choomba, the western lowland gorilla, has died at the age of 59. She was the second-oldest gorilla at the zoo and the fourth-oldest in the world.  


➼ Governor Brian Kemp's State of the State address focused on his business achievements, promised raises for teachers and state employees, but also foreshadowed an election-year culture war.

The Democratic response, from Rep. James Beverly of Macon, attacked Kemp's COVID actions, gave U.S. Senators Ossoff and Warnock credit for budget surpluses, and accused Kemp of "being more interested in getting guns in hands than shots in arms."
✍️ A day after Rep. Shea Roberts (D-Sandy Springs) filed legislation that would allow all of Atlanta to vote on the creation of a new Buckhead City, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan assigned the existing bill (SB 324) to the Senate's Urban Affairs committee, which is comprised of six senators, all Democrats. Democratic Senator Sally Harrell predicted that the "bill will die."  However, a second Buckhead bill is in a House committee. 


💉 Beginning today, Mercedes-Benz Stadium will host a drive-up mega COVID-19 testing site. Daily (except Tuesdays) from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

Click here to schedule an appointment.

✈️ Delta Air Lines announced an upbeat outlook in their Q4 earnings call, expecting a healthy return to travel in 2022.  

🇯🇲  The U.S. State Department is advising Americans to avoid travel to Jamaica. Atlanta's Lauren Senft hasn't been allowed to leave the country after the resort where she's staying said she tested positive for the virus.

🕖 Today's Rough Draft is 
stories ➼

• Obamas at the High
• Hands On Atlanta CEO Jay Cranman
• MLK Day volunteer opportunities
• Andre Rison biopic filming in Atlanta

• Sports
• Pop-ups and food trucks from Punk Foodie

Have a great weekend! See you Monday!
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1. Obama Portraits come to the High Museum

🇺🇸 “The Obama Portraits Tour” arrives at the High Museum of Art today, offering an up-close look at the iconic paintings of former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama by artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively.

Organized by the Smithsonian, the pieces will be on view through Mar. 20. Get tickets here.

“We are honored to present these portraits as the exclusive Southeastern venue for the tour and to afford our audiences an intimate experience with the works,” said the High's Rand Suffolk. “They demonstrate the incredible talents of Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley, two artists the Museum holds in high esteem, and serve as important records of a historic period in our nation’s history.”

➡ Click here to read about the Obama portraits and more exhibitions coming to the High Museum this spring, including “What Is Left Unspoken, Love,” which explores the concept of love in the history of contemporary art.
2. My Top 5 Something: Jay Cranman of Hands On Atlanta

🌳 Hands On Atlanta was founded in 1989 when Elise Eplan, Kent Alexander, and a group of young professionals got together to brainstorm on finding solutions to some of the many challenges facing our city. This weekend marks their annual MLK Day of Service.

Hands On Atlanta has teamed up with The King Center, Morehouse College, and more than 30 other nonprofits and schools to provide 200+ opportunities to do something good during the King Holiday.
Click here to learn more and to register to volunteer.

Jay Cranman has been Hands On Atlanta’s President and CEO since 2016. In advance of this weekend’s volunteer event, Jay gave us his Top 5 Things to do With Your Teenagers.

① Pickleball: We were originally a tennis family, but were introduced to pickleball while on vacation, and have quickly fallen in love. If you aren’t familiar, pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the US, and is a low-impact, but fast-paced paddle sport. Think mini-tennis. But unlike tennis, pickleball is more approachable for all ages and skill levels. The game was easy to learn and fun for our entire family, especially my two boys (ages 15 and 11), who relish being able to legitimately compete with their parents. 
② Hiking: If you’ve lived in Atlanta for more than five minutes, you know how great our city is for hiking. We’re particularly fond of the East Palisades Trail along the Chattahoochee River, or the exposed granite fields of Arabia Mountain, which feels like walking the set of Star Trek. We also frequent Cochran Mill Park, which is ~20 miles southwest of the airport.
③ Exit: The Game:  In the before times, our boys loved escape rooms. They were drawn in by the story and intricate physical and mental puzzles. After trying several in-home versions, we’ve come to love this series of Exit: The Game’s one-time use escape room games for the home. Our family doesn’t always escape the imaginary room, but when the clock is ticking, we always have a good time solving the riddles together. Pro tip: start with the beginner series and grow from there!
④ Horror movies: I’m a film buff. There is typically nothing I’d rather be doing than watching a movie. I’ve never been a fan of horror. Ever since “A Nightmare on Elm Street” scarred me as a kid, I never went back to the genre. But since the pandemic, when my kids control the remote, they gravitate toward horror more than anything else. Some titles we’ve explored this year include “The Conjuring,” “Get Out,” “IT,” “Halloween,” “Scream,” and “The Quiet Place.” It has been fun going deep into something that we can all experience together for the first time.
⑤ Volunteer together: Especially during the pandemic, volunteering has given our family a way to feel more in control and gain perspective. One of our favorite projects from last year was distributing meals at Ebenezer Baptist Church on MLK Day.
3. Where to volunteer?

The King Center will host several events, concluding with the annual commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church. Several virtual events include summits on teaching nonviolence to youth, a global community summit, youth book reading, service projects, and the Beloved Community Awards.

➡ Gymnast Simone Biles will be presented with the Yolanda D. King Higher Ground Award during the ceremony. 

➡The annual  MLK Day 5K Drum Run kicks off Jan. 17 at 9 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Doraville (5935 New Peachtree Rd.). The FLAT & FAST out & back USATF certified race course and Peachtree Road Race qualifier will have a 3.1-mile drumline all along the course

➡ Dunwoody's "Souper Bowl of Caring" continues until Monday and culminates in a Day of Service including a tree planting with Trees Atlanta. 

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights will honor King’s life and legacy with virtual and in-person events on Dr. King’s birthday (Jan. 15) and on MLK Day (Jan. 17). Featured events include interactive storytelling, visual artist talkbacks, and activities throughout The Center’s galleries

Sandy Springs has switched its annual tribute to MLK to a virtual video presentation on Jan. 17.

➡ Pat Martin, one of the Lynwood Park Trailblazers who helped integrate DeKalb County schools in 1968, will be the keynote speaker at Brookhaven's sixth annual MLK Day dinner on Jan. 17 at 5:30 p.m.

Click here to read more.
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4. Wide Open: The Andre Rison Story

🎥 Directed by Jerry D. May ("The Comedy Club," "Death of a King," “Doggmen”), “Wide Open: The Andre Rison Story” tells the true story of the NFL Hall of Fame class of 2022 nominee. 

The former wide receiver played for the Atlanta Falcons and six other NFL teams. He won a Super Bowl with the 1997 Green Bay Packers.

Rison is often considered one of the greatest wide receivers to have played professionally. His career, however, is overshadowed by a tumultuous relationship with former TLC singer Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who burned down his Alpharetta mansion in 1994.

Crews have been spotted filming scenes throughout metro Atlanta, and production will continue throughout the month. Check out a recap from the 
casting call at The Movement Lab ATL.
5. The Sports Section

Here’s our Friday look at what’s happening in the sports world. It’s early, so we don’t suggest them for breakfast, but if you’re watching sports this weekend, The New York Times has finally acknowledged what Atlantans have known for years: lemon pepper wings FTW.  

🏈 Georgia fans are still celebrating the fact that storybook QB Stetson Bennett is better on the field under pressure than he is on morning television. The screenshot above is via @GMA

🎙️ Of course somebody resurrected some Larry Munson audio to create this gem.

➡ The parade to fete the Dawgs is tomorrow in Athens.  

🏀 The Hawks can’t seem to win at home. Luckily, they play in Miami tonight. 8 p.m. (TV: BSS) 

⛹️‍♀️Checking in on college basketball. Neither Tech nor Georgia’s men are having particularly good seasons, but the women are. Tech is currently ranked 15th, and Georgia is 17th. 

🧢 The New York Yankees are the first baseball team to hire a female manager. Rachel Balkovec will take the reins of their Tampa affiliate

🇦🇺 After being out, then in, Novak Djokovic is out again. Although he won his first court challenge to Australia’s vaccination rules, his visa was revoked again overnight and he will appear before another judge as he attempts to defend his Australian Open title. 
🍽️ Our partner Punk Foodie has the scoop on the who, when, where, and what’s cooking in Atlanta’s underground dining scene. You will find Instagram links for the pop-up and food truck chefs and the breweries, bars, and restaurants that host them.

Be sure to confirm the details as schedules do change, especially in light of this weekend’s weather.
A warm smile!
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