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Welcome to Wednesday

January 5 — Welcome back! Chad, Collin, and Amy here with your midweek Draft. 

⛅ Partly sunny with a high of 56° today.

🏥 Mostly doom & gloom on the COVID forecast, unfortunately. 

⚕️Yesterday, Georgia reported more than 55,000 new cases of COVID-19, placing the current positivity rate among those being tested for the virus at 40%.

🎧 Grady Hospital's chief medical officer Dr. Robert Jansen talked with NPR about the state of affairs there.

"We are pretty much overwhelmed right now with patients," Jansen said, adding that the situation is "probably worse than I've ever seen." Grady's waiting room is "more crowded than it has been during any time in this pandemic." 

The staff is thin and ambulances are being rerouted. "What we are seeing is more people coming in with exacerbation of underlying diseases. So, for example, someone with diabetes, if they become infected with Omicron, we're seeing more people coming in with diabetic ketoacidosis," a life-threatening condition.

Jansen notes that 75% of the people who require hospitalization are unvaccinated.

💉 If you need a vaccine or a booster, you can find a free one here

😷 Within a few hours of being sworn in as Mayor, Andre Dickens extended Atlanta's mandate requiring people to wear masks in all indoor public spaces, including inside private businesses.


⚖️ Dunwoody Municipal Court sessions are canceled today and tomorrow.

🚌 MARTA continues to cut and delay rail service due to staffing shortages. Check for service alerts.

🥊 An event billed as “A Candid Conversation: The Future of Buckhead” featuring Bill White and Ed Lindsey has been postponed. White and Lindsey are on opposite sides of the cityhood issue.

📲 And the ultimate (non-COVID) cancel: BlackBerry has stopped supporting its classic devices. Any BlackBerry not running on Android will no longer be able to use data, send texts, or make calls — even to 911. Ok, boomer?
📸 This week's photo shout out goes to the City of Brookhaven, which swore in new council member John Funny (front right) and incumbent John Park (front left). A virtual swearing in ceremony took place yesterday.

🕖 Today's Rough Draft is  stories ➼

• One year after the Capitol attack
• New restaurants coming your way

• Real estate forecast 2022 (Part II)
• Living in Vinings

• Weekend music picks (or slim pickings)

Have a great day! See you Friday.
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1. Georgia and Jan 6: one year on

🏛️ Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection, when a mob of supporters of former President Donald J. Trump violently stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The attack, which resulted in four deaths, and more than 140 officers injured, delayed the certification of the Electoral College votes for more than 12 hours.

Since then, law enforcement has made nearly 730 arrests and continues to track hundreds of thousands of leads, aided by so-called “sedition hunters.” 

➡ This week, The AJC reported that metro-area contractor Matthew Jay Webler is the latest Georgian to face charges over an alleged role in the attack. 

➡ To date, approximately 20 Georgia residents have been arrested.

➡ The congressional committee investigating the attack faces a series of hurdles, including a request from Trump for the Supreme Court to block the committee’s access to White House records leading up to that day.

➡ Across the country, school teachers are finding that talking with students about what happened on Jan. 6 is increasingly fraught.

➡ On Thursday, Cobb County Republicans will host a two-hour vigil honoring those who stormed the Capitol.
2. New restaurants to keep on your radar

🍽️ Despite staffing shortages, Atlanta’s restaurant options continue to expand. Here’s a rundown of some that have opened recently and a few hints about what’s on the way.

Saints + Council (above) in Colony Square offers “seasonally tailored” menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with soups, salads, sandwiches, shared plates, and entrees.

Pielands, a neighborhood pizza and sub joint from local restaurateur Billy Streck is now open at 1021 Virginia Ave. in Virginia-Highland. The restaurant serves whole pies, slices, salads, Italian-style subs, beer, wine, and specialty bottled cocktails.

Juniper Café, from the team behind Lazy Betty, is open at 2260 Marietta Blvd. NW, Suite 100 offering modern Vietnamese fare including pho, noodle salads, banh mis, shaved ice, housemade pastries, and more.

CheeseCaked at Underground Atlanta offers paninis, milkshakes, and individually-sized cheesecakes in flavors such as French toast and bacon, strawberry shortcake, cannoli, and margarita.

Pollo Supremo serves Sinaloan-style chicken at 792 Moreland Ave. in East Atlanta with quarter, half, and whole roast birds served with fresh tortillas, rice and beans, street corn, chicken soup, and churros.

For Five Coffee: A specialty coffee roaster and café is coming soon to 1105 West Peachtree St. in early 2022.

Detroit-style pizzeria Emmy Squared is opening a second Atlanta location next to the former location of the original Octane coffee shop on Marietta St.
3. 'Seeking the perfect balance' in the inner suburbs

🏠 As previously reported, home prices soared last year, up as much as 20%. Last week, we shared our forecast for the red-hot Intown markets, but what do experts say about communities like Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, and Dunwoody?

Amy asked several local realtors to share their predictions for the coming year, and how they inform their strategy to better serve their clients.

Big gains and increased inflation are certainly on the horizon, but they can be unpredictable in light of global politics and macroeconomic trends.

➡  Click here to read what the experts have to say about your best moves when it comes to buying a home in these dynamic suburbs.

RELATED ➼ Amy wrote recently about the emergence of walkable city centers that are bringing more and more folks to these communities. 
*Sponsor Rough Draft*  Newsletters are 🔥and Rough Draft continues to grow our audience with engagement metrics that are double the industry average. Put your brand in front of our influential subscribers through powerful, native ad placements. Contact us today to learn more.  
4. Or, consider ... Vinings

📍 Vinings lies just across the Chattahoochee River in Cobb County, and sits adjacent to Buckhead. It's strategically placed along the Silver Comet Trail, and its prime location along the river makes it an ideal spot for fishing and picnicking. 

Vinings is also home to the Cobb Energy Center and Vinings Jubilee where you'll find shops like Banana Republic, Talbots, Loft, and Fab’rik and plenty of restaurants to choose from like Another Broken Egg, Mellow Mushroom, Stockyard Burgers & Bones, and Café at Pharr.

Homes cost anywhere from $250,000 for a condo or townhome to well over $3 million for a single-family house.

Read: Your Next Home Could Be In...Vinings
5. Rough Draft's weekend music (slim) picks

🦠 As Omicron has its way with Atlanta, many of this week's shows have been postponed or canceled (Sorry, brOasis fans). But there's still plenty of live music to catch this weekend. Mask up and stay safe.

Be sure to check with each venue for their public health requirements for entry.

Fri., Jan. 7
🤠 Riley Green (Fri. and Sat. shows) @ The Coca-Cola Roxy
🎹 Phutureprimitive, ATYYA, Somatoast, and YATES @ Terminal West

Sat., Jan. 8
💜 The Purple Madness: Tribute to Prince (above) @ Buckhead Theatre
🎛️ Com Truise, Deku, and RBTS Win @ Terminal West

Sun., Jan. 9
🎸 I The Breather (10-year reunion), Sleep Waker, Curses, and Execution Day @ Masquerade (Purgatory)
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