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Thrown into Thursday

July 21 — Continuing a trend gripping Republican-controlled states, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday that Georgia’s 2019 abortion law should be allowed to immediately take effect. The law will ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

⛈ A high of 90° today with a 60% chance of storms. It will feel like it's 99°. 

📺 The Jan. 6 House Select Committee hearings return to primetime tonight at 8 p.m. for the last scheduled hearing. Two former White House officials are expected to testify.

⚖️ A judge has ordered Rudy Giuliani to testify before the special grand jury investigating attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.

🚨 Sandy Springs Police arrested three suspects in a burglary ring that appeared to target professional athletes and celebrities. 

🦒 Toys"R"Us will open in-store shops in Macy's locations across the U.S., including a flagship store at Lenox Square.

🚗 Reid’s Body Shop on Memorial Dr. is closing after more than 60 years, priming the site near the BeltLine for redevelopment.

⭐ We're not trying to be Page Six, but J Lo and Ben are having a wedding party near Savannah.  

Today's Draft is 3️⃣ stories ➼

• Midnight Basketball
• Overcrowded animal shelters
• Lots of Quick Bites

Have a good day!
Amy + Collin
📩 Make today the day you tell one friend about Rough Draft: Text them your personal link: <<RH_REFLINK>> 
1. Building community with basketball

🏀 Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens revived the Midnight Basketball League this year in response to rising crime rates across the city.

There are now 200 young men playing on 20 teams in the summer league that runs weekly through August. But it's more than just a game, it's an opportunity for personal growth and community building.

“They’re learning how to compete without conflict, and they also see their families and community coming together and seeing each other in a pleasant environment,” Dickens said.

“This is about building community, but also about providing opportunity.”

⛹️ Read Dyana Bagby's cover story from the August Atlanta Intown about how Midnight Basketball is impacting the community.

*SPONSOR MESSAGE* 📍Parking at Ponce City Market. Here are some insider tips: Enter from North Ave. There are two decks to the right of Pancake Social. There is plenty of lower-level parking by Sweetgreen and Binders Art Supplies. Additional overflow parking is available across North Ave. at Southern Dairies. Click here to plan your visit to PCM.
2. Overcrowded animal shelters

😿 Skyrocketing prices on food, fuel, and housing throughout Metro Atlanta are forcing pet owners to make some heartbreaking decisions about their four-legged friends.

And those decisions are bringing local shelters to the breaking point.

According to Heather Friedman, the chief marketing officer for Lifeline Animal Project, rising costs, housing insecurity, and job losses are leading to an unprecedented increase in pets being surrendered to shelters. 

“People are facing difficult decisions, and it’s a trend that we are seeing, not only in Atlanta, but from California to the East Coast,” Friedman said.

🐾 Contributor Cathy Cobbs shares more about the state of local animal shelters

🐾 If you have room in your heart and home, LifeLine is offering free adoptions from July 22-24. 

📸 Photo courtesy of Lifeline Animal Project.
*PARTNER MESSAGE* 😋 Taste of Atlanta is back with a brand new event recipe, bringing you four hyperlocal foodie experiences featuring top chefs and favorite restaurants near you! Taste Around Town in Alpharetta is first at Union Hill Park on July 22 & 23. Your all-inclusive ticket provides unlimited bites, bottomless beverages, fabulous live entertainment, and chef demonstrations. Bring your friends and family for an unforgettable foodie experience. Use code RD5 for $5 off. Get your tickets today
3. Quick Bites

🍧 Today is Food Truck Thursday in Midtown, and trucks – including South of Philly and Rio's Italian Ice (pictured) – will be parked along Peachtree Place just outside the Midtown MARTA station from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

🍦The Atlanta Ice Cream Festival returns to Piedmont Park on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with 85 local restaurants taking part. 

🍔 Buckhead mainstay Aria is bringing back its $19 Happy Hour Burger from Aug. 2 - 5. Select beer, wine, and cocktail pairings are half price. Reservations recommended. 

🇵🇪 Poncey-Highland newcomer Tio Lucho's is celebrating Peruvian Independence Day one week from today with a patio party featuring special appearances by Claudia Martinez and Cleophus Hethington.  

🥗 Vegan pizzeria Pizza Verdura Sincera will move into the former Zesto space at the corner of Moreland and Euclid in Little Five Points. 

🍷 Postino Wine Cafe is planning to open in October at Tuxedo Festival in Chastain Park. 

🍕 After a nearly two-decade absence, Donatos Pizza is reopening a store in Toco Hills.

🍣 RA Sushi has shuttered its 1010 Midtown location. 

😢 The former Midtown bungalows that housed LGBTQ+ hangouts Einstein's and Joe's on Juniper were demolished this week to make way for a new mixed-use high-rise. 

🎄 It's Christmas in July at Mellow Mushroom. Get a $5 bonus when you spend $25 or more online on gift cards from July 25 - 31, and Mellow Mushroom will donate $5 to the Marine Corps "Toys for Tots." 

🎂 Happy Birthday to Gloria K. of Atlanta and Julie B. F. of Serenbe who are celebrating today!  

🎈 Email us for more information on how to celebrate a friend or relative's special day. 
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