Parents, schools face another reckoning over COVID-19 cases

NEW YORK — Kathryn Malara, a Brooklyn teacher, lingered on a street Tuesday, filled with dread about going to her job. “I'm sitting in my car terrified to walk into school,” she wrote on Twitter just before taking a deep breath and heading to her classroom. “Cases exploding. People I really care about are sick & frightened.” The quick spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus has stirred another angst-ridden reckoning about whether in-person schooling is worth the risk. Malara and other teachers worry about endangering their health by entering crowded schools. Frustrated parents wonder how to keep their children safe and whether campuses could become superspreader sites.

Georgia city closer to demolishing 'Old South' restaurant

SMYRNA — A Georgia city is a big step closer to removing a replica of a well-known restaurant that served Southern staples and lured celebrities but also used racist imagery to evoke the pre-Civil War South. A task force in the Atlanta suburb of Smyrna recommended last week that Aunt Fanny's Cabin be put up for demolition unless a group comes forward to remove it from city property, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Only the cabin’s fireplace and chimney should be preserved as a monument to Fanny Williams, the restaurant's namesake, the task force said. The recommendation now goes to Smyrna's City Council, which could make a final decision next month. The now-defunct restaurant became a popular dining destination starting in the mid-1900s. Its guests included sports icons Jack Dempsey and Ty Cobb and Hollywood star Doris Day. Former President Jimmy Carter stopped at the cabin during his campaigns. But it also embraced an “Old South” decor and theme that was adopted by other restaurants, the AJC has previously reported.

Gov. Kemp backs Juneteenth as Georgia state holiday

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp is supporting a plan to add Juneteenth as a mandatory 13th holiday for Georgia state employees. Georgia law now mandates the observance of the 10 federal holidays set in 1984, when Martin Luther King Jr. Day was first observed. But a new federal law signed by President Joe Biden added Juneteenth as an 11th federal holiday, marking the 1865 date that some enslaved Black people in Texas became among the last in Confederacy to learn that Abraham Lincoln had ordered them freed through 1863's Emancipation Proclamation. “The legislation that was prefiled is in keeping with the state’s traditional protocol — last updated in 1984 with the addition of MLK holiday — to recognize all federal holidays,” said Katie Byrd, a spokesperson for Kemp.

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