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Atlanta Journal Constitution
Report: Ga.-based Inspire Brands in talks to purchase Dunkin' Brands - Atlanta Journal Constitution
The Sandy Springs, Georgia-based Inspire Brands is in talks to purchase the parent company of Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins, The New York Times reported Sunday.
ExploreArbys restaurants are returning to Mexico, with local flair In July, Massachusetts-based Dunkin' Brands announced plans to close up to 800 underperforming stores in the U.S., a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Closing the restaurants would allow their franchisees to reinvest in newer stores in higher-traffic areas, Dunkin' Chief Financial Officer Katherine Jaspon previously said. Last year, Dunkin' dropped Donut from its name in an effort to shift its emphasis to coffee. The company has said the pandemic has changed business, with customers working at home and heading out for coffee later in the day. Founded in February 2018, Inspire Brands now owns more than 11,000 restaurants and has tallied $14.6 billion in sales, according to the companys website. On Thursday, Inspire announced that Arbys restaurants would be returning to Mexico, where the first opened in Guadalajara last week. Paul Brown, chief executive of Inspire Brands, the chains parent, called Arbys Mexico launch an exciting moment in the brands international growth as we bring our meat-focused menu to new guests around the world.
BREAKING: Man charged with threatening to kidnap, kill Biden, Harris - Atlanta Journal Constitution
A Maryland man has been arrested and charged with threatening to kidnap and kill Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his vice presidential running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, according to a report by The New York Times.
The Times reports that on Oct. 4, Reed allegedly placed the handwritten threats onto Biden-Harris campaign signs that were on the lawn of a house in his hometown of Frederick, northwest of Washington. A doorbell camera captured an image of the suspect, court papers said. We are the ones with these scary guns, we are the ones your children have nightmares about, part of the note stated. When detectives took Reeds palm prints and a sample of his writing, he acknowledged writing the letter, the complaint stated. Law enforcement also recognized Reed from a 2014 incident in which threats were made against an individual under Secret Service protection. Reed is being represented by the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, the Times reports. Earlier this month several men were charged with plotting to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, who has become the target of anti-government militias over coronavirus control measures. This is a breaking news development. Please stay with AJC.com for the latest updates.
High-dose flu vaccine in limited supply in Georgia - Atlanta Journal Constitution
The high-dose flu vaccine is in limited supply in Georgia. It is recommended you call ahead to make sure your doctor, pharmacy or health department has it available. If they don't call around and experts say a standard vaccine is better than no vaccine.
This is absolutely wonderful, he said as he rolled down his car window. Not everyone has been so lucky. Georgia Department of Public Health spokeswoman Nancy Nydam saidsupply is spotty across the state. The North Georgia Health District in Dalton is out and waiting for a shipment this week, she said. Gwinnett and Cobb County health departments both have extremely limited supplies, but are expecting shipments over the coming days Meanwhile, the DeKalb County Health Department, which is running three daily drive-through clinics in the county this flu season, appears well-stocked. Spokesman Eric Nickens said they are not anticipating any shortages and have 1,000 additional doses at a pharmaceutical storage facility. Like other flu vaccines, the high-dose flu vaccine is made up of the three virus strains most likely to be circulating in the coming months. The high-dose vaccines, however, contain four times as much flu virus antigen the part of the vaccine that stimulates the immune system as standard flu vaccines. Thats designed to give older people a higher immune system response against the flu. Older adults tend to have weaker immune systems, which can lead them to be less protected after a regular flu vaccine. Health care providers order vaccines several months in advance, sometimes as early as January. In some cases, demand for vaccines has been greater than health care workers prepared for. Its not just seniors getting their flu vaccines in large numbers this season. CVS said it has already administered 9 million flu vaccines around the country this season equal to the total number the pharmacy chain administered last flu season. Spokesperson Matthew Blanchette said CVS pharmacy has ample supplies of both standard and high-dose vaccines and are prepared to administer 18 million flu vaccines this season. He said if a local store temporarily runs low on its supply due to high demand in the area, it will be replenished as quickly as possible. Nydam said the state typically orders between 400,000 and 500,000 flu vaccines and distributes them to district health departments. DPH ordered about 200,000 more this year in anticipation of higher demand. It still may not be enough. Sanofi Pasteur, a leading influenza vaccine producer, said the company increased production by more than 15% and is supplying approximately 80 million doses of the flu vaccine. This is the most influenza vaccine we have ever produced in the U.S., spokesman Michael Szumera said in an email. He also urged people to call ahead to health care providers. If one location is out, he said, another one nearby might have it. But some health care providers already know they wont have enough to last the season and maybe not even the month of October. Thats because providers place their orders early and are generally unable to order more flu vaccines throughout a season. Dr. Andrew Reisman, a Gainesville doctor and president of the Medical Association of Georgia, said his practice, which includes five doctors, is out of the high-dose vaccine. His practice expects another shipment of about 50 doses during the coming days. And once we get it, it will be gone within hours, he said. And once that shipment is gone, thats it for the season The bottom line: people may have to call around to find it. But experts stress a standard vaccine is still better than no vaccine at all. Currently, flu activity in Georgia is minimal, according to the latest report from the Georgia Department of Public Health. Only 2% of patient visits to doctors were for the flu during the week ending Oct 10. Its possible the U.S. will have a mild flu season. In the Southern Hemisphere,which experts often analyze in order to predict what kind of flu season this country will have, the severity of the season was mitigated by mask use and social distancing because of COVID-19. Meanwhile, back at the North DeKalb flu vaccine drive-through, a steady stream of people showed up to get a flu shot outside. Patti Dawson, of Hapeville, came with her granddaughter, Haley Roth, who is 18. This was the only drive-through one I could find, said Dawson, who is 64 and got the standard flu shot. I always get a flu shot, and I tell everyone I know to get a flu shot. And, this year, its more important than ever.
Georgia submits vaccine distribution plan to CDC - Atlanta Journal Constitution
Georgia submits plan for distributing the eventual COVID-19 vaccine. Many questions remain. Georgia will face complex logistics not to mention that officials don’t know which vaccine they will be distributing or even when — or if — one will be available.
No one knows yet when, or even if, a vaccine will become available. Some experts have estimated that, for the general public, it will be the middle of next year at the earliest. Its possible that a limited number of vaccines may be available by the end of the year for health care workers. The country has never had such an urgent demand to produce so many vaccine doses so quickly. Every year, a flu vaccine is given to well over 100 million Americans. But COVID-19 inoculations will be more complex because of the challenges of storage, delivery and tracking multiple vaccines with different requirements, said Julie Swann, a North Carolina State University professor who in 2009 served as a senior adviser to the CDC on the national distribution for the H1N1 flu vaccine. Two leading vaccine candidates, by Moderna and Pfizer, use a new RNA technology and require ultra-low temperature storage. This will require a supply chain that can keep vaccines in tightly controlled temperatures from the moment they are made, to the moment that they are administered. Pfizer has devised thermal boxes that, unopened, can keep a batch of vaccines frozen for up to 10 days; once opened, though, they have to be replenished with dry ice within 24 hours. Along with temperature-controlled facilities, there also will be a need for monitoring capabilities and trained staff. Because vaccines will be very valuable, security will be needed to prevent tampering and theft. Another challenge: A vaccine will likely require two doses. That means doubling production and persuading people to return for the second shot. If multiple vaccines are available at the same time, health care providers will need to make sure that someone getting the first dose gets a second dose of the same vaccine. The state plan noted many pharmacies and hospitals have systems they use for patient notifications for appointments and for a medication pick up, and that they could use these same systems for second dose reminders to patients. There also are questions about the cost of the vaccine for the public. While the vaccines will arrive at clinics at no charge, the government is notgoing to pay for the vaccines to be administered. To make money, clinics may still charge patients an administrative fee, which will have a limit of $43.86 for a two-dose vaccine. The plan notes that clinics must waive the fee for those who cant afford it, but it doesnt say what that means, or how patients will know to ask for waivers. More than 1 million Georgians live below the poverty level.
Who are the Proud Boys? - Atlanta Journal Constitution
Anti-Defamation League calls the Proud Boys, recognized by President Trump in Tuesday's debate, a 'virulent strain of American right-wing extremism.' The group is not active in Georgia.
ProudBoys!!!!!!! I will stand down sir!!! he posted on the conservative social network Parler. Tarrio later posted that he did not take the comment as a direct endorsement," but he congratulated Trump for how he answered a VERY pointed question. The question was in reference to WHITE SUPREMACY...which we are not. Him telling the Proud Boys to stand back and standby is what we have ALWAYS done, Tarrio wrote. Google search traffic spiked immediately for the group that calls itself a drinking club of western chauvinists." Watchdog groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League have described them as a kind of far-right fight club and hate group. Compared to the activities of groups like the Three Percenter militias, QAnon conspiracy theorists and neo-Confederates, the Proud Boys' impact on the far-right scene in Georgia is minimal. A state chapter that was active several years ago appears to have faded, but there are some individuals in the metro area who identify as members. The group has chapters across the nation, but its more active in western states where members have openly clashed with left-wing groups in street battles in recent years. In case anyone has any doubts, the Proud Boys are a virulent strain of American right-wing extremism, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted. They have a long track record of violence, including in Portland this past weekend. Last weekend, the Proud Boys staged a rally in Portland that fell far short of the 10,000 people organizers had predicted. But those who attended expressed their loyalty to Trump and willingness to do battle. We kick a lot of people to the curb, one speaker said, according to the Washington Post. Gotta love to drink, gotta love to fight. The group was created in 2016 by Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnis amid a spike in activity in the broader alt-right. McInnis styled the group as an über-masculine fraternity of men who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world. As a result, the ADL has called the group less a pro-western drinking club and more an extreme, right-wing gang" whose members subscribe to a scattershot array of libertarian and nationalist tropes." Members of the group, including McInnis, have made anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic statements and the group is proudly anti-feminist. The ADL estimates the groups total membership as unknown but relatively small. The Proud Boys gained some notoriety for its odd initiation rituals and requirements for membership. Last year, two Proud Boys were sentenced to four years in prison for brawling with left-wing protesters outside the Metropolitan Republican Club in New York City where McInnis was giving a speech in 2018. While excited by Trumps mention, members of the group pushed back hard against any connection with white supremacy. Yosef Ozia, an Atlanta resident who is Black and has associated with the group in the past, tweeted a series of photos of African-American Proud Boys, with the ironic caption, Proud boys are white supremacists. Whether the debate will reinvigorate the groups presence in Georgia is unknown, but national figures in the group took Trumps comments as encouragement to continue to quarrel with leftist groups. Trump basically said to go f--k them up! This makes me so happy, Joe Biggs, another Proud Boys personality, posted to Parler Tuesday.
U.S. executes Georgia man for 2001 killing of Gilmer County nurse - Atlanta Journal Constitution
William LeCroy, who in 2001 raped and killed North Georgia nurse Joann Lee Tiesler, has become the sixth person executed this year by the U.S. government. LeCroy was put to death by lethal injection at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.
After several more minutes, his face turned ashen and his lips tinted blue. After about 10 more minutes, an official with a stethoscope entered the chamber, felt LeCroys wrist for a pulse and then listened to his heart before declaring him dead. Today justice was finally served. William LeCroy died a peaceful death in stark contrast to the horror he imposed on my daughter Joann, the victims father, Tom Tiesler, said in a statement. Charged under the federal carjacking statute, LeCroy was convicted and sentenced to death during a 2004 trial in Gainesville. In a clemency petition to President Donald Trump, LeCroys lawyers said that their client had developed a delusional fixation on Tiesler. (He) broke into her home and killed her to break an evil spell he believed she cast on him, the petition said. In 2010, LeCroys brother, Georgia State Trooper Chad LeCroy, was killed in the line of duty. After fatally shooting the trooper, Gregory Favors took LeCroys patrol car, making him eligible for the same offense as William LeCroy. But Fulton County prosecutors obtained a malice murder indictment against Favors and sought the death penalty. Favors was later allowed to plead guilty in exchange for life in prison without parole. That was the same sentence LeCroy had agreed to accept, but which federal prosecutors rejected. The pain and sorrow felt by the LeCroy family at potentially losing two of their sons is unimaginable, the petition said. It is all the more painful that the system worked so differently and unfairly in their eyes. The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Court blocks release of Trump tax returns amid latest appeal - Atlanta Journal Constitution
A federal appeals court on Tuesday blocked a New York prosecutor from obtaining Donald Trump’s tax returns while his lawyers continue to fight a subpoena seeking the records. The three-judge panel ruled after hearing brief arguments from both sides.
Trumps lawyers appealed to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month after a district court judge rejected their renewed efforts to invalidate a subpoena issued to his accounting firm. Judge John M. Walker Jr. said at Tuesdays hearing that the subpoenas cover 11 entities engaged in business dealings as far away as Europe and Dubai. Trump has blasted the long-running quest for his financial records as a continuation of the most disgusting witch hunt in the history of our country and predicted the case would again end up before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled last month the presidency in itself doesnt shield Trump from Vances investigation, but the high court returned the case to U.S. District Judge Victor Marreros courtroom to allow Trumps lawyers to raise other concerns about the subpoena. Trumps lawyers then argued the subpoena was issued in bad faith and overly broad, might have been politically motivated and amounted to harassment. Marrero rejected those claims. Consovoy told the judges Tuesday the investigation was an arbitrary fishing expedition. Carey Dunne of the district attorneys office said Trump and his lawyers have long misrepresented the scope of the investigation as focusing primarily on hush money payments that were paid to protect Trump from adultery allegations. Vances lawyers have said they are legally entitled to extensive records to aid a complex financial investigation. The president has complained at every turn that weve not announced what the grand jury is looking at as if that itself is bad faith, Dunne said. But, of course, what the grand jury is looking at is secret. Were not allowed to make that public, which is what has led to his speculation about the grand jury scope. But none of this speculation is plausible. Even if Vance gets Trumps tax records, those would be part of a confidential grand jury investigation and not automatically be made public. Vance, a Democrat, began seeking the Republican presidents tax returns from his longtime accounting firm more than a year ago, after Trumps former personal lawyer Michael Cohen told Congress the president had misled tax officials, insurers and business associates about the value of his assets. Congress is also pursuing Trumps financial records, though the Supreme Court last month kept a hold on the banking and other documents that Congress has been seeking and returned the case to a lower court. Trump is the only modern president who has refused to release his tax returns. Before he was elected, he had promised to do so.
Judge rules Georgia ballots mailed by Election Day must be counted - Atlanta Journal Constitution
A federal judge ruled Monday that Georgia absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day must be counted. The court order extends the state's absentee ballot deadline, which previously required that ballots be received by county election offices before 7 p.m. on…
The secretary of states office plans to immediately appeal the ruling. Extending the absentee ballot receipt deadline is a bad idea that will make it nearly impossible for election officials to complete their required post-election tasks in the timeline that is required by law, Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs said. The lawsuit by the New Georgia Project, a voter registration group, asked the court to intervene to prevent voter disenfranchisement during the presidential election. More voters than ever are relying on absentee ballots during the coronavirus pandemic so they can avoid the potential health risk of human contact at polling places. Nearly half of all voters in Georgias June 9 primary used absentee-by-mail ballots. Over 5 million Georgia voters are expected to participate in Novembers election, many of them again likely to vote absentee. Georgia law has allowed any registered voter to request an absentee ballot without having to provide an excuse since 2005. As we take care of each other through a pandemic of historic proportions, we need to make sure that every vote counts, said Nse Ufot, the executive director of the New Georgia Project. This is a commonsense solution to a problem weve been seeing for some time. Its a good day for Georgia and a good day for democracy. Every election, absentee ballots are discarded in Georgia because they arrive too late. Even if ballots were mailed well in advance of Election Day, the U.S. Postal Service didnt always deliver them in time, a problem exacerbated by potential mail slowdowns this year. In this years primary, election officials disqualified at least 8,495 absentee ballots because they were received late, according to state election data. That amounts to less than 1% of all absentee ballots cast. The number of ballots received after Election Day is expected to grow in November. Attorneys for the New Georgia Project argued in court that as many as 60,000 ballots could arrive late in the general election. The Democratic Party of Georgia called the ruling a huge victory for Georgia voters. All Georgians deserve to have their voice heard, and in the midst of a global pandemic, it is the responsibility of our democracy to make voting by mail and early voting options as accessible as possible, Democratic Party of Georgia Chairwoman Nikema Williams said. Attorneys for Georgia had warned that delaying the absentee deadline could result in chaos as election results hang in the balance. Election officials will have to scramble to count ballots quickly and verify that absentee ballots were in fact postmarked by Nov. 3. State law requires election results to be certified 17 days after the election, by Nov. 20. The court notes it is reluctant to interfere with Georgias statutory election machinery. However, where the risk of disenfranchisement is great, as is the case here, narrowly tailored injunctive relief is appropriate, Ross wrote. Ross wrote that Georgia election officials have already shown theyre capable of processing absentee ballots received after Election Day. State law requires election officials to count absentee ballots from overseas and military voters if theyre received within three days of an election. Georgia joins 18 other states that accept absentee ballots after Election Day if theyre postmarked beforehand, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Ross denied other changes sought by the lawsuit, including free ballot postage, quick notification of absentee application deficiencies, automatic mailing of absentee ballots to all voters, and ballot collection by third-party organizations. Election officials are urging Georgians to vote early to avoid lines and other problems. The U.S. Postal Service has said that mail delivery delays could hold up absentee ballots. Voters should mail their completed ballots at least a week in advance of Election Day, by Oct. 27, according to a USPS letter to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Georgia voters can also cast absentee ballots without having to rely on the Postal Service. Many counties have set up drop boxes where voters can deposit their ballots until polls close on Election Day. Voters can request absentee ballots through a website created by Raffenspergers office at ballotrequest.sos.ga.gov. Then absentee ballots will begin to be mailed in late September. How to vote absentee in Georgia Any registered voter in Georgia can request an absentee ballot without having to provide an explanation. Voters can order an absentee ballot online at ballotrequest.sos.ga.gov. They can also fill out and mail a paper absentee ballot request form to county election offices. Election officials will begin mailing absentee ballots to voters around Sept. 18. State law prevents absentee ballots from being mailed before 49 days prior to Election Day. Then voters can mail their absentee ballots or return them in drop boxes set up in many counties.
CDC: 94% of coronavirus-related deaths have underlying medical conditions - Atlanta Journal Constitution
Only 6% of coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. have COVID-19 listed as the only cause of death, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the CDC, 9,683 people have died in the U.S. with COVID-19 listed as the only cause of death on their death certificate. ExploreU.S. surpasses 6 million coronavirus cases On Monday, the nation passed 6 million confirmed coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. More cases have been reported in the U.S. than any other country, far more than No. 2 Brazil at 3,862,311 or Indias third-ranked number of 3,621,245. Globally, 25,245,930 cases have been reported. On Sunday, the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration promised the review of a potential COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. will be transparent to the public, with any clearance by the agency driven by data alone. Commissioner Stephen Hahn responded to questions about the different ways the FDA could clear a vaccine for use: either under an emergency authorization, likely based on more limited data and for use in a narrow group, or a broader approval that could lead to wider use. Weve said all along were not going to pre-judge what mechanism were going to use to authorize or approve a vaccine, Hahn told Bloomberg News by phone. Were going to let the data dictate that. The data will dictate what kind of decision is made on the vaccine. No decision on that has been made because the agency hasnt seen trial results yet, he said. Hahn said the agency will share as much of the data on any vaccine it reviews as is possible. The agency has scheduled an Oct. 22 meeting of outside experts to discuss a vaccine. At this point, however, large, final-stage trials of experimental shots by Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc. and others havent been completed or offered enough data to make a public judgment on. U.S. health officials have been preparing for the roll-out of a vaccine. Under the White Houses Operation Warp Speed program, the government has made agreements with drugmakers to fund vaccine development and manufacturing.
Atlanta United doesn’t play in protest of Jacob Blake shooting - Atlanta Journal Constitution
MLS said the game is considered to be postponed and will be rescheduled. Twenty minutes before the game was supposed to start, MLS posted this message on its social media channels: The entire Major League Soccer family is deeply saddened and horrified by the senseless shooting of Jacob Blake and events in Kenosha. We continue to stand with the Black Community throughout our country -- including our players and employees -- and share in their pain, anger and frustration. The entire Major League Soccer family unequivocally condemns racism and has always stood for equality, but we need to do more to take tangible steps to impact change. We will continue to work with our players, our clubs and the broader soccer community to harness our collective power to fight for equality and social justice. The rest of Wednesdays MLS games were also postponed as part of the players protests: Colorado at Dallas, LAFC at Real Salt Lake, Portland at San Jose, and Seattle at L.A. Galaxy. Nashville at Orlando started before Atlanta Uniteds game and was played. All of Atlanta Uniteds players participated in warm-ups before the game against Inter Miami. Both teams went back into the locker rooms once the warm-ups were complete. Some of Atlanta United reserves came out when the game was going to start. Inter Miamis starters came out as if to play. Atlanta Uniteds starters never came out of the locker room. Atlanta Uniteds starters eventually walked onto the field and posed for a team photo that featured all of the players from both teams, as well as the officiating crew. The officiating crew then walked off the field. The balls already had been taken up. The coolers then were soon rolled off the field. This isnt the first act of protest done by teams in MLS. During the MLS tournament in Orlando, players knelt on the field before games kicked off, following examples of teams in Europe. Teams continue to follow that practice during the leagues re-start. Players wore and continue to wear T-shirts with the slogan Black Lives Matter. While in Orlando, some teams included the names of people killed by law enforcement either in place of their names on the backs of their jerseys, or written on the bottom of their jerseys. The Major League Soccer Players Association released this statement Wednesday night: The MLSPA stands with the decision made by the players -- and those made by players in other leagues -- not to play tonight in protest of systemic racial injustice, the latest example of which is the horrific shooting of Jacob Blake. Some things are far more important than sports. Change must happen and athletes are committed to leading the way. Saturday vs. Orlando, 3:30 p.m. (Univision) Sept. 2 vs. Miami, 7 p.m. (FS1) Sept. 5 at Orlando, 8 p.m. (Fox) Sept. 12 at Nashville, 8:30 p.m. (Fox Sports South) X Can be found on Apple, iTunes and Spreaker x Follow me on Twitter @DougRobersonAJC On Facebook at Atlanta United News Now Atlanta United coverage on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Have a question? Email me at [email protected]