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Black voters are waking up to the sobering fact that the Democratic Party may not have their best interests at heart.

Presidential hopefuls traveled to Atlanta to take part in the Democratic debate on Wednesday, Nov. 20.

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Cory Booker, left, and Kamala Harris, right, are mixed race candidates who claim to represent Black Americans. But Black voters say the candidates didn't touch on the issues that concern Black voters.

"I was disappointed at the fact that two of the most controversial issues concerning Georgia – reproductive rights and election integrity – were only discussed in the last 11 minutes of the debate, said Howard student and Atlanta native Keri Felton.

Council member Khalid Kamau was also disappointed in the candidates.

"These candidates and the media came to Atlanta, to the Atlanta University Center, Paschal's restaurant, and told us how important we are. Then they get on TV and barely mention us. It's like dating a f-ckboy," Kamau said.

Activists also point to the rapid gentrification of Atlanta, a formerly majority Black city.

"For working-class ATLiens, it's not working out for us," said Sankara Lumumba. "We've gotten rid of public housing, the city is becoming less Black, the administration of this city doesn't match up to what is being publicly put out there."

Lumumba volunteers with the Community Movement Builders who fight gentrification in Atlanta. Gentrification is a term that describes the takeover of Black and urban neighborhoods by developers and wealthy investors who raise property taxes to force Black homeowners out of their neighborhoods.

Activists blame Black politicians for permitting gentrification in Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthplace.

"There's a black political elite that's teamed up with the economic elite and they run the city," said Kamau Franklin, the organization’s founder. "They don't run it for working-class or poor black folks. They run it to further capitalist development. It's a whitewash of what the Black Mecca is supposed to be."

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President Trump will be in Atlanta on Friday to rally the Black vote with a new African American coalition, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

According to WSBTV, the President will launch the Black Voices for Trump Coalition with a rally at the Georgia World Congress Center on Friday, Nov. 8.

Black conservatives are eager to attend the Black Voices for Trump Coalition on Friday, but Black leaders in Atlanta don't want Trump rallying the Black vote here.

Anti-Trump activist Isaac Hayes III, the son of R&B/Soul legend Isaac Hayes, tweeted "I honestly wanna attend this thing just to see which unfreed Georgia slaves show up for massa Trump!"


 

And anti-Trump Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Democrat, tweeted simply: "#MorningMotivation” with a link to the AJC.com story announcing Trump's rally.

Trump is polling higher among Black votes today than he did following the presidential election in 2016. The Black Voices for Trump Coalition rally is expected to be well-attended.

Trump will likely highlight the lower Black unemployment rate and encourage the business sector to invest in struggling Black areas in Atlanta.

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On Sept. 9, the Atlanta school board met in secret and voted not to extend Superintendent Meria Carstarphen's contract, which expires June 30, 2020.

Carstarphen's ouster divided the city and sparked widespread condemnation of the school board for holding a secret majority vote by a public body. Parents called into local radio shows to express their outrage over Carstarphen's ouster.

Carstarphen's forced departure made national news.

As Superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, Carstarphen (pictured left) led the district's nearly 52,000 students, 6,000 full-time employees and 87 schools and oversaw the system’s $1 billion annual budget.

Verdaillia Turner, educator and president of 1,700-member Atlanta Federation of Teachers, says the Atlanta school board should be "transparent" in its search for a replacement for Carstarphen.

In a guest column published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Turner said the school board should listen to the advice of educators rather than business interests that played a key role in selecting Carstarphen.

She accused the APS of entering into long-term contracts with companies and organizations that favor privatization under the banner of charter schools.

And she urged the APS to choose a superintendent who believes in public education.

"Hiring a superintendent is a monumental task and the Atlanta Board of Education should learn from the recent past to avoid pitfalls that could have serious ramifications for the future of the school system," she writes.

"Atlanta Public Schools needs a superintendent who will implement models that have been proven to work, such as the Community Schools approach that emphasizes meeting the whole family’s needs, real family engagement, community partnerships, and wrap-around services.

She added: "In a city such as Atlanta where most students suffer from poverty, this model is especially needed. A recent study identified Atlanta as the city with the least economic mobility for poor children."

Turner also criticized the school board for selecting Carstarphen, a Tulane and Auburn graduate, who has little teaching experience.

"Shouldn't a superintendent have spent time in the classroom interacting with students, parents, and other teachers?" she wrote.

Atlanta public schools are among the lowest performing schools in the nation. The Atlanta school district is still digging out from under the teacher cheating scandal of 2009.

Top teachers and principals in the Atlanta Public Schools were arrested for cheating on state-administered standardized tests. The teachers have since been released from prison.

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CBS46 News

Big box retail and grocery store chains are struggling to combat increasing shoplifting offenses in their stores.

One Atlanta grocery store has come up with a controversial solution for a decades long shoplifting problem: caged grocery store aisles.

Customers who enter the College Park Kroger in South Fulton, southwest of Atlanta, are confronted with a second set of doors and glass facade inside the store.

Customers argue that the glass enclosure is racist and makes them feel like caged animals. They worry that they will be trapped inside the enclosure with the criminals.

"I think it's kind of racist you definitely see that here on Old National," a mother of three told CBS46 News.

"You won't see that in Fayetteville or maybe Cobb County anywhere, doubt it," said the mother.

Others expressed their anger in social media posts featuring photos of the enclosure.

But some Atlantans agreed the security measure is necessary to prevent major grocery store chains from moving their stores out of high crime neighborhoods.

They see the cages as a short-term solution to a long-term problem. South Fulton residents who don't own cars would be forced to take public transportation to other neighborhoods to buy groceries.

The College Park Kroger store is the only one in the area with the controversial security installation.

CBS46 reporter Jamie Kennedy asked customers if they knew that shoplifting and theft were issues at the store. "Yes I have, I have, yeah, quite a bit," said a longtime Kroger shopper.

Other shoppers tell CBS46 that many people take things from shelves and use them in the bathroom without paying.

A South Fulton police officer who moonlights at the store said the College Park Kroger doesn't have more shoplifting incidents than other stores in the area.

In a statement to CBS46, a Kroger spokesperson was unapologetic:

"Thank you for reaching out to us. These changes are being implemented to help improve operational efficiencies, provide better inventory management and increase profitability. We take pride in keeping our shelves fully stocked with the items our customers want and need and we believe these changes, which are part of a pilot project, will help us do so."

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Sean "Diddy" Combs received a State Resolution for his Achievements in Entertainment and Business at The Georgia Entertainment Caucus Award Ceremony held at Georgia State Capital on Wednesday, September 11, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Prince Williams/ATLPics.net

The media mogul was honored for launching Revolt TV & Media, a music-oriented digital cable television network, in Los Angeles in 2013. He was also recognized for his many contributions to hip-hop music.

Prince Williams/ATLPics.net

Combs posed with his cousin and friend of the blog, Atlanta socialite Eboni Elektra.

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Combs posed with Ga. Rep. Erica Thomas (L) and Vice President, Creative at BMI, Catherine Brewton (R).

Prince Williams/ATLPics.net

Combs pressed the flesh, took photos and kissed babies in preparation for his big announcement to run for public office.

A prominent Atlanta surgeon killed her 2 adult children before turning the gun on herself. Cobb County police found three bodies in a Vinings townhouse while conducting a wellness check on Wednesday. Police identified the deceased as Dr. Marsha Edwards, center, her 20-year-old daughter Erin Edwards, right, and 24-year-old son Chris Edwards Jr., left.

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Sparkle Rai and Chiman Rai

The TV One true-crime series "ATL Homicide" covered the murder of Sparkle Rai, a newlywed mother-of-one, who was killed in her Union City, Georgia apartment in 2000.

The killer stabbed Sparkle and strangled her with a vacuum cleaner cord in front of her crying baby after letting himself into her apartment with a key. Police had no suspects and the case soon went cold.

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Ralo

A massive early morning raid on a Southwest Atlanta apartment complex on Wednesday is connected to the arrest of up-and-coming rapper Ralo, according to Channel 2 Action News.

Agents from the ATF, FBI and Department of Homeland Security executed no-knock warrants on Ralo's heavily fortified apartment complex along Lucile Avenue.

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Tip at march for humanity

Rapper T.I. has some aggressive fans, but not all of them are women. The rap mogul took part in Monday's March for Humanity in Atlanta to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s burial. The march began at King's Ebeneezer Baptist Church and concluded at the Georgia State Capitol.

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Bernice King, Martin Luther King, III, his daughter Yolanda King and other King family members joined hundreds of Atlantans to commemorate this day with a March for Humanity from King's Ebeneezer Baptist Church to the steps of the State Capitol building.

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TEXT

DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffrey Mann is fighting to keep his certification a year after he was arrested for soliciting sex from an undercover cop in Piedmont Park. Sheriff Mann and his attorney, Noah Pines, attended a Peace Officer Standards and Training Council appeals hearing in February.

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Ring doorbell

Investigators are still searching for a woman and 2 masked men who tricked a homeowner into opening her front door in the Vinings Estates subdivision in Mableton, Georgia.

Smyrna police say the woman's boyfriend, who is a partner in a popular nightclub, may have been targeted because of his work.

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TI photos by Aric Thompson

Tip "T.I." Harris appeared at Walmart on Cascade Road to personally give away free tickets to the Atlanta screening of Marvel Studios' Black Panther. The Atlanta Walmart on Cascade Road was one of 5 locations nationwide to offer FREE tickets!

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Black Panther

Walmart at Cascade Road is one of 5 locations nationwide to offer FREE tickets to view Marvel Studios' comic book superhero movie Black Panther! Walmart is set to host a special advance screening of Black Panther in Atlanta with an appearance by rapper T.I. Harris.

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carjacking

2 teenagers are in police custody charged in connection with theft of a SUV with two baby girls inside. The incident happened on Wednesday at a Clayton County gas station, south of Atlanta.

Police tracked an iPad and an iPhone stolen from the SUV to the southwest Atlanta home of Khyree Swift, 17, early Friday morning. Another teen was arrested at a different location.

Police did not release the name of Swift's accomplice because he is only 16. He will face a judge on Monday, where he may be charged as an adult.

Police are still searching for a 3rd accomplice.

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A post shared by The Varsity (@thevarsity1928) on

Snow and Atlanta roads do not mix. Schools, businesses and government offices shut down at the first hint of snow or sleet in Atlanta and the surrounding suburbs.

Many parents were forced to call out from work to stay home with their children, as the temperature hovered around 15 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday morning.

Atlanta's famous The Varsity restaurant announced all locations in Atlanta, Athens, Kennesaw and Norcross are closed today.

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Xscape

R&B group Xscape performed live at Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms' Inauguration Ball at Atlanta's City Hall on Tuesday night. The group performed their hit song "Understanding" for the standing room only crowd. Bottoms, a Democrat, defeated Mary Norwood, who ran as an independent, in a very close mayoral race. Norwood conceded defeat 2 weeks ago. Bottoms, 47, is Atlanta's 2nd female mayor.

Watch the video below.

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