News Briefs: Loft fire; MLK Jr. Drive improvements; Decatur Writers Studio

Fire heavily damaged the roof of the Telephone Factory Lofts. (Courtesy CBS46)
Fire heavily damaged the roof of the Telephone Factory Lofts. (Courtesy CBS46)

A pre-dawn fire on the roof of the Telephone Factory Lofts on Ralph McGill Boulevard prompted an evacuation of the historic complex, according to a report from the AJC. Investigators determined an unattended candle or misplaced cigarette most likely set patio furniture ablaze on the roof deck. The fire was contained to the deck, but some units did receive water damage.

Work will soon begin on the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Streetscape Improvement Project, which will be the first of its kind in the U.S. The improvements to the seven mile street will include synchronized traffic lights, new sidewalks and a multi-use trail with new landscaping, historic signage, street furniture, upgraded crosswalks, distinctive paving with ADA ramps, public art displays at major intersections, improved medians, new street lighting and a pocket park in the median of the road.

The Decatur Book Festival is launching the Decatur Writers Studio, which will offer workshop-style creative writing classes led by local authors. Classes will be limited to 12 participants, unless otherwise noted. The first slate of courses will include workshops on writing fiction, memoir and picture books for children. DWS has plans to include classes in the future on poetry, narrative non-fiction and specific genres, such as romance and fantasy. It also plans to feature intensive, boot-camp-style courses on weekends. In partnership with Decatur CoWorks, Decatur Writers Studio will also provide a limited number of memberships to writers who seek space for their endeavors. Writers can purchase a DWS membership, which includes quiet workstations, access to printing, scanning, and copying, lightning-fast wireless internet, conference rooms with audio/video capacity, kitchenette and break area. For more information, visit


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