News Briefs: Wendy’s arson arrest; state hate crime bill passes; Midtown gets state transportation funds

Mug shot of Natalie White.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Unit apprehended Wendy’s arson suspect Natalie White on the afternoon of June 23. This case is being investigated by the City of Atlanta Fire Rescue Department Arson Unit after the intentional burning of a Wendy’s restaurant on University Avenue on June 13 during a protest concerning the death of Rayshard Brooks. The FCSO Fugitive Unit booked Natalie Hanna White into the Fulton County Jail. White is charged with arson in the first degree.

The Georgia General Assembly approved a hate crimes bill on June 23, which is now headed to Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk for his signature. The legislation allows for extra criminal penalties against those who target victims on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, or physical or mental disability. Georgia has been without a hate crimes law since 2004, when it was struck down by the state Supreme Court for being “vague.”

Midtown’s 5th Street Complete Street project was one of 19 projects across the state to receive funding from the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank from the State Road and Tollway Authority. Midtown Alliance will use the $750,000 grant to upgrade 5th Street from Williams Street to Myrtle Street, a distance of 0.60 miles. Improvements include adding a 10-foot cycle track and mid-block pedestrian crossings between Williams and West Peachtree, resurfacing throughout the corridor, a new traffic signal at Williams and 5th, and upgraded traffic signals throughout.

 

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