News Briefs: Power outages persist; mayor extends pandemic orders; street racing law on agenda

Georgia Power continues restoration efforts and has already restored electric service to more than 700,000 customers following Hurricane Zeta. As of 9 a.m. Saturday, approximately 78,000 customers are without power across Georgia. More than 34,000 of those customers are scattered across Atlanta. The Georgia Power Outage Map has indicated that some of those customers might have electricity again until Sunday night.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has reissued pandemic-related administrative and executive orders for another 60 days through Dec. 31. Administrative Order 2020-38 directs all parking enforcement officers to refrain from taking any action to enforce parking regulations that would result in the towing or immobilization of vehicles in restricted areas of the city’s right of way. Administrative Order 2020-39 directs the Department of Watershed Management to refrain from taking any action that would result in the termination of water services to any DWM customer due to non-payment. Administrative Order 2020-40 suspends penalties for unpaid occupational taxes. Executive Order 2020-131 was reissued, instituting a 60-day moratorium on residential evictions  for properties subsidized by governmental and quasi-governmental agencies. Those entities include the Atlanta Housing Authority; Atlanta Beltline, Inc.; Fulton County/City of Atlanta Land Bank Authority; Invest Atlanta; Partners for Home; and the city Department of Grants and Community Development. The orders previously were scheduled to expire Oct. 31.

APD impounds a car during a street racing crackdown. (File)

Defendants accused of street racing or riding all-terrain vehicles on public streets could be jailed without bond until a court appearance in an ordinance the Atlanta City Council will consider Nov. 2. The ordinance seeks to declare street racing and ATV riding as a form of “violence.” Under current laws that followed a reform effort by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Municipal Court defendants accused of non-violent traffic offenses are released on their own recognizance before trial. The ordinance describes such offenses as street racing, reckless driving and the use of all-terrain and off-road vehicles on city streets as “containing an element of violence or threatened violence” due to dangers to people or property. The council meeting will be held at 1 p.m. and will be conducted remotely.  The meeting will be simulcast on the Council’s website,YouTube channel, Channel 26 and the council’s Facebook and Twitter pages.