Police have arrested an Atlanta police officer accused of shooting a woman and burning her body in Hapeville, according to our media affiliate CBS46. On Aug. 22, a Hapeville city employee found the body of Vernicia Woodard, 26, who had been shot multiple times and set on fire in an apparent attempt to destroy evidence. The Hapeville Police Department issued arrest warrants for Tahreem Zeus Rana on the charges of murder, arson and kidnapping. He was arrested around 9 a.m. this morning, Aug. 28, at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport attempting to get on a flight to Mexico.

During a heated meeting on Aug. 27, Mayor Kasim Reed defended payments his administration gave to select employees under a little known “hardship” program. According to the AJC, Reed clashed with Councilwoman Felicia Moore who says the payouts are illegal. Speaking to the council’s finance committee, Reed insisted the payouts — some as high as five-figures to at least three executives, including Police Chief George Turner — did not violate city code. But he acknowledged that the decisions to allow some workers to trade unused vacation, sick or compensatory time for cash lacked documentation and could raise fairness concerns from other employees. Reed told Moore she didn’t understand the process and threatened her with a defamation lawsuit. Moore wasn’t having it.  “I have my opinion, and my opinion is the actions were illegal,” she said. “I’ve said it many times and I’’ll keep doing it, so sue me.”

Atlanta developer Jeff Fuqua is hoping the second time is a charm for mixed-used development near the Lindbergh MARTA station. According to Creative Loafing, Fuqua’s new project – located east of Piedmont Road, north of Lindbergh Drive, and east of Morosgo Drive – would include an 82,000-square-foot Kroger Fresh Fare, 180 senior housing units, 137 detached single-family units, and a three-story parking deck. Land use and zoning changes would be required for the project to move forward. Two years ago, the city denied Fuqua’s attempt to build a Walmart on the site.

Beginning Sept. 8, the Municipal Court of Atlanta will adopt new docket times for its traffic, criminal, DUI, community court, and housing/code enforcement court divisions in order to enhance access to the judicial system and accelerate efficient case processing. Chief Judge Herman Sloan announced the changes were being implemented to more efficiently handle the cases that are annually docketed at the Court, anticipate increases in case load, and provide the level of service that the citizens of Atlanta demand, without a compromise to fair and equitable administration of justice. The Court will double – from two to four – the number of daily dockets held at the court Monday through Friday. Start times for the expanded court calendars are 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.