With 2020 upon us, here’s a look back at some of the Buckhead Reporter’s top stories for the month of February in recent history.

5 Years Ago: 2015

“Amid safety concerns, Lake Forrest Dam faces uncertain future”

State-mandate repairs to Lake Forrest Dam, which runs beneath Lake Forrest Drive on the Sandy Springs-Atlanta border, were discussed at a Buckhead meeting. It was the beginning of a lengthy process to drain a pond and examine the condition of the dam, which is listed as “high-hazard” by the state because, if it failed during a catastrophic storm, the flooding would likely kill people downstream. “Your dam right now has some severe deficiencies,” said Chuck Wilson of Schnabel Engineering, who was hired by the two cities to review the dam, at the time.

Today, the cities and a group of private owners have approved a $4.8 million reconstruction plan that is likely still years away. Meanwhile, some homeowners have sued over the work so far, saying it diminished their property.

10 Years Ago: 2010

“Hermi’s Bridge being rebuilt once again”

Hermi’s Bridge, a steel-truss span over the Chattahoochee River between Buckhead and Vinings, was built in 1903 and barely escaped a 1972 demolition threat thanks to campaigning by Hermione Weil Alexander. It became known as “Hermi’s Bridge” in honor of Alexander, who was killed by a drunk driver. The bridge was closed in 2006 for safety reasons, but reopened in 2010 thanks to a $960,000 renovation. At the time, Cecil Alexander, Hermione’s husband, recalled that the one-lane bridge was the only crossing in the area until 1972. “For years, if you wanted to cross the Chattahoochee there, you had to wait your turn,” he said.

“Buckhead grades well in charges of test cheating”

In 2009, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation into Atlanta Public Schools standardized test scores kicked off a major scandal about teachers altering the results. In 2010, Atlanta Board of Education member Nancy Meister said that an initial state investigation based on erasure marks on tests found no Buckhead school on the “serious” or “moderate” concern list for cheating; Garden Hills Elementary was rated at “minimum concern” for 10% of its classes.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.