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July 18 — Happy Sunday from Atlanta Senior Life. This is our weekly newsletter. If you’re looking into a new, fun activity, we hope you’ll check out ElectroBike, our newsletter sponsor, with two locations in Atlanta.
It was a busy week as we are putting the final touches on our August issue of the paper. If you read below, you’ll see a sneak peek of what’s coming as we feature a Q&A with former Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.
Our print issues are available around town at prominent retailers like Whole Foods, Breadwinner, Alon’s, CVS, Goldberg’s and most local libraries. Let us know if you’d like us to add a location to our list.
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Have a great week!
1. Sitting down with Nathan Deal
There’s no retreat to the rocking chair on the front porch for former Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. Since leaving the governor’s office in 2019, Deal, a Republican, has started a political consulting firm with former chief of staff Chris Riley and begun teaching a class in political science at the University of North Georgia. And he’s worked hard on staying healthy.
Deal started his career with a private law practice before becoming a prosecutor, judge, state senator and member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia’s 9th District. In March of 2010, he resigned from the House to run for governor. He served two terms.
Atlanta Senior Life chatted with Deal and his wife, Sandra, recently at their home in Demorest, which is north of Gainesville.
2. Take a road trip with road trip royalty
Stephanie Stuckey (above, at the Majestic Diner) spent more than a decade serving in the Georgia House of Representatives, before becoming director of an environmentally focused law firm, then the City of Atlanta’s director of sustainability and chief resilience officer.
In 2019, she bought back the family business—the famed Stuckey’s chain of roadside diners and convenient stores.
Now, as CEO of the company, she’s on a mission to breathe new life into the brand, and has been on the road paying a visit to each and every one of the 65 Stuckey’s locations throughout the Southeast, Southwest, and Midwest (follow her adventures on Instagram).
Atlanta Intown editor Collin Kelley caught up with Stuckey while she was back in Atlanta to talk about life on the road, where she likes to eat, and where she likes to unwind.
Stuckey also hooked us up with her road trip-themed playlist, sporting hits and deep cuts by everyone from Prince and the Boss to R.E.M., Aretha Franklin, Chuck Berry, and more.
Head over to Atlanta Intown to read their conversation, and to hear more from her playlist featured in this month’s “In The Mix” column.
3. Riding the rails
A high-speed rail line from Charlotte to Atlanta has been on the drawing board for years. Earlier this week, Georgia’s Department of Transportation held an open house to highlight some additional details about the developing project and to hear public feedback.
Three proposed routes have been the subject of much debate and planning. Now, one of the routes, the Greenfield Corridor, is garnering favor. The proposed rail between Charlotte and Atlanta would take shape as a portion of a much larger Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor, connecting Washington, D.C. to Atlanta via Richmond, Raleigh, and Charlotte.
The Greenfield corridor is the mid-priced option of the three proposed lines, carrying a price tag of between $6-8 billion. It would run on either diesel or electricity and travel at up to 220 miles per hour, completing a trip in two hours and 45 minutes. That’s the fastest option on the books, and it would rely on new tracks to carry it through Lawrenceville, Athens, and more.
The Federal Railroad Administration is holding a 30-day waiting period to allow the public and other parties time to review the Greenfield Corridor, as well as the proposed Southern Crescent and I-85 alternatives.
4. Good help is hard to find
If you’ve been out to eat lately, you’ve likely noticed “We’re Hiring” signs. That’s because local (and national) eateries are struggling to find employees to fill positions after the pandemic shutdown.
Fast-food restaurants are offering $12 an hour, bonuses, raises, and contributing to health insurance to attract employees. On a recent Saturday afternoon, the Krystal on Northside Drive at 14th in West Midtown had to temporarily shut down its drive-thru window as it waited for employees to arrive.
In the wake of the pandemic, many people have started examining their quality of life and the hours they spend working. As a result, people are hesitant to return to working in the hospitality industry, and it’s not just the fast-food restaurants that are facing staffing issues.
Robby Kukler, a partner with Atlanta-based Fifth Group Restaurants, said the labor shortage is preventing his company from reopening one of its restaurants and they are dangling $1,000 bonuses to retain employees.
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