ATLANTA (AP) – Five Democrats, an independent and a Libertarian will square off in a special election in Georgia’s 5th Congressional District. The winner will fill the vacancy left by the death of civil rights leader John Lewis in July after 34 years in Congress. If no one wins a majority Tuesday, the runoff will be Dec. 1. Lewis’ successor will serve only until the current Congress ends in January. None of Tuesday’s candidates are contesting the November general election. Democrats include former Morehouse College president Robert Franklin, retiring state Rep. “Able” Mable Thomas, former state Rep. Keisha Waites, former Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall and Barrington Martin II. Also running are independent Steven Muhammad and Libertarian Chase Oliver.
FORSYTH, Ga. (AP) – In-person classes been called off for two weeks at a Georgia middle school after more than 90 students and staff were exposed to the coronavirus. The Monroe County school system said Thursday that all students at Monroe County Middle School in Forsyth would shift to online instruction starting Monday. Learning will remain entirely online through Oct. 9, when the district starts its fall break. In-person classes would resume Oct. 19. Cases statewide continue to fall, with the seven-day average of newly confirmed cases at the lowest point since late June. The total number of cases among school-aged children is declining in Georgia.
ATLANTA (AP) – Students in Georgia public high schools would face no consequences for failing statewide standardized tests for at least one year under a proposal by state Superintendent Richard Woods. Woods wants the state Board of Education to zero out how much exams in algebra, American literature and composition, biology and U.S. History count in a student’s grade. Now, tests count for 20% of a student’s course grade. Under Woods’ plan, they would count for a fraction of 1%. Woods earlier promised to limit impacts from standardized testing after U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos refused to waive requirements for tests for a second year. Woods is also encouraging districts to ignore test scores in deciding if a student repeats a grade.
(AP) – Seven people were arrested at an Atlanta protest where chemical agents were deployed on protesters demonstrating against a Kentucky grand jury’s decision to not indict officers in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor. Georgia State Patrol Spokesperson Franka Young said the arrests were made Wednesday night after the protesters refused orders to disperse from roads. A majority of the nearly 300 protesters had followed the orders. Young says the chemical agents were fired after “some unruly protesters” attempted to vandalize and climb on top of a SWAT vehicle. Some protesters ran for cover as the chemical agents filled the air near where the vehicle was parked.