News Roundup | 9.19.18

Hurricane Florence Causes at Least 16 Deaths

Hurricane Florence made landfall on Friday morning near Wilmington, N.C., causing mass flooding and power outages for more than 1 million people. At least 16 deaths due to the hurricane have been reported, The New York Times reported. The storm was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane prior to landfall and was downgraded to a tropical storm on Friday night. Despite decreased wind speeds, Florence brought heavy rainfall to North and South Carolina, causing massive flooding across both states. Other than an inch of rain in northeast Georgia, most of Georgia was unaffected by the storm.

Atlanta City Council Votes to Increase Transparency

The Atlanta City Council approved on Monday an ordinance to install a transparency officer, establish a website to track public records requests and give mandatory open records training to city employees each year. The reform proposals come in response to a civil complaint filed by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, citing multiple violations of the Georgia Open Records Act.

Emory Professors Land on the National Book Awards Longlists

Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies Carol Anderson and Professor of English and Creative Writing Tayari Jones were selected for this year’s National Book Awards Longlist. Anderson’s book, “One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy,” chronicles the suppression of African-American voting rights and is one of 10 books on the nonfiction longlist. Jones’ novel, “An American Marriage,” tells the story of a wrongful conviction of a newlywed black executive and is one of 10 books on the fiction longlist.

District Judge Grants Plaintiffs Class Certification in Emory Retirement Savings Lawsuit

A U.S. district judge granted class certification on Aug. 13 in a lawsuit filed by Emory workers accusing the University of mismanaging retirement savings plans. The decision allows the plaintiffs to sue Emory in the form of a class action lawsuit, collectively representing everyone affected by the alleged violations. In the ruling, Senior Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia Charles A. Pannell Jr. allowed the plaintiffs to represent more than 45,000 participants in Emory’s retirement plan. Pannell wrote that he was unconvinced by the University’s argument that the majority of participants in the retirement plan “[did not] believe they suffered an injury,” as the legal nature of retirement plans can be difficult to understand. The lawsuit was filed in August 2016 after University plan participants accused the school of violating the Employment Retirement Income Security Act, alleging that the school’s retirement plans carried excessive fees and failed to remove bad investments. Twelve other universities have been sued for similar complaints.

Typhoon Devastates the Philippines

Typhoon Mangkhut, barrelled through the northern Philippines on Saturday, according to BBC News. The number of casualties is still uncertain as officials continue to assess damages, but the current death toll has risen to 74 as of Tuesday night. The storm devastated farmlands across the island of Luzon, the Philippines’ most populous island and primary food producer. More than 4 million people were in direct path of the storm, but only 105,000 people were evacuated to shelters prior to landfall.

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