Author

Ross Williams

Ross Williams

Before joining the Georgia Recorder, Ross Williams covered local and state government for the Marietta Daily Journal.Williams' reporting took him from City Hall to homeless camps, from the offices of business executives to the living rooms of grieving parents. His work earned recognition from the Georgia Associated Press Media Editors and the Georgia Press Association, including beat reporting, business writing and non-deadline reporting. A native of Cobb County, Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Atlanta's Oglethorpe University and a master’s in journalism from Northwestern University.

Atlanta’s protest ends with shattered storefronts and pleas for peace

By: - May 30, 2020

Zoe Bambara, 19, smiled and watched on as Centennial Olympic Park filled with people Friday afternoon. She had no inkling her planned peaceful protest would end with bricks flying through windows, cars set ablaze and the deployment of the Georgia National Guard. Bambara and some other young people organized the protests online to express outrage […]

Jobless claims slow, struggles remain for record number of idled workers

By: - May 28, 2020

This post was updated May 28, 6 p.m. to include comments at an afternoon Georgia Department of Labor press conference. More than 164,000 Georgians filed new unemployment claims during the week that ended May 23, down from nearly 178,000 the week before, but joblessness remains historically high as the state economy continues to reel from […]

Pre-kindergarten classes on chopping block as state slashes spending

By: - May 27, 2020

Fewer students, empty classrooms and reduced teacher paychecks could be in store for the state lottery-funded pre-K program that teaches Georgia’s youngest schoolchildren letters and numbers. Georgia’s agency heads are working to reduce spending by 14% as budget planners expect state revenues to suffer for a while in a badly wounded economy. For the Georgia […]

Georgia’s April unemployment hits historically painful high of near 12%

By: - May 21, 2020

This post was updated at 12:10 p.m. on May 21 to reflect new unemployment benefit numbers from the Georgia Department of Labor. More Georgians requested unemployment assistance in April than the past four years combined, as the state’s workers suffered more depressing job losses than any month during the Great Recession. More than 624,000 people […]

Gig worker’s tale: Economy craters, pet groomer hopes to land on feet

By: - May 21, 2020

Monday was JD Harrison’s birthday, but he didn’t have much cause for celebration. “I’m not getting by, realistically speaking,” he said. “I don’t want to embarrass myself, but I’m not getting by.” At the start of the year, Harrison was making $8,000 to $12,000 a month between his Smyrna-based mobile dog grooming business, Perfect Paws, […]

COVID-19 spells lost fares and rough ride for Georgia’s public transit

By: - May 20, 2020

Clarification: An editing error omitted Clayton County from MARTA’s coverage area. Bus engines still drone each morning over the quiet conversations of commuters at CobbLinc’s South Marietta Parkway transfer station, but the rush hour crowds common a few months ago no longer gather outside to wait for buses. Larenze Walker was among them earlier this […]

Early voting begins, state lawmakers still can’t raise campaign cash

By: and - May 18, 2020

State lawmakers who face primary challengers raised the last dollar for their re-election bids back in early January before they were gaveled into session. And a law that forbids fundraising during a legislative session – even one suspended for months because of a pandemic – will keep donors at bay until after the final votes […]

Ga. Supreme Court rejects bid to force election to replace outgoing justice

By: - May 15, 2020

Gov. Brian Kemp’s future appointee to the Georgia Supreme Court can serve without running for election until 2022, following a 6-2 decision from the high court issued Thursday.  The ruling went against former U.S. Rep. John Barrow and former state Rep. Beth Beskin, who tried to force an election to replace Justice Keith Blackwell before […]

Ga. business restrictions eased but crush of new jobless claims continues

By: - May 15, 2020

Nearly 40% of Georgia’s workforce filed an unemployment claim since COVID-19 cases spiked in the state the first half of March and businesses shut down to contain the spread of the disease. Another 241,000 more filed initial claims last week, bringing the total handled by the Georgia Department of Labor to more than 1.8 million […]

Economists eye May jobless numbers after state business restrictions ease

By: - May 14, 2020

Thursdays since mid-March brought grim tidings of job losses, as the state Department of Labor announced more than 1.3 million Georgians lost jobs and income as businesses shut down to contain the spread of COVID-19. Last Thursday, the department reported nearly 227,000 filed initial unemployment claims the last week of April. That was an improvement over […]

Stuck at home, Georgians played lottery as state online take spikes

By: - May 13, 2020

Georgians stayed away from shuttered movie theaters, restaurants and sporting arenas last month, but they kept looking to the state lottery to test their luck. “While most other forms of entertainment were limited, April sales rebounded extremely well,” Georgia Lottery Vice President of Government Relations Brad Bohannon said during an online meeting Tuesday. “April 2020 […]

Contact tracing, nursing home tests next front in state COVID-19 reponse

By: - May 13, 2020

The Georgia Department of Public Health plans to quadruple the people performing contact tracing in the state, from 250 to 1,000 by June 23, Gov. Brian Kemp said Tuesday. The governor also announced at a Capitol press conference Tuesday he will extend restrictions on bars and nightclubs, will renew an effort to safeguard residents in […]