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.

Long lines blamed on technical problems, poor poll worker training

By: , , and - June 9, 2020

Updated at 7:20 p.m. At the Fulton County precinct in the former Fanplex complex on Hank Aaron Drive downtown, perspiration beaded on Carlen Funk’s face around her mask as she handed out water and snacks to the hundreds of people lined up to vote inside the long-shuttered arcade. It was 4:15 p.m. and she’d already […]

State’s biggest money state House race takes new form during pandemic

By: - June 5, 2020

A five-way primary contest to represent a north Atlanta state House district is fueled by nearly a quarter of million dollars as two veteran politicians face off against newcomers for the chance to replace a longtime lawmaker who is stepping aside. Many races on Georgia primary election ballots Tuesday are uncontested, to be decided in […]

Georgia job losses ease, ranks of idled workers still at historic high

By: - June 4, 2020

This post was updated at 4:15 p.m. June 4 to include remarks from the labor department’s afternoon press conference. Fewer Georgians filed new unemployment claims during the last full week in May than in recent weeks, but joblessness remains historically high as workers laid off during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic struggle to […]

State lawmakers plan to resume 2020 legislative session June 15

By: - June 3, 2020

Georgia lawmakers are set to return to the Capitol on June 15, more than three months after they abruptly suspended the 2020 legislative session when fears of COVID-19 disease spreading in Georgia suddenly seized the public’s attention. House Speaker David Ralston previously favored reconvening June 11, while Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan initially preferred resuming May […]

Kemp calls for peace, hearing looms for men charged in Arbery slaying

By: - June 3, 2020

The three men accused in the slaying of Ahmaud Arbery are scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Brunswick Thursday and the governor is counting on the organizers of recent well-planned and calm Brunswick rallies for justice to keep the peace. “We will take the appropriate actions to hold bad actors accountable if they try to […]

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 […]