The biggest, most-read stories for Cobb County in 2019

Cobb County had its share of news in 2019, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was there to provide ample coverage of these important events.

The AJC kept Cobb residents informed about stories such as the ongoing Concord Road covered bridge saga, the risk ethylene oxide poses to communities near the Sterigenics plant and several deaths reported inside the Cobb County Adult Detention Center.

Here are five topics that grabbed readers’ attention in 2019:

Concord Road covered bridge

Cobb County's famous (or infamous, depending on your leanings) covered bridge was the site of several near-misses as in years' past.

To prevent future close calls, the county government in June installed a more conspicuous driver-alert system — dangling pipes — on the approach to the bridge. The pipes are intended to be struck by too-tall vehicles as they approach the historic covered bridge, giving them time to turn around.

Of course, the comical number of drivers tempting fate and adding themselves to the Covered Bridge Wall of Shame is too great to ignore. On Halloween, five residents poked fun at the long-running saga and dressed as a covered bridge near-collision.


A Cobb County industrial facility's use of ethelyne oxide — a carcinogen — to sterilize medical equipment came to a head this year when a WebMD report tied the presence of the gas to elevated cancer risks in several census tracts around the plant.

Sterigenics came under intense scrutiny from Cobb residents, elected officials and state regulators who demanded answers about the company's use of the gas.

Protesters called for the closure of the plants, and residents pondered whether long-term exposure to the gas could be the culprit behind their cancer diagnoses.

Cobb County jail deaths

The Cobb County Adult Detention Center, run by Sheriff Neil Warren, reported seven in-custody deaths since December 2018. Most of the deaths were determined to be natural causes. Of the others, one was ruled a suicide, one has been classified as undetermined, and two others remain under investigation.

The jail was also subjected to a month-long lockdown after three inmates allegedly attacked a deputy.

The deaths and conditions reported by inmates to loved ones during the lockdown have spurred local residents, Cobb organizations and the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia to call on county commissioners to urge Warren to conduct an independent audit of the facility.

NYC’s homeless shipped to Marietta

Readers were intrigued when we reported on Marietta's response to New York City's Special One-Time Assistance program.

The program provides one year’s rent for eligible clients to relocate within the city, other New York state cities or other states.

Marietta’s elected officials want to know if they can convince New York City to inform receiving cities when they are sending SOTA clients to live in their jurisdictions.

Tragedy for Atlanta Housing Authority chairman

The family of Atlanta Housing Authority board chairman and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Christopher Edwards was torn apart when the bodies of his ex-wife and their two adult children were found inside their Vinings townhouse Aug. 21 during a wellness check.

Cobb County police determined Dr. Marsha Edwards, 58, fatally shot her two children, 24-year-old Christopher Edwards II and 20-year-old Erin Edwards, before turning the gun on herself. The family was remembered for its 'embodiment of love' during a memorial service.

The elder Edwards serves on the board of trustees of the Morehouse School of Medicine. He formerly served on the board of Grady Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Marsha Edwards formed MME Enterprises LLC, a medical equipment provider, in July 2015. Erin Edwards was a student at Boston University and just completed a summer intern at an NBC station in New York. The Edwards’ son, a graduate of Elon University, was the digital content manager for the Atlanta film and entertainment office since March 2018.

Honorable mentions:


100-year-old Marietta home to be demolished (March 8, 2019)

Cops pose as utility workers to catch distracted drivers (June 19, 2019)

Cobb school board fires teacher charged with making threats (July 19, 2019)

State ethics watchdog investigates Cobb sheriff's campaign finances (July 17, 2019)

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