It’s been a significant and important year for local journalism, with exclusive investigations that have held your public officials accountable, exposed how your tax dollars were being misspent and focused on our community’s most important issues. As the end of 2018 approaches, it's a good time to look back at the year and remember the biggest stories that dominated Atlanta headlines.
Here's a look at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution coverage that was worth knowing this year.
In the wake of a federal probe investigating alleged bribery on the part of then-Mayor Kasim Reed, AJC investigations revealed a number of violations committed by the mayor's office, including repeated noncompliance with the state's open records laws, staff bonuses that violated the state's constitution and legal bills related to the federal probe that cost taxpayers more than $7.5 million. In 2018, city government took steps to move past Reed's checkered tenure by reaching a settlement with the AJC over the city's abuse of records requests, while the city of Atlanta passed an ordinance to ensure greater transparency and access to open records.
The online retail giant launched a nationwide search for a city that could host its second headquarters location, and Atlanta was considered an early favorite to land the headquarters and all the jobs that came with it. In the end, though, Amazon opted to split its new HQ2 between New York City and the suburbs outside of Washington D.C.
Credit: Bob Andres
Credit: Bob Andres
4. UGA reaches the college football championship game
In his second season at Georgia, coach Kirby Smart led the Bulldogs to the national championship game against SEC rival Alabama. Georgia came close but fell short in overtime, losing 26-23 to the Crimson Tide.
The long courtroom saga around Tex McIver and the 2016 death of his wife, Diane, ended in April when the prominent attorney was convicted of felony murder. The trial was one of the most-watched courtroom events in Atlanta in recent memory.
7. New hands-free law cracks down on distracted driving