Q&A on the News

Q: When the Georgia Department of Transportation says the pavement has been treated with de-icer, do they mean salt or some other chemicals?

—Bonnie Green, Atlanta

A: The liquid de-icer is a biodegradable liquid that is applied primarily to bridges a few hours before the expected snowfall to prevent icing, said Mark D. McKinnon, spokesman for the Georgia Department of Transportation. It is a different product than the gravel and salt mixture applied to icy roads after the event has begun, he said.

Q: Is Mayor Kasim Reed married? Does he have children? Is he Atlanta’s first bachelor mayor?

—Marcia J. Walker, Atlanta

A: Reed is not married and does not have children, said Reese McCranie, Reed’s spokesman. Michael Leo Owens, associate professor in Emory University’s department of political science, looked back to 1936, when William B. Hartsfield took office, and found that every male mayor of the city has been married, at least upon election. Hartsfield was married. Maynard Jackson, who was elected in 1973, divorced in 1976, but married his second wife a year later, he said. “In that sense, Reed is a novelty in the modern era of Atlanta's male mayors,” he said. “However, Shirley Franklin was a divorcee upon and after her election. So, maybe Mayor Reed is just extending a new tradition of Atlanta's top politico being single.”

Lori Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or e-mail q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).