Q&A on the News

Q: My question concerns the death of a fellow named Johnny Hammond, known as Santa Johnny. He passed away on Nov. 27. Could you give us a few of the places that Santa Johnny worked? He looks like one of the Santas I went to see with my grandkids.

—Gerald Wade, Stockbridge

A: Hammond was the Santa Claus at Southlake Mall for nine years before he took over at Phipps Plaza in 2006.

He would also visit local banks and churches as Santa Claus, Linda Hammond, his wife, told Q&A on the News.

“He was Santa 24/7,” she said. “He kept the look year round.”

She said her husband was born and raised in Newton County and remembers joking with him about how “half the people (in the county) he’s related to and the other half he grew up with.”

Santa Johnny also visited sick or terminally ill children in hospitals and their homes.

Q: Up to election day, Nicolle Wallace and Steve Schmidt were frequent Republican commentators on various MSNBC programs, but I don’t recall seeing either of them since the election. Can you provide details on their apparent departure from MSNBC?

—Peggy Rogers, Atlanta

A: Both Wallace and Schmidt have appeared on MSNBC since the election.

Wallace was on MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” last week and tweeted that she was scheduled to appear again this week.

Schmidt has appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Andy Johnston with Fast Copy News Service wrote this column; Kelsey Green contributed. Do you have a question? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).