5 things to know today: GDOT prepares to reopen I-85 in Atlanta 

1. GDOT prepares to reopen I-85 in Atlanta. Last-minute preparations for the reopening of I-85 in Atlanta have begun, state transportation officials said Thursday. The Georgia Department of Transportation plans lane closures and traffic pacing in the area beginning tonight as it prepares to restore traffic conditions that existed prior to the collapse of the bridge near Piedmont Road on March 30. [Read here] 

2. Georgia Sixth: Ossoff, Handel overseas trips in spotlight. As Republican Karen Handel comes under fire for her taxpayer-funded overseas trip, federal documents show that Democrat Jon Ossoff took a trio of trips abroad paid for by outside groups while he was a congressional aide. [Read here] 

3. Trump’s order on churches may have unintended consequences. A lobbyist for Southern Baptists in Georgia is cheering President Trump’s move to roll back a 63-year-old ban on churches’ direct involvement in political campaigns. But Amanda Tyler, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, a Washington-based group aligned with mainline Baptist churches, said the law known as the Johnson Amendment has long protected churches from political interference. [Read here] 

4. Girl recovering, shot in leg in northwest Atlanta. An 8-year-old girl is recovering after being shot in the leg Wednesday. Atlanta police say a man driving a blue Toyota sedan opened fire on a crowd and shot the child, who was playing outside with her cousins and friends. [Read here] 

5. Dry before isolated severe storm risk. North Georgia faces an isolated chance of severe storms today with winds up to 60 mph, small hail and heavy downpours. According to the latest forecast, showers will start to move into far North Georgia about 2 p.m., hit Gainesville by 4 p.m. and reach the northern suburbs of metro Atlanta around 5 p.m. [Read here]

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