Rocking out KICs

After enjoying a long weekend, thanks to MLK Day, Panthers are working hard both in the building and via Zoom. But just because the week was cut short doesn’t mean that our news writers stop working. This week we have French students highlighting the mental health toll of coronavirus, developers suing West Georgia County, an environmental project created in Atlanta to honor John Lewis, and health care workers receiving invitations to the Super Bowl.

French students highlight the mental toll of coronavirus (Jan. 19)

It’s a known fact the combination of isolation, inactivity, and loss of purpose is not healthy for the human brain, let alone a growing one. French university students have flooded to on-campus psychologists struggling with breakdowns and other mental health issues.

With quarantine and curfew looming, students spend more and more time on phones and laptops. Ryan Kennedy, a 19-year-old law student, developed a hashtag spreading awareness of this issue. He feels the government is not taking the toll of the pandemic on the student body seriously, and neglecting students. 

A student sent a letter to President Emmanuel Macron last week, his response being: “It’s hard to be 20 in 2020.” That being said, the government has accommodated the unique situation by allowing a partial return to university lectures. 

Developers suing West Georgia County for blocking rock quarry (Jan. 20)

A west Georgia county is being sued by an Alabama company for blocking a rock quarry.  Green Rock LLC of Birmingham had planned a 360-acre (145-hectare) quarry near Whitesburg, southwest of Atlanta.

Residents and environmentalists fear the quarry could possibly harm the Chattahoochee River. In the counties surrounding Atlanta, the dispute over quarries is frequent, and the development keeps demand for aggregates high. The residents in these surrounding cities do not support the noise, dust, and truck traffic that the rock mines bring. The Alabama company sued Carroll County last month for the commissioners improperly changing the county’s zoning rules in August to keep the quarry from getting a zoning certificate.

Carroll County has enacted a 60-day moratorium on permits for land disturbance or removal of minerals. In August they banned quarries on land zoned for agriculture, and this allows them only in industrial zones.

Environmental project created in Atlanta to honor John Lewis (Jan. 21)

A multi-year environmental project has been launched to honor the late former Georgia Representative John Lewis. The Freedom Park Conservancy announced this morning that 300 trees will be planted in Atlanta, with the intention to plant a variety of flowering trees in Freedom Park.

The Convervancy will head the five-year project. A diverse selection of plants and early-blooming trees, which will blossom in late winter to celebrate Lewis’ birthday, will include magnolias, yellowwoods, dogwoods, and several other plants. The park hopes to possibly extend the project toward John Lewis Freedom Parkway to Boulevard. 

Freedom Park aims to preserve Lewis’ legacy. Those interested are encouraged to volunteer and can find more information on the Freedom Park Conservancy website. 

Vaccinated healthcare workers are invited to the Super Bowl LV (Jan. 22)

Super Bowl LV is hosting 22,000 fans in Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium in Florida. 7,500 vaccinated healthcare workers from the local community will be invited to the game as guests.

 All invited health care workers will have to get both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine required by the Florida Department of Health. Most of the healthcare workers will come from the local Tampa area. The rest will be from local communities of every NFL team. The stadium will follow the CDC guidelines with mandatory masks, and social distanced seating. 

Super Bowl LV is set for Feb. 6 when the NFL will show their appreciation for all the hard-working health care workers.