Atlanta News: R.E.M's Weaver D's diner closing? Silver Airlines expands service to ATL; Panhandler crackdown

Reports: Weaver D’s faces hard times, could close within weeks

Photo: Todd DeFeo

ATLANTA, Oct. 6, 2012 — The Athens, Georgia, restaurant known for coining the phrase “automatic for the people,” which later appeared as the title of an R.E.M. album, is facing hard financial times and may be forced to close in the next two-three-weeks.

Weaver D’s, owned by Dexter Weaver, has been an Athens’ institution for decades. Located in a neon green building on East Broad Street near downtown Athens, the soul food eatery is a favorite for local residents, along with University of Georgia college students and alumni.

“We have been experiencing very slow business, and if things do not improve, we would have to close down,” the Red & Black (the University of Georgia’s student newspaper) quoted Weaver as saying. “We are an icon of this area, and we need people to patronize.”

The James Beard Foundation in 2007 named the restaurant an American Classic. Weaver told the Athens (Georgia) Banner-Herald the economy is responsible for the decline in business.

Silver Airways expands service at Hartsfield-Jackson

Florida-based Silver Airways is expanding its service from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to five additional cities.

The airline began flying to Atlanta in August when it launched Sunday service to Gainesville, Fla., and daily flights to Greenbrier, W.Va. The new daily destinations are in Mississippi (Greenville, Tupelo, Hattiesburg-Laurel and Meridian) and Alabama (Muscle Shoals).

“We are pleased that Silver Airways has chosen to offer more choices for passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson,” Aviation General Manager Louis Miller said in a news release. “Our partnership with Silver Airways continues to grow, and the result is a greater array of choices for travelers.”

Atlanta passes ordinance aimed at cracking down on panhandlers

The city of Atlanta has approved a new ordinance aimed at cracking down on panhandlers.

Under the new, more stringent rules, panhandlers must stop soliciting once they are told no by the person they are asking for money. Repeat offenders could face community service or jail time.

“Visitors and residents must feel safe in our city at all times,” Mayor Kasim Reed said in a news release last week announcing his support for a revised ordinance. “Regulating panhandling in an enforceable manner is vital where we have an active, thriving tourism and convention industry. But simply adding punitive provisions to an unworkable law does not accomplish that goal.”

The new ordinance would ban panhandlers from soliciting money within 15 feet of ATMs, but does not outline any tourist area, according to the city.

Todd DeFeo is a former award-winning reporter and a wanderlust. He is editor of and

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Todd DeFeo

Todd DeFeo jouned The Washington Times Communities in May 2012. He covers travel and Georgia. A marketing professional who never gave up his award-winning journalistic ways, DeFeo revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He also serves as editor of The Travel Trolley.


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