Adam Ragusea

Backup host "On Second Thought"

Adam is host of Current's podcast, "The Pub." He's a Journalist in Residence and Visiting Assistant Professor of Journalism at the Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University in Macon, Ga. He’s also reported for public radio shows including "Morning Edition," "All Things Considered," "Here & Now," "Marketplace" and "The Takeaway." Before becoming a journalist, Adam studied music composition, and he creates all the music for "The Pub."

Ways to Connect

Summer Evans / GPB

A few weeks ago, we talked about the shift in attendance of African Americans in evangelical churches.

The Pew Research Center finds only 10 percent of African Americans in Georgia identified as Evangelical Protestant in 2014. Nationwide, it’s even lower.

With fewer and fewer African-Americans attending evangelical churches, we asked two evangelical pastors about their efforts to make their congregation inclusive. 

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, a leader in South Africa's anti-apartheid movement and ex-wife of the late Nelson Mandela, died Monday. She was 81. On Second Thought producer Fenly Foxen, who grew up in South Africa, spoke with host Adam Ragusea about Madikizela-Mandela's integral role in the fight against apartheid. Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe, CEO of the TutuDesk Campaign and daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, also joined from South Carolina. Tutu-Gxashe earned her master's degree from Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health. 

Leighton Rowell / GPB

This week we talked about student debt, modern mass protest movements and Martin Luther King Jr.'s lasting legacy. We sat down with our Breakroom guests to process it all. 

We were joined in the studio by Georgia State University professors Tanya Washington and Héctor Fernández, Soumaya Khalifa, executive director of the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta, and Leap Year founder and executive director Amber Scott. 

GCIS/Flickr

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, a leader in South Africa's anti-apartheid movement and ex-wife of the late Nelson Mandela, died Monday. She was 81. 

On Second Thought producer Fenly Foxen, who grew up in South Africa, spoke with host Adam Ragusea about Madikizela-Mandela's integral role in the fight against apartheid. Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe, CEO of the TutuDesk Campaign and daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, also joined from South Carolina. Tutu-Gxashe earned her master's degree from Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health. 

Flickr

Georgia Congressman John Lewis is a man who wears many hats. He is a civil rights leader, a principled politician and a graphic novelist. We talked to him about his three-part graphic memoir, "March," which tells the story of the civil rights movement from Lewis's perspective. 

We rounded up this week's new in today's edition of the Breakroom. 

Joining the conversation was Greg Williams, host of the radio show "Greg's List," Mercer University English professor Anya Silver, author Nicki Salcedo and LGBT educator and activist Robbie Medwed

Before the new teen romantic comedy, “Love, Simon” hit the big screens, it was a novel. "Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda" follows the story of a highschool boy who struggles with his sexual identity.

AP Images

On Thursday, 'Sine Die' marked the last day of the Georgia General Assembly's 2018 legislative session. As always, lawmakers scrambled to vote on as many bills as possible before the midnight deadline.

We talked with Lisa Rayam, Capitol correspondent for Georgia Public Broadcasting, about what bills are on Governor Nathan Deal’s desk, and which of them are likely to become law.

Before teenage rom-com "Love, Simon" hit the big screens, high school student Simon Spier was the center of the novel "Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda."

Set in Atlanta, both the film and the novel follow Simon as he struggles to be open about his sexual identity. 

"I'm just like you, except I have one huge ass secret," Simon says in the film. "Nobody knows I'm gay."

The City of Atlanta is still dealing with the fallout from a massive cyberattack Thursday. Since a group of hackers locked down the city's computer system with a malware called Ransomware, city employees have been unable to carry out essential business. Atlanta residents can't even pay their bills online. 

Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has condemned the attack. She has yet to confirm if the city will pay the $50,000 ransom hackers have demanded in exchange for the city to regain access to its data. Georgia Public Broadcasting reporter Emily Cureton updated us on the latest developments in the data breach. We also spoke with Milos Prvulovic, a professor in Georgia Tech's School of Computer Science.

For nearly three decades, Anthony Ray Hinton lived on Alabama's death row. 

When he was convicted in 1985 for allegedly murdering two restaurant managers, there were no witnesses. There were no fingerprints. And Hinton always maintained his innocence. 

In April 2015, the state of Alabama overturned his conviction and dropped all charges against him. He had spent nearly half his life in prison. 

We spoke with Hinton about his wrongful incarceration, what kept him fighting for justice and life since his exoneration. 

On Second Thought For Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Mar 27, 2018

A teenager in Thomasville, Georgia is facing charges for allegedly stealing a gun from a car earlier in March. We've seen this problem across the state. In 2016 The Trace, an investigative news website, examined firearm theft in Atlanta and Savannah. finding Atlanta led many cities with its rate of guns stolen from automobiles. We spoke with Brian Freskos, a reporter who covers gun trafficking for The Trace. 

On Second Thought For Monday, March 26, 2018

Mar 26, 2018

Former Georgia Gov. Zell Miller, 86, died Friday morning at his home in Young Harris. Miller was best known for pioneering the lottery-funded HOPE scholarship, which has provided nearly 9.5 billion dollars in financial assistance to millions of Georgia college students since its creation in 1992. 

 

Bad Weather Hurts Georgia's Blueberries

Mar 26, 2018
Hiroki Yamamoto / Flickr

The gross weight of Georgia’s 2014 blueberry crop was 96 million pounds, but last year the crop’s production was hit with bad weather. Georgia blueberry farmers lost more than $340 million in crops due to the terrible climate.

We checked in with Albert Wildes, chairman of the Georgia Blueberry Commodity Commision, to learn the status of Georgia's blueberry industry this year. 

frankieleon / Flickr

The opioid crisis continues to ravage Georgia and the rest of the nation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, prescription opioids caused more than 32,000 deaths in 2016.

Tullio Saba / Flickr

The estate of Harper Lee, author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," is suing over an upcoming Broadway adaptation of the classic novel. In the lawsuit, Lee's estate complains about significant differences between the book and the play, which was adapted for the stage by "The West Wing" creator Aaron Sorkin. 

Wikicommons

Former Georgia Gov. Zell Miller, 86, died Friday morning at his home in Young Harris.

Miller was best known for pioneering the lottery-funded HOPE scholarship, which has provided nearly 9.5 billion dollars in financial assistance to millions of Georgia college students since its creation in 1992.

In July 2000, after two terms as governor, Miller was appointed to the U.S. Senate. He won a special election to keep the seat in November 2000 and remained in the Senate until 2005.

A conservative Democrat, Miller was keynote speaker for both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in 1992 and 2004, respectively.

We talked with Chuck Reece, Miller's former press secretary, about his memories of working with the governor.

On Second Thought For Friday, March 23, 2018

Mar 23, 2018

Normally when you think of cherry blossoms, you think of Washington D.C. or Japan. But unbeknownst to a lot of tourists, Macon, Georgia is the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World. William A. Fickling Sr. discovered the distinctive blooms in his backyard in 1949.

Leighton Rowell / GPB

Today in the Breakroom we talked about this week's top stories.

Wikimedia Commons

Normally when you think of cherry blossoms, you think of Washington D.C. or Japan.

But unbeknownst to a lot of tourists, Macon, Georgia is the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World.

William A. Fickling Sr. discovered the distinctive blooms in his backyard in 1949. Since then, more than 350,000 Yoshino cherry trees have taken root in Macon.

There's even an international festival that celebrates them, playfully nicknamed the "Pinkest Party on Earth." 

Erik Voss

For Women’s History Month, On Second Thought is paying tribute to Georgia's female trailblazers. 

Civil Rights icon Dr. Roslyn Pope made history in 1960 when, as a student at Spelman College, she wrote “An Appeal for Human Rights." The document was instrumental in advancing the Atlanta Student Movement's efforts to end segregation.

On Second Thought producer Fenly Foxen spoke with Pope about her experiences as a student leader in the Civil Rights Movement. 

Sean Powers / GPB

White, Georgia is about 45 minutes northwest of Atlanta, and home to a massive junkyard for rare and retired vehicles. What started as a car dealership in 1931 is now the final resting place for more than 4,000 cars. 

On Second Thought producer Sean Powers drove up to Old Car City USA and visited the massive junkyard. 

On Second Thought For Thursday, March 22, 2018

Mar 22, 2018

Opioid addiction is a major problem in Georgia. Several years ago, Governor Nathan Deal signed the "Good Samaritan" bill. The bill was created to prevent opioid overdose deaths by giving amnesty to anyone who reports drug-related emergencies. The measure also equips law enforcement and first responders with Naloxone, a drug that can reverse overdoses if given right away.

On Second Thought for Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Mar 21, 2018

Frankenstein has been a popular novel turned movie since it was first published in 1818. At Emory University, three Atlanta playwrights took a new look at Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with modern scientific research. They each contributed to a single show that’s being performed at the Atlanta Science Festival. We were joined by Neely Gossett and 

Reid Williams / GPB

Pearl Cleage has returned to one of her earliest works in 1983’s "Hospice," the story of a woman named Jenny facing her mother’s rapidly approaching death.

Summer Evans / GPB

African-American churchgoers have increasingly disappeared from church pews in recent years.

When it comes to predominantly white evangelical churches, the absence of black congregants looms even larger. 

In 2014, the Pew Research Center found only 14 percent of African Americans in Georgia identified as an Evangelical Protestant. The national average is even lower.

Frankenstein has been a popular novel turned movie since it was first published in 1818. 

At Emory University, three Atlanta playwrights took a new look at Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with modern scientific research. They each contributed to a single show that’s being performed at the Atlanta Science Festival.

On Second Thought for Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Mar 20, 2018

Now that it’s warming up, you may consider visiting one of Georgia’s many historic monuments. The Ocmulgee National Monument near Macon was designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The most prominent features at Ocmulgee are huge earthen mounds that spread across 700 acres. Native Americans first settled there thousands of years ago. We talked with a professor at Middle Georgia State University, Matt Jennings, to learn more about the history.

Bringing Digital Puppetry To Life

Mar 19, 2018
PBS

Every week on GPB-TV, our younger audience goes to an imaginary world under the sea. PBS’ "Splash and Bubbles" is a stop-motion animation show that teaches kids about oceanography. Atlanta-based puppeteer Raymond Carr works on the program, and told On Second Thought contributor Michelle Khouri about the use of digital puppetry to bring the show alive.

Summer Evans / GPB

Georgia ranks near the top nationally for having the most human trafficking cases.

Data compiled by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center shows that this year alone, Georgia has the seventh highest rate of cases. Most involve sex trafficking.

Legislation is working its way through Congress to give prosecutors and sex trafficking victims a way to take legal action against websites, like Backpage.com, that welcome ads for prostitutes. However, some companies worry this measure could hurt the tech industry.

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