Emily Cureton

Reporter

Emily Cureton is a reporter for GPB News.  Her background includes producing and hosting public radio, newspaper reporting and studying foreign languages. She's lived in New York, Texas, California and Oregon; spent time in Russia, and road-tripped through Mexico and Central America. She might help you finish that crossword puzzle, or get overly competitive during a friendly game of Scrabble. And when she's not enjoying the power of words: she's probably outside, sniffing around and greeting strangers with her best friend, Hank the cow dog.  

To reach her call: 404 - 685 - 2455 .

GPB News / Emily Cureton

In April three dozen members of a neo-Nazi group rallied in Newnan,  south of Atlanta. Hundreds showed up to counter protest. Police report no one was injured, but the day raised questions about who pays for free speech when it endangers public safety.  Local governments spent more than $200,000 to keep the peace.


U.S. Geological Survey

Emergency crews are working to get some White County roads reopened after severe flooding earlier this week, according to the National Weather Service.

Storms dropped more than 14 inches in the last week and more is on the way Friday through the weekend. Forecasters warn of a "hazardous weather outlook," with the possibility of damaging winds and hail in the afternoon.

GPB News / Emily Cureton

Last month three dozen members of a neo-nazi group rallied in Newnan, south of Atlanta. Hundreds of people showed up to protest. The City of Newnan and Coweta County governments spent $212,000 dollars to keep the peace.
 

About 700 police officers worked overtime.  It cost the city $3,600 just to feed them all for the day, while streets were closed with rented barricades and helicopters circled the sky.  No one was injured, despite fears of violent clashes like what erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia last year.

Last month, investigators in Atlanta recovered about 500 pounds of methamphetamine hidden inside Disney figurines. That's worth about $2 million. Drug Enforcement Administration officials not only say that Atlanta is a hub for crystal meth distribution; according to the DEA, meth also the "No. 1 threat" in the metro area.

Emily Cureton / GPB News

Around 700 law enforcement officers transformed a Georgia town into a militarized zone Saturday, after the city of Newnan approved letting members of a white supremacist group demonstrate at a public park, sparking counter protests.

Emily Cureton / GPB News

A handful of Georgia schools participated in the April 20 walkouts to draw attention to gun violence. As GPB’s Emily Cureton reports, there seemed to be a divide between private and public schools in Southwest Atlanta.

Students who walked out of one of Georgia’s most elite private schools were warned they’ll be punished for it. Anna Kathryn Hodges is a junior at Woodward Academy in College Park. And the prospect of an unexcused absence and detention didn’t deter her.   

Emily Cureton / GPB News

Georgia Democrats are hoping 2018 is the year Gwinnett County finally turns blue.  Five Republican lawmakers are either retiring or running for other offices. Democrats are working hard to mobilize voters ahead of the May 22 primary and keep them energized into November.

GPB/Emily Cureton

Three weeks since 30,000 people filled Atlanta’s streets to march for gun control, about 80 people rallied under a banner of gun rights at the Georgia State Capitol.

Wikimedia Commons

Most studies suggest married people are happier than singles. But new research from Georgia State University points to an equalizer: money.  

The study looked at symptoms of mild depression. It found couples making more than $60,000 dollars a year fared the same as never-married people making that much on their own. 

AP Photo/David Goldman

 March 29, 4pm: 

The City of Atlanta is recovering slowly from a cyberattack that began March 22.  Some online customer services returned today, and Atlanta police officers are filing reports electronically again. The City says there's no indication the personal information of customers or employees was compromised. 

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.

Pixabay

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. 

Those behind the attack are demanding about $50,000 in exchange for the city to regain access to its data.

Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has condemned the attack. She has yet to confirm if the city will pay the ransom. In the meantime Atlanta officials have resorted to filling out paperwork by hand. 

Emily Cureton / GPB News

Savannah State University’s Chief of Police James Barnwell remains on paid leave following allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment.

Abda Quillian is an attorney in Savannah. She alleges multiple incidents took place over the last two years. Quillian says she filed complaints on behalf of two women currently serving as campus police officers. One was addressed to the University System of Georgia’s Board of regents, and another went to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal agency that enforces laws against workplace discrimination.

Court.Atlanta.gov

The City of Atlanta’s computer network is still under siege by a ransomware cyberattack that began March 22. The shutdown is backlogging the city’s justice system. 

People who showed up for municipal court Monday morning were turned away and told their court dates would be automatically rescheduled.  Jackson McKay drove six hours from Ocala, Florida to get documents he needs for an auto dealer license.

About 30,000 people turned out at the March For Our Lives in Atlanta Saturday to advocate for changes to gun laws. 

As volunteers worked the crowds to register voters, South Cobb High school student Niles Francis held his sign high above his head. It listed lawmakers who took money from the NRA. He’s still two years away from voting for the first time. But he’s determined to be heard now.

“A movement like this proves that your voice does matter,” Francis said.

An estimated 30,000 people turned out for the March For Our Lives in Atlanta. Students led the massive crowd through downtown chanting "Not One More," "Books Not Bullets" and "Vote Them Out." Voting was a major theme of the event. Volunteers fanned out with clip boards to register young marchers. Georgia students and survivors from the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida, gave speeches. So did U.S. Rep. John Lewis and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Bottoms told the crowds, "Atlanta stands with you." 

CREDIT DAVID GOLDMAN/AP FILE PHOTO

Former Georgia Governor and U.S. Senator Zell Miller has died at the age of 86, following treatment for Parkinson's disease. He served as Governor from 1991-1999. While in office he created the HOPE Scholarship and Georgia’s Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Program. He went on to serve in the U.S. Senate for five years.

Miller was a conservative Democrat. He gave a keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in 1992 and the Republican National Convention in 2004. 

GPB News / Emily Cureton

Editor's Note: Savannah State police chief James Barnwell was placed on administrative leave with pay as of March 23, 2018. The university says it is conducting an internal investigation and declined to comment further on the matter. Attorney Abda Quillian now represents two female officers from the university force. She tells GPB News that the University System of Georgia is investigating two misconduct complaints they filed against Barnwell. He is at least the third person to lead Savannah State’s public safety department in the last five years.

A roomful of children closes in on Puddles the copperhead snake. She’s in a clear plastic box. And today she’s acting as an ambassador for a copperhead catch and release program run by the Atlanta-based Amphibian Foundation.

Mark Mandica is the Executive Director of the foundation. They relocated 14 copperheads last year. And as spring warms up, these common snakes are waking up again.

Grant Blankenship/GPB

Students across Georgia walked out of class today, as part of a nationwide protest against gun violence and to remember the victims of last month’s school shooting in Florida. Some school systems encouraged students to participate, while others said those who take part could face consequences. We begin our look at the protests with GPB’s Maura Currie.

Highlights from schools that participated in the protest around Georgia: 

Emily Cureton/GPB

One week after 17 people were shot and killed at a Florida high school, gun safety advocates rallied at the Georgia Capitol Wednesday morning. 

What would you do for true love? How about travel back in time, to the middle of bloody war you already know ends badly for your beloved? That’s the dilemma of the heroine in the “Outlander” series of novels. Since the first book came out 27 years ago, the story has spawned a television series, a graphic novel and even a musical. All this was born from the mind of author Diana Gabaldon, who holds advanced degrees in marine biology and behavioral ecology. Gabaldon visits with us before an appearance at the Savannah Book Festival, 6 p.m. , February 15.

Wikimedia Commons / Larry Moats, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Mountain lions, pumas, panthers... Whatever you call them, big cats once roamed every U.S. state. But they’ve long been a ghostly presence east of the Mississippi. This year, federal wildlife managers officially declared the Eastern Cougar extinct. The last confirmed sighting was in 1938.  Key word there is confirmed. People still report seeing cougars in the South. Take Todd Lester. He’s a former president of the Eastern Cougar Foundation. We hear about his close encounter.

A record number of guns were confiscated in 2017 at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. According to the Transportation Security Administration, 245 guns were caught. All but 23 were loaded. This increase follows a national trend. But for yet another year, the Atlanta airport leads the nation in the number of guns found. We talk about why with Kelly Yamanouchi, a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution who focuses on airport-related stories. Also Tom Barton, a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer.

This week, we learned that the Federal Emergency Management Agency canceled the contract of an Atlanta-based company operating in Puerto Rico.

The reason? That Atlanta company was really just one woman.

She promised to deliver 30 million meals to the people of Puerto Rico... but only delivered 50,000.

GPB’s Emily Cureton reports from Río Grande, Puerto Rico.

RICKEY BEVINGTON: Emily, tell us about this Atlanta based enterprise called Tribute Contracting.

Georgia could make it more difficult for underage girls to get an abortion. Legislation filed in the Georgia state Senate would require underage girls to justify why they should be allowed to avoid notifying a parent or guardian if they are getting an abortion. At the federal level, President Trump has vowed to see the Roe v. Wade decision overturned. We move away from the political side the abortion debate, and focus on the science. For that, we talked with Didi Saint Louis, an Atlanta-based physician for reproductive health.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Last month, the DeKalb County Commission voted to relocate the Confederate monument in Decatur Square. But state law is tricky, and the county’s options are limited. What is the process for getting a monument successfully taken down? What legal barriers will make the effort difficult? We ask these questions with Elena Parent, state Senator for Decatur.

 

 

Noir stories are dark, sometimes scary, and in a new anthology, also distinctly Southern. Tayari Jones is the editor and co-author of “Atlanta Noir.” She joined the Georgia Authors Hall of Fame this year, and we spoke with her back in August.

 

The Tide Pod Challenge has sent dozens of people, many of them young teens, to hospitals across the country. Eating laundry detergent may seem like a new level of stupidity, but kids and adolescents have been doing dumb things to impress each other for a long time. And, despite first appearances, there might actually be good reasons why. Joining us to talk through this are Catherine O’Neal, Assistant Research Scientist at UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences, and Jay Hathaway, Senior Writer at the Daily Dot.

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