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 .

This is the first year Atlanta has a police officer dedicated to handling cases of animal cruelty. The position was created at the end of 2017 by the city’s police Chief Erika Shields. The first officer to fill the post is Patrol Officer Amy Soeldner, a 22-year veteran of the force. We talk to Soeldner about solving and preventing crimes of cruelty to animals.

For more than 35 years, The Weather Channel has been on the frontlines of some of the biggest stories in the world. Literally. Longtime meteorologist John Coleman co-founded the Atlanta-based television network in 1982. He died earlier this month. The Weather Channel has played a major role in shaping our understanding of the environment. We talk about this with Weather Channel CEO Dave Shull.

www.julielythcotthaims.com

Julie Lythcott-Haims is the seventh generation of her family to grow up in the United States.  And yet, she is still asked, over and over: “Where are you really from?” She responds eloquently in her new memoir: “Real American.”

civilrightstrail.com

This month Southern tourism departments banded together to unveil The U.S. Civil Rights Trail. The trail links 110 historic sites, from Kansas to Delaware. These are places where the struggle for equality for African Americans left a mark.

The GOP tax bill has many concerned the law will negatively impact the middle class while bolstering the rich. But a new study from the union Actors Equity finds another problem: the tax bill could also harm Georgia’s film industry. They looked at how the plan might reduce deductions and reimbursements for contractors and part-time film workers. We talk about this with Chris Joyner with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution -- he writes the AJC Watchdog column. Also Craig Miller, Film Producer and Founder of Craig Miller Productions.

University of South Carolina Press

Fifty years ago, babies in the U.S. were three times more likely to die before reaching a first birthday. And the problems driving infant and maternal mortality were even worse in rural areas. Diane Cantor set out to be part of a change. She left college in the early 1970s to work for a federal program providing prenatal care to women in North Georgia. Her experiences inspired a novel called “When Nighttime Shadows Fall.” Diane Cantor lives in Savannah.

Fifty years ago, babies in the U.S. were three times more likely to die before reaching a first birthday. And the problems driving infant and maternal mortality were even worse in rural areas. Diane Cantor set out to be part of a change. She left college in the early 1970s to work for a federal program providing prenatal care to women in North Georgia. Her experiences inspired a novel called “When Nighttime Shadows Fall.” Diane Cantor lives in Savannah. We talk to her ahead of an appearance on January 30 at A Cappella Books in Atlanta.

Astralytical

A report on Camden County’s bid for a spaceport came out a few months ago. Laura Forczyk is an author of it, and the owner of Astralytical. The Atlanta-based consulting firm is working for Camden County on developing its plans for a launch site and space education center, which supporters say will bolster the economy.

Wikimedia Commons / From Riverside Natural History, by permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Co.

Cumberland Island is 14 miles of beaches, forests and marshes. Ecologist Carol Ruckdeschel has lived among the plants and animals there for 45 years. Her observations are presented in a recently published book: “A Natural History of Cumberland Island Georgia.”

Southern rock band Drive-by Truckers was co-founded by friends Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley in 1996.  They still call Athens home, and they're planning a series of shows next month at the 40 Watt. We talk with Hood about the group’s latest record “American Band,” and his role as a musician in a politically tumultuous time.

Getting the flu is at best unpleasant. At worst, it can kill you.  Seven more Georgians died from the flu this month, bringing this season’s statewide death toll to twelve. And many more people end up in the hospital. The term flu shot is heard and used all the time, but not well understood. We broke it down with Emory University professor Robert Bednarczyk.

 

Last week, the Coca-Cola Company unveiled an ambitious plan to recycle a bottle or can for every drink it sells. It’s the latest move by the Atlanta-based soda giant to address environmental concerns tied to its production. Will this plan work? We talk with environmental historian Bart Elmore, author of the book, “Citizen Coke: The Making of Coca-Cola Capitalism.”

GPB News / Emily Cureton

Georgia’s film industry supports many actors, producers, directors...and also classical musicians. Like Tracy Woodard. She’s a violinist in Atlanta. And on any given day, you might catch her recording soundtracks for a new TV show, film, or video game. She’s also founder of an event series where contemporary composers present new scores for very old, silent movies. Tracy talked to us about writing music for movies, and where composers experiment.

The ongoing Atlanta bribery scandal brought a sentencing last week. Adam Smith, former chief procurement officer for Atlanta, got more than two years in jail. Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Scott Trubey has been following the bribery scandal, and he joins us in the studio.

This week marks the 157th anniversary of Georgia’s decision to secede from the union. By 1861, eleven states had left the United States to form the Confederacy. The new nation lasted four years before its defeat in 1865. But the dream of secession is still very much alive. We talk about this with Trey Hood, Political Science Professor at the University of Georgia. And Roxanne Donovan, Psychology Professor at Kennesaw State University.

 

 

 

For years, Atlanta has worked to fix failing public schools. Charter schools have begun to appear as an alternative to many of those troubled schools. In author David Osborne’s latest book, Reinventing America’s Schools, he suggests charter school-like guidelines that all schools should follow, including Atlanta’s. We talked with him and Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Maureen Downey.

 

 

Georgia’s Girl Scouts recently joined the debate over a Savannah bridge name. As it stands, Talmadge Memorial Bridge honors a segregationist. The Girl Scouts would like the bridge renamed in honor of their founder and Savannah native, Juliette Gordon Low. Today marks 91 years since Low’s death. We talk about her life with Girl Scouts historian Jami Brantley. She manages the Girl Scout First Headquarters Museum in Savannah.

Wikimedia Commons / Author Unknown

Georgia’s Girl Scouts recently joined the debate over a Savannah bridge name. As it stands, Talmadge Memorial Bridge honors a segregationist. The Girl Scouts would like the bridge renamed in honor of their founder and Savannah native, Juliette Gordon Low.  Today marks 91 years since Low’s death. We talk about her life with Girl Scouts historian Jami Brantley. She manages the Girl Scout First Headquarters Museum in Savannah.

Brian Brown

As metro Atlanta grows, the population of rural Georgia shrinks. Photographer Brian Brown is documenting the architecture of the country before it disappears. He started where he grew up, and created the website “Vanishing South Georgia.” Now he has sites devoted to North and Coastal Georgia, too. We talk with Brown about what there is to learn from decaying houses and shuttered storefronts.

Last week, a federal judge temporarily halted the Trump administration's plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. It’s unclear if legislative efforts to extend the program will be successful. 

For years, print publications have been struggling to stay afloat in a digital world. Recently, that uphill battle hit Atlanta’s alternative magazines. Creative Loafing announced last month it would cut its staff, after transitioning from weekly to monthly earlier in the year. We talk about the role of alternative magazines with Keith Herndon, Professor of Journalism at the University of Georgia. He is also author of the book, ‘The Decline of the Daily Newspaper.’

We’ve all seen it: somebody shops on their work computer, or takes really long lunches, or “borrows” supplies. The workplace doesn’t always foster the most ethical behavior. But recent University of Georgia research shows it can get worse than that. Many employees lie on their timesheets, and even trash their co-workers to get ahead. We discuss with Marie Mitchell, a Professor of Management in the Terry College of Business at UGA. And Karen Rommelfanger, a professor from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University.

SpaceX continues to make headlines, sending its Falcon rockets into space and if Georgia has its way, those rockets could soon blast off from Camden County.

A public report on Camden County’s bid for a spaceport came out recently. Laura Forczyk is an author of it, and the owner of Astralytical. The Atlanta-based consulting firm is working on Camden County’s plans for a launch site.

 

This hour we get into some serious questions about science, economic development and where the two meet. But first, we revisit a conversation about the power of curiosity for its own sake. The Ig Nobel Prizes reward silliness in science. They’ve been awarded annually since 1991, to honor achievements that first make you laugh, then make you think. Georgia Tech doctoral student Patricia Yang won one in 2015. She joins the show with Marc Abrahams, founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes.

GPB News / Emily Cureton

The Georgia legislative session has begun. Among many bills in play: a sweeping plan to revitalize rural Georgia. This might mean paying people who move to the country, subsidizing internet connections, and making it easier for small hospitals to stay open and in the black. But how all this attention  translates to real improvements for people outside Atlanta remains to be seen.  We talk with Sharon Wright Austin, a political scientist at the University of Florida. And Mark Niesse, a reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

  

The Georgia legislative session has begun. Among many bills in play: a sweeping plan to revitalize rural Georgia. This might mean paying people who move to the country, subsidizing internet connections, and making it easier for small hospitals to stay open and in the black. But how all this attention under the Gold Dome translates to real improvements for people outside Atlanta remains to be seen.  We talk with Sharon Wright Austin, a political scientist at the University of Florida. And Mark Niesse, a reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

 

Atlanta’s the college football center of the world on Monday night, as the University of Georgia Dawgs try to stem the University of Alabama’s Tide, in the National Championship game. A win for Georgia would be the first national championship victory for the team in more than 35 years. We get a preview from GPB’s senior sports correspondent Jon Nelson and University of Georgia sports journalism professor Vicki Michaelis.

The Avengers: Infinity War  was shot in Georgia recently. Another Avengers cast and crew are at work here, along with a slew of movies and TV shows. We talk about who’s working on what with Jennifer Brett. She writes the Buzz Blog for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Actress Issa Rae got the attention of many audiences in 2011 with her popular Web series, "The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl." Five years later, her latest project is an HBO series called "Insecure.” Rae is up for a Golden Globe award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy TV Series this Sunday. We revisit a conversation with Rae about her new show and what she wishes she could tell her dad.

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