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 / Cindy Hill

When Tom Barton started working as a reporter in Savannah, the newsroom was filled with cigarette smoke and typewriters. Some 39 years later, the long-time opinion page editor is retiring. His last day with the Savannah Morning News is this week, January 5. We catch up with Barton about his career, and which stories made a difference.

Wikimedia Commons / Ken Lund.

Georgia lawmakers convene the second week of January. The Center for Public Integrity and The Associated Press recently analyzed financial disclosure reports from state legislators nationwide. They found many examples of legislators using their power to benefit personal interests.  We talk with Liz Whyte, reporter with the Center for Public Integrity. And James Salzer, who covers state politics for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Georgia lawmakers convene next week. The Center for Public Integrity and The Associated Press recently analyzed financial disclosure reports from state legislators nationwide. They found many examples of legislators using their power to benefit personal interests.  We talk with Liz Whyte, reporter with the Center for Public Integrity. And James Salzer, who covers state politics for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Kin Cheung / The Associated Press

A Texas-based bitcoin network called Coinsource has installed 18 new ATM machines in Atlanta. Now, if you wonder just what the heck bitcoin is then you’re not alone. We asked Emory University finance professor Tom Smith to help us break down what bitcoin means.

 

 

The U.S. ranks worst among economically developed countries in maternal deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, at least 700 mothers die every year; and black women face the greatest risk. A recent investigation by ProPublica and NPR examines racial disparity in maternal deaths. We talk with NPR Special Correspondent Renee Montagne, who has reported in Atlanta for this series.

A show featuring producer Trevor Young’s favorite OST segments of 2017. Hosted by Celeste Headlee:

This summer, more than sixty bands flocked to Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta for the fifth annual Shaky Knees Music Festival. Producer Trevor Young caught up with many musicians there, including rocker Ron Gallo. Gallo is best known for his philosophical musings and a care-free attitude. Trevor also spoke with Fantastic Negrito. The soulful artist was the first ever winner of NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest.

Mass shootings, volatile protests and major policy changes. Hurricane, after hurricane, after hurricane. And a solar eclipse that brought us together like never before in any living person’s lifetime. Yep, 2017 was a doozy. We take stock of the biggest news stories of the year, and the deeper conversations they sparked.

If you want to see theater in one of its most nerve-racking forms, look no further than actor Colin Mochrie. The comedian is best known for his role on the short-form improvisational comedy show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" Mochrie has a richly deserved reputation for his skill at improvisation. We talked with him about his craft.

The Georgia film industry is big business - $9.5 billion big in 2017. We spent the hour meeting the people who work on film and television projects that are produced in the state

 

“My Cousin Vinny” premiered 25 years ago to critical and popular acclaim. Filmed mostly in Monticello, Georgia, it tells the story of an inexperienced New York attorney who takes on the biggest case of his career --- a murder trial. We looked back on the film’s legacy with its director, Jonathan Lynn.

A show featuring OST’s best music segments of 2017. Hosted by Celeste Headlee:

We talk with singer and songwriter Rhiannon Giddens, who is best known as the lead vocalist for the folk band the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Her new solo album, “Freedom Highway,” tells the stories of oppressed African-Americans. We caught up with her ahead of a performance at the Variety Playhouse in May.

For the first time, Atlanta has a police officer dedicated to cases of animal cruelty. The position was created in October. And the first cop to fill the post is Senior Patrol Officer Amy Soelder. She’s a 22 year veteran of the force, and joins us in the studio.

Courtesy of Amy Soeldner

For the first time, Atlanta has a police officer dedicated to cases of animal cruelty. The position was created in October. And the first cop to fill the post is Senior Patrol Officer Amy Soelder. She’s a 22 year veteran of the force, and joins us in the studio.

Georgia educators are filing a class-action lawsuit against the state over retirement benefits. The state Department of Community Health changed a law in 2012, effectively reducing the subsidies of any retirees who were in the school system for less than five years. We talk about the controversy with James Salzer, reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Paul Sherman

A lot of people collect things, and in Paul Sherman’s family, that thing is campaign memorabilia. Paul’s new book is called “Look Away: Documenting Crude and Sexist Items From the Trump Campaign Trail.” It includes several pictures from rallies in Georgia. We recently caught up with three members of the Sherman family.

Pexels

#MeToo is not only a movement about sexual harassment. As Rebecca Traister put it in The Cut, it’s a reckoning for the way we work, and a call to change the power dynamics leading to sexual abuse.

#MeToo is not only a movement about sexual harassment. It’s a reckoning for the way we work, and a call to change the power dynamics leading to sexual abuse. We talk with people who dedicate, in different ways, their professional lives to understanding toxic work environments and how to dismantle them. Erica Clemmons is the Georgia State Director for 9 to 5; Marie Mitchell is a professor of management at the University of Georgia’s business school; and Joey Price is the CEO of Jumpstart HR, a human resources consulting firm based in Baltimore.

The list of nicknames and titles for filmmaker John Waters is long and legend. Waters is more than a filmmaker. He’s an actor, writer, fashion icon, stand-up comedian and art collector. He performs in Atlanta on Friday with his one-man show, “A John Waters Christmas.” We get his take on the holiday season.

Thomas Hicks was once a local hero in the small mining community of McCaysville, Georgia. He was the town doctor who made middle-of-the-night house calls. But Hicks had a terrible secret, one still reverberating today. From 1950 to 1965, he sold more than two hundred babies on the black market. Some parents knew, others were told their children had died. These children are now fully grown adults, still known as the “Hicks Babies.” We talk to Melinda Dawson and Kriste Hughes about their search for birth parents. 

A record number of guns were confiscated this year at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Though that follows a national trend, the Atlanta airport led the nation in the number of guns found for another year. We discuss this with Kelly Yamanouchi, a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution who focuses on airport-related stories. Tom Barton, a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, also joins us. 

Last month, Moody’s Investors Service issued a stern warning to states: address climate change or risk a credit downgrade. That report says Georgia is one of a handful of coastal states facing the highest risk from climate change. We talk with climate change reporter Christopher Flavelle of Bloomberg News and Jennette Gayer of Environment Georgia.

The Trump Administration’s immigration crackdown has led to an uptick in arrests nationwide. New federal data show arrests in Georgia and the Carolinas are also up from the last fiscal year. The president’s push to be tough on illegal immigration also includes policies to build a massive wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. Historian Kenneth C. Davis explains that anti-immigrant sentiment is older than America itself.

Wikimedia Commons

Georgia’s Secretary of State is in charge of its voting system. And it’s an elected office. So the person who oversees fair elections, also runs as a candidate. Is this an inherent conflict of interest? 

Georgia’s Secretary of State is in charge of its voting system. And it’s an elected office. So the person who oversees fair elections, also runs as a candidate. Is this an inherent conflict of interest? Secretary of State Brian Kemp has been accused by some of using his position to help Republicans win elections. Now, Kemp is running in the Republican primary for governor. We talk with Robert Howard, Executive Director of the Southern Political Science Association.

New FBI data show an uptick in reported hate crimes. Nationwide, 2016 saw more than 6,100 incidents, up by more than 270 from  the year before. Georgia reported a drop in hate crimes during that period. But a recent ProPublica investigation finds many police departments, including those in Georgia, aren’t trained to identify and investigate hate crimes. This could lead to underreporting. We talk with ProPublica’s A.C. Thompson.

Wikimedia Commons / Sir Mildred Pierce

Churches in the United States are barred from endorsing political candidates, or contributing to campaigns. This part of our tax code is known as the Johnson Amendment. It includes all non-profit organizations. But some Republicans, including President Trump, want to repeal the amendment as part of a federal tax overhaul happening now. We talk with researcher Matthew Boedy, an assistant professor at the University of North Georgia, and Susan Anderson,  an accounting professor at Elon University in North Carolina.

Churches in the United States are barred from endorsing political candidates, or contributing to campaigns. This part of our tax code is known as the Johnson Amendment. It includes all non-profit organizations. But Republicans, including President Trump, want to repeal the amendment as part of a federal tax overhaul happening now. We talk about politics from the pulpit with researcher Matthew Boedy, an assistant professor at the University of North Georgia. And we discuss how taxes change behavior with Susan Anderson,  an accounting professor at Elon University in North Carolina.

GPB News / Emily Cureton

Many sports are all about teamwork. But underwater hockey takes this to new heights. Or depths, rather, since all the action in underwater hockey is at the bottom of a pool. And because players can’t hold their breath forever, hogging the puck isn’t an option. GPB’s Emily Cureton took a dip with Atlanta’s underwater hockey club, the Swordfish. She brought back an audio postcard from a recent practice.

Sometimes the best way to make sense of what’s happening in the world is through comedy. And for that, “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central has you covered. We chat with comedian Roy Wood, Jr., who’s a correspondent for “The Daily Show.” He’s in Atlanta this weekend with performances at the Punchline Comedy Club.

An investigative report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution finds about 12 percent of cops in Georgia schools were forced out of a previous job. The officers were terminated or investigated for a wide range of reasons, including chronically poor performance, lying to superiors, sexual misconduct and inappropriate use of force. But for some, jobs in the school system means a second chance for these troubled cops. We talk with Brad Schrade, reporter for the AJC.

In January, an ongoing water dispute goes to Washington. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Georgia’s water rights battle with Florida. Earlier this year, Georgia scored a major victory in this decades-long squabble. A special master appointed by SCOTUS said the high court should refuse Florida's request to cap Georgia’s water use. We discuss this case with E&E News reporter Amanda Reilly, who has been following it from Capitol Hill.

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