Maura Currie

On Second Thought Producer/Reporter

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.

The newest appointed director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is already facing serious accusations. Dr. Robert Redfield has been accused of fabricating or seriously botching HIV vaccine data. President Trump's appointee also has no experience running a public health organization. This problematic news comes months after the controversy with previous CDC director, Brenda Fitzgerald.

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.

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. 

 

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.

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 

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.

Maura Currie / GPB

Throughout March, the Atlanta Science Festival is putting on events to celebrate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). 

This year, it tried something new: The festival has partnered with the Center for Puppetry Arts to show kids how science and the arts come together. 

On Second Thought producer Maura Currie went to a workshop and brought back an audio postcard.

Reed Williams / GPB

On this segment of "The Breakroom", the gang talked about the importance of a parent’s blessing when finding true love, the appeal of reality TV breakups, and whether certain books should be banned.

Atlanta’s professional soccer team has come a long way fast. Atlanta United took to the field for the first time in March 2017. Now it draws in tens of thousands of fans. Atlanta United FC squares off against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday evening at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. We talked with the team’s president, Darren Eales.

 

Last week, Gov. Nathan Deal announced his pick for Deputy Commissioner for Rural Georgia. In January, GPB Special Correspondent Celeste Headlee looked at legislative efforts to improve services like health care and internet access in rural parts of the state. She spoke with Mark Niesse, a reporter with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Sharon Wright Austin, Political Science Professor at the University of Florida.

 

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: 

GPB

Last month, Atlanta’s mayor signed a measure to eliminate the city’s Municipal Court cash bond requirement for minor offenses. The alternative would be having many offenders sit in jail if they can’t afford bail. Other cities across the state are seeing similar calls to action. What does bail reform look like in other states, and what might it look like throughout Georgia?

The Georgia Anti-Defamation League reports a 262 percent increase in expressions of anti-semitic sentiments from 2015 to last year. We look at what’s behind the uptick, and the role of educators in talking about this hateful activity in the classroom.

David Danzig
Flickr

Atlanta’s BeltLine winds through the city’s different neighborhoods for miles. Along the way, it’s populated by cyclists, walkers, and runners. They are all exposed to public art displays and live music. On Second Thought producer Maura Currie shares an audio postcard of the sights and sounds of the BeltLine. 

On Second Thought Host Celeste Headlee announced in January she would step down from her post. Headlee has been with the program since it launched on GPB in 2014. Adam Ragusea talks with Headlee about her time as host, and what the future holds for public radio.

A new book by religious scholar Reza Aslan challenges some very old ideas about religion, and how we describe a higher power. The book is, “GOD: A Human History.” It hit shelves in November. We caught up with Reza Aslan ahead of an appearance in Atlanta.

All hour, we look back at some of the best conversations by Celeste Headlee, who stepped down last week as host of On Second Thought. The B-52’s have been a major part of Georgia’s music scene since the 1970’s, when it formed in Athens. The band’s meteoric rise was fueled by hits like Love Shack. We revisit our conversation with The B-52’s Kate Pierson about the release of her first solo album.

All hour, we look back at some of the best conversations by Celeste Headlee, who stepped down last week as host of On Second Thought. Colin Mochrie may have one of the fastest minds around, and a mouth to match. The comedian is best known for his role on Whose Line Is It Anyway? Audiences in Atlanta can see him live on March 16 at Dad’s Garage.

Actor George Takei first came to fame as a young “Sulu” in the original Star Trek series. But he’s since become an active voice in promoting equal rights for LGBT people. We spoke to Takei last year when the play “Allegiance” was showing in Atlanta movie theaters. The play is inspired by Takei’s experiences in a U.S. internment camp during World War II.

 

All hour, we look back at some of the best conversations by Celeste Headlee, who stepped down as host of ‘On Second Thought’ last week. 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. We talked to him last year ahead of his one-man show in Atlanta called “A John Waters Christmas.”

The Satanic Temple has been trying provide a secular alternative to traditional religion for over two decades. What is the mission of the Temple, and what are common misconceptions? The Atlanta Chapter is fighting to host an official after-school program in Cobb County schools. We talk to Atlanta Chapter head Fred Mephisto about the goals of his organization.

Reid Williams / On Second Thought

The On Second Thought team says goodbye to Celeste Headlee, who ends her tenure as the show's host. In January, she announced that she was stepping down from the show, which she helped create. Celeste is moving back to Washington, DC to focus on writing her next book and guest hosting on NPR.

This week, the National Football League teamed up with Morehouse College in Atlanta for a workshop on activism. The workshop is designed to equip athletes with the tools and resources needed to make social change in respective and responsible ways.  Fifty years ago this year, two Olympic athletes brought their own type of activism to the national stage. Track stars Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists in a Black Power salute during the ceremony. Both were honored at the White House in 2016 by then-President Barack Obama.

Nikki Giovanni is one of the most celebrated poets of her generation. Her unique style weaves together strong family ties, experiences as an African American woman growing up in the South, and her pride as an activist. Giovanni speaks Wednesday night at Atlanta’s Lovett School. She tells us that the country needs to come together amid so many divisions.

Richard Spencer

On March 1st, Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources will open its second annual Coyote Challenge. It invites hunters to present coyotes they’ve killed in exchange for the chance to win some free prizes. The mysterious southern coyote is considered a nuisance to some people and other wildlife. First, we heard a report from GPB’s Grant Blankenship on researchers who catch and release coyotes to give them GPS tags. Then we were joined by Chris Mowry, associate professor of Biology at Berry College and cofounder of the Atlanta Coyote Project, to talk more about the Coyote Challenge.

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