Stephen Fowler

Reporter

Stephen Fowler is an award-winning reporter and photographer focusing on politics from McDonough, Georgia. He graduated from Emory University in 2016 with a degree in interdisciplinary studies, writing his thesis on the rise of the internet rapper and giving a TEDx talk on the storytelling power of music. He also served as the first-ever Executive Digital Editor of The Emory Wheel, where he helped lead the paper into a modern digital era.

He got his start at GPB with All Things Considered in Atlanta, where he helped create live shows everywhere from a brewery to a baseball game to a rooftop midway, was part of award-winning hurricane coverage and (occasionally) filled in as the afternoon news host.

His reporting takes him many places, like the collapsed rubble of I-85, a soul food restaurant in the foothills of the mountains and protests in the streets of Atlanta. His stories can be heard on Marketplace, Here and Now, All Things Considered and NPR’s national newscasts.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who is exploring a presidential run in 2020, was in Georgia Saturday morning to listen to voters and help the Democratic Party of Georgia canvass ahead of this November’s midterm elections.

The term-limited Democrat spoke to about 45 volunteers at the DeKalb County Coordinated Campaign field office just outside of Atlanta before knocking on voters’ doors in Ellenwood.

Hickenlooper said he was in Georgia because of a conversation he had with gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Republican nominee for governor Brian Kemp revealed a new $90 million school safety plan Wednesday.

At his Buckhead campaign headquarters, the secretary of state was joined by Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, Geoff Duncan, and their families to make the announcement.

The three-pronged platform focuses on creating dedicated support counselors in Georgia high schools, providing $30,000 in one-time funding for all Georgia’s public schools to address safety and restructuring the Department of Education to add a School Safety Division.

A voter enters a polling site in Atlanta, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017.
(AP PHOTO/DAVID GOLDMAN)

Monday night, a federal judge denied a request to move Georgia’s 159 counties to paper ballots ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm election.

But she also denied the state’s request to dismiss the lawsuit, writing that Georgia’s 16-year-old touchscreen voting system is at risk of cyberattack or other threats.

GPB's Stephen Fowler has been following the case. He spoke with GPB's Rickey Bevington about what comes next.


WHENISCALENDARS.COM/GOOGLE IMAGES

Georgia will not have to move from its direct-recording electronic voting machines for this November’s elections.

In a Monday night ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Totenberg denied a preliminary injunction that would have required more than 2,600 voting precincts in 159 counties to switch to an optically-scanned paper ballot system for the Nov. 6 election.

Joel Mclendon / Flickr/CC

A federal judge could decide as soon as tomorrow whether Georgia must switch from digital touchscreen voting machines to a paper ballot system.

A group of election integrity advocates and concerned Georgia voters say the change needs to be made before November’s election.

GPB’s Stephen Fowler was in yesterday’s hearing. He spoke to GPB's Rickey Bevington about the case.


Grant Blankenship/GPB

A federal judge could decide this week if the state must switch to paper ballots for this November’s election.

Judge Amy Totenberg told a packed courtroom Wednesday the request to change the state’s election infrastructure was a “catch-22.” One the one hand, Totenberg said protecting voting rights from threats of cyberattack or hacking was important because it deals with the integrity and credibility of the voting system.

Screenshot

The city of Atlanta has launched a new transparency tool as the federal bribery probe into City Hall spending grows wider.

Atlanta’s Open Checkbook shows how more than $2 billion was spent during fiscal years 2017 and 2018.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says the website allows users to see more than 104,000 transactions, broken down by department, vendor and type of expense.


Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Republican nominee for governor Brian Kemp unveiled new policies aimed at Georgia’s military veterans on Wednesday.

The first pillar would eliminate state income tax for military retirement income, and he estimated it would cost the state about $60 million.


Stephen Fowler | GPB News

From the sound of the closing minutes of the Democratic Party of Georgia’s state convention, you’d almost forget that Republicans control the governor’s mansion, both chambers of the state legislature and all 12 statewide elected offices.

In fact, you’d almost forget there were Republicans at all. While some speeches did mention President Donald Trump or specific Republican opponents, many nominees took a subtler approach by touting specific issues they wanted to address –  or that the Republican party had not.


Amir Farokhi

With tens of thousands of people moving into Atlanta in the last several years, expanding the city’s infrastructure and making it livable has been a longstanding priority.

Some changes are in the works: the city is spending $250 million in bonds to improve roads, bridges and traffic signals, and MARTA is seeking feedback on its own expansion.

Walkability and transit alternatives have been central to the work of Amir Farokhi, who was elected in January to represent parts of Midtown and Downtown Atlanta as the Atlanta City Council member for District 2.

He stopped by the GPB studios to talk about his vision for the city.


Facebook.com

The Georgia woman who leaked classified National Security Agency documents to the media has been sentenced to 63 months behind bars. 

Prosecutors call it the longest federal sentence ever for that type of crime. 


Cecilio Ricardo, U.S. Air Force

Aretha Franklin died yesterday at the age of 76. Raised in Detroit, her career spanned decades and genres, from gospel to jazz to her signature sound as the Queen of Soul. 

Chuck Reece is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of magazine The Bitter Southerner.

After hearing of Franklin’s passing, he published an essay called “Aretha Goes Home.”

Wikimedia Commons

Transportation is a major issue on the minds of many metro Atlantans.

Several counties will be voting in the coming months on a Transportation Special Local Option Sales Tax, or TSPLOST, that could expand public transit beyond Fulton and DeKalb Counties. The municipality of Atlanta has its own decisions to make regarding transit.


Felicia Moore

Atlanta’s second-most-powerful elected official has a lot on her plate.

Felicia Moore took over as Atlanta City Council president in January amidst an ongoing federal investigation into City Hall that’s netted several bribery indictments of both employees and contractors.

Flicker

Two Athens police officers shown restraining a 10-year-old in a viral video have been cleared of accusations of excessive force.

The Athens-Clarke Police Department opened an internal investigation after video of the incident surfaced on social media.


Stephen Fowler | GPB News

As students across Georgia are making plans to head back into the classrooms, Democratic nominee for Governor Stacey Abrams released her own plan for Georgia’s education system.

At a press conference, the former Georgia House Minority Leader said fully funding the Quality Basic Education formula for schools is an important first step in serving Georgia’s students, but it’s not enough.

Screenshot | GA SOS app

UPDATE 10:26 a.m. Aug. 2: The "GA SOS" app has been updated to remove all social media links to Brian Kemp from the app. 

UPDATE 6:10 p.m. July 31: Brian Kemp's campaign says the secretary of state's office will remove the links on the official app. Campaign Spokesman Ryan Mahoney: “This practice is legal and common for elected officials who value accessibility and citizen engagement. However, the links will be removed so we can focus on important issues like Stacey Abrams failing to pay her taxes."

ORIGINAL STORY:

Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office has an official app where you can check your voter registration, register a business and see election information.

It also links to his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, which prominently feature his campaign for Governor.

That has some ethics experts wondering if it's allowed.


Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Small businesses were the focus of Democratic Gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams’ job tour stop in Atlanta today. 

It's the second pillar of her five-point jobs plan.

Yesterday on the coast, Abrams toured an ironworkers apprentice workshop in Pooler, where she announced a plan to create 22,000 apprenticeships in Georgia by 2022.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Tuesday's primary runoff elections saw many surprising results across Georgia.  

Perhaps the biggest was Secretary of State Brian Kemp solidly defeating Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, a longtime frontrunner in the Republican race for Georgia’s governor. 


WSB-TV Atlanta

In just over a week, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp face off in the Republican runoff for Georgia's gubernatorial race.

Recent polling shows Cagle in a tight race with Kemp.

On Monday, Cagle landed a big co-sign from current Governor Nathan Deal. GPB’s Stephen Fowler has been tracking endorsements. He joined me in the studio to discuss Deal’s endorsement and the final days of the runoff election.


Stephen Fowler, GPB News

Protesters of the Trump administration's policy of detaining families and separating children from parents who enter the Unites States illegally are gathering Saturday in cities across Georgia.

Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Brunswick, Dalton, Lawrenceville, Lumpkin, Savannah and Valdosta will be represented, according to the official website.


Viola Davis

More women are running for elected office this fall. The number of female candidates for U.S. Congress has doubled since 2016.

In Georgia, DeKalb County activist Viola Davis launched a last minute campaign to unseat her longtime representative in last month's primary election — and she won.

GPB’s Stephen Fowler has been following the midterm elections, and he joined Rickey Bevington in the studio to talk about this race and the greater context of women running for office.


WHENISCALENDARS.COM/GOOGLE IMAGES

Primary election day is May 22 and all of the state's top elected officials are on the ballot. There will be a new governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state. Every U.S. House seat is up as well.  GPB’s Stephen Fowler has been following these races. He joined Rickey Bevington in the studio to talk about some of the challenges these offices will face, regardless of the election's outcome. 

Less than a week before the Republican gubernatorial primary, one topic reigned supreme in the Atlanta Press Club Loudermilk-Young debate: immigration, and how to stop unauthorized people from entering the country.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

The Atlanta BeltLine is the city’s ambitious urban redevelopment project that, when finished, will encompass more than 22 miles of trails in a ring around Atlanta.

On parts of the BeltLine that are already opened, developers have brought more than four billion dollars of private investment in shopping, dining, office and living spaces.  

Dwayne Vaughn is the BeltLine’s new Vice President of Housing Policy and Development. It’s his job to make sure it stays accessible to Atlantans of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

Eagles Landing Educational Research Committee

UPDATE 5/8/2018: Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law a bill that would allow part of the city of Stockbridge to be annexed if the new city of Eagles Landing is formed. This was one of the more controversial measures on his desk to sign by Tuesday's deadline.

ORIGINAL STORY: A bill that passed just hours before the end of this year’s legislative session is creating conflict for some residents of Henry County.

If Governor Nathan Deal signs it, voters could create the new city of Eagles Landing, and with it, their own government, tax base and services.

To do so, they would take away land, revenue and residents from the city of Stockbridge.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms unveiled a new transparency tool today aimed at sharing city spending with the public.

Stephen Fowler, GPB News

Atlanta’s mayor has asked for her entire cabinet to resign nearly 100 days into her first term. 

Monday morning, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms asked more than two dozen department heads to hand in their resignations.

By the end of the week, she will decide who gets to stay, and who will move on.

The city’s Communications Director Anne Torres announced her resignation Monday, and Chief Operating Officer Dan Gordan stepped down last week.

Isabeth Mendoza, GPB News

More than 700 people visited Monday Night Garage on Friday, March 9 for a special live broadcast of NPR All Things Considered with host Rickey Bevington.

The show was all about the state's alcohol culture: From Georgia's founding as a dry colony to the modern-day discussions of cocktails at brunch, we've got you covered.

The story of Monday Night Brewing actually began on Friday mornings. 

During our special live show focusing on Georgia's alcohol history and culture, I talked with Monday Night Brewing's Chief Marketing Officer Jonathan Baker about how a men's bible study meeting led to one of Atlanta's well-known breweries.

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