Taylor Gantt

Radio Producer/ Back-Up Host

Taylor graduated from Georgia State University in 2015 with B.A in Journalism and a concentration in Telecommunications. He interned with On Second Thought during his Senior spring semester and immediately fell in love with the team and the GPB working environment (but mostly the t-shirts).

Taylor also worked as a freelance sports reporter for the Forsyth County News and a sports contributor for the growing southern magazine "The Kitchen Drawer." When he's not listening to Rush or groaning at the local teams, he can be found petting his cat "Mr. Jorge" or watching Netflix.

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Millions of Americans struggle with the specter of depression in their lives. The problem spans across demographics, leaving many searching for a way to combat the mental burden. Therapy and drugs have long been the two primary ways to fight depression, but two Georgia researchers have pioneered a new method of tackling depression using magnetism. 

We talk with one of them: Emory University neurologist Charles Epstein. 

Nydia Tisdale

Nydia Tisdale is a citizen journalist who covers local political affairs across the state of Georgia. She’s logged hundreds of hours of video during her time as a reporter and has provided an inside look for civic-minded citizens. However, Tisdale’s activity hasn’t always been received with open arms. She’s currently embroiled in a lawsuit with Dawson County after she was forcefully ejected from a GOP rally when she refused to stop recording the event.

We hear from Tisdale about why she thinks citizen journalism plays a vital role in our media landscape. 

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Georgia is a hub of television and film production, with many major projects taking place on soundstages and in city streets across the state. Every now and then, you may pass a production crew around town and wonder, ”what exactly are they filming?”

We sit down with Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Jennifer Brett to learn all about what’s coming up in entertainment in the Peach State. 

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The fervor and controversy surrounding the political rallies of Donald Trump has been national news for months. Georgia Southern professor Jared Sexton visited a recent Trump rally and was stunned by what he witnessed. His story earned him tens of thousands of new Twitter followers and once again brought the issue of Trump's rallies to the forefront.

We speak with Sexton about his experience and what fuels the intensity behind Trump’s gatherings. We also welcome Mercer professor Chris Grant to the show and ask him how Trump's rallies stack up on a historical level.

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Audrey Munson is a familiar face found all across the country in various works of art. She posed for iconic sculptures, including the ‘Triumph of Peace’ found in Piedmont Park. Her career was shrouded in mystery for years until author James Bone identified Munson as the "first American model." 

We listen to Bone share a few tales about Munson’s whirlwind career from his book, “The Curse of Beauty: The Scandalous and Tragic Life of Audrey Munson, America’s First Supermodel.”

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The mass shooting at Pulse, the Orlando nightclub, that has left many people searching for answers and worried about the next attack. Several Atlanta nightclubs were recently threatened with vague mentions of violence, but motives and intentions of terrorists can be difficult to discern. According to one psychiatrist, hate is the key to understanding what turns thoughts into actions. 

We talk with University of Maryland professor Arie Kruglanksi about his research into the emotion of hate and what role it can play in tragedies like the shooting at Pulse. 

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The recent controversy surrounding the federal directive for transgender bathroom access in schools has created a divisive dialogue across the country. Some see the Obama administrations’ policy as a textbook example of government overreach. The power of states’ rights has fluctuated over the years, leaving many to question what ability states currently have to go against the will of the federal government.

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Last month, the founder of the Atlanta Latin Academy Charter School was arrested after he was outed for embezzling school funds. Christopher Clemons spent over $600,000 of the school's money on cars, nightclubs, and real estate. The school has since closed under the weight of financial strain.

We talk with Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Molly Bloom about the scandal and what it means for charter school oversight in the future. 

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More local education scandals came to light last week, this time at the collegiate level. Kennesaw State University president Daniel Papp resigned suddenly after reports revealed he accepted over $500,000 in retirement benefits while he was still employed. A second audit shows that a conflict of interest in the food services department may have also cost the university hundreds of thousands of dollars more.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Janel Davis joins us to talk more about the problems at Kennesaw State University. 

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A recent report from the Associated Press has revealed that a staggering number of law enforcement agencies across the country have failed to report data concerning hate crimes. 2,700 agencies reported no hate crimes between 2009-2014.  Here in Georgia, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties were missing years’ worth of data. 

We sit down with AP reporter Christina A. Cassidy to talk about her report, how law enforcement handles hate-based incidents and what exactly constitutes a hate crime.

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The showdown between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is all but official as the nomination phase of election season winds down. Trump has successfully navigated past the misgivings that many had about his campaign and has earned a great deal of political power in the process. Savannah State University professor Robert Smith has observed Trump’s political ascension and fashioned a college course around the braggadocios businessman.

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This weekend, the State of Black Science Fiction Convention will be held in Atlanta and will feature a wide range of panels, cosplay, and exhibits featuring black creators. Afro-futurism, "steam funk," and other types of black-inspired creations will be on display during the weekend event.

We talk with the founders of SOBSFCON, Balogun Ojetade and Milton Davis, along with author Ytasha Womack about black science fiction and diversity in comics, animation, and more.

Taylor Gantt

Friday means our Breakroom will be getting back together to discuss a week full of interesting headlines. We talk about Snoop Dogg's disapproval of the “Roots” remake, Taylor Swift as an “Aryan idol” and what the fuss is about the forthcoming all-female “Ghostbusters” movie. 

Then, the  Breakroom gang gives their thoughts on more news from the past week, including Big Boi's issues with modern-day mothers, a new device that lets you lick your cat, and who's to blame for the death of Harambe the gorilla. 

Joining the Breakroom this week :

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Atlanta is currently constructing two new stadiums, Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta and SunTrust Field in Cobb County. Although the allure of a shiny new building is exciting for some, others are growing tired of the sacrifices Atlanta is making to create these billion dollar projects.

GPB's own Don Smith adds another installment to our "Gripe Bag" series and vents his frustration about Atlanta's fascination with athletic structures. 

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The Atlanta Braves are currently in the basement of MLB standings with only 15 wins this season. The team is banking on their move to SunTrust Park in Cobb County next year to galvanize the fan base. But rising costs to the construction project, along with several money saving cuts to traffic-reducing infrastructure, may only increase the congestion that Cobb County is already notorious for.

We talk with Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Dan Klepal and blogger Angie Scmitt of Streetsblog USA about the mounting problems surrounding the controversial stadium project.

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Last month, we discussed the #NeverTrump social media movement and asked if conservative voters would stick with the Republican Party or look for a different option should Donald Trump became the GOP nominee. Now, with Hillary Clinton approaching victory in the Democratic primary, a #NeverHillary movement has attracted voters who vow not to support her bid for the White House, no matter the options. This has pushed voters away from Clinton and toward Bernie Sanders, third party candidates, and even Trump.

Professor Raymond Gavins passed away last week, at the age of 77,  leaving behind a powerful legacy from his time as a historian at Duke University. The Atlanta native helped build an audio treasure trove of previously unheard African-American voices from the era of legalized segregation.  The collection is known as the "Behind the Veil Project."

We take a moment to eulogize Gavins and remember the arduous journey he took in order to better his fellow man. 

Sarah Dorio

Chef Hugh Acheson is a mainstay in the culinary world. Acheson also hopes to change the way that kids interact with food in the classroom by bringing the traditional home economics program back into schools.

Host Celeste Headlee sits down with Acheson to talk about the home-ec curriculum he’s developed and the skills he wants to teach to young students who participate in the course

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Only the most special of foods can make a seamless transition from breakfast platter to dinner plate. The biscuit certainly holds that honor here in the South. They come baked, fried, or flaky, almost always crowned with a shiny glaze of melted butter. So imagine our excitement when we discovered that there is a region of Georgia dedicated to this Southern delicacy. The so-called "Biscuit Triangle" is located north of Atlanta, between Marietta and Kennesaw. 

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Atlanta will host Super Bowl LIII in 2019. Owners of the National Football League voted to give Atlanta the big game on Tuesday after a presentation from team owner Arthur Blank and civil rights leader Andrew Young. GPB sports correspondent Jon Nelson explains what this bombshell announcement means for the city.   

Andrew Schwegler

It's high school graduation season. That means there are a lot of proud parents across Georgia this week. And some of them are also hurting for cash after senior year fees cleared the bank. It can be expensive to be a high school senior these days – from graduation robe rental to yearbooks to class trips. So when does a free education stop being free? 

We talk about the price of earning a diploma these days with Patricia Seaman, senior director of the National Endowment for Financial Education, and counselor Dawn Mann of Harrison High School in Cobb County.

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Our country is growing ever grayer as the baby boomers age in large numbers. A massive study at Emory University that takes an in-depth look at the aging process is underway. Emory hopes to bring together 100,000 people to study physical and mental health, sickness, and other factors that affect the elderly.  We sit down with university researcher Michele Marcus to learn a little bit more about the study and what they hope to uncover. 

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Actor Anthony Mackie is currently lighting up the silver screen as Falcon in “Captain America: Civil War.” But Mackie’s next role is a completely different heroic challenge. He’ll play the role of Martin Luther King Jr. in the HBO biopic “All the Way.” The film co-stars Mackie as MLK alongside Bryan Cranston as Lyndon B. Johnson. The story introduces the two political titans at the height of the Civil Rights movement in a country torn apart by the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

We talk with Mackie about the new role and diversity in the film industry. 

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The nationwide debate concerning transgender bathroom access has finally made its way to Georgia. A policy issued from the White House states that school systems that deny transgender youths access to the facilities of their choice could lose federal aid as a result.

We chat with Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Eric Stirgus about the mandate and what effect it may have on Georgia schools.

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The Atlanta Braves are currently one of the worst teams in baseball with a paltry 9-28 record so far this season. And to make matters worse, manager Freddie Gonzalez was fired by the team yesterday during his sixth season with the ball club.

Jon Nelson of GPB Sports stops by to bemoan the current state of the Braves

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