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Hurricane Michael makes landfall in Florida on Wednesday. The hurricane is expected to hit the northeastern coast of Georgia and continue through the southwest and center of the state, according to the National Weather Service. We spoke with Marshall Shepherd, the program director for atmospheric sciences at the University of Georgia, about tracking the hurricane over the week and how meterologists convey the severity of storms. We also spoke with Gwen Cooper, an author and pet rescue expert about what to do with pets during extreme weather.


Georgia has the seventh highest rate of uninsured children in the country. The problem is especially severe in low-income communities. The report from Voices of Georgia's Children shows 80 percent of Georgia children who were eligible for medicaid or Peachcare in 2016 weren't enrolled. Virginia Prescott spoke with executive director from Voices of Georgia's Children, Erica Sitkoff, and editor of Georgia Health News, Andy Miller, about the barriers Georgians face.


There aren't many African-American males who play lead roles in superhero or Sci-Fi films. 

CollageMaker / NPR

David Sedaris is a pioneer. Twenty-six years ago, the humorist busted through public radio’s polite veneer as a begrudging department store elf in "The SantaLand Diaries." Ten books later, Sedaris is a best-selling author who draws thousands of fans to his public readings. He writes frequently and candidly about his wisecracking, eccentric family. "Calypso," his newest collection of essays, is no exception. Virginia Prescott asked Sedaris about family, aging and writing about the negative when he stopped by GPB on his last sweep through Georgia. 


The U.S. Senate plans to vote this Friday on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Given his record, predictions are that Kavanaugh will shift the court to a conservative majority. That got us wondering about what cases are on the docket for the term that began on Monday. We spoke with Fred Smith, Jr. about cases to watch during the 2018-2019 term. Smith is an associate professor of law at Emory University School of Law.

Next Monday, public schools and state offices across Georgia close to mark Columbus Day. Five states, more than 50 cities and dozens of universities no longer observe the federal holiday. Most instead celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day. After a unanimous vote this summer, South Fulton became the first city in Georgia to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day. On Second Thought’s Virginia Prescott spoke with Mayor Pro Tem Mark Baker about the ctiy's new holiday. 

The FBI is currently investigating allegations of sexual assault made against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Tens of millions of Americans watched testimony from Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Kavanaugh. Responses to the hearings and the #MeToo Movement make clear sexual violence is something that must be addressed in the public sphere. We spoke with University of Georgia psychology professor Isha Metzger and Sally Sheppard, executive director of The Cottage, a sexual assault center and children's advocacy center. We discussed how we talk about sexual assault in our communities. 


There are a lot of film and television projects being produced right now in Georgia. We got a rundown of some of what’s in production from Kalena Boller. She works as a location manager in Georgia’s film industry. She also gave us a preview of her upcoming GPB podcast, "The Credits." It focuses on the stories of the people who work behind the scenes.

 

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The federal Farm Bill making its way through Congress could dramatically reduce the availability of free school meals. Those meals offer significant help for the nearly 20 percent of Georgia households with children that struggle to afford quality food for their families, according to the Food Research and Action Center. So many students qualify for the free meal program in Macon's Bibb County School District that free breakfast and lunch are available district-wide. To put that in perspective, the district served 18,000 lunches last year alone. 

GPB

The Fair Housing Act is 50 years old this year. Former President Lyndon Johnson implemented this landmark piece of civil rights legislation days after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. King often said housing was a key victory in the struggle for African-American equity in the United States. 


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On today's "On Second Thought," we revisited a few of the conversations that have lingered in our minds this week. Jonathan Merritt told us why he stopped having conversations about faith after leaving Georgia behind for New York, and how he is reconceptualizing religious language for a new era. We also heard from filmmaker Stefan Forbes about Lee Atwater and the Southern strategy. On Second Thought's Virginia Prescott also took the show on the road to Athens, Georgia, where she snacked on edible insects with University of Georgia entomologist Marianne Shockley. Need a palate cleanser after that? Virginia visited Atlanta-based Chef Todd Richards for a BLT breakfast sandwich with collard greens. 


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Five years ago, Jonathan Merritt moved from Buford to Brooklyn, New York. Almost immediately, Merritt found he couldn't communicate with the people around him. It was not that they spoke a different language, but rather that Southern Baptist preacher's son — and Emory-educated Master of Divinity — felt unable to have the conversations about faith and spirituality that he had always had in his hometown. Merritt set out to find out if other people in the United States were avoiding conversations about religion. 


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Today, "On Second Thought" took a scan of the state.

We spoke with NPR political reporter Asma Khalid about low voter turnout, and heard from some of the Georgians she met in Houston, Cobb and Hancock counties.

GPB's own Emily Jones also joined from Savannah with a story about alligators in the Okefenokee swamp, and "On Second Thought" host Virginia Prescott munched on some edible bugs with University of Georgia entomologist Marianne Shockley.

We also caught up with John T. Edge of the Southern Foodways Alliance. His new series, "TrueSouth," debuts on SEC Network tonight. Chef Todd Richards also told us about his favorite Southern ingredient: collard greens. 

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Is Georgia turning blue? That question came up in 2014 when Jason Carter ran for governor, in 2016 when Hillary Clinton ran for president and in 2017 with Jon Ossoff’s campaign in the most expensive House race in history. Every time, however, Georgia remained a red state where Republicans won. 


GPB

Efrain de la Rosa, a 40-year-old detainee at ICE’s Stewart detention center in Lumpkin, was found dead in his cell last Tuesday.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say the preliminary cause of death was self-inflicted strangulation.  The case remains under investigation.


Fibonacci Blue / Flickr

Shortly after President Donald Trump signed the immigration ban, thousands of state department employees issued a dissent cable to Rex Tillerson.

RELATED: At State Department, 'Dissent Channel' In High Gear With Refugee Ban Protests

Last month, the Supreme Court decided to uphold the ban. Chris Richardson, once a former U.S. diplomat, has now become an immigration lawyer at an Atlanta firm.


Is There Any More Trust In The Media?

Jul 12, 2018
Pixabay

After the shooting at the Capitol Gazette in Annapolis two weeks ago, journalists are questioning what free press means to American society. 


On Second Thought for Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Jul 10, 2018
GPB

Just over a year ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested a 25-year-old woman in Augusta, Georgia for allegedly leaking top secret information from the National Security Agency to the press. Last month, Reality Winner pled guilty to violating the Espionage Act. Winner was sentenced to 63 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Her prosecution is the first in the trump administration’s crackdown on whistleblowers.

 


Summer Evans / GPB

With the upcoming Trump-Putin summit this month, many are interested to see what serious issues will be discussed. But before he was president, Vladimir  Putin was recruited into the KGB operative.

Jack Barsky is also a former Russian KGB spy who recently moved to Covington, Georgia.

 

 


On Second Thought For Friday, July 6, 2018

Jul 6, 2018

Type any word into Google, and the search engine will offer a drop-down list of suggestions for what you should type next. So if you type "Russia collusion," Google suggests you complet eyour search with "delusion." And if you click on that suggestion, the first result is an opinion piece from the New York Post, followed by a Tucker Carlson interview on Fox News, plus a handful of YouTube videos from channels like Red Pill Christian Warrior.


On Second Thought For Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Jul 3, 2018
GPB

Adult businesses recently lost a few more rounds against the City of Sandy Springs. The Georgia Supreme Court ruled against an appeal by Maxim Cabaret challenging the constitutionality of Sandy Springs's ban of alcohol sales and zoning restrictions on strip clubs and other adult businesses. Sandy Springs established those restrictions and that ban in 2006.


On Second Thought For Friday, June 29, 2018

Jul 3, 2018
GPB

The Fearless Girl now has some company in New York's male-dominated financial district. Lauren Simmons became the only full-time female floor broker at the New York Stock Echange in March, when she joined Rosenblatt Securities. She's from Marietta, Georgia and a graduate of Kennesaw State University. At 23, Simmons is the youngest trader on the floor of the Stock Exchange. She is also the second African-American woman ever to work full-time as a trader there.


La'Raven Taylor / GPB

Monica Pearson changed the face of local news in Atlanta in 1975 when she became the first woman and African-American to anchor the evening news on WSB-TV. Pearson went on to cover seven United States presidents, six Georgia governors and a state that nearly doubled in size during her years at the anchor desk. Pearson has told other peoples’ stories for nearly four decades. Today, we got to hear hers.

 

PBS/GPB

The Great American Read has started a national conversation about America's favorite books. For the PBS series, you are invited to join in — and vote —  for your favorite. GPB has designed a quiz that reveals which fictional character you most resemble.


 

On Second Thought For Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Jun 27, 2018
GPB

Georgia's new hands-free driving law goes into effect Sunday, July 1. The Georgia General Assembly passed House Bill 673 earlier this year, and last month it was signed by Governor Nathan Deal. This new law requires drivers to use hands-free technology when using cell phones and other electronic devices while driving. Writing, sending or reading any text-based communication, including a text message, instant message, e-mail or internet data while holding your device is prohibited.


GPB

Before the end of his term as Atlanta mayor, Kasim Reed announced the expansion of Piedmont Park. The Atlanta City Council recently approved the $100 million expansion. It would require $80 million from the private sector and $20 million would be given by the city of Atlanta.

 

 


Summer Evans / GPB

The Atlanta Jewish Times has a history as varied and complicated as the community it covers. In 1924, the Southern Israelite was founded as a family-owned paper. The name changed in the 1980s, when it was bought by a Jewish paper in Baltimore. A series of buy-outs and editorial hand-offs later, Michael Jacobs became editor — a position he's held twice in the past 13 years. 


On Second Thought For Friday, June 22, 2018

Jun 22, 2018
GPB

Georgia has the nation’s third largest rural school population, but less than 30 percent of those students attend a big college or university. Part of the explanation is that students from rural areas are more likely to come from low-income households, and transitioning from a small town to a big city can both be daunting and financially nerve-racking for students thinking about college. We talked to Marjorie Poss, a guidance counselor at Pickens High School, about why students decide to stay close to home and how these fears can be overcome. We also spoke with Hannah Velcoff, a student who made the leap from Dawson County to New York University.


Library of Congress

Following intense criticism, President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that ends the separation of parents and children who entered the country illegally. On today's show we explored the differences between illegal and legal immigration, detainment and internment and the role of morality and racism in immigration policy and practice.


On Second Thought for Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Jun 20, 2018
GPB

June is Pride Month. This year, Atlanta’s Pride Committee and the LGBT Institute at the Center for Civil and Human Rights are partnering with the Fox Theatre to celebrate the 49th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which ignited an equal rights movement in what became the LGBT community. We spoke with Emmy Award-winning comedian Wanda Sykes, who’s headlining a comedy show at the Fox in celebration of Pride Month.


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