on second thought

(AP Photo/Kate Brumback, File)

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.

 


Beginning Thursday, July 19, GPB Radio’s popular daily talk show “On Second Thought” will go on hiatus until September. In the interim,   “Fresh Air with Terry Gross” will air in its 9 a.m. weekday timeslot.

GPB News has been filling some key positions in the newsroom over the last few months.

We announced the hiring of Managing Editor Sara Shahriari, who starts April 30, and we announced our new On Second Thought host, Virginia Prescott, who’s in the process of packing up her life in New Hampshire so she can be onsite by May 14.

 

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.

 

 

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.”

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.

We continued our look at Historically Black Colleges and Universities with Atlanta Journal Constitution reporters Eric Stirgus and Ernie Suggs. They recently rolled out a Re:Race series called “HBCUs: A Threatened Heritage.” The project looks at the enrollment numbers, finances, and the overall future of HBCUs in America. We also heard from some alumni and current HBCU students in Atlanta.

On March 1st, Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources will open its second annual Coyote Challenge.

Last week’s deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida was followed by scenes we have seen all too often. In 2013, a similar scene played out at Decatur’s Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy. Thankfully, no one was killed. A short film based on that incident is nominated for an Academy Award. We talked with the film’s writer and director, Reed Van Dyk.

For more than a hundred years, America’s historically black colleges and universities have graduated many of our most dynamic and influential citizens.

On Second Thought for Friday, February 16, 2018

Feb 16, 2018

We talked with Atlanta native Tayari Jones. Her latest novel, “An American Marriage,” was included this month in Oprah’s Book Club. Jones is in Savannah this weekend for the annual Savannah Book Festival.

Marvel’s Black Panther is now showing nationwide. It was produced and partially filmed in Georgia. We meet two of the people who worked behind the scenes.

In honor of the Savannah Book Festival, we headed into the Breakroom with an all-authors panel.

Maura Currie / GPB News

Urban archeology has unearthed centuries-old artifacts from beneath Atlanta. And lots of it is simply very old trash, leftover from landfills and dumps. Now, a team from Georgia State University is working with students to catalog the artifacts and teach history, writing and anthropology in the process. It’s called the Phoenix Project, and we had three of the faculty involved with it in the studio: Jeffrey Glover, Brennan Collins, and Robin Wharton.

Lauren Packard / NOAA/Flickr

Right whales are Georgia’s state aquatic mammal, and around this time of year they’re usually right off our coast having their calves. But this year, only three whales have been spotted, and none of them are calves. Environmental changes and human activity seem to be jeopardizing the endangered whales’ livelihoods.

So, how worried should we be? With us by phone was Clay George, biologist and head of right whale work for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

 

 

  

 

Wikimedia Commons / Larry Moats, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Mountain lions, pumas, panthers... Whatever you call them, big cats once roamed every U.S. state. But they’ve long been a ghostly presence east of the Mississippi. This year, federal wildlife managers officially declared the Eastern Cougar extinct. The last confirmed sighting was in 1938.  Key word there is confirmed. People still report seeing cougars in the South. Take Todd Lester. He’s a former president of the Eastern Cougar Foundation. We hear about his close encounter.

Maura Currie / GPB News

The Breakroom has reassembled to break down the week’s news... in a room. They talked about Valentine’s Day, Justin Timberlake, and that controversial Martin Luther King Jr. Super Bowl commercial. And they discussed the Larry Nassar scandal, Atlanta’s terrible traffic, and whether the Game of Thrones creators can pull off a new Star Wars series.

Dave Gonzalez / Geek.com

Some things in life are just so bad, they’re good. Imagine being marooned in a movie theater, forced to watch the worst movies of all time… for all time. That’s the premise behind the show, Mystery Science Theater 3000. It features a human and his two robot sidekicks, on a spaceship, riffing on the movies they love to hate. Two of the stars of the cult classic are coming to Atlanta to hate on bad movies in front of a live audience.

Reid Williams / GPB News

In the last year, Hollywood has been rocked by scandal. Some of the most powerful figures in the industry were accused of sexual misconduct. There’s an initiative in Georgia called Safety Shot that’s trying to address sexual abuse within the state’s film industry. We talked with two of Safety Shot’s founders: filmmaker Suzan Satterfield and actress Laura Lundy.

 Interview Highlights

Daniel Mayer / Wikimedia Commons

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has seen plenty of turmoil over the past week -- Director Brenda Fitzgerald resigned over financial conflicts of interest, and impending budget cuts are forcing the agency to drastically cut its overseas programs. What does all of this mean for the CDC’s ability to do its job? We talked first with Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the CDC. He’s now the President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, a global health initiative of Vital Strategies. Later in the show we were joined by Andy Miller, editor and CEO of Georgia Health News.

A week ago, Brenda Fitzgerald resigned as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The revelation she holds financial stakes in a tobacco company -- and thus has a major conflict of interest -- comes as the CDC faces enormous budget cuts. The agency is preparing to downsize its global epidemic prevention programs by about 80 percent. Should we be worried about the CDC’s ability to do its job? We talked with former CDC director Tom Frieden and Andy Miller of Georgia Health News.

Kintpuash / Wikimedia Commons

When we talk about what to do with Confederate monuments, there are usually two ends of the spectrum: those who want to remove them entirely and those who want to leave untouched. Adding more historical context to monuments might provide a middle ground, but what would that look like, and would it even solve the problem? Andra Gillespie and Celeste Headlee discussed other states’ attempts to contextualize with Anne Marshall, assistant history professor at Mississippi State University. We also heard from Dan Moore, founder of the African American Panoramic Experience Museum in Atlanta.

 

 

Noir stories are dark, sometimes scary, and in a new anthology, also distinctly Southern. Tayari Jones is the editor and co-author of “Atlanta Noir.” She joined the Georgia Authors Hall of Fame this year, and we spoke with her back in August.

 

February is Black History Month. Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands also have months to commemorate black achievements. Host Celeste Headlee opens the Gripe Bag and talks about why a month doesn’t cut it.

 

 

HEADLEE: "Black History Month was the brainchild of eminent historian Carter Woodson. Woodson had a doctorate from Harvard in the 1920s, which is pretty amazing history, if you ask me.

 

Mike Mozart / Flickr

The Tide Pod Challenge has sent dozens of people, many of them young teens, to hospitals across the country. Eating laundry detergent may seem like a new level of stupidity, but kids and adolescents have been doing dumb things to impress each other for a long time. And, despite first appearances, there might actually be a good reason why. Joining us to talk through this are Catherine O’Neal, Assistant Research Scientist at UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences, and Jay Hathaway, Senior Writer at the Daily Dot.

Maura Currie / GPB

This past weekend marked one year since President Trump’s inauguration. It was also the first anniversary of the record-breaking Women’s March. The 2017 march likely included more than 3 million people. That’s about one-and-a-half percent of the entire US population. This weekend’s marches saw more than a million people participate, and organizers are working to broaden the movement's scope and inclusivity.

 

GPB News / Emily Cureton

Georgia’s film industry supports many actors, producers, directors...and also classical musicians. Like Tracy Woodard. She’s a violinist in Atlanta. And on any given day, you might catch her recording soundtracks for a new TV show, film, or video game. She’s also founder of an event series where contemporary composers present new scores for very old, silent movies. Tracy talked to us about writing music for movies, and where composers experiment.

Beverly Daniel Tatum leads frank conversations about race. Back in 1997, the former Spelman College President wrote a book called,  “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” Now, she’s updated the text. We caught up with her to mark the 20th anniversary edition.

Ryan McFadin / GPB News

Savannah’s NAACP chapter celebrated its centennial this fall at the historic First African Baptist Church. The church was also honored by the Georgia Historical Society earlier this year for its extensive role in African-American history and the civil rights movement, from hiding people on the underground railroad, to being the site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s first public speech in 1944. GPB’s Ryan McFadin went to a Sunday service, and sent back an audio postcard.

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