SunTrust and BB&T

SunTrust and BB&T announced their new name Wednesday: Truist. The two banks revealed the name more than four months after announcing their merger.

Cyber Boom Driving Downtown Augusta Growth

Jun 12, 2019

A statue of James Brown presides over the Augusta Common, a manicured downtown green space that has hosted everything from food trucks to ice rinks.

But to the statue’s back is a hulking building with a shattered plate glass window.

That’s today’s Augusta: halfway between thriving and desolate.

The desolation dates back to the 1960s. But the thriving energy continues today, with an explosion of construction and new businesses driven by the Georgia Cyber Center.

The public-private partnership, which opened two years ago, aims to make the city an international hub for cyber security. The question now is how much growth is still to come – and who it’s going to serve.

Courtesy of SIRUM / Good Pill Pharmacy

From waiting rooms across the country to the floor of the U.S. Capitol, healthcare is one of the biggest issues for American voters.

One of the main challenges in Georgia is access to doctors and pharmacies alike, especially in rural parts of the state. And then there's cost of care. According to the Commonwealth Fund, a quarter of Americans report not filling prescriptions they cannot afford.


Gov. Brian Kemp announces John King will serve as the Georgia Insurance Commissioner during the suspension of Jim Beck who faces charges of federal fraud.
Stephen Fowler / GPB

Gov. Brian Kemp has named a new insurance commissioner to take over during the suspension of Jim Beck. John King will take over at the Georgia Department of Insurance while Beck faces an indictment on federal charges of fraud and money laundering.

Laramie Boomerang / Associated Press

From Columbus to the metro Atlanta area and east to Athens, the state has been saturated by rain.

The precipitation combined with warm weather means an increased threat of mosquitos. Some 4 inches of rain fell in Atlanta last Saturday alone, and so far this year about 26 inches have poured on the area.

Dekalb County CEO Michael Thurmond speaks during the I Will Vote Fundraising Gala Thursday, June 6, 2019, in Atlanta.
John Bazemore / AP Photo

On this edition of Political Rewind, a conversation with DeKalb County CEO and Georgia historian, Michael Thurmond. In his book Thurmond brings to light lesser known stories of African-American men and women in Athens, GA.

Becky Stein

Father's Day is just around the corner. It's a time to celebrate and reflect on how your dad or dads shaped your life — for better or for worse. But, have you thought about how you affected your father? 

Montavious Foster

The 2016 film Hidden Figures highlights black female mathematicians who battled racial and gender discrimination to help the National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA launch its Apollo missions to the moon. 

An Atlanta native, single mom and Georgia State University doctoral student will follow in their footsteps this summer.

The federal government will not be opening a facility to house migrant children in Georgia after initially considering the state.


Fort Benning, near Columbus, was one of several potential sites that federal officials toured last week in the search for more space to house unaccompanied migrant children.



courtesy of Dr. Vernard Hodges

Later this year, two Georgia veterinarians will star in a reality TV show on National Geographic.

The Critter Fixers will follow the lives of doctors Vernard Hodges and Terrence Ferguson. Hodges and Ferguson both run and operate Critter Fixer Veterinary Hospitals in Byron and Bonaire.

If you grumble about paying taxes, you might have another reason to complain.  A new investigation shows Georgia county tax commissioners are allowed to profit personally from the collection of city taxes. 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

The University of Georgia continues to grapple with a difficult chapter of its history. It’s been under fire for how it handled the discovery of human remains under a school building during renovations. They appear to belong to people who were enslaved.

The growing tension recently erupted in protests. Demonstrators want reparations for descendants of slaves who built the university, including financial support for university staff and students as well as acknowledgment of the school’s history publicly and within the classroom.

GPB reporter Grant Blankenship went to Athens to witness the protests, and he talks with On Second Thought about what he found.

Brian Kemp waves after being sworn in as Georgia's governor during a ceremony at Georgia Tech's McCamish Pavilion, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore / AP Photos

On this edition of Political Rewind, Gov. Brian Kemp is working on building a new healthcare waiver system. The governor has hired a firm to draw up plans in hopes of expanding Medicaid and giving a financial boost to private insurance buyers. How broad will the expansion program be and will there be a role for outside input before plans are finalized? 


The city of Dunwoody is still struggling with slow ambulance response times.


Records show an upward trend in response times to life threatening calls over the past four months in Dunwoody.


This comes a year after the metro Atlanta suburb declared an "EMS State of Emergency."



uprooted pecan tree
Grant Blankenship/ GPB

Georgia pecan farmers are figuring out the next steps in the recovery from Hurricane Michael after losing $250 million in trees.

Public health is a topic that is generally overlooked until a community experiences a crisis. The CDC Foundation recently launched the second season of its podcast Contagious Conversations, which highlights the issues and innovators of public health today. On Second Thought spoke with podcast host Clair Stinson.

Fernando Decillis/NPR

In 1965 the Rev. James Reeb was attacked and savagely beaten on the streets of Selma, Alabama. Days later, Reeb died of head injuries in a Birmingham hospital. Three white men were tried for the murder of the white Unitarian minister from Boston. All were ultimately acquitted, and no one was ever convicted.

More than 50 years later, Alabama journalists Andrew Beck Grace and Chip Brantley returned to that cold case. The details they discovered, about the murder and how the South remembers its history, are the subject of NPR's new podcast, White Lies. Grace and Brantley joined On Second Thought from WBHM in Birmingham.

Democratic activist Tom Steyer speaks during a "Need to Impeach" town hall event in Agawam, Mass. There has been rising disagreement among congressional Democrats over whether to pursue impeachment of President Donald Trump.
Steven Senne / AP Photo

On this edition of Political Rewind, Rep. Lucy McBath from the 6th congressional district is being asked by constituents why she is not calling for the impeachment of President Trump. It is a question sure to play a role in Democratic Congressional races nationwide.

CDC Foundation

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta may not be top of mind until we hear about an infectious disease outbreak or see images of scientists in hazmat suits in the news. But the work of health leaders and innovators goes on outside of headline-level crises.

The people advocating for public health and the important causes they’re addressing are the focus of a podcast from the CDC Foundation.

Claire Stinson is host of Contagious Conversations and she visited On Second Thought to talk about her work.


Police have filed misdemeanor charges against the driver accused of fatally crashing into an Atlanta man who had been riding an electric scooter.

News outlets report that 36-year-old Narcory Wright is charged with speeding and second-degree homicide in connection with the crash outside an Atlanta MARTA station last month.

Last year, U.S. retail sales of essential oils topped $133 million. That number doesn’t include sales from multi-level marketers, who sell directly to buyers. While the market booms with promises of improved health and pain relief, there are some safety concerns.

Georgia Health News reporting found essential oils contributed to two calls per day on average to the Georgia Poison Center. Those cases usually involved children who are poisoned.

Emily Jones / GPB News

Savannah is taking steps toward restoring its historic city plan. The National Park Service last year called the city's historic landmark district "threatened."

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

A judge has imposed a $1 million fine against the owner of an unlicensed landfill outside of Atlanta whose towering mountains of debris burned for eight months.

City Fires First Openly Transgender Fire Chief

Jun 7, 2019
Byron Fire Department / Facebook

America’s first openly transgender fire chief was fired on Tuesday, June 4 from the Byron City Fire Department.

Rachel Mosby served as the City of Byron’s fire chief for almost 12 years. Last year, she came out as transgender.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the I Will Vote Fundraising Gala Thursday, June 6, 2019, in Atlanta.
John Bazemore / AP Photo

From former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Cory Booker to former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Buttigieg, big name Democrats are making a major play for Georgia in 2020 – and those are just the candidates who stopped through the state this week. GPB Political Rewind producer Robert Jimison covered the four presidential hopefuls' campaign events. He stopped by On Second Thought to share how they pitched themselves to Georgia voters.

When it comes to the 2020 elections, big name Democrats are making a major play for Georgia. Biden, Booker, Beto and Buttigieg – and those are just the candidates who are in the state this week. We hear how the visiting hopefuls pitched themselves to Georgia voters.

There's a building on the campus of the University of Georgia where the foundation rests on the bodies of enslaved people.

That's Baldwin Hall on UGA's picturesque North Campus. It's been years since more than 100 burials of enslaved people were discovered during an expansion of the building that houses the Anthropology Department. Since then, many on campus at UGA and in the larger Athens community have not been happy with the way UGA handled those remains.

Brandon Chew / NPR

Construction cranes poke through the skyline across metro Atlanta. It's a testament to growth and efforts to draw new companies and residents to call the region home. Not so visible are the millions of Americans being thrown out of their homes. It's a problem throughout the country.

The Eviction Lab at Princeton University found nearly 2.3 million evictions were filed in the U.S. in 2016. NPR's On The Media partnered with The Eviction Lab for a four-part series called The Scarlet E: Unmasking America's Eviction Crisis.

Rep. Doug Collins (R-9) joins Political Rewind to talk through the current issues on Capitol Hill and his work as the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committe.

Today on Political Rewind, Rep. Doug Collins has found himself in the national spotlight as a key defender of President Trump and as the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee.

La'Raven Taylor

Not all superheroes wear capes, jump over buildings or hail from Wakanda. And if you're near downtown Atlanta, you may run into non-traditional superheroes: known as the W-Underdogs. The non-profit works with at-risk kids by rescuing dogs in the neighborhood.

Data from the Atlanta Humane Society report 70 million homeless animals in the U.S. Only one out of every 10 dogs find permanent homes. The W-Underdogs have rescued about 400 of those pets. Gracie Hamlin is founder of the program. She joined On Second Thought to talk about the organization.