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Donald Trump’s political rallies have been anything but dull over the past few months. Supporters and protestors have attended the gatherings in large numbers and their interactions have often turned ugly. Violence at Trump-sponsored events has been frequent, including several instances of protestors being assaulted by Trump supporters. Because these gatherings are considered private events that are hosted by Trump’s campaign, the rules inside his rallies are much stricter than many people realize.

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The recovery continues following this month's devastating earthquake in Ecuador. Global relief organizations have crews on the ground to provide assistance. We talk with a relief workers from Georgia-based MAP International about how they are helping and what more there is to be done.

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The growing need for teachers in Georgia has led the Savannah-Chatham school district to rely on an often overlooked education program.  Alternative Pathways to Teaching allows anyone with a bachelor’s degree to earn a teaching certificate while serving as an interim teacher. The program has ushered in hundreds of new teachers to the Savannah school system.

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A 7.8 magnitude earthquake left hundreds dead and thousands homeless in Ecuador. Global relief organizations are on the ground there to provide assistance. One of them is Georgia-based MAP International.  We talk with MAP President and CEO Steve Stirling and Stella Losado, the group's community health specialist.

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This month marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. Over the weekend, students at Emory  University in Atlanta paid tribute to the playwright with a 12-hour celebration of his work. GPB’s Sean Powers got a front row seat at some of the performances.

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It's been a long day at Stone Mountain Park, where hundreds of protestors showed up to counter a Confederate rally being held there. 

The conflict started mid-morning as groups like Rise Up Georgia surrounded the park, leaving their cars blocking the main entrance. 

A long line of stopped vehicles kept park-goers from getting anywhere near the entrance, as Rise Up protestors demonstrated with chants and signs by the ticket counters. After about an hour, they returned to their cars to enter the park.

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We’re are joined by our Friday panel in The Breakroom to dissect the week’s news, including the benefits of listening to live music and the issue of corporal punishment in the Georgia school system. The Breakroom gang also discusses the  infamous pepper spray incident at UC Davis and why satirical news outlet The Onion has become so successful over the years.

Joining us in the Breakroom this week are:

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This Saturday, several white power groups will descend on Stone Mountain, Georgia to hold a joint rally. The event has garnered attention from anti-white power groups, who will also be attending the rally in protest. And in Rome,  The National Nazi Party will hold their annual meeting on the same night. The groups then plan to meet up in Paulding County where a cross burning has been advertised.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution watchdog reporter Chris Joyner joins us to discuss the two different events and whether Georgia has become a hot-bed for white nationalist groups. 

Sixty years ago, a pair of blue suede shoes touched down in Georgia.  Savannah played host to Elvis Presley's first concert in that city in June 1956.  The concert hall was packed with fans, mostly teenagers.  One of those was 14-year-old Dee Sutlive, who was covering the show for the Savannah Morning News.

The Jepson Center for the Arts has rare images of Elvis Presley at age 21 on display through October 2. 

Robert Shaw: Man of Many Voices

When you talk about classical music in Atlanta, the one name you're likely to come across is Robert Shaw.  The former conductor and music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra was known as a "choral giant." A new documentary called “Robert Shaw: Man of Many Voices,” tells his story. Filmmaker Kiki Wilson reflects on Shaw's storied career with Nick Jones, the ASO's former program annotator.

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Ponce De Leon Avenue stands as one of Atlanta’s most culturally significant streets. It served as a line of demarcation during segregation and evolved into a hotspot for music, entertainment and contemporary religion in downtown Atlanta. VICE producer Akil Gibbons recently released the mini-documentary entitled “Streets by VICE: Atlanta.”

In the short film, Gibbons travels along the important roadway and experiences some of Atlanta’s unique culture first-hand. We talk with him about what makes Ponce special.

Georgia Says Goodbye To Prince

Apr 21, 2016
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The world lost one of its most influential performers this week. Prince Rogers Nelson, 57, was reported dead in his Paisley Park home in Minnesota on Thursday, April 21, 2016. The cultural icon played two evening shows at Atlanta's Fox Theatre just a week before. The audience couldn't have known they were witnesses to the the final performances of a legend.

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Best-selling author and poet Robert Morgan draws his inspiration from the people and places he knew while growing up in the foothills of North Carolina. His latest novel "Chasing the North Star" is set after the passage of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act and follows a runaway slave on his journey north through the Appalachian Mountains to freedom.

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Motorcar mogul Henry Ford has had a tremendous impact on a little town in coastal Georgia. When Ford established his winter home in the struggling area that would become Richmond Hill, he and his wife sought to uplift the town and bring an end to the poverty that characterized the area. They brought jobs to the community, ended malaria, and provided access to healthcare for a beleaguered citizenry. 

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Georgia may not be following in the footsteps of Colorado or Washington when it comes to legalizing recreational marijuana, but local politicians in the city of Clarkston are hoping to change the way that law enforcement deals with minor possession of the drug. Mayor Ted Terry is supporting legislation that would levy fines instead of arrests when less than an ounce of the drug is involved. 

Hear Mayor Terry's thinking behind the change in Clarkston's policy and how he feels about the "War on Drugs."

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Tuesday is the New York Primary. There are 291 Democratic delegates up for grabs. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is coming off a streak of wins, but he may have lost the Democratic nomination for president weeks ago. That's because the superdelegates have given most of their votes to former First Lady Hillary Clinton. But what is a superdelegate?

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Georgia Tech Research Scientist Charlene Bayer is pioneering a new method for early cancer detection. No radiation, no fancy machines, just an inexpensive breathalyzer that can detect carcinogens caused by both lung and breast cancer.

Bayer explains how to use the technology and how it can be applied on a larger scale. 

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Although the physical and emotional terrors of domestic violence have been thoroughly documented, a more insidious threat remains for victims. Serious brain injury can occur during abuse, leaving the victim in a dire mental state. Often unrecognized in routine medical screenings following an event, traumatic brain injury poses a very real threat to an already vulnerable group.

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Author Gail Lumet Buckley visited Atlanta in February to give a lecture at the Margaret Mitchell House about her book, "The Black Calhouns: From Civil War to Civil Rights With One African American Family." The book traces Buckley’s family lineage through six generations and frames many of America’s pivotal moments through the viewpoint of her influential family.

We talk to Buckley about the book, her famous mother, Lena Horne, and what she learned about the highest branches of her family tree

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Malcolm Mitchell is a household name for college football fans in Georgia. He was a speedy wide receiver for the University of Georgia, and made a number of big plays over the  course of his college career. Now, Mitchell has his sights set on the NFL. But when he's not on the field, he's in the classroom, reading to kids. Last summer, he released a children's book called, "The Magician’s Hat.”

Mitchell joins us to talk about how he became a champion for children’s literacy. 

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Last year, Atlanta was named the “Nerdiest City in the Country” by Movoto, a real estate blog.  Marietta was named “Nerdiest Small City.” When did being a nerd become cool? And are nerds experiencing a golden age in Georgia?

Nerd culture tastemakers including Jess Merrimon, co-founder of the popular fan convention MomoCon, and “Archer” animator and artist Kevin Mellon talk about The Peach State as a nerd capital of the world. 

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Tax season is here and the deadline to file is Monday, April 18th. But make sure to check the credentials of the person who files your taxes. A new study by consumer advocacy group Georgia Watch found widespread lack of regulation and protections for consumers for paid tax preparation services.  Elise Blasingame is the primary investigator for the study.

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The Breakroom gang joins host Celeste Headlee to weigh in on the week's news.

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Recently, several high profile on-campus crimes in Georgia have created a stir amongst the state’s biggest schools. For example, Georgia State University students have endured a number of disturbing crimes over the past months, including two robberies at gunpoint inside the school’s library. With Governor Deal currently deciding whether to pass new campus-carry legislation, is crime on the rise for Georgia colleges?

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Dessert Professional magazine recently named Savannah chocolatier Adam Turoni one of the top ten chocolatiers in North America. The honor comes less than four years since he opened his first store on Broughton Street.

The young entrepreneur tells us about opening his store in Savannah, his start in the Chocolate business, and how the community has supported him. 

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Earlier this year, Beyoncé took the nation by storm with her music video for the song, “Formation.” It evokes images of Hurricane Katrina, unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, and the Black Lives Matter movement. It's also sparked a massive conversation about race issues in this country - and revealed divisions that go deeper than black and white.  

Linda Chen

Author Kevin Hazzard worked as a paramedic for Grady Hospital in Atlanta for ten years. His job sent him into peoples’ homes to rescue them from overdoses, deliver babies, and treat gunshot wounds. He chronicles his stories in a new memoir, “A Thousand Naked Strangers.”

Hazzard shares a story from his new book about the time a call sent him to rescue not a man, but a dog in trouble. 

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The Georgia Guidestones are a mysterious set of massive rocks that were commissioned as a structure in the early 1980’s by a mystery benefactor in Elberton, GA. The monument lists ten essential steps to re-creating the world after the apocalypse and has remained one of the more enigmatic attractions in the country.

We spoke with travel writer Shannon Dell, who visited the stones to file a report for BBC Travel, about the lore and uncertainty surrounding the granite structure. 

Two women made history last year when they became the first female soldiers to graduate from the Army's Ranger School. It's one of the nation's toughest, special-ops teams and headquartered at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. Early this year, military officials opened all combat positions to women. But the national debate about women in combat continues.

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Siblings BeBe and CeCe Winans left Detroit as teenagers and moved to Charlotte to join a Christian TV network. They worked as backup singers for popular televangelists, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, and eventually became icons of gospel music. A new musical at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta follows the siblings’ journey as they juggle fame and the pressures of growing up in the eyes of millions. It’s called “Born For This: The BeBe Winans Story.”

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