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News

Milledgeville Residents Still Waiting for Water

Apr 12, 2016
Daniel McDonald / GPB

On Tuesday afternoon, Milledgeville resident James Rayford made his first trip for free water.

Standing behind a stainless steel, 18,000-gallon tanker, waiting for Milledgeville Fire Fighter Patrick McCulley to help fill his two plastic containers, Rayford said he’s actually here on behalf of a friend.

“I’m getting this for someone who is sick and unable to get out [of their house],” he said.

Amy Sancetta / AP Photo

Georgia’s insurance commissioner has issued a rare "consumer alert" after Allstate Insurance filed for a 25 percent auto insurance rate hike for customers. The increase is set to take effect on May 22.

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President Obama is spearheading new legislation that could provide millions of Americans with access to overtime pay. The change could have major consequences for jobs in the future, but what is the history of overtime pay and the minimum wage? In our explainer series, we “break-it-down” and learn about the history of the 40-hour work week.    

Commentary: Pastor Feels Betrayed By Religious Liberty Veto

Apr 12, 2016
Garland Hunt

Gov. Nathan Deal's veto last month of Georgia's religious liberty bill continues to spark a flurry of responses. The measure would have allowed faith-based groups to refuse service to same-sex couples and LBGT citizens.  Big businesses and Hollywood praised the decision, but many people in the religious community, like Garland Hunt, felt betrayed.

Benjamin Mathes

In the age of social media, we spend a lot of time communicating and very little time listening. April 11 is the day to change that with Free Listening Day. People are encouraged to stand outside holding a sign that says "free listening", and then wait and see what people will say to them. This event is the brainchild of Benjamin Mathes, founder of a group called Urban Confessional.  He talks with us about how Free Listening Day grew from an idea to a global movement.

How To Sing Like A Southerner

Apr 11, 2016
BREEANNE CLOWDUS/COURTESY OF THEATRICAL OUTFIT

We’ve talked on the show about the history of y’all and how to lie like a Southerner… but how does one sing with a Southern accent? It’s a question tackled in the upcoming production of “The Light in the Piazza” at the Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta. The award-winning musical takes place in the 1950s and tells the story of a wealthy Southern woman and her disabled daughter on a trip to Italy.

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Jackie Robinson broke many barriers in his lifetime both on and off the baseball field. The Cairo, Georgia native's rise took many people by surprise when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers and became the first African-American in Major League Baseball. A new documentary airing Monday and Tuesday night on GPB-TV tells Robinson's story through the lens of those who knew him best. Filmmaker Ken Burns talks with us about Robinson’s fight against prejudice.

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The I-75 corridor connecting Macon and Atlanta is one of the busiest interstates in the country. Trucks travel along the route to carry goods to and from the Port of Savannah. Traffic is expected to double, even triple, in the coming years as the port expands. The state hopes to mitigate congestion and make the interstate safer by building truck-only lanes along 40 miles of I-75. If successful, it’ll be the largest project of its kind in the U.S. and the most expensive, too.

'Phantom of the Fox' Joe Patten Dies at 89

Apr 8, 2016
Rich Addicks / AP Photo

The man known as the "Phantom of the Fox" has died.  The beloved icon Joe Patten served as technical director of the Fox Theater in Atlanta for more than 35 years.

In the 1970s, Patten formed Atlanta Landmarks, which helped save the Fox Theater from demolition.

He was also responsible for restoring the theater’s organ, and even lived in an apartment inside the venue.

“Most any show is worth seeing, or I’m not in there," said Patten.

Family members say Joe Patten passed away after a stroke at age 89.

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Spring is here, which means dogwood trees are in full bloom and to mark the occasion, Atlanta’s 80th annual Dogwood Festival returns to Piedmont Park this weekend. Reporting live from the park, On Second Thought producer Sean Powers gets a lesson on Georgia’s beloved Dogwood tree from Valerie VanSweden, the curator of the Goizueta Gardens at the Atlanta History Center. Then,  Sean talks with Atlanta artist Dawn Martin, who’s showcasing her landscape paintings at this year’s festival.

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The Breakroom gang is back in the saddle to dissect and debate the week’s news. We talk about cultural appropriation of hairstyles, moving the NBA All-Star Game from Charlotte to Atlanta, and the difference between diversity and discrimination in the casting of Broadway’s “Hamilton.” 

After the break, the crew returns to chop up more of the week’s notable moments. We talk about the idea of a ‘gap year’ break for high school students, the new menu option known as the Burgerizza at Turner Field, and the idea that beautiful people don’t get substantial roles in Hollywood. 

Blackviolin / Wikimedia Commons

The Florida-based duo, Black Violin, is redefining music. A lot of their songs are a mixture of R&B, hip hop, and classical music. Members Will B and Kev Marcus are trying to diversify the appeal of classical  music. They’re performing Thursday night in Atlanta at Variety Playhouse. Will B talks about the duo’s appeal and their mission of getting making classical music more accessible. 

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The National Basketball Association has traditionally been dominated by men on and off the court. But over the years, efforts to promote inclusion have made headway in the form of female referees, front office staff, and even coaching. Here in Georgia, Nzinga Shaw hopes to further promote progress alongside the Atlanta Hawks as the NBA’s first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer.

We talk to Shaw about her time on the job and hear what she thinks has improved and what is left to be accomplished.

Courtesy of Morehouse Debate

Two hundred teams from schools across the nation will gather at Morehouse College this weekend for the U.S. Universities Debating Championship. Students will compete to become the American National Champion of collegiate debate. Morehouse will be the first historically black college to host the tournament. 

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The city of Clarkston, known for its diversity and progressive politics, could become the first city in Georgia to decriminalize marijuana. The city is moving forward on a new policy that would allow police to issue fines rather than arrest those in possession of an ounce or less of marijuana. 

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Police officers have long used a controversial tactic to end car chases called precision immobilization technique, or PIT maneuver. Many departments restrict how and when this tactic can be used because it can be dangerous at higher speeds. The Georgia State Patrol does not have those policies. Freelance journalist Shawn Raviv recently wrote about the agency’s PIT policies, which has killed at least twenty-eight people in Georgia. 

Heinrich Klaffs / Wikimedia Commons

A new biography about the Godfather of Soul reveals what James Brown sought for so long to hide - his roots.  Author James McBride writes that the facts of Brown's life have become "twisted like a pretzel beyond recognition." McBride tries to set the record straight with "Kill 'Em And Leave: Searching For James Brown And The American Soul." 

Memory And The Atlanta Child Murders

Apr 6, 2016
BreeAnne Clowdus/Actor's Express Theatre

It’s been 35 years since a prime suspect was named in the disappearance and murder of nearly two dozen black children in Atlanta. The incident came to be known as the Atlanta Child Murders. Wayne Williams was named by law enforcement as the killer and he’s currently serving a life sentence for other crimes. “Serial Black Face,” a new play at the Actor's Express Theatre in Atlanta, explores the trauma for African-American families during this time.

Sam Whitehead / GPB

LGBT rights groups rallied near the State Capitol Tuesday to celebrate Governor Nathan Deal’s veto of a ‘religious liberty’ bill last week. 

More than 300 people turned out for the rally, including Jeff Graham of LGBT rights group Georgia Equality. He wants laws that protect minorities as well as the faith community.

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Governor Nathan Deal recently rejected controversial ‘religious liberties’ legislation that created a nationwide uproar. Alongside outcry from social activists who say the bill legalized discrimination against LGBT people, production companies for TV and film vowed to end their association with Georgia if the bill became law. Many feel that Hollywood’s billions ultimately defeated the fledgling bill, but did social activism play an equal or greater role?

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The 2016 election season has already altered the way we look at politics, much in part to the meteoric rise of GOP front runner Donald Trump. But for some minority voters, the chaos of the current political scene leaves them feeling disconnected with the political parties they’ve always known.  Demetrius Minor, a long-time black Republican, grew frustrated with his party and decided to renounce his affiliation last month.

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President Obama won the 2008 and 2012 presidential election thanks in large part to his campaign’s outreach efforts to the minority community. The African-American vote, in particular, reached a historic milestone in turnout and has become a significant focus in this year’s election. Are this year’s candidates successfully reaching that population of the electorate? 

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Bullying is a  growing problem in the nation’s schools. The National Education Association estimates  160,000 children miss school every day out of fear of being bullied, attacked or intimidated by other students.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

South African attorney Mohamed Keshavjee is the latest recipient of the prestigious Gandhi-King-Ikeda Award for Peace, which is given out at Morehouse College. Past recipients include Rosa Parks, Andrew Young, and Nelson Mandela. Keshavjee talks about his work to help people in impoverished nations settle family disputes outside a courtroom.

DrJimiGlide / Wikimedia Commons

Atlanta's Clermont Hotel closed a few years ago, but the nearly century-old building retains its status as a place where interesting and sometimes unseemly things happened. There are even a few ghost stories. A new short documentary called Hotel Clermont records the last six months of this iconic structure's life before it closed. We talk with the film's director Heather Hutson and Bill Clark, who was the hotel's last manager before it closed in 2009.  

Universal Pictures

This year,  the Atlanta Film Festival paid tribute to the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes," which was first released in 1991. The film stars Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Louise-Parker, and Mary Stuart Masterson. It's set in rural Alabama, but it was was filmed in Juliette, Georgia, just north of Macon. Director Jon Avnet talks about the production process, how being a feminist influenced the way he went about telling this story, and the film’s  legacy 25 years later.  

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

While tornado watches are set to expire into Friday evening, The National Weather Service is investigating what, if any, of the wind damage that came from storms that hit Georgia early Friday morning was caused by tornadoes.

 

In all, the National Weather Service issued seven tornado warnings in Georgia between 3 a.m. and noon Friday.

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It's Friday, and it's time to sit back, relax and celebrate Friday with our weekly Breakroom panel. We talk about yoga in the classroom, if Wonder Woman in the new “Batman v Superman” is too skinny, and whether the Internet is a good place to go when you need to make an important decision. 

Commentary: The Weight-Equals-Health Myth

Apr 1, 2016
Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Supermodel Ashley Graham wears a size 16.  And that makes her unconventional in the world of fashion -- but totally normal in real life.  Still, Graham has faced criticism from consumers and others in her industry. That kind of backlash doesn't sit well with Michelle Khouri, a freelance arts and culture editor in Atlanta.

HBO

Long before Georgia became a film industry hub, the Atlanta Film Festival drew Hollywood types to the state. The 40th annual Atlanta Film Festival kicks off on Friday. More than 150 narrative and documentary films will be shown over 10 days. Jennifer Brett of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution gives us a preview of what to expect.

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