News

News

FREDDY COLE

Nat King Cole would be 97 today had he lived, but his legacy is very much alive.  And newly honored by a new album from his brother Freddy, who is a jazz musician in Atlanta. Freddy's  new album, "He  Was  The King,"  is a tribute to his brother, Nat. We  talk with Freddy about his storied career, and his brother’s legacy. 

The son of civil rights leader Ralph David Abernathy Jr. has died.  Ralph David Abernathy III served as a Georgia State Senator and was known for his own role in working toward racial equality. His most recent work involved efforts to build a memorial for activist icons like John Lewis, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King and his own parents. 

Andy Watson/BullStockMedia.com

Professional Bull Riding is a growing action sport, but many people have yet to experience an event in person. More than a thousand cowboys are members of the Professional Bull Riders organization, known as the PBR, which has doled out upwards of $140 million to winners in its more than 20 year existence.

 

We take a listen to an audio postcard from a PBR event in Duluth and hear from Shane Proctor and Derek Kolbaba , two daredevil riders who tangle with two-ton bulls for a career. 

VIDEO: Watch the event kick-off with pyrotechnics and fireworks:

Wikipedia Commons

The Central Library in Atlanta is at the center of a debate over whether the Atlanta-Fulton County library system should downsize. This comes at a time when public libraries have yet to fully recover from the recession. Today’s libraries are so much more than quiet spaces to read a book. You can now find 3D printers and maker spaces among your favorite papers. But all this technological innovation comes at a price. 

Ro*Co Films/Abramorama

A case before the Supreme Court will determine whether a controversial Texas law places an undue burden on women who seek an abortion. Hundreds of these laws have been passed across the country. They're known collectively as "TRAP" laws, which stands for Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers. A new documentary called “Trapped” is now playing at the Midtown Art Cinema in Atlanta and looks at how these laws have made it harder for abortion clinics in the South to keep their doors open.  

commons.wikipedia.org

In Georgia, state legislatures are conducted on a part time basis. Most legislators are also involved in major secular fields, including medicine, law, and real estate. A recent Atlanta Journal Constitution article cites that many of these legislators are bringing bills to the floor that will directly benefit their personal career field.

We talk to AJC reporter Aaron Gould Sheinin about the potential for conflicts of interest when part-time lawmakers deal with policies that can affect their own bottom line.

How To Lie Like A Southerner

Mar 16, 2016
The Rome News-Tribune

Call it a fib, a fiction, a white lie, or a fish story. Storytelling has long been part of Southern culture, and sometimes that means telling stories. Tomorrow kicks off the Second Annual Big Fibbers Storytelling Festival in Rome, Georgia. Fourteen fibbers from around the state will perform a five minute tall tale with the hopes of being crowned the new Big Fibber Champion.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

What people experience as minorities in America can vary based on gender, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic group.  But sometimes there are overlaps in these narratives.  A new class at Spelman and Morehouse Colleges explores relations between African-Americans and Asian-Americans through the lens of history.

Rebecca Kumar teaches the class called "How Does It Feel To Be A Problem?"  We chat with her and  two of her students who say their own experiences as African-Americans have shed a light on similar struggles facing Asian-Americans.

Brad Clinesmith / flickr

Atlanta is growing and it's growing fast. For the last six years, Atlanta has been the top moving destination in the U.S., according to Penske Truck Rental. Within the next 25 years, expect many more new faces to the city.

twitter.com/NeumannicTimes

Being a teacher is not an easy job. Growing levels of career dissatisfaction, uncompetitive salaries, stress, low levels of teacher retention and many other factors make teaching a serious challenge. Ryan Neumann, a Cobb County teacher and host of the blog Neumannic Times, feels the weight of being a teacher and wrote a commentary based on the challenges voiced by many of his peers.

We take a listen to an excerpt of Ryan’s commentary and hear how he really feels about the his complicated career

publicdomainpictures.net

Although the average American life expectancy continues to improve, one demographic group has been dealing with substantial problems over the past few decades. Research from Princeton University discovered that older white Americans from ages 45-54 are experiencing sharp increases in health failure, poisoning from drugs and alcohol, and suicide.

    

jasonikeemrodgers.com

A conductor in Clarkston, GA is looking to add some much-needed diversity into the world of classical music. Jason Rodgers has founded Atlanta’s first all-black orchestra, which will be known as Orchestra Noir. The group will debut later in the year and hopes to encourage other classical music programs to further the cause of diversity.

We speak to conductor Jason Rodgers and Director of Community & Learning Caen Thomason-Redus for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra about the current status of diversity in classical music. 

The Return Of Purple Ribbon Sugarcane

Mar 14, 2016
Jim Melvin/Clemson University

Purple ribbon sugar cane tastes a little different from its tropical relative. For a while, it thrived on Sapelo Island off the coast of Georgia. Then, disease nearly wiped it out in North America altogether. Now a team of farmers, geneticists, and historians have come together to bring back the Purple Ribbon Sugar Cane. And, in doing so, help save Gullah Geechee culture.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

The Stopover Music Festival brings in a hundred bands to perform over three days in Savannah. Many of the musicians are local, but some are out-of-towners who need a place to crash. Luckily, Savannah is the Hostess City and there are a large group of enthusiastic volunteers who open their hearts and even their homes to the bands. Our producer Sean Powers visited one of those homes, where he met the band Go!Zilla,

Trevor Young / GPB

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest, is getting a $6 billion facelift. 

The details were outlined by airport General Manager Miguel Southwell on Thursday. The announcements came as part of the inaugural State of the Airport address at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Southwell said the project will not only "be transformational for the airport, but they will enable the needed expansion to accommodate the growing demand we have at Hartsfield-Jackson." 

Stock Photo

After a long week, it’s time to kick back, relax, and look back at what’s happened since Monday. We talk about a call to ban homework, small churches vs. mega churches, and spending the night in slave quarters.

Youtube.com/Quarterlife*(webseries)

Most people recognize the power of a midlife crisis, but two Atlanta performers are hoping to showcase  the funny foibles of life in your mid-20s. Celia Quillian and Shelli Delgado raised $10,000 through crowd funding in order to create their own Web series called "Quarter Life*."

We sit down with the two co-writers and producers of the show to talk about how we should really look at life during our mid-twenties. 

More info on Quarter Life*

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

One of the bands performing this year at the Stopover Music Festival in Savannah is Culture Vulture. The trio describes themselves as an instrumental pop outfit with heavy math rock and jazz influence. They give us a special studio performance and talk about their style of music.

Funny And Feminist

Mar 10, 2016
Mike Hillman

A sketch comedy show at Dad’s Garage in Atlanta promises to deliver laughs and “smash the patriarchy right through the glass ceiling.” It’s called “Woman of the Year” and features sketches that challenge traditional notions of how women are supposed to act, dress and behave.

Commentary: Learn From Confederate Monuments, Don't Remove Them

Mar 9, 2016
Jud McCranie

Georgia's Civil War legacy has been hotly debated over the years. The Atlanta History Center has created online tools to help put Confederate monuments in historical perspective. In a commentary, the Center’s president and CEO Sheffield Hale says we should learn from Confederate memorials, not tear them down.

 

Jim Bowen

There’s a “pro-white” rally scheduled in April at Stone Mountain, which is Georgia’s most famous Confederate monument. “Pro-white” is how the organizers describe it, others call it a white supremacy rally. Some self-described anti-hate groups are planning to protest the “pro-white” crowd.

Counter protesters include the Confederates of Michigan and the South Carolina-based Bastards Motorcycle Club. They say they want the rally to end without violence. We talked with members of both groups about what they hope to accomplish.

Save The Bats, Save The Agriculture

Mar 9, 2016
commons.wikipedia.org

Bats may give us some of us the creeps, but their usefulness in the field of agriculture is undeniable. Bats can save farmers billions by merely eating their fill of crop insects. But the dangerous fungus known as "white-nose syndrome" continues to infect caves and kill bats, with some estimates saying that nearly 95 percent of the population is in danger.

We talk to Georgia State University microbiologist Chris Cornelison and wildlife pathologist Heather Fenton about the severity of the fungus and what’s being done to combat it.

WGN America

A new TV series called “Underground” premieres Wednesday night on WGN America.  It tells the story of a slave escape from a Macon, Georgia plantation in the late 1850s.

Actor Aldis Hodge of “Straight Outta Compton” stars in the series. We talk with him about how he prepared to take on the role. 

TaxRebate/Flickr

Georgia’s decision not to expand Medicaid in 2012 has left rural and urban hospitals in a fragile position. Five rural hospitals have already closed their doors since 2013, and many more face potential financial collapse once federal reimbursements – known as Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments – are phased out by January 2018.

The Savannah Bananas

This is the first year since 1996 that the Sand Gnats baseball team will not play in Savannah. The team moved to South Carolina last year and changed their name to the Columbia Fireflies. But Savannah has a new baseball team to play inside Grayson Stadium, and that team finally has a name: The Bananas.

Do you like the team name? Or is it ridiculous? What's your favorite wacky sports team name?

Islamic Society of Augusta

Imam Mohamad Jamal Daoudi has seen Muslims targeted based on biases and stereotypes in an effort to detect radicalization in the general population. He is the Imam of the Islamic Society of Augusta and spearheading an outreach to educate the public and increase dialogue about Islam.  

Busterrr (Wiki)

Some corrections officials are doubling down on training to prevent a possible terror attack.  It's something Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills and Macon-Bibb County Sheriff David Davis have thought a lot about in his department. 

Authoritarianism In American Politics

Mar 7, 2016
Michael Vadon

Donald Trump is an unlikely candidate for president. He has no real political experience and endorses extremist views. Yet, the GOP frontrunner has had success with voters across all demographic lines. Political scientists point to the rise in authoritarianism in American politics as the driver of Trump’s success. 

Sean Powers/On Second Thought

We kick off a new series called "No Notes" where Celeste Headlee interviews a mystery guest. She talks with one of the most familiar voices in the world.  We also talk with an actor who holds the world record for playing monsters and aliens, even if he sometimes doesn't speak at all.  And we bid goodbye this weekend to one of the most successful dramas in PBS history. 

Super Tuesday Recap | Racism in the Classroom | Waffle House

Mar 2, 2016
rpavich / flickr

Voters across the country placed their votes for the presidential nominee yesterday. The Guardian US reporter Richard Wolffe has been following the election and tells us about Super Tuesday’s winners and losers. 

We then look at a different kind of competition - baseball. Georgia Public Broadcasting's Leah Fleming has story about an Eagle Scout in Macon whose love for the sport has lead him to unearth Negro League history. 

Pages