Jake Troyer

Producer, On Second Thought

Jake is a producer for On Second Thought.

Though born in New Hampshire, Jake is proud to have grown up in the great state of Georgia.

Jake joined the team at GPB after earning his Bachelor's in Computer Science and his Master's in Emerging Media from the University of Georgia. Go Dawgs!

Jake fell in love with audio storytelling from a young age, being raised on radio plays and audiobooks, which later turned to podcasts and public radio. He hopes to use this love of audio to amplify the wide range of stories in the Peach State.

Ways to Connect

For the last five years, we’ve heard cries of “fake news” from media critics on both sides of the political aisle. This year, Emory University offered first-year students the opportunity to enroll in a course about fake news. It’s one of Emory’s “evidence-focused seminars” intended to prepare students for college-level research. We speak to Dr. Judith Miller, who teaches the course, and Natalia Thomas, one of the students who took the class last semester.

It made headlines when Queen Elizabeth II agreed to grant Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle their wish for a more independent life, allowing them to move part-time to Canada while remaining firmly in the House of Windsor. We speak with Emory history professor Dr. Patrick Allit and CNN senior writer Lisa Respers France to analyze the historical context and current implications of their move to this side of the pond.

(Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool Photo via AP)

There is a lot of important news going on. Yet, this last week so many headlines were dominated by the news in Britain — not about Brexit, but “Megxit.”  More accurately, the response to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s surprise decision to step back from their duties as “senior” royals.

The move has revealed a range of opinions about monarchy, race, class and media — not just in Britain, but also here in the U.S.

Rock n’ Roll hits the page in Ian Port’s The Birth of Loud. Hear him tone it down to speaking volume when he stops by On Second Thought.

GPB/Jake Troyer

Cars are an integral part of portraying time and place in film, with some leaving a lasting impact on our cultural references. There’s James Bond’s Aston Martin, Marty McFly’s time-traveling DeLorean, Thelma and Louise’s 1966 Thunderbird and countless other examples.  

With Georgia now a go-to filming location for projects like Baby Driver and Stranger Things, the demand for automobiles, current and vintage, is growing.

Y’allywood Film Cars aims to fill that demand and keep the industry fair in the process. Run by Beth Aylward, Jeana Lopeman and Stacy Frasure, Y’allywood Film Cars connects the car collectors of Georgia with the productions looking for a specific model.

Stephen B. Morton / AP

GPB is hosting on Wednesday a film screening of Black 47, an action-adventure drama that takes place during the Irish potato famine of the late 1840s.

Shane Stevens, consul general of the Irish Consulate, will be in Atlanta for the screening of the film alongside GPB CEO Teya Ryan and the film’s star, James Frecheville.

Some 800,000 Georgians claim Irish heritage. The first shipload of immigrants from Ireland docked on the coast of what became the colony of Georgia and 1734. Thousands were escaping the potato famine of 1845 to 1849, when nearly 1 million Irish nationals died. Black 47 examines the horrors of the famine and the resilience of the Irish people.

Robert Jimison of GPB breaks down the processes and benefits of the 2020 Census, and why local and state governments want you to participate.

National Book Award nominee Margaret Wilkerson Sexton’s latest novel, The Revisioners, crosses differences in race, wealth and time itself.  It came out Nov. 5, and we revisit our conversation with the author.

Earl McGehee / Wikimedia.org

The aerial arts are a thing across the country helped no doubt by the popularity of Cirque De Soleil or movies like The Greatest Showman.

Georgia’s aerial community has grown as well. Challenge Aerial recently opened in Atlanta. It’s a studio housed in a former masonic lodge, with 20-foot-high ceilings, and lots of room for pursuing dreams of soaring high on silks, trapezes, and hoops.

On Monday, Vice President Mike Pence swore in Georgia’s new U.S. senator, Kelly Loeffler. While she may be co-owner of Atlanta’s professional women’s basketball team, The Dream, and a successful finance executive, many Georgia voters don’t know much about their new senator. Greg Bluestein of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution joins On Second Thought to tell us what we know, what we don’t know, and what to pay attention to in the coming months.

Instead of condemnation, strangers showed up to support a mother of four arrested for leaving her teenage son with down syndrome at an Atlanta hospital. Hear a debrief with GPB’s Jade Abdul-Malik on what families of the developmentally disabled want you to know.

Connor Lounsberry / A5 Volleyball Club

For students, sports yield a variety of skills and lessons beyond the field or court like teamwork, perseverance, and confidence. While sports in Georgia are dominated by football, baseball, basketball and soccer, another sport is on the rise, as well.

Volleyball is now the number one sport played by high school girls in America, seeing major growth in schools and clubs across the country.

Courtesy of Michael Wiese Books

Since the early days of cinema, action-adventure movies have transported and invigorated audiences around the globe. While the movies have evolved, boasting enormous budgets and dazzling technical feats, the staying power of any great flick comes down to the story.

Atlanta-native Michael Lucker has written more than 30 feature screenplays for studios all over Hollywood. He’s now back in Georgia, teaching film studies at the University of North Georgia, Emory University, and Reinhardt University, as well as workshops out of his Screenwriter School. He is also author of Crash! Boom! Bang!: How To Write Action Movies.

When Refuge Coffee Co. founder Kitti Murray and her husband moved to Clarkston, Georgia, they never expected they’d be running a coffee shop to help refugees find their footing. Yet, that’s exactly what they do today. Hear from Kitti Murray and a former Refuge Coffee trainee on the impact of the cafe on the community.

Daniel Mayer / Wikimedia.org

This year, Dec. 25 is not only Christmas, but a date marking a special place in the Atlanta arts and culture scene.

This Christmas, the famed Fox Theatre in Atlanta celebrates its 90th birthday. The Fabulous Fox has fought its way back from near extinction a handful of time, and recently earned recognition as the highest grossing venue of its size for the decade worldwide — cementing its place as a cultural center for the state of Georgia and the entire southeast.

This Christmas, Atlanta’s Fox Theatre celebrates its 90th birthday.  The “Fabulous Fox,” as it’s known, has fought its way back from extinction numerous times. Hear from Fox Theatre President and CEO Allan Vella about the dramatic twists and turns of this iconic building’s history.

A 2011 essay in Garden & Gun magazine called “Redefining the Southern Belle” got lots of responses; much of the feedback was positive, some not, but it all opened explorations of what “Southern woman” meant then and now. The discussions that followed led to a new book of portraits and interviews with artists, innovators and entertainers — from Reese Witherspoon to Oprah, Dolly Parton to Beyoncé, along with several names you may not know yet.

We hear more about the new book from Garden & Gun, called Southern Women: More Than 100 Stories of Innovators, Artists and Icons, from Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice and Euneika Roger-Sipp, two women featured in the magazine and its deputy editor, Amanda Heckert.

Talent Room Entertainment

Glenn Jones got his start in the music industry at a young age, signing to gospel label Savoy Records at just 17 years old. Later, his single “Here I Go Again” reached the top of the R&B charts in 1991.

Now, Jones is based in Atlanta and releasing new music under his independent label, Talent Room Entertainment.

On Second Thought invited Glenn Jones into the studio to share his additions to the Georgia Playlist.

Artist: A. C. Michael / Source: Wikipedia.org

Atlanta-based folk musician and multi-instrumentalist John McCutcheon has had a long career of writing and performing folk music all over the world. One of his songs, though, holds a special place in the canon of Christmas music.

“Christmas in the Trenches,” released in 1984 on the album Winter Solstice, tells the true story of the 1914 Christmas Truce, an unofficial ceasefire and celebration along the western front of World War I on Christmas Eve. Through the eyes of the fictional British soldier Francis Tolliver, McCutcheon weaves the story of the night soldiers came out of their trenches, exchanged souvenirs from home, and played a game of football.

McCutcheon joined On Second Thought to share the story of the song, the initial inspiration, and why he decided to make a children’s book based on the song.

While the holiday season may be a popular time for couples to impulsively “pop the question,” those couples generally do not think about the possibility of divorce. Family law attorney Randy Kessler joins On Second Thought to talk about why couples should consider a prenup. 

One Lawrenceville author turns real folk stories into fictional novels. Hear from author Tim Westover about his new book The Winter Sisters and how he draws upon local Southern folklore to craft his historical fiction stories. 

When Atlanta hosted the 1996 Olympics, terror struck. In the rush for justice, the wrong man was presumed guilty. “Mistaken: The Real Story of Richard Jewell” follows Jewell’s descent from hero to villain in the court of public opinion. Hear this On Second Thought special broadcast featuring interviews with Kent Alexander, U.S. Attorney for the northern district of Georgia at the time of the 1996 Olympics, journalist, Kevin Salwen and Tom Johnson, former head of CNN.

Atlanta Judge Christopher Portis recently launched a court program to help homeless defendats in Atlanta. Hear how the new initiative aims to help people get off the streets and navigate the court system.

Comedian Judah Friedlander is probably best known for his role as Frank Rossitano on NBC’s 30 Rock, but his new stand-up series Judah Friedlander: Future President takes a satirical look at America and its complicated place on the world stage. He performed in Atlanta a few weeks ago and joins On Second Thought to share his approach to stand-up.

The impeachment proceedings continue in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.  Today, On Second Thought gets the perspective of two Georgia experts pertaining to the possible effects of the hearing. Author, lawyer and Pro Hac Judge to the City of Atlanta Municipal Court, Parag Shah, clarifies hearsay and its admission during the hearings. 

Dee Dee Hibbler now consults for the Dekalb County film commission after being an instrumental figure in establishing Atlanta as the hip-hop capital of the south. Hibbler is also known as “Peaches” most commonly associated with Outkast and Dungeon Family fame. She joins On Second Thought to talk about her work with some of the most notable names in hip-hop. 

Georgia’s foster care system is in crisis with the number of kids in state custody rising significantly. To getter a better understanding of the strain on the system, On Second Thought spoke with Samantha Max, former health reporter for The Telegraph in Macon and current reporter for Nashville Public Radio. Also joining the conversation is foster parent and founder of Never Too Late group home, Dr. John DeGarmo.

Gnats don’t read maps, but the bugs do seem hesitant to cross an unseen, geographic boundary in Georgia. Learn about the disparities north and south of the "gnat line" from Tales from the Gnat Line author and longtime state lawmaker Larry Walker.

Courtesy of Georgia Tech
Justin Chan Photography

Amid the buzz of the Nov. 20 Democratic debate in Georgia, you may have missed that former Pres. Barack Obama was in town for another event.  He delivered the keynote address at the GreenBuild International Conference in Atlanta.  

New data from the Associated Press reveal more than a thousand failing dams in the U.S. that could have catastrophic consequences if they gave out. Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Grant Blankenship analyzed the information and learned Georgia is one of the most at-risk states. Find out which dams could cause the most damage for surrounding communities.

Dr. Vonda Wright spreads the word on the potential for injury in esports. Learn the similarities between traditional and digital sports, and how Dr. Wright teaches young players how to participate safely.

Stephen Kelleghan

In her new memoir, Samantha Power writes about the “X test.” As she describes it, “in trying for Y, the most I accomplish is X.” In other words, even if “Y” is likely to fail, what “X” can be learned along the way?

Power has experienced some of those failures and made some bold moves in her life. Some weren’t up to her, like moving from Ireland to the U.S. at the age of 9. As a young adult, she jumped into the fray as a reporter during The Balkan Wars, later writing a Pulitzer Prize-winning book that took the American government to task for failing to stop genocides around the world. She would later become Ambassador to the U.N. under President Obama.