Leighton Rowell

On Second Thought Producer

Leighton Rowell is a producer for On Second Thought.

Prior to joining GPB, Leighton lived in Brazil, teaching English through a Fulbright Award and eating far too much pão de queijo.

Leighton's previous reporting has appeared on TIME.com, The Trace and in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; she also interned for NBC Sports during the Rio 2016 Olympics. For her work on investigations at the AJC and WSB-TV, Leighton was honored with two Larry Peterson Memorial Awards in 2016.

An Atlanta native, Leighton attended the University of Georgia, where she was a Foundation Fellow and managing editor of The Red & Black student newspaper. She also began her public radio career in Athens as an intern for WUGA's classical music program Afternoon Concert.

Leighton graduated from UGA summa cum laude with bachelor's degrees in history and Romance languages. She speaks Portuguese and French. 

AP Photo / David J. Phillip

The New England Patriots clinched their sixth Super Bowl win Sunday in Atlanta, defeating the Los Angeles Rams 13-3. Though it was the lowest-scoring game in Super Bowl history, it was still a big win for college and high school football programs across Georgia.

 

Jon Nelson, host of GPB's "Football Fridays in Georgia" podcast stopped by "On Second Thought" to explain Super Bowl 53's deep roots in Georgia.


Today's show recapped the Super Bowl events around the city, along with the game's Georgia connections and an author interview with Atlanta resident Snowden Wright.

The New England Patriots are once again Super Bowl champions, deafeating the Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. "Morning Edition" producer Taylor Gantt and GPB reporter Ross Terrell joined "On Second Thought" to break down the highlights of the game. They discussed Maroon 5's halftime show, the role social media played throughout the game and how the city managed visitors over the event weekend.

On today's show, we looked ahead to Super Bowl LIII this weekend, explored the legacy of Atlanta DJ Alley Cat and heard updates from the GPB newsroom about the Georgia legislature.

GPB reporter Stephen Fowler joined "On Second Thought" to discuss the Gov. Brian Kemp's state budget proposal and a bipartisan group of lawmakers' renewed efforts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment.


Today's show highlighted authors Soniah Kamal and Goldie Taylor, along with discussions on sports fans and information on an upcoming Georgia entertainment caucus.

"Unmarriageable" is author Soniah Kamal's modern adaptation of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice," set in Pakistan. The novel follows teacher Alys Binat as she navigates family, romance and her own misconceptions about the dashing Valentine Darsee. Kamal joined "On Second Thought" to discuss the inspirations for her novel and her appearance at the Savannah Book Festival next month.


SAB0TEUR / Wikimedia Commons

According to an Emory University study, second-best will meet second-worst at the Super Bowl in Atlanta. For years, Emory Marketing professor Mike Lewis has used a statistical model to rank sports fans. This season, that model ranked fans of the New England Patriots as the No. 2 fan base in the nation. The same model ranked fans of the Los Angeles Rams second-to-worst, only ahead of the Tennessee Titans. 


Barring a blizzard, Atlanta is ready for Super Bowl LIII. But, still sore from the Falcons' 2017 defeat, how ready are Atlanta fans to welcome the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams to the Dirty Birds' turf?


Today's show featured conversations on the philosophy of sports fandom, youth engagement in religious communities and the new season of FXX's "Archer."

Super Bowl LII is almost here, and with the game come the hopes and dreams of thousands of sports fans. Emory University philosophy professor Erin Tarver is the author of "The 'I' in Team: Sports Fandom and the Reproduction of Identity." She told "On Second Thought" on how winning, losing and belonging shape sports' fans identities.


www.amtec.us.com

Unemployment hover nears a historic low as the United States approaches the tenth anniversary of the end of the Great Recession, but millions of Americans over the age of 55 are still searching for full-time employment.


Today's show explored the mysteries of the human brain, how workers 55 and older are navigating the job market and opioid misuse among construction workers.

Emory University's Brain Health Center has partnered with GPB to create a new television show, "Your Fantastic Mind." The show's host Jaye Watson joined "On Second Thought" to discuss the upcoming season, which premieres tonight on GPB. It highlights clinical advances in neurology, psychiatry and rehabilitation medicine.


Today's show explored art and artists in Georgia, from Alliance Theatre's upcoming production of "Ever After" to Brendan O'Connell's paintings that capture the beauty in the mundanity of life.

Alliance Theatre is celebrating their 50th anniversary with a revamped stage and the Atlanta debut of a new musical. The first production of the season is "Ever After," a musical based on the 1998 Drew Barrymore movie that re-imagines the Cinderella fairytale. Alliance Theatre artistic director and director of "Ever After" Susan V. Booth, choreographer JoAnn M. Hunter and lead actor Sierra Boggess all joined "On Second Thought" to discuss the show.


Courtesy Michael J. Coles

Before disruption, grit and brand building were buzzwords, those concepts drove rare, original thinkers like Michael J. Coles. Coles and his partner turned a small investment and a cookie shop at Perimeter Mall into $100 million in sales as the Great American Cookie Company. Coles went on to run for office, turn Caribou Coffee around and become a record-breaking endurance cyclist.

His success story comes with its share of devastating disappointments and a variety of crashes, but it also has many opportunities in which Coles picked himself back up and got back in the saddle – in his case, on a racing bike. Coles joined "On Second Thought" to share the story he and historian Catherine M. Lewis tell in his memoir, "Time to Get Tough: How Cookies, Coffee and a Crash Led to Success in Business and Life."


The People Speak! / Flickr

Amid the stress of college finals last semester, two Georgia Tech students died by suicide. National data indicate the problem is not unique to one school. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among college student, and about 1 in 12 students has a suicide plan, according to the National College Health Assessment.

Georgia Tech has been working to address mental health concerns on campus, allocating millions of dollars to expand resources.

Today's show explored social justice through the lens of dance and mental health initiatives across college campuses.

Atlanta choreographer and dancer Raianna Brown joined "On Second Thought" to discuss activism and dance. In 2016, she gained attention online for kneeling during a college football game. Now, Brown is continuing her advocacy with movement. She discussed her new dance production, “Skid," a look at homelessness and gentrification in the metro Atlanta area.

Max Pixel / Creative Commons

If you live in 35 of the 50 United States, being a woman could cost you. That's because in Georgia and most other states, tampons and other menstrual products are not exempt from the sales tax, while some other medical products are. That tax adds up to about $10 million annually, according to calculations by the advocacy group, Georgia Women.

A bill making its way through Georgia's legislature could change that. The same legislation failed to pass committee last year, but, if passed this year by lawmakers and Gov. Brian Kemp, would make Georgia the 11th state to toss out the so-called "tampon tax."


Today's show explored the history of black motorists through Victor Hugo Green's travel guides. We also discussed arguments for affordable menstrual products and increased funding for fine arts programming in rural Georgia schools.


The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is commemorating what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 90th birthday this year with a new permanent installation and new exhibit of drafts and notes and notes from some of Dr. King's most enduring speeches and sermons, including "I Have A Dream." 

Nicole Moore is the manager of education and museum content for the center. She was part of the team that worked to curate this special exhibit called "The Meaning of Hope: The Best of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection." The exhibit opens in Atlanta Jan. 19. 


Today's show explored the week in Georgia politics, the realities of exploitation and abuse revealed in Lifetime's new R. Kelly documentary and music from Georgia artists.

It’s been a busy week in Georgia politics. The state has a new governor, and a new legislative session is underway in the state House and Senate. GPB Politics Reporter Stephen Fowler has been under the gold dome covering the action and stopped by "On Second Thought" to provide a recap of the week.

Today's show took a survey of the state, from a blacksmith in Albany to the hidden battle for resources in the American Civil War.

The Civil War calls to mind the epic clash between Union and Confederate soldiers, but skirmishes also took place off the battlefield. The war for food, timber, shelter and control was waged largely on civilians. Historian and Atlanta native Joan Cashin joined "On Second Thought" to discuss her new book, "War Stuff: The Struggle for Human and Environmental Resources in the American Civil War."

Max Pixel

Demographers call it a "silver tsunami."

Ten-thousand baby boomers turn 65 each day, according to Pew Research, and 90 percent of homeowners of retirement age say they want to spend their twilight years at home, according to the AARP. Whether it's the high cost of assisted living and long-term care or fears of lost independence or comfort, "aging in place" is now the biggest trend in senior living.


Governor's Office

Brian Kemp was sworn in as Georgia's 83rd governor Monday, bringing an end to Gov. Nathan Deal's eight years in office. Deal had his critics, but he also earned praise for initiatives related to business, education and criminal justice reform. Many of those achievements are symbolically represented in his official portrait with First Lady of Georgia Sandra Deal. The portrait will now hang at the State Capitol.

Saporta Report founder Maria Saporta and Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter James Salzer joined "On Second Thought" to reflect on Deal's legacy as governor. 


Today's show celebrated the 50th anniversary of Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, explored the dynamics of aging in place and checked in about the future of funding for MARTA.

Michael Parver and Jamie Clements joined "On Second Thought" to revisit 50 years of programming and transformations at the theatre. They also discussed the new renovation project and the opening of "Ever After," a musical based on the 1998 Drew Barrymore film.


Today's show previews a new year in Georgia politics and the start of the 2019 legislative session. We also revisit Gov. Nathan Deal's legacy over his eight years in office.

GPB reporter Stephen Fowler and "Political Rewind" host Bill Nigut joined "On Second Thought" to discuss Brian Kemp's inauguration as he becomes the 83rd governor of Georgia. They also highlighted new legislation the Georgia General Assembly could pass in the next few months.


If you see rows of trucks and traffic cones lining streets, they could signal new productions being filmed in Georgia. These projects, like HBO's upcoming comic book adaptation "Watchmen," contribute to Georgia's multi-billion dollar film industry.

Kalena Boller, host of GPB's "The Credits" podcast, joined "On Second Thought" to share her insider knowledge on new movies and television shows filmed in the state.

Allison Ausband began her career with Delta Air Lines in 1985 as a flight attendant. Today, she's senior vice president of in-flight service at Delta, leading a team of more than 23,000 flight attendants around the world.

Before Ausband joined Delta, she was a broadcast journalist. She graduated from the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism.


Allison Ausband began her career with Delta Air Lines in 1985 as a flight attendant. Today, she's senior vice president of in-flight service at Delta, leading a team of more than 23,000 flight attendants around the world.

Before Ausband joined Delta, she was a broadcast journalist. She graduated from the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism.


Tobacco use is the No. 1 preventable cause of death in the United States, and while e-cigarettes are marketed as tools to help smokers quit, public health advocates fear they may be getting a new generation hooked. Whatever the source, Georgia offers little state-funded support to help break the habit.

A new report from top public health groups ranks the state 47th nationwide in funding programs that help smokers quit and prevent people from using tobacco. According to the report, Georgia receives $393.3 million annually from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement and tobacco taxes, but spent just $750,000 in 2018 on prevention and cessation. The state spends far more — $3.2 billion annually — on tobacco use-related health care bills. 


PIXABAY

Tobacco use is the No. 1 preventable cause of death in the United States, and while e-cigarettes are marketed as tools to help smokers quit, public health advocates fear they may be getting a new generation hooked.

Whatever the source, Georgia offers little state-funded support to help break the habit.


In his first State of the State speech, Gov. Nathan Deal said criminal justice reform would be at the top of his to-do list. As Deal prepares to leave office eight years later, Georgia's prison population is 12 percent smaller than previously projected. The incarceration rate for black men is down 30 percent and the number of people committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice has dropped 46 percent.

For those who have served time, staying out of the system is an uphill climb, which is where Gangstas to Growers digs in. The Atlanta program helps young people who have been incarcerated get back on track – through urban farming, education and activism. 


Nolen has no health insurance coverage and his treatment for opioid addiction is funded by a grant program Congress approved in 2016 under the 21st Century Cures Act.
AP Photo / Mark Humphrey

The indulgences of the holidays are behind us, and Dry January is trending. But that movement to give up drinking alcohol, in this case for a month, is more than a fad for those who struggle with alcohol abuse or other substance abuse addictions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 88,000 Americans die from excessive alcohol use each year.

By comparison, drug overdoses amid the opioid crisis caused 72,000 deaths. Researchers from the University of Washington found the number of deaths attributable to alcohol rose 35 percent from 2007 to 2017 – and Georgia is the state with the second highest rate of deaths, followed by Alabama at No. 3.


Courtesy Magda Ehlers / Pexels

In his first State of the State speech, Gov. Nathan Deal said criminal justice reform would be at the top of his to-do list. As Deal prepares to leave office eight years later, Georgia's prison population is 12 percent smaller than previously projected. The incarceration rate for black men is down 30 percent and the number of people committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice has dropped 46 percent.

For those who have served time, staying out of the system is an uphill climb, which is where Gangstas to Growers digs in. The Atlanta program helps young people who have been incarcerated get back on track – through urban farming, education and activism. 


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