Taylor Gantt

Radio Producer & Back-Up Host

Taylor graduated from Georgia State University in 2015 with B.A in Journalism and a concentration in Telecommunications. He interned with On Second Thought during his Senior spring semester and immediately fell in love with the team and the GPB working environment (but mostly the t-shirts).

Taylor also worked as a freelance sports reporter for the Forsyth County News and a sports contributor for the growing southern magazine "The Kitchen Drawer." When he's not listening to Rush or groaning at the local teams, he can be found petting his cat "Mr. Jorge" or watching Netflix.

Ways to Connect

Deborah Cramer

Every year, thousands of birds make their way to Georgia’s coastline during their migration. One vital resting place for these birds is the estuary found at the mouth of the Altamaha River, where they eat and recover en route to their final destination. One species called the red knot heavily depends on Georgia’s coast to help complete its 19,000 mile journey. The industrious bird is the subject of Deborah Cramer’s most recent book, "The Narrow Edge,"  where she follows the red knots’ arduous migration path.   

terrijvaughn.com

The social media movement, #OscarsSoWhite, opened up many people’s eyes to the lack of diversity in the film industry. In order to address this issue from a state level, Georgia recently passed HB 1577. Actress and director Terri J. Vaughn helped spearhead this legislation in conjunction with her production company, Nina Holiday Entertainment. 

fullercallaway.org

Born in the small town of LaGrange in west Georgia, Fuller E. Callaway rose from relative obscurity to become an influential member of the New South. He built up a considerable fortune as a textile manufacturer, but his legacy in Georgia far supersedes his business accomplishments. Two historians, Buck and Carol Melton, delve into the life of the Georgia industrialist in their new book Fuller E. Callaway: Portrait of a New South Citizen.

We talk with both authors about how Callaway’s influence still endures in the Peach State.

Linda Chen

Peach Dish is a subscription service that delivers fresh ingredients for Southern-inspired meals. We tried out one of the company's flavorful recipes: Beef Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw, Radish and Lime.  

Producers Lindsay Foster Thomas and Linda Chen put together a quick video chronicling the culinary adventure:

youtube.com/PBS

The blight problem in Atlanta continues to be a financial concern for the city. Conservative estimates conclude that Atlanta is spending millions of dollars in code enforcement and services on worn down and vacant properties. Recently, these abandoned lots have also been increasingly used as dumping sites for dead bodies. The corpses recovered included several vagrants who overdosed on narcotics and two female murder victims who were allegedly strangled to death at separate times.

georgiagrown.com

Agriculture continues to be a heavyweight industry in Georgia, contributing over $75 billion to the state’s economy. Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black wants to double down on that success with Georgia Grown. The branded logo is associated with producers, sellers, manufacturers, and any Georgia business that wants to further align itself with the Peach State.

flickr.com

Last year, the Department of Justice came down hard on the Georgia school system after they learned about the segregation and isolation of disabled students into special "psycho-educational programs." But now, another investigation into these special programs has revealed that a disproportionate amount of black students are sent to these facilities. New reporting reveals that students are offered little or no psychiatric help and spend much of the day either playing games or sitting in isolation.

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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.

commons.wikipedia.org

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.

commons.wikipedia.org

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:

commons.wikipedia.org

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. 

twitter.com/soledadbrotha

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.

flickr.com

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. 

flickr.com

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."

Gary Meek/Georgia Tech

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. 

Wiki Commons

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.

commons.wikipedia.org

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

flickr.com

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?

commons.wikipedia.org

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. 

jasonikeemrodgers.com

We add another pair of songs to our essential Georgia Playlist. Jason Rodgers, conductor of the all-black group ‘Orchestra Noir," joins the show to share two of his favorite Georgia tunes from Ray Charles and James Brown. 

Enjoy this live version of Ray Charles' "Unchain My Heart"

Also, check out James Brown performing "Please, Please, Please" live on the TAMI show

commons.wikipedia.org

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.    

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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. 

pixbay.com

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.

pixbay.com

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?

commons.wikipedia.org

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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When Michael Sam became the first openly gay athlete to be drafted into the NFL back in 2014, important barriers to equality were broken. But not much has changed when it comes to tolerance in the NFL and other professional sports. Most recently, the Atlanta Falcons were ostracized for questioning the sexuality of a potential draft pick by asking him if he liked men during an interview. 

Former NFL player and current advocate Wade Davis joins us to discuss the lack of tolerance in pro sports. Writer and editor Erick Fernandez of Cycle also weighs in on the controversial issue. 

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 The National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit is currently underway in Atlanta. President Obama and a host of politicians, scientists, and medical professionals aim to address the problem of prescription drug abuse. Currently, misuse of prescription meds is responsible for an estimated 72 deaths a day, a number that has pushed the medical community to classify this problem as an epidemic. 

We are joined by Dr. Patrice Harris of the American Medical Association to discuss the problem of prescription drug abuse and what can be done to curb the problem.

pixbay.com

Most major cities around the country cultivate a certain cultural tone over time. Portland is known as a hub of nostalgia and alternative lifestyles; Miami boasts a blend of Latin culture mixed in with a constant party vibe. But how is Atlanta defined culturally and how has that definition changed over the years?

 

 

pixbay.com

A group of faculty and student researchers at Kennesaw State University have recently discovered a new method for delivering vital proteins into human cells. This new method of cell penetration could have a number of important applications down the road, ranging from improvements to cosmetics all the way to aiding the fight against cancer.

We talk to KSU’s associate vice president of research Jonathan McMurry and graduate student Verra Ngwa about the science behind their team’s discovery. 

pixbay.com

For high school students from low-income households, the road to graduation can be filled with obstacles – and where they live is one of them.  The Brookings Institute has found a new link between states with high income inequality and dropout rates among low-income youths. According to the report, the perceived lack of social mobility is a big issue for low income students in states like Georgia.

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