Brynn Anderson / AP

Monday on Political Rewind, in-person early voting begins but there will be fewer polling places open than usual. Measures are being taken at many locations to keep both voters, and poll workers, safe.

But will it be enough to make voters feel safe enough to participate? 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Macon barber Marshall Hughes, like barbers across Georgia, has been idle lately. Not so for his daughter. She’s in her second year as a nurse at the Medical Center at Navicent Health, Macon’s main hospital, where they are caring for COVID-19 patients.

“She’s had a great introduction to nursing,” Hughes joked. “Anything after this has got to be downhill.”

Hughes said he missed out on the federal aid for the barber shop he owns out in the dormant-for-now mall on the northside of town. So will he open his shop?  He could use the money, but then he thinks of his daughter.

“I'm not gonna be used as a guinea pig,” Hughes said.

Tonia Elrod / P&G

John Patteson spent the last 16 years working for the Procter and Gamble paper plant in Albany, which is a hotspot for coronavirus in Georgia. In a period of only weeks, almost everything changed.

Jamie Miller

Dr. Jamie Miller of Milton knows what it's like to lose a loved one.

Her father died one week before last Thanksgiving. Though he didn't die of COVID-19 or related complications, watching his decline was excruciating and Miller said she is still struggling now. 

"I can’t help but see my father’s face on those intubated, dying people infected with COVID-19," Miller said Monday on Facebook. "It puts me right back in his hospital room, by his side, holding his hand."

Phoebe Health

There are signs that healthcare workers in the COVID-19 hotspot in southwest Georgia are playing from a stronger hand than the one they were dealt at the start of the crisis — even if it seems clear the crisis is far from over.

Phoebe Health reported at the end of last week they had developed their own, two-hour turnaround rapid coronavirus test. They also released a patient who had at one time been on ventilator support and they had at least one day in which they released more COVID-19 patients than they admitted to the hospital.


Dr. LaMont Smith still has a lot of friends at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany. It’s one of the places he practiced critical medical care before he retired. 


Coronavirus put retirement on hold, and sent him back to Phoebe Putney for an 80-hour week rotation. And he saw friends, as well as sights that shook him. 

“I saw people who I knew were going to die,” Smith said. 

The Phoebe hospitals spread across southwest Georgia need the help of doctors like Smith. COVID-19 has killed more people at Phoebe Putney than in Cobb County and Fulton County combined. In terms of per capita measures, the region has now joined the ranks of Lombardy, Italy; Wuhan, China, even New York as one of the world’s hotspots for coronavirus infections.

Monday on Political Rewind, we’re joined by Mayor Bo Dorough of Albany, to discuss the ongoing public health crisis from the perspective of his town in Dougherty county.

Over the weekend, reports showed Albany had the fourth-highest rate of infection per capita among cities in the world. Hospital officials there said Sunday they received 125 positive coronavirus test results in just 24 hours.

Facebook/Bo Dorough

As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to grow in Georgia, mayors across the state are enacting measures to protect residents from the spread of COVID-19.

Owens Family

Leslie Owens will tell you: sewing is not really her thing.

“Full disclosure, I really haven't touched a sewing machine since Home EC in seventh grade,” Owens said. “That was a long time ago.”

But Owens’ home is in Albany, the same city that’s the heart of a southwest Georgia coronavirus outbreak where the per capita infection rate is the highest in Georgia. At the region’s largest hospital,  Phoebe Putney Memorial, the COVID-19 deaths account for about a third of the deaths across the entire state. Medical supplies to keep health care workers safe are running short.

So, lately, Leslie Owens has been brushing up on her middle school sewing skills.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Cases of COVID-19 are now emerging in Southwest Georgia, far from the state epicenter of the outbreak in metro Atlanta.  

Officials at Phoebe Putney Hospital in Albany say they have seen eight confirmed cases of COVID-19. Five of those people are being treated in the main Albany hospital with the remaining three recovering in their homes.

As results from runoff elections across the state were finalized Tuesday night, one trend emerged: voters wanted change.

Incumbents across the state fell in mayoral and city council elections, while a new House representative was voted into Georgia’s legislature.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Until recently, you could have probably ridden by the Leesburg Stockade in southwest Georgia without noticing it or having any clue about the civil rights history to which the squat, block building bore witness.

A new historical marker at the site has changed some of that. It has also led to a debate about just how many young girls were jailed there in the summer of 1963.

The Georgia Court of Appeals located in the State Judicial Building in Atlanta.
Supreme Court of Georgia

An appeals judge in Georgia was found Saturday shot dead behind his Albany home, but officials do not believe it was a homicide.

Albany police were dispatched to the residence and found Judge Stephen Goss, 60, in a wooded area dead from a gunshot wound, news outlets reported. 


A report by financial news and content company, 24-7 Wall Street, identifies the 25 most-segregated cities in America. Four are in Georgia, and one of those is in the top five.

The area covering Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell is number 22. Columbus comes in at 19. Macon is number 11. Albany, Georgia, comes in at No. 3.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Principal Lynn Janes knows she is responsible for some hungry kids.


“We have a lot of students, who, the only times that they really get a full solid meal is here at school,” Janes said.



Grant Blankenship / GPB

People and industries spread across 20 counties in southwest Georgia are still looking for aid in recovering from Hurricane Michael.  And the challenges for families trying to get back on their feet has prompted a first ever use of a welfare benefit as disaster aid.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

As the government shutdown stretches on, federal workers in rural Georgia are starting to feel the bite of hunger.

The asphalt behind the loading dock of the Second Harvest of South Georgia food bank in Valdosta rattled the wheels of a shopping cart loaded with food for three transportation safety administration employees from the local airport Thursday morning.

Judge Named Georgia's First 'Twitter Laureate'

Jan 18, 2019
Court of Appeals of Georgia

The Georgia House of Representatives has named a local appeals court judge the state's first Twitter laureate.

Courtesy Trenton Tye/Facebook

Trenton Tye is one of few remaining blacksmiths in Georgia. Tye is also one of the judges on Discovery's "Master of Arms." When not on TV, he works in the peanut industry near Albany. Tye spoke with "On Second Thought" producer La'Raven Taylor about his daily tasks on the job. It's part of our series in which we learn all about what people do inside the industrial buildings, gleaming office towers, company trucks, vast farmlands and even homes that fuel the region's economy. 

If you have a unique job that you're passionate about sharing, email us at 

On this edition of Political Rewind, flyers at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport are starting to feel the painful impact of the federal government shutdown. As TSA workers call in sick, security lines are growing to intolerable lengths.

Stacey Abrams on the campaign trail during the 2018 Midterm Election.
Stephen Fowler / GPB News

Former Democratic Candidate for Governor Stacey Abrams is using her fundraising abilities to aid Democrats in the state and to ensure that she remains at the forefront of the state’s Democratic party


On this edition of Political Rewind, House of Representatives Speaker David Ralston joins us just days before he gavels in the 2019 Session.


President Donald Trump salutes as he steps off Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Washington. Trump is returning from a trip to Camp David.
Alex Brandon / AP Photo

On this edition of Political Rewind, leaders at the state capitol are beginning to write the budget for the coming fiscal year. But how could signs of a possible economic downturn affect their spending plans? Our panel looks at the challenge.

Brian Kemp, center, walks with President Donald Trump, right, and Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga) as Trump arrives for a rally in Macon.
John Bazemore / AP Photo

On this edition of Political Rewind, Brian Kemp is getting set for a pre-inaugural campaign-style swing across Georgia. Can we learn anything about how he may govern based on where he’s heading?

With 33,000 employees statewide, Delta is Georgia’s No. 1 private employer, directly responsible for $43.5 billion in economic impact a year.
Delta Air Lines

Location can be instrumental to the success of a business, and for companies looking to expand or make a big move choosing the right state to can have a large impact on their profitability. 

Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay (on Facebook)

As heavy rain swept through Georgia over the weekend, parts of the state experienced severe weather. National Weather Service Meteorologist Pete Wolf says unusually warm temperatures, and humid air collided with a cold front to create a supercell tornado in Southeast Georgia, a type of storm usually seen in the Midwest.


“It was a rare scenario that set up for us that allowed that type of storm to develop," Wolf explained. "It developed very intense rotation and then as it moved into Camden County it created a tornado that approached Kings Bay Naval Base.”

U.S Fish & Wildlife Federation

Hurricane Michael damaged and destroyed hundreds of houses in southwest Georgia, but the storm also left some wildlife without a home.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Say what you will about the Pilgrim legend, but Thanksgiving at its heart is a holiday about food. But for many people of southwest Georgia still recovering from Hurricane Michael, food is hard to come by, not just this holiday week but likely well into the future.

GPB’s Grant Blankenship spoke with Eliza McCall of the Second Harvest of South Georgia food bank about the challenges to alleviating hunger after the hurricane. This conversation has been edited for clarity.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

A little after sun up, the fleet of electrical linemen were on the roads of Dougherty County in southwest Georgia, but at the health department April Smith was on a different mission. She had a tree on the roof, no power and a hungry baby.

“Please, dear Lord I can't take any more,” she said to herself as she walked to the door of the health department. “She's got one can of formula. One can of formula. And I don't have food stamps to go buy it.”

The health department where she was hoping to find the formula was supposed to be open at 7 a.m. At 8:30 it still looked like a ghost town. So, no food for the baby.  Smith wasn’t sure what her next move was.

WALB News 10

We spoke by phone to people from McRae, Plains and Valdosta about how Hurricanes may be the new normal for South Georgia.