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On Thursday's Political Rewind, we take a deeper look at issues driving national headlines. How has the United States emerged from the showdown with Iran in the aftermath of the targeting of Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani?

Are we safer? Did the Trump administration have clear evidence of an imminent threat that made it necessary to target Soleimani?


GBPI

The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute published a new poll of registered Georgia voters on their feelings about the state budget.

According to the poll, 78.3% of Georgians oppose or strongly oppose budget cuts if they affect public safety, health care or education. 68.1% would oppose cuts that would lead to layoffs. 

A Georgia man has been released from prison after spending more than a third of his life incarcerated for a crime he didn't commit.

News outlets report 44-year-old Kerry Robinson walked out of a South Georgia prison Wednesday after 17 years and hugged his relatives.

His attorneys at the Atlanta-based Georgia Innocence Project say he was convicted in 2002 of breaking into a woman’s home nine years prior and sexually assaulting her.

Pixabay

Health officials are warning that flu season isn’t over yet, and this year’s illness is tracking closely to the 2017-18 season, which had some of the highest numbers of hospitalizations and deaths in 40 years.

Influenza and flu-like illness have already killed 15 Georgians. Six of those deaths happened in the last week of 2019.

Department of Corrections

A judge refused Wednesday to order DNA tests on a gun used to kill a convenience store cashier more than 30 years ago, rejecting arguments from defense attorneys who said the results could spare a Georgia inmate from execution next week.

Jimmy Fletcher Meders, 58, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Jan. 16 for the 1987 slaying in coastal Glynn County.

  • Rep. Hice Calls On House Speaker To Send Articles Of Impeachment To Senate
  • Coast Guard Selects Company To Remove Capsized Ship Off Georgia Coast
  • UGA Quarterback Announces He'll Enter NFL Draft


Stephen Fowler / GPB News

Today on Political Rewind, Iran and the stalemate over an impeachment trial dominate national news today. As always, we’ll look at those stories through a Georgia lens.

But first, state news. Two years ago, Democrat Carolyn Bordeaux came within 500 votes of beating GOP incumbent Congressman Rob Woodall in the 7th District race. Why are some top Democratic leaders now switching their allegiance from Bordeaux to a Democrat taking her first shot at the seat?


Grant Blankenship / GPB

The U.S. Forest Service is in the planning stages of a massive, perhaps even first of its kind forest management project at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains.

The Foothills Landscape Project takes in a little over 157,000 acres of the Chattahoochee National Forest, a little over twice the footprint of the city of Atlanta, running in an arc from the Tennessee border north of Chatsworth over to Rabun County.

The public has through Friday, Jan. 10 to weigh in.


The Fulton County District Attorney's Office will honor two men at Wednesday night's commencement for the state's first Conviction Integrity Unit.

The unit gives victims of wrongful imprisonment a new chance to have their voices heard.


uga.edu

Next month, the University of Georgia's College of Education will bear the name of a trailblazer.

Mary Frances Early was the first black student to graduate from the school in 1962.


  • Fulton County Conviction Integrity Unit Offers Second Chance For The Wrongfully Convicted
  • David Perdue Co-Sponsors Bill That Would Allow Senate To Dismiss Impeachment Charges
  • Maternal Health Committee Says Georgia Should Extend Medicaid Covereage For Poor Mothers


State Rep. Philip Singleton's Office

The "Student Athlete Protection Act" was recently filed in the Georgia legislature by state Rep. Philip Singleton (R-Sharpsburg). His first filed bill, HR 747, would among other things give athletic organizations the authority to prevent transgender athletes from competing in sporting events that don't match the gender assigned at birth.


Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Republican finance executive Kelly Loeffler took the oath of office and was sworn in Monday as the newest member of the United States Senate representing Georgia. Her appointment to the upper chamber of Congress follows the early retirement of three-term Sen. Johnny Isakson. 


Gwinnett County Libraries

Gwinnett County libraries will re-open Thursday, after being closed all week to get rid of an aging organizational structure: the Dewey Decimal System.


Linda Tillman / Georgia Bee Association

An effort to save honey bees across Georgia has moved to the back of cars. No, not mobile beehives, but license plates.  


  • Former Atlanta Official Sentenced To 2 Years In Corruption Probe
  • New Legal Unit In Fulton County To Investigate Questionable Convictions
  • U.S. Forest Service Seeking Public Comment On 20-Year Revitalization Plan in North Ga.


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.


Jacquelyn Martin / AP

U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler this week began her congressional tenure as Gov. Brian Kemp’s replacement for retired Sen. Johnny Isakson. 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Washington correspondent, Tia Mitchell, joined us to talk about Loeffler’s first days on Capitol Hill.


Jade Abdul-Malik/GPB News

Besides being subject to legal action, mothers who abandon their children generally hold a special place of villainy in the court of public opinion. Witness the recent condemnation after Diana Elliott left her developmentally challenged 14-year-old son at an Atlanta hospital.

Not everyone jumped on the bandwagon of rage — some on social media expressed sympathy for a single mother of four caring for children with special needs. Two dozen women showed up at her first hearing to ask the court for mercy.


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.


Liz Fabian

Richard Robinson was barely over 21 when he opened his first funeral home in south Macon.

In the three years since starting his own business, the young man from east Macon has seen a disproportionate share of young people among his hometown’s homicide victims.

Monday, Robinson joined Macon-Bibb County commissioners Al Tillman and Virgil Watkins to announce their new partnership aimed at reducing youth violence.

  • Atlanta City Council Member Speaks Out In Midst Of Iran/U.S. Tensions
  • Kelly Loeffler Officially Sworn In As A Georgia Senator By VP Mike Pence
  • Alex Trebek Shares Encouraging Message With Fellow Cancer Fighter, Congressman John Lewis


For three decades, Georgia and Florida have been battling over how to share a precious resource: water. Georgia has it, and Florida, which is downstream, says it's not getting its fair share. The dispute is once again headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Florida wants the justices to cap Georgia's water use. But a court-appointed special master recently rejected that idea.

More than 6 million people depend on water that starts at Lake Lanier, a reservoir northeast of Atlanta. It generates hydropower as its water is released from a dam into the Chattahoochee River.

  • Kelly Loeffler Sworn In As Georgia's Newest U.S. Senator
  • Judge Nixes Defense Funding Appeal In Tara Grinstead's Murder
  • Law Enforcement Gave Out 50 Thousand Citations For Hands-Free Law In 2019


Elijah Nouvelage/Invision/AP

A wealthy Republican businesswoman set to be sworn in as Georgia’s next U.S. senator will enter the chamber with a unique distinction: Her first vote could be on whether to remove the president.

Kelly Loeffler is scheduled to be sworn in at 5 p.m. Monday during a short ceremony on the Senate floor.

Connor.carey / Wikimedia Commons

2020 has arrived, and it is not an exaggeration to say it will be one of the most consequential political years in decades. Kelly Loeffler is scheduled to be sworn in to her appointed seat in the U.S. Senate Monday afternoon and has already begun her campaign to be elected to the seat in November.

A second Senate seat is up for grabs in the fall, too.


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.


Random House Children's Books

Atlanta native Nic Stone has not shied away from racism, belonging and the weight of history in her novels for young adults. The New York Times best-selling author pulls those themes together in her debut novel for middle-grade readers. The book is called Clean Getaway, and hits store shelves Jan. 7. 

11-year-old William "Scoob" Lamar spends his spring break crossing the deep South in a Winnebago with his eccentric grandmother. He's escaping punishment for fighting at school — and soon realizes that "G'ma" is also on the run for something he doesn't quite understand. 


Atlanta-based author Nic Stone’s debut middle-grade novel, Clean Getaway, follows the story of a young boy embarking on a road trip with his grandmother. Hear how Stone balanced writing for middle-grade readers while still exploring complex topics.


Courtesy of the artist. © Alex Harris

What do you see when you picture the South? Maybe trees draped in Spanish moss, or plantations and rows of crops? Perhaps civil rights icons, or your mother's home cooking? Could even be the bustling interstates that now connect the region.

Safe to say, the South can be seen through many lenses, as demonstrated by The High Museum of Art's ongoing Picturing the South project. The long-running series commissions photographers to add images to the collection, which follows one rule: the photos have to be made in the South.


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