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The Georgia Water Coalition is celebrating individuals and groups that are working to keep the state’s waterways clean with its annual “Clean 13” list. 


While Gov. Brian Kemp has asked state agencies to find ways to cut their budgets in the next fiscal year, the initial proposals submitted amount to an overall increase in state spending.


According to documents shared online by the governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, the state’s amended budget for the rest of the fiscal year (running July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020) would decrease by about $50 million, or two-tenths of a percent. 

However, the record-setting $27.5 billion budget would increase by 1%, or close to $300 million, for FY 2021 – even with cuts offered by many state agencies. Add to the mix recent news about record jobs growth, a booming economy and Georgia being the “number one state to do business” and many are left wondering what the cuts are all about. 

Bebeto Matthews / AP

More than 500 people have been diagnosed with vaping-related breathing illnesses including five cases in Georgia, but the cause remains unknown, U.S. health officials said Thursday. An eighth death was also reported.

The Georgia Department of Public Health says in addition to the five confirmed cases, officials are investigating about 10 possible vaping-related illnesses.

Cindy Hill / GPB

America’s musical traditions are deeply rooted in African music, and one of the very first African musical traditions to come to North America is what we now call the Ring Shout.

The rhythmic call and response singing came with people from West Africa brought to the Southern coast as slaves. Today it is practiced by their descendants, the Gullah and Geechee people of the South Carolina and Georgia coast.

Before Outkast, Goodie Mobb and T.I. burst out of Georgia, there was Blind Willie McTell and James Brown.  Before Trisha Yearwood, Alan Jackson and Jason Aldean stepped onto the country music scene, Brenda Lee and Chet Atkins were changing the sound of country music altogether.

What unifies those musical giants? Georgia. On Second Thought embarked on an audio tour of the dense and diverse musical roots of Georgia, from Ma Rainey and the Skillet Lickers to Emmett Miller and Otis Redding.

September Brings Peak Hurricane Activity

Sep 19, 2019

The month of September may mean the end of summer, but it's only the midway point for meteorologists tracing the latest hurricane developments of 2019. Just after mid month, we're up to 10 named storms this season.

Stephen Fowler / GPB News

There were questions personal and political, silly and serious, but former President Jimmy Carter answered them all with a smile during the 38th Carter Town Hall at Emory University Wednesday.

A packed gymnasium delivered a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” to the nearly 95-year-old humanitarian and university professor, who quipped that it only took him writing 33 books to finally get tenure.


State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler says Georgia broke records again in August, posting all-time highs in jobs and employment. 


The state also added to its labor force for the first time in six months and saw new unemployment claims fall. 


Currently, Georgia's workforce sits at 5.1 million people. The total number of unemployment claims filed in August fell by 32% compared to July.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Paul Van Wicklen drives a cherry picker in a library.

It’s actually a vault, and Van Wicklen is the vault manager. The cherry picker makes its way down an enormous aisle underneath the University of Georgia’s Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library. There are two other rooms just like it.

In this Feb. 14, 2019 photo, Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., leads a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington.  Gov. Brian Kemp has announced he is accepting applications from those looking to fill Isakson's seat when he steps down at the end of 2019.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

On this edition of Political Rewind, Gov. Brian Kemp takes an interesting approach to replacing Sen. Johnny Isakson by inviting all who are interested to apply for the job. Meanwhile, are we getting closer to learning which Democrats will compete for the seat?


Journalism lost a trailblazing voice yesterday. Cokie Roberts, who covered Congress for NPR beginning in the 1970s and later joined ABC News, passed away at the age of 75. 

Schooled early in political rivalries and genteel Southern manners, Roberts became a legendary reporter and best-selling author. On Second Thought spoke with Scott Simon, host of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, to ask about his longtime colleague and friend.
Mario Chui /

From Vincent Van Gogh to Charli XCX, many accomplished artists are thought to have synesthesia, or the blending of two or more senses. Atlanta-based sensory artist Siana Altiise also has synesthesia, and she feels compelled to use her unique perspective to create musical experiences meant to relax people.

Siana joined On Second Thought to share how she builds her meditative tracks based on both the psychology of attention and her personal experiences with synesthesia. 

National Public Radio founding mother and media icon Cokie Roberts has passed away at age 75.  Reflect on her contributions to public radio and public discourse with Scott Simon on On Second Thought

Branden Camp / AP

Weeks shy of his 95th birthday, former President Jimmy Carter said he doesn't believe he could have managed the most powerful office in the world at 80 years old.

Andrew Harnik / AP

An official has been put on leave and others reassigned following a report of a cancer patient bitten more than 100 times by ants at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs living center in Georgia.

GPB News

Freshen up your resume and bust out your thesaurus for the cover letter – it's application season for those seeking to be the next person to represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced Tuesday that his office will be vetting would-be lawmakers who submit an application, including contact information, a resume or C.V., confirmation that you meet age and residency requirements and an acknowledgement that the public will get to see your interest in being appointed.

White House Historical Association

Jimmy Carter is known for many things: Building affordable houses, helping to cure diseases, brokering peace… the list goes on.

What you may not know him for is music.

But the 94-year-old campaigned with the Allman Brothers, brought jazz to the White House and sang hymns with Willie Nelson.

Aerial view of the United States Capitol building.
Carol M. Highsmith / Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

On this edition of Political Rewind, members of Congress from Georgia are deeply involved in some of the biggest issues being discussed on Capitol Hill. How are Georgia representatives shaping and responding to issues from impeachment to guns laws? 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

This week, GPB’s Macon bureau is embarking on a yearlong look at youth violence, including its causes and potential solutions. GPB Macon is just one of the local newsrooms tackling the issue, with their partners, the Macon Telegraph, the Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University and CBS affiliate 13 WMAZ.

Ellen Eldridge / GPB

One year ago, today, On Second Thought was relaunched with a whole new staff.

To celebrate the anniversary, the whole team joined Virginia in the studio to share a guest or conversation that surprised or delighted them.

Today marks one year since On Second Thought relaunched in its current form. The whole team is on air today to share what has surprised and delighted us. Join On Second Thought for the celebration!

Cokie Roberts speaks during the opening ceremony for Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. Roberts, a longtime political reporter and analyst at ABC News and NPR has died, ABC announced Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. She was 75.
Matt Rourke / AP

Editor's Note: This interview with Cokie Roberts originally aired on Two Way Street with Bill Nigut on May 9, 2015.  

Democratic presidential candidates at a Democratic presidential primary debate in Houston. The DNC announced Georgia will host a debate on Nov. 20.

Which Democratic candidates for president are getting the most endorsements from Georgia elected officials and politicians?  

Editor’s Note: This story will be updated throughout the campaign. 

Joe Biden

Sept. 12, 2019


On a recent Sunday evening, the sound of Negro spirituals echoed through the halls of the music building at Kennesaw State University.

The six members of the Georgia Spiritual Ensemble gather here regularly to partake in a tradition that dates back centuries.

Steven Senne / AP

The Atlanta-based Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has launched a base of operations for a nationwide investigation into illnesses from e-cigarettes. 

  • First Independent Tests Of Toxins Near Smyra's Sterigenics Plant Now Out
  • Conservation Groups Will Not Continue Court Battle Over Savannah Habor Deepening
  • Oglethorpe County Designated As Georgia's First Broadband Ready Communitiy

Pop-Up Zine Atlanta

Cities are dynamic things – and Atlanta is certainly one of them. Atlanta has catapulted from a regional city to an international metropolis in a generation. The city has been called the “capital of the new South,” “the South’s Black mecca,” “a city in a forest,” and “hip-hop’s new center of gravity.” The antithesis of homogenous, Atlanta resists being summarized or captured in a single phrase or place. 

In many ways, the city is a perfect setting for Pop-Up Zine Atlanta, where stories are told on-stage in a camera-free zone, with no recordings, photos, tweets or posts.

Ross Terrell / GPB

Smyrna and Cobb County officials released the first results of independent tests of air quality near the Sterigenics facility. 

The results, released at Monday’s meeting of the community’s Air Quality Oversight Committee, revealed 80 percent of the samples collected showed non-detectable levles of the carcinogenic gas ethylene oxide.

Georgia State Capitol

On this edition of Political Rewind, Georgia legislative panels will meet this week to examine two major health concerns: improving mental and developmental outcomes for young children and addressing the high maternal death rate in Georgia. Our panel discusses how we can expect the legislature to deal with these issues.

The first round of independent test results are due out this week for the Sterigenics plant in Smyrna, and the community’s Air Quality Oversight Committee is scheduled to meet Monday.  Get an update on the story from Georgia Health News’ Andy Miller, and Web MD Brenda Goodman. Plus, take a look at what’s happening on the political side of it from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ’s Greg Bluestein.