Grant Blankenship

New data from the Associated Press reveal more than a thousand failing dams in the U.S. that could have catastrophic consequences if they gave out. Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Grant Blankenship analyzed the information and learned Georgia is one of the most at-risk states. Find out which dams could cause the most damage for surrounding communities.


David Goldman / Associated Press

Here’s a strange fact about Georgia: the state has no naturally occurring large lakes – just some small pockets that fill up when it rains.  What it does have is a wealth of creeks, streams and dams. 

It turns out some of those dams are failing and that their failures could bring dire – even catastrophic – consequences.  That’s according to data the Associated Press just released and that GPB’s Grant Blankenship has been analyzing. 


Grant Blankenship / GPB

When coal-fired power plants burn coal, what’s left over is a toxic ash mixed with water that gets stored in ash ponds. They look pretty much like you’d imagine – huge, contained pools of slurry and particulates – and environmentalists worry about their potential effects on the ecosystem and drinking water.

Georgia Power is on track to quit adding to its ash ponds by sometime next year.  That’s a mandate in the Integrated Resources Plan the Georgia Public Service Commission approved this summer. 


Grant Blankenship / GPB

The University of Georgia continues to grapple with a difficult chapter of its history. It’s been under fire for how it handled the discovery of human remains under a school building during renovations. They appear to belong to people who were enslaved.

The growing tension recently erupted in protests. Demonstrators want reparations for descendants of slaves who built the university, including financial support for university staff and students as well as acknowledgment of the school’s history publicly and within the classroom.

GPB reporter Grant Blankenship went to Athens to witness the protests, and he talks with On Second Thought about what he found.


Today's show featured conversations on parental incarceration and the Ocmulgee National Monument in Macon, along with a new entry in our "Main Ingredient" series.

The Atlanta-based nonprofit Foreverfamily helps strengthen the bonds between incarcerated parents and their children through educational programming and visitation. Sandra Barnhill is the founder and national president of the organization. She joined "On Second Thought" to discuss how Foreverfamily helps parents and kids foster relationships inside and outside of prison.


Courtesy of Beau Cabell / The Telegraph

The Georgia gubernatorial candidates are campaigning on opposing views about the future of the education system. Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams is in favor of funding wrap-around services by ending the state's private school scholarship program. Republican candidate Brian Kemp wants to expand the program.

 

We spoke to GPB reporter Grant Blankenship about these two visions for education, along with the choices parents have between private and public schools.

Three former sheriff’s deputies in Washington County, Georgia face murder charges. A man they tased this summer died. The incident was captured on video. We talked with GPB’s Grant Blankenship, who is following the case.