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5:03 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Woodruff Arts Center Gives Atlanta Symphony Players Deadline to Accept Contract Proposal

Local musician Maria Nichols holds a sign while attending a silent protest by the musicians and chorus of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in front of Symphony Hall on what would have been the season opening night.
Credit David Goldman / AP

  Despite three days of talks with the help of a federal mediator, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra players and Woodruff Arts Center management still haven’t agreed on a new contract.

The sticking points come down to numbers.

Salaries and the cost of health benefits are at issue, but so is the number of musicians.

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra has 101 players; the St. Louis Symphony has 94.

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Local
4:30 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Tour de Pink Raising Money, Awareness for Breast Cancer

The annual Tour de Pink is Atlanta's only bike ride for breast cancer.
Credit Youth Survivor Coalition

Hundreds of bikers, runners and walkers are “getting a leg up” for a good cause this weekend.

It's called the Tour de Pink and it is Atlanta’s one and only bike ride for breast cancer.

“It’s just something about a community of women with a really strong cause, especially for young women that get this disease, that we’re all there together.  And we have a great time doing this,” says rider Susan Hendricks, who is taking part in her third Tour de Pink.

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Local
4:22 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Cynicism Among DeKalb Residents Remains High Following Ellis Trial

Suspended DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis.
Credit Kent Johnson / Atlanta Journal-Consitution

It’s been an eventful week in DeKalb County. The corruption case of suspended DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis ended with a hung jury. And a much-anticipated audit showed lax oversight of commissioner spending.

Some DeKalb residents have resigned themselves to a certain level of impropriety, while others see light at the end of the tunnel.

DeKalb politics has been anything but dull: kickback schemes, federal probes, forced-out school board members, and most tragically an assassination of the county’s sheriff-elect.  

So it makes sense residents would be a bit cynical.

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Education
3:52 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Thurmond: DeKalb Schools' Ebola Policy Errs on Side of Caution

The word "Welcome" is displayed in 11 languages in the entrance of the DeKalb Schools central office.
Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

Several metro Atlanta school systems have updated their health policies to include Ebola guidelines. The DeKalb County school district was one of the first to do so after delaying enrollment for two students who came from a country affected by the virus. Now, the students need to have their medical documents approved by the district superintendent before they can attend class.

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Local
11:36 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Annual Taste of Atlanta Offers the Area's Finest Foods

The 13th annual Taste of Atlanta kicks off Friday and runs through Sunday.
Credit Taste of Atlanta

It's kind of like an early Christmas for foodies, or hungry people.

The 13th annual Taste of Atlanta kicks off Friday and runs through Sunday.

More than 300 menu items are available at the event, held in midtown Atlanta at Tech Square.

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Mara's Music Mix
8:31 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Mara's Music Mix: October 25-26

Mara's Music Mix hosts Steve Goss and Mara Davis
Credit Evan Jang / WABE

For nearly two decades, Mara Davis was a well-known voice on Atlanta's FM airwaves, first on Z-93, and then on Dave FM.

Now she joins WABE's Steve Goss each Friday for a preview of weekend music events.

Mara's Music Mix for October 25-26:

Los Lobos at the Rialto; Saturday October 25

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Local
8:19 am
Fri October 24, 2014

DeKalb Audit Shows Commissioners' Charity Spending, Spotty Record Keeping

DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton
Credit DeKalb County Government

DeKalb County has released an independent audit of County Commission spending for the last ten years.

The audit includes on use of county purchasing cards. The so-called “P-cards,” which function like debit cards, are used by elected officials and some staff members to pay for work-related expenses. The P-cards have been the focus of ethics complaints against several commissioners.  

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Local
5:00 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Metro Atlanta's Unemployment Rate Dips

Michelle Wirth/WABE News

Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent in September. That’s slightly lower than a year ago. But are job seekers feeling a difference, and does that rate really matter? WABE's Michelle Wirth spoke with a local economist and several who are unemployed.

34-year-old Nickolas Smith types on a computer at a local unemployment office.  He’s been looking for job in law enforcement for about a year. Smith has had several interviews, but so far there’s been no fulltime job offers.

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Krog Street Tunnel
3:25 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Krog Street Tunnel Painted Over to Protest Masquerade

Only a small bit of graffiti can be found on the sides of the Krog Street tunnel now.
Credit Jason Parker / WABE

Northeast Atlanta's iconic Krog Street Tunnel is looking a bit less colorful today.

That's after about 100 protesters spent Wednesday night covering with concrete-grey paint the constantly-changing piece of Atlanta's graffiti culture.

“I think artists were upset that their work was being used to promote and sell tickets to this party without any compensation to them,” said local artist Peter Ferarri, who was among those repainting the tunnel Wednesday night. 

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2:37 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Atlanta Falcons Map Misses London - By More Than 1,000 Miles

Lead in text: 
The Atlanta Falcons released a map of their upcoming trip to London. The Telegraph of London, along with many Twitter followers, quickly pointed out that the map shows the team going not to London, not to England, but to somewhere near Madrid, Spain.
NFL side the Atlanta Falcons have been ridiculed after releasing a shockingly poor infographic about their trip to London. The Falcons will play the Detroit Lions at Wembley on Sunday, but hopefully any American fans making the journey won't be following this map.
Local
1:59 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

DeKalb County to Release Purchasing Card Audit Today

Former DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer pleaded guilty to federal charges last month in connection with the use of her county purchasing card for personal expenses.
Credit http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/boc/district1.html

WABE has learned that DeKalb County officials will release the official audit of county commissioners’ purchasing cards later today.

The so-called “P-cards,” which function like a debit cards, let elected officials and some staff members pay for work-related expenses. The P-cards have been the focus of ethics complaints against several commissioners.  

The Commission called for the audit of all P-card purchases, dating back at least to 2010, for all commissioners, their staff members, and any employees of the Board of Commissioners’ central office.

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Local
1:12 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Same Sex Supporters Hold Rally in Atlanta

Georgia Equality is taking part in Thursday's same sex marriage rally in downtown Atlanta.
Credit Georgia Equality

The same-sex marriage debate continues in Georgia.

Attorney General Sam Olens' view remains the same: it's between a man and a woman.

But not everyone agrees, and many of those voices will be heard outside of Atlanta City Hall Thursday afternoon.

“It’s about respecting the love two people have for each other and honoring the lifetime commitment that they want to make through the act of marriage,” says Jeff Graham, the executive director for Georgia Equality

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Politics
12:43 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Barge Endorses Wilson in State Schools Superintendent Race

Republican State Schools Superintendent John Barge (far left) endorsed Democrat Valarie Wilson to take his place.
Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

Republican State Schools Superintendent John Barge Thursday endorsed Democratic candidate Valarie Wilson. Barge decided against a second term as superintendent to challenge Gov. Nathan Deal in the Republican gubernatorial primary last spring. Deal won by a wide margin.

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From the AJC's Shane Harrison
12:30 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

AJC Events: GardenWoof, Cowboy Festival & More

The Atlanta Journal Constitution's Features Editor Shane Harrison shares a few of the more budget-friendly events happening around Atlanta this week, and he starts with a celebration of fall foilage and furry friends.

(Audio for this story will be available after 1 P.M. EST)

GardenWoof

12th Annual Southeastern Cowboy Festival & Symposium

Mountain Moonshine Festival

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Food & Drink
12:06 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Progress by the Pint: Atlanta's Craft Beer Renaissance

Hefe-Weizen seasonal beers from Atlanta Brewing Company
Credit gomattolson / flickr.com/gomattolson

Craft beer brewing is on the rise, with nation-wide sales jumping 20 percent last year according to numbers from the Brewers Association, an industry trade group.

That growth can be seen here in Atlanta with new breweries opening and local beers being offered at more bars and restaurants all over the metro area.

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Politics
11:50 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Governor Deal and State Senator Carter Address Faith at Forum

Governor Nathan Deal and Senator Jason Carter debate during a forum last month.
Credit John Bazemore / AP

The questions asked at the Georgia Faith Forum were as varied as the faith leaders who posed them.

Representing a variety of denominations, leaders asked Governor Nathan Deal and State Senator Jason Carter about issues ranging from healthcare and human trafficking to gun policy and immigration.

The evening’s discussion was part of the Georgia Gubernatorial Faith Forum held at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Atlanta.

The primary topic for the night was criminal justice reform - more specifically the re-entry of convicted felons into society.

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Local
6:48 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Metro Atlanta Unemployment Rate Fell in September

Atlanta's unemployment rate dropped to 7.3% in September.
Credit Robert Aaron/WABE

  The temperature wasn't the only thing in metro Atlanta to fall last month.

According to the Georgia Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in metro Atlanta dropped to 7.3% in September.

That’s down from an even 8% in August.

According to the latest data from the Department of Labor: there was an over-the-year gain of 51,900 jobs, or 2.2 percent, from September 2013’s 2,416,700. This was the second largest September-to-September growth since 2007. 

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Politics
5:00 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Polls Show Runoffs Possible In Georgia's Top Races

Credit Chris Ferguson / WABE

In Georgia, candidates need to receive more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff. That means if Georgia’s contests for U.S. Senate and governor are as close as they appear in the polls, they might not end on November fourth.

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Local
5:00 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Georgia Already Monitoring Travelers From Ebola Outbreak Zone

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Department of Public Health Director Brenda Fitzgerald preside over the governor's first state Ebola task force meeting Tuesday afternoon at the Capitol.
Credit Michell Eloy / WABE News

Georgia health officials say the state has already begun a three-week monitoring requirement for travelers arriving from the Ebola outbreak zone in West Africa, and is currently tracking around two dozen people.  

The move comes prior to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s announcement Tuesday to now require all travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea be monitored for signs of the virus for 21 days.

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Local
4:12 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Avondale Estates Getting Cold Shoulder From Some of its Annexation Targets

Avondale Estates was founded in 1924 and designed as a planned community.
Credit Lisa George/WABE News

The cityhood movement in DeKalb County – and the annexation efforts of existing cities in response to it – have two themes that keep coming up: securing strong tax bases and providing good schools.

Both issues are creating challenges for the small city of Avondale Estates.

With just 3,000 residents, Avondale Estates has long been a sleepy little enclave in DeKalb County. Now, a potential city is trying to form near its borders, and county seat Decatur is also trying to expand. So Avondale Estates wants to annex some land while there is still land to be had.

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Local
3:51 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Residents Offer Sharply Differing Views On Ellis Mistrial

Suspended DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis.
Credit facebook.com/burrellellis2012

The corruption case of suspended DeKalb County CEO ended Tuesday in a mistrial and DeKalb residents have sharply differing reactions.

Many took issue with the jury itself, which after two weeks of deliberation couldn’t agree on any of the 13 felony charges. The judge in the case repeatedly scolded the jury to get past personal issues and at one point told them to act like adults.

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Science
12:55 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Are Fireflies Disappearing? Researchers Ask You To Find Out

Credit Flickr user lastbeats / flickr.com/photos/lastbeats/

  This story originally aired Thursday Sept. 11, 2014.

It’s one of the first visual cues that summer is on its way: a certain insect appears at dusk, emitting flashes of light as it buzzes around just above the grass.

But the familiar firefly, or--as some call it--the lightning bug, may actually be disappearing. And a group of researchers at Clemson University in South Carolina are trying to understand how and why.

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Arts
12:30 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

City Cafe on Atlanta Celebrates Photography and The Bitter Southerner

  Every October, the city welcomes Atlanta Celebrates Photography - or ACP, as it is often called. To find out more about the festival, City Cafe host John Lemley recently sat down with Public Broadcasting Atlanta's Jason Parker.

Jason interviewed The Bitter Southerner’s Creative Director, Dave Whitling about their ACP event that's coming up this Friday. They started off by discussing what Atlanta Celebrates photography is all about.

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Local
12:25 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Atlanta Debuts Non-Emergency Service Program

The city of Atlanta starts its first non-emergency customer service program.
Credit ATL 311

Atlanta residents now have a more direct way of touching base with local government officials.

It’s called ATL 311 and it’s the city of Atlanta’s first non-emergency customer service program.

This gives residents the ability to make requests and report issues like potholes, meter leaks and downed trees.

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Local
11:36 am
Wed October 22, 2014

CDC Foundation Helps Fill Holes In Federal Agency's Ebola Relief Funding

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Credit David Goldman / CDC

Since the Ebola virus began spreading through West Africa, the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been one of the agencies on the front lines, fighting the disease.

But as the virus continues to spread, more resources are needed to contain it. As the CDC has done in the past with major disasters like the 2004 Samoan Tsunami and the 2009 earthquake in Haiti, it’s turned to its nonprofit arm, the CDC Foundation, also based here in Atlanta, to help bring in private dollars for relief funding.

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Education
9:42 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Brazil Emerges as New Market for International College Students

A few years ago George State University decided to focus on countries with emerging markets, like Brazil.
Credit Silver Starre / flickr.com/starre/

More international students are coming to U.S. colleges. About half of them are from China, India, and South Korea. But, American colleges are also becoming popular with Brazilian students. Through a new program, about 125 Brazilian students are attending Georgia colleges.

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Local
5:59 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Lawmakers Consider Rules For Driverless Cars

Google driverless car operating on a testing path.
Credit Steve Jurvetson / flickr.com

State lawmakers and metro Atlanta planners are already preparing for a future with driverless cars. The conversation has recently shifted from “is it possible?” to “how will it all eventually look?”

This week state lawmakers held its second committee meeting on unmanned cars.  

“We really are at a position right now where the world is drastically changing and how quickly can planners and local and state government leaders stay up with the technology," said Jane Hayes, the Atlanta Regional Commission's chief transportation planner.

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Local
4:38 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Judge Declares Mistrial in Ellis Case

Burrell Ellis during the trial
Credit Kent Johnson / Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A DeKalb County judge Tuesday declared a mistrial in the case against suspended county CEO Burrell Ellis. Ellis is accused of shaking down county contractors for campaign contributions. He maintained his innocence during the trial and took the stand to defend himself. 

The all-female jury deliberated for 11 days, but couldn’t reach verdicts on any of the 13 felony charges against Ellis. DeKalb County judge Courtney Johnson had repeatedly urged the jurors to try harder to come to consensus. Those efforts ultimately failed. 

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Local
2:17 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Atlanta Airport to Become One of Five Airports to Screen Travelers from Ebola-Stricken Nations

A TSA agent briefs a passenger at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Credit David Goldman / AP

The Homeland Security Department is requiring that anyone coming to the United States from one of three West African countries reporting an Ebola outbreak must enter the country through one of five airports screening passengers for the deadly disease.

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Local
12:43 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Cobb Construction Includes Diverging Diamond

Ground has been broken for a number of Cobb County construction projects, including 'diverging diamonds' on Wade Green Road.
Credit cobbcounty.org

  Expect to see a lot of orange cones and the like in Cobb County.

On Monday, officials broke ground for five construction projects on Windy Hill Road.  

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