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Atlanta Sounds
12:00 am
Sun January 25, 2015

“People Make Shoes?” - A Visit to a Shoe Maker’s Workshop

A completed pair of boots. Sarah Green says it takes her about 40 hours in a week to make three pairs.
Myke Johns WABE

The work that goes into making a pair of leather shoes is exacting and difficult. Few people make shoes on a small scale anymore, but there is a relative newcomer. Sarah Green is a boot-maker and in this Atlanta Sound, we paid her a visit at her workshop in Atlanta to find out how it’s done.

And the 30-second version of this story:

Have an idea for Atlanta Sounds? Let us know!

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Politics
7:49 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

A Talk with U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-Georgia)

Now-Senator David Perdue (R-Georgia) in a file photo of his victory celebration at the Intercontinental Hotel in Atlanta on November 4, 2014.
Credit Michell Eloy / WABE

 

  Georgia's new U.S. Senator, Republican David Perdue, has been in office less than a month.  But he has already proposed some bills, and lined up with his party for upcoming battles with President Obama.  WABE's Denis O'Hayer spoke with Perdue about the President's recent State of the Union message, and whether Republicans will negotiate with him on issues from health care to the Keystone pipeline.

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Health & Science
4:42 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

What Does The California Measles Outbreak Mean For Georgia?

Georgia's low exemption populous makes it a lot less likely what's happening in California could happen here.
Credit Jae. C Hong / Associated Press

Every state has laws requiring that students get vaccinated, with exemptions varying from state to state. All states provide for medical exemptions to vaccines, and all but two allow religious exclusions.

But unlike 19 other states, Georgia does not permit vaccination exemptions for philosophical reasons.

“We have a very low exemption populous, so we feel really good about maintaining our herd immunity,” says Penny Conner, who works in immunization at the Georgia Department of Public Health.

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Politics
3:44 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Deal Defends Plan To Cut Health Benefits For 11,000 School Workers

Gov. Nathan Deal’s latest budget plan cuts health benefits to more than 11,000 school workers.
Credit Branden Camp / Associated Press

Gov. Nathan Deal’s latest budget plan cuts health benefits to more than 11,000 school workers - mostly bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and other employees who work less than 30 hours per week.

Deal this week defended the proposal, saying it’s a matter of fairness to other state employees who work part-time but don’t qualify for benefits.

“I think more and more people are asking the question, 'why is it that people who are working less than 30 hours a week were being able to participate when some of our own state employees could not,'” said Deal.

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Covering the Affordable Care Act
3:42 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Obamacare Enrolls 425,000 In Georgia

Sylvia Burwell, seen here in 2014, praised Georgia for enrolling 425,000 people into a health plan under the Affordable Care Act, but said the state still had a lot of ground to cover.
Credit Susan Walsh / Associated Press

The head of the federal agency overseeing Obamacare stopped at a southwest Atlanta health facility Friday to tout how many Georgians have benefited from the Affordable Care Act's insurance marketplace.

"The number is 425,000 today," said Synthia Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services.

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Blight
12:51 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

How Should Atlanta Tackle Blight?

There are an estimated 17,000 abandoned properties in Atlanta.
Credit Jonathan Shapiro / WABE

The City of Atlanta is working to tackle abandoned homes and properties throughout the city, something the city has had a hard time handling with because of its current laws, officials said. 

Last summer, the city created a Code Enforcement Commission to figure out best practices from other cities on handling blight. There are an estimated 17,000 abandoned properties, said City Council member Mary Norwood, who also co-chairs the commission. 

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MARTA
11:03 am
Fri January 23, 2015

MARTA Is Hiring New Police Officers

The MARTA Police Department plans to host a job fair from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at MARTA headquarters.
Credit Allison Guillory / WABE

The police department for Atlanta's public transit system is hiring.

The MARTA Police Department plans to host a job fair from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at MARTA headquarters. The department says it will offer on-site information sessions for open positions.

Police recruiters plan to pre-screen applicants.

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Local
10:37 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Study: Metro Area Could Add 4 Million People By 2030

Up to 4 million more people may be living in the metro Atlanta area within the next 15 years, according to a new report released by the Washington, D.C., based Urban Institute.
Credit Gregor Smith / flickr.com/flc

The metro-Atlanta area can expect a big population growth in the next 15 years, according to a new report released by the Washington, D.C.-based Urban Institute.

The study lays out 27 scenarios for population growth based on historical data for births, deaths and migration. Even under the most conservative projections, the study shows the metro population could grow by more than a million by 2030.

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Atlanta Music
10:28 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Shana Tucker Brings 'ChamberSoul' To Spivey

Shana Tucker performing in WABE's Studio A in January 2015.
Credit Jason Parker / WABE

Shana Tucker is a Durham, N. C.-based cellist and singer-songwriter. Drawing inspiration from the pop music of the 1980s, film scores, and world music, she infuses her playing with her classical and jazz upbringing into a style she calls "ChamberSoul."

WABE's Erin Wright sat down for a conversation with Tucker to talk about her music and her most prominent gig to-date, performing as cellist and mezzo-soprano in Cirque du Soliel's "KÀ" in Las Vegas. 

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Local
9:37 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Former Atlanta Fire Chief Files Discrimination Complaint

Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran has filed a federal complaint against the city claiming he was discriminated against because of his religion.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran has filed a federal complaint against the city claiming he was discriminated against because of his religion.

Mayor Kasim Reed recently fired Cochran over comments in his self-published book, "Who Told You That You Were Naked." The book characterizes homosexuality as "vulgar" and "a sexual perversion."

City spokeswoman Anne Torres says the city plans to defend the mayor's decision.

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State News
8:44 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Georgia Inmates To Wear Hot-Pink Uniforms

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio addresses members of his DUI chain gang Dec. 11, 2007, in Phoenix, Arizona. Arpaio, best known for issuing pink underwear to jail inmates and housing them in old military tents, said he wants the chain gang to act as a deterrent to potential drunken drivers.
Credit Matt York / Associated Press

Inmates at a Georgia jail will soon be wearing hot-pink uniforms, an idea borrowed from an Arizona sheriff.

Gary Jones, the public safety chief in the east Georgia city of Grovetown, said he hopes the inmates will be seen in their pink uniforms while collecting litter on public roads. Jones tells The Augusta Chronicle that he envisions motorists driving by and deciding they never want to be in that position.

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Local
7:47 am
Fri January 23, 2015

East Atlanta Named 'Hottest Neighborhood'

The Flatiron is part of a row of East Atlanta restaurants and shops.
Credit Larry Schwartz / Flickr.com/elemess

One of the most popular pieces of real estate in the country is in metro Atlanta.  

East Atlanta is the third “hottest neighborhood” in the United States.

That’s according to Redfin Corp.’s latest report.

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Mara's Music Mix
6:40 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Shaky Festivals, Leon Russell Make The List For Upcoming Concert Picks

Reporters are reflected in the sunglasses of Leon Russell as he answers a question at a news conference in Tulsa, Okla., Jan. 29, 2013.
Credit Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press

The Santa Claus of rock helms a two-night stand, and seemingly thousands of bands are set to descend on the city in May for all manner of Shaky festivals. WABE's Steve Goss and WABE contributor Mara Davis weigh in on their picks for upcoming concerts.

Phil Maderia at Red Clay Theater; Friday, Jan. 23

Leon Russell at Terminal West; Monday and Tuesday Jan. 26-27

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Education
6:00 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Some Gwinnett Residents Say AP US History Exam Is Anti-American

Residents, such as Dahlys Hamilton, had three minutes to address the school board.
Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

Some Gwinnett County residents tried to convince the school board at a meeting Thursday night that textbooks they use for Advanced Placement U.S. history are anti-American.

About 10 residents lined up and had three minutes each to tell the board their concerns over the AP history text.

  “This book is pro-Marxist, and that is unequivocally un-American,” Bruce Duncil, one of several speakers who complained the book presents a slanted view of events like D-Day and the Vietnam War, said.

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Local
7:17 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Cell Towers, Backyards And The Courts: A Talk With Roswell Mayor Jere Wood

Cellphone tower fights between companies and residents have broken out in many places around metro Atlanta.
Credit Keith Survell / Flickr.com/keithius

We all know the phrase, “Not in my backyard.” 

It especially applies to cell phone towers. Most of us depend on them — none of us want one next to our house.

Cellphone tower fights between companies and residents have broken out in many places around metro Atlanta. But in the City of Roswell, it went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Atlanta Art
5:50 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Critical Coverage Drawing Recognition At BURNAWAY

Susannah Darrow in the BURNAWAY office.
Credit Jason Parker / WABE

Susannah Darrow is co-founder and executive director of BURNAWAY, a non-profit arts organization based in Atlanta. The group aims to provide critical coverage and create dialogue about arts in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast.

They have an online arts publication and a critic-in-residency program, among other offerings. In support of their goals, BURNAWAY recently won a $50,000 grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

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Politics
5:18 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Gov. Deal Reveals Reason For Mysterious Absence

Gov. Deal, seen here after his State of the State address earlier this month, revealed today that he had traveled to England.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

Speculation over Gov. Nathan Deal’s whereabouts was laid to rest Thursday. Deal, who was last seen Saturday, addressed the mystery after a budget meeting at the state Capitol.

Local and national news outlets, along with those on social media, were wondering where he was. His office wouldn’t offer details. At one point, his spokesman assured the press that no Argentinean lovers were involved ─ a reference to Congressman Mark Sanford, who as governor of South Carolina disappeared for days to rendezvous abroad with a mistress.

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Politics
5:11 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Deal Spotlights Criminal Justice Reform In Budget Briefing

Deal’s budget calls for an extra $15 million so prisons can hire 28 full-time teachers and principals.
Credit Katie King / WABE

Gov. Nathan Deal wants to give more prisoners a shot at getting a high school diploma or GED. Deal made that case Thursday to state lawmakers who are reviewing his nearly $22 billion spending plan for next year. 

“We are conveying to our fellow Georgians that the mistakes of their past have not sentenced them to a life of despair, that if they work hard and pay their dues then upon release they’ll have a chance to move on from what they’ve done,” said Deal.

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Politics
5:03 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

DeKalb CEO Wants To Move Government Center Out Of Decatur

DeKalb CEO Lee May announces a proposal to move the DeKalb Government Center out of Decatur during his Thursday State of the County address.
Credit Michelle Wirth / WABE

DeKalb County’s Government Center could move from downtown Decatur to Memorial Drive. DeKalb CEO Lee May announced the relocation proposal today during his state of the county address.

CEO May says the move is needed because it would spur redevelopment along the Memorial Drive corridor. He believes that’s essential for DeKalb’s future.

“This vision is about giving attention to a part of the county that has been neglected for decades.”

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Research
4:40 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Morehouse School of Medicine Wants To Close Health Disparities Gap

The Morehouse School of Medicine is located in Atlanta's west end.
Credit Tasnim Shamma / WABE

The Morehouse School of Medicine – not to be confused with Morehouse College – is a historically black medical school in downtown Atlanta. 

Since 1975, it’s graduated more than 1,400 students. Many students and faculty members work with the Grady Health system and local community clinics. 

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Law Enforcement
3:15 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Atlanta Police Want To Catch More Drunk Drivers

Atlanta Police Department officials say they want to increase their DUI detection and apprehension rate in 2015 by restructuring its DUI task force.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

The Atlanta Police Department says it wants to get more drunk drivers off the road with more training. It’s also looking at restructuring the department’s DUI task force.

There are only six officers in the APD’s DUI Task force. They’re trained to detect and deal with drunk and impaired drivers.

Now the Police Department wants to assign DUI officers to each of the city’s six police zones. The idea is that the DUI officers will train other cops in the traffic unit precincts on how to better identify drivers who are under the influence. 

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Education
2:00 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Gov. Deal Names Members Of State Education Reform Commission

Gov. Nathan Deal said in a statement Wednesday that the 34-person group will study Georgia's education system and its funding before making recommendations on how to improve the system.
Credit Branden Camp / AP Photo

The newly-created Georgia Education Reform Commission is expected to recommend improvements for state's education system by Aug. 31.

Gov. Nathan Deal said in a statement Wednesday that the 34-person group will study Georgia's education system and its funding before making recommendations on how to improve the system. The group will also work to expand access to early learning programs, expand school options and recruit qualified educators, Deal says.

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A Closer Look
2:00 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Overhauling The Foster Care System: A Conversation With Dr. Karen Baynes-Dunning

Dr. Karen Baynes-Dunning speaks at an event in Albany.
Credit Jennifer Parks / The Albany Herald / Special to WABE

In 2002, Georgia’s foster care system within Fulton and DeKalb County was called flawed, and some even said a broken agency.

That year, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of children in Georgia’s foster care system.

Eventually, in 2005, a consent decree was agreed to by both parties to fix the foster care system, including court appointed monitors.

At that time, Dr. Karen Baynes-Dunning was a juvenile court judge, but she now serves as one of the court appointed monitors.

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Local
1:47 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

UGA Wants To Boost Diversity Campus-Wide

The University of Georgia is working to improve diversity on campus and boost its minority population.
Credit StevenV / Flickr.com/stevenv

The University of Georgia is adding a $250,000 endowment to help fund its Office of Institutional Diversity.

“To expand diversity training opportunities on campus and to expand initiatives focused on the recruitment and success of under-represented faculty and students,” University of Georgia President Jere Morehead said in the "State of the University" speech this week.

The university will also conduct a campus-wide climate survey about diversity-related issues.

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Local
11:29 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Georgia Lawmakers Plan Limited Look At Police Tactics

Alecia and Boun Khan Phonesavanh, from rear left, the parents of 19-month-old Bounkham Phonesavanh who was severely burned by a flash grenade during a SWAT drug raid, attend a vigil with their daughters outside Grady Memorial Hospital where he is undergoing treatment, June 2, 2014, in Atlanta.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

State lawmakers may be ready to put new limits on the use of "no-knock" warrants after an infant was severely burned by a flash grenade during an overnight raid by law officers last May in north Georgia.

A bill introduced this month with bipartisan support prevents police from using such warrants overnight without a judge's specific approval. The issue has come up in Georgia before but the incident in Habersham County that left 19-month-old Bounkham "Bou Bou" Phonesavanh with serious injuries when the grenade detonated in his playpen has prompted some officials to reconsider.

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Local
10:18 am
Thu January 22, 2015

AT&T Georgia Sues Atlanta, MARTA Over Streetcar Costs

AT&T Georgia is suing the City of Atlanta and MARTA over streetcar construction costs.
Credit Allison Guillory / WABE

A telecommunications company is suing the City of Atlanta and a public transit agency over streetcar construction costs it argues it should be reimbursed for.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that AT&T Georgia is suing the city and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Agency over the cost of relocating equipment including cables, wires and conduits before the streetcar was built.

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Local
9:51 am
Thu January 22, 2015

More Than 425,900 In Georgia Enroll, Re-enroll In Insurance Plans

Certified assistant Vivian Moore, right, points to a computer screen as she looks over different healthcare plans while helping an applicant apply for health insurance at the Atlanta Medical Center South Campus, March 31, 2014, in Atlanta.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

Officials say more than 425,000 Georgians have chosen health insurance through the federally run marketplace.

Department of Health and Human Services officials said in a statement Wednesday that 425,927 Georgia consumers have either selected a plan or were re-enrolled in one as of Jan. 16.

Officials say the number is up from 398,781 Georgia consumers, which was reported last week before the deadline for coverage beginning on Feb. 1.

Officials say overall, nearly 7.2 million Americans have either chosen a plan or were re-enrolled in one.

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Local
6:49 am
Thu January 22, 2015

UGA Gives Mark Richt Raise, Contract Extension

Georgia head coach Mark Richt received contract extension through 2019 and an $800,000 raise.
Credit Chuck Burton / Associated Press

Mark Richt is staying put.

The head coach for the University of Georgia’s football team was given a contract extension through the 2019 season.

Richt also received an $800,000 raise, which boosts his salary to $4 million per year.

The Bulldogs ended the 2014 campaign with a 10-and-3 record and a victory in the Belk Bowl.

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Local
6:04 am
Thu January 22, 2015

State Gains 108,000 More Jobs Since December 2013

Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in December, according to the State Department of Labor.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

December was a good month for job seekers in Georgia.

Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in December, according to the state Department of Labor.

That’s down three-tenths of a point from November.

“Which doesn’t seem like a lot, however, when we take a look back, historically, especially the last three years, we’ve been averaging actually 10,000 jobs lost over the month,” Commissioner Mark Butler said.

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MARTA
6:00 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Coming Soon To MARTA: Potatoes And Carrots?

Credit Matt C. / flickr.com/atonal

MARTA is considering bringing produce stands to stations in neighborhoods that don’t have grocery stores.

The first place MARTA is looking is the West End station.

“The stations that we have in mind are typically located in what we call food deserts," Denise Whitfield, MARTA manager of retail development, said. “Sometimes the patrons in those areas don’t have access to fresh produce.”

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