12:26 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

'Sister Uses Her Head' Read In Tribute To Author Eudora Welty

Veronika Duerr reads Wednesday at the release party for "The Eudora Welty Portrait Reader" at the Goat Farm Art Center.
Credit Myke Johns


On Wednesday night, artists and writers from around the Southeast paid tribute to author Eudora Welty.

They gathered at the Goat Farm Arts Center to celebrate the release of "The Eudora Welty Portrait Reader," a publication that includes illustrations of the writer by 20 artists along with writing inspired by what former President Jimmy Carter called Welty's "strong sense of place and triumphant comic spirit." 

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12:21 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

Ga. Law Places Few Restrictions On Setting Off Fireworks

The new fireworks law in Georgia says you cannot shoot them off at gas stations, nuclear power plants or refineries. However, the new law does not address most public places.
Credit City of Sandy Springs


With fireworks now legal in Georgia, you might be wondering when and where you can shoot them off.

The new law says you can shoot fireworks between 10 a.m. and midnight. On a few special occasions such as the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve, they're allowed until 2 a.m.

The law places few restrictions on where fireworks are off limits. You can't use them within 100 yards of nuclear power plant, a gas station or a refinery. But the law does not address whether they can be used in public places like parks.

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A Closer Look
12:11 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

The Southern Crescent: A Writer’s Railway Adventure South

Writer Fletcher Moore details the history of the old Southern Crescent passenger rail line in a story for The Bitter Southerner in April. This photo of Moore was taken on the train while crossing Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana.
Artem Nazarov

In Atlanta, airlines trump Amtrak these days, but the city still has at least one passenger line operating.

It’s called the Southern Crescent.

The Crescent has a long and legendary history, which dates back to 1830, according to writer Fletcher Moore.

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City Lights
11:40 am
Thu July 2, 2015

Plan Ahead For Opry, Bluebird Cafe Visits In Nashville

Intimate concerts at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville are very popular with locals and travelers.
Credit Courtesy of The Blue Bird Cafe /


Last week, “City Lights” contributor Kevin Benefield began his two-part special on Nashville travel by featuring iconic country music attractions and modern dining options alike.

In the concluding segment, Benefield highlights the Grand Ole Opry, the famous Oak Bar lounge at the Hermitage Hotel and the live music and food at the popular Bluebird Cafe.

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11:13 am
Thu July 2, 2015

The Zine That Rocked The Atlanta Zine Fest’s Founder’s World

Atlanta Zine Festival founder Amanda Mills sits with a number of zines. This year's Atlanta Zine Festival is July 18.
Credit Katie Bush

Zines are basically do-it-yourself magazines. Today, they come in a wide variety of genres and visual styles. But in the early 1990s, a rough-hewn version of the form was made popular by feminism’s punk rock Riot Grrl movement.

It was one of those early zines, making its way around the nation via photocopy after faded photocopy, that came into the hands of a young Amanda Mills and changed her life.

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10:57 am
Thu July 2, 2015

DeKalb County's Recorders Court Closes Its Doors

The DeKalb County Recorders Court, which had judges appointed by the county commission, shut down as of Wednesday because of a new state law. 

The General Assembly passed bills HB 300 and HB 301 earlier this year to eliminate the court, which mostly handled traffic cases. The Recorders Court was involved in lawsuits over its practices, including how it treated poor defendants. 

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10:49 am
Thu July 2, 2015

2 Charged In Slaying Of Fayetteville Restaurant Manager

Police have charged two men in the slaying of an Applebee's manager killed outside the Fayetteville restaurant where he worked.

Fayetteville police announced on Wednesday 24-year-old Greg Haney Jr. of Jonesboro and 25-year-old Ledarius Jawon Jackson of Hampton face charges in the June 7 death of 27-year-old Gregory Smith, according to local media reports.

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Mara's Music Mix
10:44 am
Thu July 2, 2015

Atlanta Concerts: Esperanza Spalding And Tons Of Fireworks

Woody Pines will be at the Masquerade this Friday.
Credit WFIU Public Radio / Public Radio

In our weekly look-ahead at some of the upcoming concerts around Atlanta, we have a jazz bass prodigy, a tribute to the King of Pop, and fireworks, fireworks, and more fireworks for the holiday weekend.

WABE contributor Mara Davis joins our own "Morning Edition" host Steve Goss for this week’s Music Mix.

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10:20 am
Thu July 2, 2015

Ga. Residents Can Now Get Financing For Rooftop Solar Panels

A small loader moves and lifts solar panels in Walton County. In Georgia, residents will be able to install and finance solar panels on their property through third-party lenders.
Credit Courtesy of Greg Brooks / Walton EMC

Putting solar panels on your rooftop just became way more affordable: Customers can now pay for just the power they get from the solar panels.

A new law took effect Wednesday that allows financing for residents who want to lease rooftop solar panels.

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9:23 am
Thu July 2, 2015

Atlanta Airport Anticipates Busy Holiday Travel Weekend

Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is expecting a projected 327,170 passengers during the holiday weekend, officials say.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press


In Atlanta, Hartsfield-Jackson International officials say the airport will host a projected 327,170 passengers during the holiday weekend.

In a statement Wednesday, the airport says this represents a 14 percent increase over the same four-day period last year when 285,606 passengers flew out of Hartsfield-Jackson.

The airport says due to the spike in volume, domestic passengers are reminded to arrive at least two hours prior to scheduled departure. International passengers are told to arrive two and a half hours before departure.

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A Closer Look
6:37 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Atlanta Health Officials Tackle Obesity In Minority Communities

An overweight man wears a shirt patterned after the American flag during a visit to the World Trade Center, in New York.
Credit Mark Lennihan / AP Photo, File

Based on a recent study, 78 million adults and 12 million children are obese in the United States. 

Recently, health officials with the Research Centers at Minority Institutions, or RCMI, and community partners came together at the Morehouse School of Medicine to talk about obesity among minorities. Participants for the conference addressed the social and economical impact among obese minorities. 

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A Closer Look
6:21 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Barefoot Running Gaining Traction, But It's Not For Everyone

Barefoot running is growing in popularity and, when it comes to natural running, there's a long list of victorious runners who have competed sans shoes, and even an Olympic champion.
Credit Chris Hunkeler /

Runners, take your mark, get set, go!

Thousands of people are preparing for the annual AJC Peachtree Road Race this weekend on Independence Day in Atlanta.

While most participants are wearing the usual running gear, like sneakers or jogging shoes, spectators might be surprised to see a few marathoners running barefoot – nothing between their feet and the pavement.

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4:44 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Atlanta Weekend Events: Esperanza Spalding, Motown And More

Esperanza Spalding with Emily's D Evolution
Credit Holly Andres

There’s a lot going on around Atlanta this weekend including Independence Day festivities and "The Motown Sound" music and dance revue.  

To learn more, Amy Kiley spoke with Kimberly Harbrecht of PBA's arts and entertainment web site, Atlanta PlanIt.  They began by talking about a performance piece by jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding called "Emily’s D-PLUS Evolution."

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4:34 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Atlanta Named New Home For Multicultural Ballet Company

The New York-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet company will be moving to Atlanta.
Credit Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP Photo


One of the best-known contemporary ballet outfits in the country will be relocating to Atlanta.

ARTSAtl reported Wednesday that the Complexions Contemporary Ballet will have its first season in Atlanta in the spring of 2016.

ARTSAtl also reported that talks are underway for the company to lease space at the Woodruff Arts Center, and that a fundraising concert will take place in October at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.

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City Lights
4:17 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Atlanta Musician Speaks Out On Music Streaming Debate

Doria Roberts has been an Atlanta-based singer-songwriter since 1996 when she won Eddie's Attic biannual open mic shootout.
Credit Zack Arias

Pop powerhouse Taylor Swift has been a staunch proponent of increasing royalty rates on music streaming platforms.

Recently, Swift criticized Apple for offering three months of free play on its new streaming service, which launched yesterday. Swift also pulled her music from Spotify last November.

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4:10 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Largest Southern Co. Subsidiary Enters Rooftop Solar Market

The largest Southern Co. subsidiary is starting to sell and install solar panels on residential rooftops.

Georgia Power says it will provide interested customers information on whether solar panels are viable for their homes.

Afterward, customers can buy the equipment and installation services from a Georgia Power company or make the purchase through an independent firm.

It's the first time a Southern Co. subsidiary has entered the residential solar market.

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4:06 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Stone Mountain Park Official: Rebel Flags Must Fly Under Law

Visitors pass a Confederate flag as it flies at the base of Stone Mountain Tuesday in Stone Mountain, Georgia.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

The head of a state authority that oversees Georgia's Stone Mountain Park says Confederate flags will continue flying at a memorial plaza there because state law prevents their removal.

Bill Stephens, chief executive officer of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, said Wednesday that the law would have to be changed for the flags to be removed.

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3:59 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Hawks' DeMarre Carroll Says He's Going To The Raptors

Atlanta Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll is leaving the team for the Toronto Raptors. In this file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) drives against Carroll (5) during the first half in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals of the NBA basketball playoffs May 20 in Atlanta.
Credit John Bazemore / Associated Press

DeMarre Carroll is leaving the Atlanta Hawks to join the Toronto Raptors.

Carroll tweeted a picture of himself with Raptors GM Masai Ujiri and coach Dwane Casey on Wednesday and announced that he is headed to Toronto. A person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press that it's a four-year deal worth $60 million. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the details have not been announced. NBA rules prevent the deal from being signed until July 9.

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3:28 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Drug Suspects In Atlanta's 'The Bluff' Get A Second Chance

Thirteen men and one woman responded to a call-in by the U.S. Attorney’s office Tuesday night. Each is suspected of dealing heroin, and each is being given a chance to avoid federal charges through a program called “Drug Market Intervention.”
Credit Lisa George / WABE

“The Bluff” is a section of northwest Atlanta, not far from where the new Falcons Stadium is being built that has been riddled by heroin for decades.

Tuesday night, multiple law enforcement agencies met with more than a dozen suspected heroin dealers to give them a second chance. 

Thirteen men and one woman show up at the Lindsay Street Baptist Church. Each has a letter from the U.S. Attorney’s office. It promises they will not be arrested. Instead, they will be offered a way out of federal drug charges.

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City Lights
3:15 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

The Appeal Of Summer Grilling: It’s All About The Sharing

Summer grilling isn't just about the meat, as Atlanta chefs Duane Nutter and Todd Richards explained on ''City Lights.''
Credit woodleywonderworks /


Theories abound about why summer grilling resonates with Americans, especially with the July 4 holiday approaching.

Two well-known Atlanta chefs offered their ideas on the summer tradition on “City Lights” with host Lois Reitzes.

“It’s hot inside,” said Todd Richards, the newly-named chef at the White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails in downtown Atlanta.

For Duane Nutter of One Flew South in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the grill is “less stressful than indoors,” especially with a lot of people around the house.

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City Lights
2:49 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Atlanta’s New Stadium Projects Reveal Novel Ideas

A design rendering of the Braves' future stadium at Suntrust Park in Cobb County.
Credit Courtesy of the Atlanta Braves

In metro Atlanta, construction for two stadiums is currently underway, one for the Atlanta Braves in Cobb County and another for the Atlanta Falcons in Vine City.

Both projects are expensive. While the Braves’ new home is set to cost nearly $500 million, the Falcons’ stadium currently has a price tag of about $1.4 billion. 

But it’s possible that neither will last more than a couple decades. That’s the average lifespan for a stadium in the U.S., according to Georgia Tech professor Benjamin Flowers.

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City Lights
2:26 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Composer John Powell Pauses Hollywood Life For WWI Oratorio

John Powell is best-known for his film scores of animated classics such as ''Shrek.''
Credit Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

After producing 72 film scores in a prolific Hollywood career, John Powell is taking a sabbatical from composing music for the big screen.

The British-born Powell, the man behind the music of “Shrek,” the remake of “The Bourne Identity” and, more recently, the “How to Train a Dragon” films, is returning to his conservatory roots.

His latest composition, “Moltke,” named after the German World War I general, will premier in January 2016 with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London.

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2:13 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Ga. Rolls Out New Regulations For Uber, Lyft And Taxis

Georgia will start to regulate ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft along with traditional taxi cab companies.
Credit Nathan Congleton via flickr

As of Wednesday, Georgia will start to regulate ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft. The new law also gives the state the power to oversee taxi cabs. That’s a big change because inspections and permitting used to be handled by local governments like the city of Atlanta.

On a recent Sunday afternoon, taxis are lined up near the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta. Otis Sales is in the third cab back. He’s been driving a taxi part time for over 40 years. But in the past year or so, he’s noticed a drop in business.

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1:15 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Ga. Breweries Can Now Give Away More Craft Beer

The Eventide Brewing tasting room was opened a couple of weeks ago because of the new state law that allows breweries to give visitors beer to take home with them.
Credit Courtesy of Eventide Brewing

Starting Wednesday, Georgians will be able to take up to 72 ounces of craft beer home from a brewery, but only after they take a tour.

They can also now taste three full beers on the tour. That's four ounces more than before.

"We are thrilled and even though it's not exactly what we wanted, we've been gearing up for the last couple of weeks," says Nick Purdy, the president of Wild Heaven Craft Beers in Avondale Estates.

What breweries really wanted was direct sales. But Georgia's beer distributors' lobbied hard against them in the state Legislature.

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12:57 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Atlanta-Based Chick-fil-A Tops Customer Satisfaction Poll

A customer satisfaction survey says Chick-fil-A is the best fast food chain in the country.
Credit John Lorinc / WABE

Chick-fil-A has plenty to crow about. The Atlanta-based fast food giant is tops when it comes to service.

That's according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Researchers say Chick-fil-A scored an 86 out of  a 100-point scale.

That's nine points above the industry's average score.

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Gas Prices
12:35 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Changes To Taxes On Georgia Gasoline Begin Wednesday

Georgia's gas taxes are changing as of Wednesday.
Credit Rori-Tai Williams / WABE

Starting Wednesday, Georgia will tax gasoline differently.

A 4 percent state sales tax is going away. An excise tax, which doesn't change with the price of oil, is going from 7.5 cents a gallon up to 26 cents a gallon. Officials estimate that it will make gas more expensive by about 6 cents a gallon, though that depends on the price of gas on any given day.

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11:30 am
Wed July 1, 2015

More Georgia State Police To Be On Roads July Fourth Weekend

Expect to see plenty of Georgia police on the roadways this holiday weekend.
Credit Mikel Manitius /

Georgia, you have been given fair warning.

The Georgia State Patrol says it will once again increase enforcement this Fourth of July weekend.

Officials will have concentrated patrols and road checks across the state from Thursday night through early Monday morning.

“Last year, troopers issued a little over 7,400 citations. The exact number was 7,463 citations. They also made 291 arrests for driving under the influence,” said GSP spokeswoman Tracey Watson.

The GSP investigated just over 400 crashes last July Fourth weekend, which included five fatalities.  

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10:49 am
Wed July 1, 2015

Suspended DeKalb CEO Ellis Found Guilty In Corruption Retrial

A jury of six men and six women found suspended DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis guilty of one count of attempted extortion and three counts of perjury on Wednesday.
Credit Kent D. Johnson, Pool / Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Updated at 4:30 p.m.

After six days of deliberating, a jury on Wednesday found suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis guilty of attempted extortion and perjury on charges he tried to strong-arm county vendors for donations to his political campaign.

As the verdict was read, Ellis and his wife showed little emotion. The suspended CEO was taken immediately into custody following the verdict. Judge Courtney Johnson set his sentencing for next Wednesday.

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10:36 am
Wed July 1, 2015

Stephen Green To Become DeKalb Schools Superintendent Wednesday

Stephen Green, from Kansas City Schools, will be sworn in Wednesday as DeKalb's new schools superintendent.
Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

DeKalb County will swear in a new schools superintendent Wednesday. Some community members hope Stephen Green’s tenure will be the start of a new chapter for the district.

DeKalb has been trying to earn back full accreditation since it was placed on probation more than two years ago. The district’s accrediting agency said poor leadership led to financial problems and mismanagement.

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Music and Film
10:06 am
Wed July 1, 2015

Filmmaker Has Not Forgotten Cambodia's Musical History

Baksey Cham Krong was Cambodia's first guitar-driven rock band and one of the subjects of the documentary ''Don't Think I've Forgotten,'' screening at Atlanta's Plaza Theatre on Wednesday.
Credit Argot Pictures

How do you make a documentary when most of your subjects have been killed?

This was the challenge facing filmmaker John Pirozzi when he began researching the history of Cambodia’s music scene. The country faced a genocidal overthrow by the Khmer Rouge in 1975, which emptied the nation’s cities and forced the Cambodian people into hard labor, killing millions in just a few years.

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