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Atlanta Public Schools
6:31 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Atlanta Educators Videotaped Abusing Special Needs Students

Alger Coleman III was arrested and charged with child cruelty and battery.
Credit Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Erroll Davis says the abuse of two special needs students, at the hands of educators, is disgusting and disturbing.

It happened at Harper Archer Middle School.

WABE’s Rose Scott has more.

A special education teacher set-up a video recorder because she says her previous complaints were ignored.

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Business
4:14 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

AirTran Parent Company, Southwest, Posts Record Profit

Dallas-based Southwest saw a record start to 2014

One day after Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines announced a record profit, Southwest Airlines, AirTran’s parent company, followed suit.

Southwest pulled in a net profit of $152-million for the first three months of 2014, even with significant losses from a long, harsh winter.

“The bad weather definitely cost us, but we still managed to stay on plan," said Southwest CEO Gary Kelly on an investor conference call. 

Much of that plan included further dismantling AirTran.

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Local
4:00 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Deal Signs 'Amnesty' Bill Aimed At Reducing Fatal Overdoses

Naloxone, an overdose-reversing drug, will now be available to first responders, so-called harm reduction agencies or anyone with a prescription under a bill signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal Thursday in Atlanta.
Credit Courtesy: Hospira.com

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal Thursday signed into law a bill aimed at protecting those who report a drug or alcohol overdose.

The bill protects those who call 9-1-1 to report a drug overdose and who may also have been using drugs from arrest or prosecution. The same applies to those under 21 years old who report an alcohol overdose. With Deal’s signature, Georgia joins at least 17 other states that have passed similar “Good Samaritan Laws.”

Republican state Rep. Sharon Cooper of Marietta, the bill’s sponsor, hopes people will now make potentially life-saving emergency calls.

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DeKalb County
1:38 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

New Development Ready for Construction Across the Street from Suburban Plaza

This shows the area where Fuqua Development plans to build the first phase of Decatur Crossing. Suburban Plaza is directly across North Decatur Road from the site.
Credit Fuqua Development

As a plan to bring a Walmart to DeKalb County’s Suburban Plaza remains mired in legal trouble, a development right across the street is getting ready to start construction.

Fuqua Development is the company creating the mixed-used project, which will be called Decatur Crossing. According to Jeff Fuqua, “We hope that every deal we do is a process like this with the county commission and with the neighbors.”

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From the AJC's Shane Harrison
12:15 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Budget-Friendly Events

Inman Park Festival
Credit Dylan Fagan/WABE

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 concert by country artist Rodney Crowell.

Rodney Crowell at Eddie's Attic

Terminus at the Cylde Shepherd Nature Preserve

Inman Park Festival

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Local
12:14 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Metro Atlanta Unemployment Rate Falls 0.1% in March

The unemployment rate in metro Atlanta has fallen in fits and starts for the last 18 months. In March it dropped to 6.8% from February's rate of 6.9%.
Credit Robert Aaron / WABE News

The unemployment rate for metro Atlanta in March was 6.8%, according to the state Department of Labor.

That's down more than a full point from March 2013.

"We're only 100,000 jobs short of where we were prior to the Great Recession.  We're 71% of the way back and the rate of job growth is accelerating," says Dr. Jeff Humphreys, an economist with the University of Georgia.

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Health & Science
6:00 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Prescription Abuse Is A Growing Epidemic, Say Federal Officials

Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden speaks at the Prescription Drug Abuse Summit Wednesday in downtown Atlanta.
Credit Dan Raby/WABE News

  Prescription drug abuse is a growing, but silent epidemic unique to the United States, according to some U.S. lawmakers and government officials who discussed the topic in Atlanta Wednesday.

Prescription drug-related deaths increased 400 percent in the past decade, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Speaking at the National Prescription Drug Abuse Summit, CDC Director Tom Frieden said prescription drug abuse has created an epidemic.

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Local
6:00 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Georgia Participating in DEA Take-Back Event

The DEA is holding its National Prescription Drug Take-Back this weekend.
Credit Drugfree.org

Georgia is among the states taking part in the Eighth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Saturday's event, which starts at 10 am, is part of a push from federal authorities to avoid the misuse of pharmaceuticals.

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Local
5:58 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Opponents Speak Out Against Gun Bill Signing

Piyali Cole, Georgia Chapter Leader of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and other supporters speak in opposition to the signing of HB 60
Credit Michelle Wirth/WABE News

Today, Governor Nathan Deal signed a sweeping bill to expand gun rights in Georgia. Opponents have dubbed it the “guns everywhere bill” and protested the signing during a press conference held at a church near the Georgia Capitol.

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Politics
3:38 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Deal Signs Controversial Gun Bill

Gov. Nathan Deal Wednesday in Ellijay.

Gov. Nathan Deal Wednesday signed into law a sweeping gun bill attracting national attention.

House Speaker David Ralston introduced Deal at the bill signing ceremony in Ellijay. He did so before a friendly crowd of at least 200, several of whom were openly carrying.

“This is the apple capitol of Georgia and, yes, it’s a community where we cling to religion and guns,” said Ralston.

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Food
12:40 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

A Coop With A View: Raising Chickens at Manuel's Tavern

Manuel's Tavern owner Brian Maloof with one of his chickens
Myke Johns WABE

Many restaurants around Atlanta have embraced localism by getting their meats and produce from area farms or even growing their own vegetables. Manuel’s Tavern, though, has gone a step further by building a chicken coop on their roof. The North Highland Avenue mainstay is now offering organic eggs courtesy of the twenty four chickens living on-premises.

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Business
12:17 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Delta Flies High on Record Profits

Despite an unprecedented winter full of revenue-busting cancellations, Delta made a record profit in Q1.
Credit Jim Burress / WABE News

Atlanta-based Delta Airlines Wednesday reported a record profit for the first three months of this year. That’s despite a tough start to 2014.

Delta canceled 17,000 flights in January and February due to relentless winter weather, or about twice the number of flights the carrier canceled in all of 2013.

“But for the weather, we would’ve had a $500-million pre-tax profit in the seasonally most-difficult quarter of the year," said Delta CEO Richard Anderson on an investor call. "And that says a lot of the franchise we have here at Delta.”

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The Kids at Camp Shakespeare
12:06 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Shakespearean Insults

Credit Courtesy of Georgia Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is known for his great masterpieces of verse, plays and sonnets. Georgia Shakespeare hosts a summer camp to teach kids about the man and his work.

Camp Shakespeare is a summer camp hosted by Georgia Shakespeare on the Oglethorpe University campus.  Among lessons on sword play and acting, they also learn something unique about the author and playwright’s command over the English language, Shakespearean insults. 

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Local
8:29 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Governor to Sign Bill Easing Gun Restrictions

Credit Michelle Wirth / WABE News

[Update: Gov. Deal has now signed the gun bill along with several others. More details to follow.]

Governor Nathan Deal will sign a bill today that greatly expands where Georgians can legally carry guns.

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Politics
6:00 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Kingston Reportedly Opposed To CDC Gun Violence Research

Georgia Republican U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston reportedly opposes a plan to fund gun violence research, a reversal of the Savannah congressman’s stance after the shootings at Sandy Hook.

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Paulding County
6:00 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Paulding County Rolls Out 911 Texting

Paulding County is the first county in the state to roll out 911 texting.

The county’s 911 Director, David Mumford, says the new system has been up and running about three weeks, but his operators have not gotten a single emergency text.

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Local
6:53 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Georgians Challenge State's Gay Marriage Ban Amendment

Christopher Inniss and his partner Shelton Stroman are among the plantiffs in the lawsuit.
Credit WABE 90.1 FM

The country’s oldest and largest legal organization that works on behalf of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people filed a federal class action lawsuit today.

WABE’s Rose Scott reports, three same-sex couples and a widow, all Georgians, are challenging the state’s constitutional amendment that denies same sex marriage.

Moving to another state that recognizes same-sex marriages was never the answer says Christopher Inniss.

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Online Voter Registration
4:13 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

State Says 12,000 Georgians Used New Online Voter Registration System

In time for the May 20 primary, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp says nearly 12,000 people have registered to vote using the state’s new online system and mobile app.

Kemp said the number – officially 11,970 – is more than double the 5,000 his office expected.  He said the tally is a good sign as the state ramps up for the mid-term elections in November.

“I think when people realize what this tool will bring and the services it’s going to provide, I think you’ll just see more and more people downloading the app and going to the online site,” Kemp said.

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DeKalb County
3:00 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

DeKalb Interim CEO Cracks Down on Use of County Purchasing Cards

DeKalb County Interim CEO Lee May admits that news reports alerted him to a problem with the use of county purchasing cards.
Credit Lee May

DeKalb County’s Interim CEO has issued an executive order changing the way county employees and elected officials can use county purchasing cards.

Starting today, county employees and elected officials have two weeks to review and sign a new policy about the use of county purchasing cards, which are called “P-cards.”

Interim CEO Lee May admits the issue came to light after reports in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting that Commissioner Elaine Boyer purchased thousands of dollars’ worth of goods and services on her card.

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#weloveatl
1:43 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

The Bitter Southerner's Love Note To Atlanta

The beginning of The Bitter Southerner's feature about Atlanta.

Chuck Reece decided to call the web magazine he edits The Bitter Southerner because he was, as he freely admits, feeling bitter toward his native South at the time.  In fact, Reece talked about his then-fledgling online journal with WABE's Steve Goss last year.

  But that name is arguably a misnomer for a publication that so clearly adores so much about the modern South.

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Local
12:16 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Georgians Encouraged to Head Outdoors on Earth Day

It's Earth Day!

It's April 22,  otherwise known as Earth Day.

"It's important that we consider Earth Day as a chance to make a commitment to engaging with the natural world," says Sherry Crawley, with the Nature Conservancy of Georgia.

She says there's a wide range of plant and animal life throughout the Peach State.

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Local
8:49 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Old Newnan Hospital Renovated for UWGA

The University of West Georgia is recycling an unused hospital into a new spot for its students.
Credit University of West Georgia

The University of West Georgia is using something from the past to fuel its future.

The Carrolton-based school is  planning to use the renovated Newnan Hospital as its campus in that city.

The facility in downtown Newnan hasn't been used after Piedmont Healthcare built a new hospital in Coweta County.

Officials are glad the building is being recycled.

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Local
6:00 am
Tue April 22, 2014

'Peach' Coming Back To Chick-fil-A Bowl

Credit Josh Pate / WABE News

Atlanta’s annual college football bowl needed a little something old to get a little something new.

The Peach Bowl is back, part of a six-year agreement between Atlanta-based fast food chain Chick-fil-A and ESPN that will also bring portions of the new 4-team College Football Playoffs to the city in the next few years.

Under the agreement, the game’s name will revert from the Chick-fil-A bowl back to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl to satisfy naming rules set by playoff organizers. The word “peach” was dropped from the bowl title in 2006.

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Politics
8:33 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

A Legal Challenge to Georgia's Gay Marriage Ban: Analysis from Georgia State Law Prof. Neil Kinkopf

Georgia State University professor of law Neil Kinkopf
Credit Georgia State University College of Law

  On Monday, April 21, 2014, Lambda Legal, an organization that works on gay rights litigation, announced it will file a Federal lawsuit against the gay marriage ban in Georgia's state constitution.  Lambda Legal said it would file the lawsuit on April 22.   The gay marriage ban has been part of the state constitution since voters approved it in 2004.  The challenge comes after similar lawsuits were filed in other states.

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Local
6:35 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Advocates React After State Suspends Transfer of Developmentally Disabled

Advocates continue to support moving people with developmental disabilities from state hospitals into the community. That’s despite two deaths that occurred after individuals with developmental disabilities were placed into community settings shortly after a state hospital closed in Thomasville.

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Watershed Management
5:12 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

City Council Criticizes Watershed Chief and Reed Team for Pay Raises

Watershed Commissioner Jo Ann Macrina before the Atlanta City Council Monday.

The Atlanta City Council Monday reprimanded the city’s embattled Watershed chief and members of Mayor Kasim Reed’s team over hefty raises awarded to five Watershed managers.

Watershed Commissioner Jo Ann Macrina said legislation approved in 2012 gave her broad authority to adjust salaries to help attract and retain workers.

“Part of the reason we are losing good people is we can’t pay them the salaries they are getting elsewhere,” said Macrina.

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Education
4:06 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

State Issues Grades to Schools, Districts

State Superintendent John Barge announces the overall results of the College and Career Ready Performance Index. The CCRPI is the state's new accountability system. It was implemented when the state received a waiver from part of the federal No Child Left Behind Law.
Credit Martha Dalton/WABE News

It’s report card time, but not for students. The Georgia Department of Education Monday released report cards for individual schools and districts. 

Schools are scored on a 100-point scale. They’re graded on three main components: achievement, progress, and how  well a school or district narrows the achievement gap. State Superintendent John Barge (who is challenging Gov. Nathan Deal in the Republican Primary next month) said he weight of each category has changed.

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Books
12:47 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

“Sit Down and Be Awesome” – Tackling National Novel Writing Month

Daniel Lamb and Laurel Snyder
Credit Myke Johns / WABE

November is National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is what it sounds like: write a novel in one month. WABE’s Myke Johns spent November following two Atlanta writers as they hit the keys, and has this story.

Who on earth would try to write a novel in a month? Meet Daniel Lamb and Laurel Snyder. Both writers set aside their November for National Novel Writing Month, which most refer to it as “NaNoWriMo.”

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Education
12:26 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Education Analyst Calls Bad Move on Georgia Board of Regents Tuition Increase Approval

According to the National Center for Educational statistics, between the 2001–02 school year and the 2011–12, school year; undergraduate tuition, room and board at public institutions rose 40 percent.
Credit geteducated.com

As college seniors prepare to graduate next month, those heading back to the University System of Georgia’s colleges and universities will pay more in tuition.

This week the Board of Regents approved the tuition hike.

WABE’s Rose Scott reports how the increase could affect prospective students.

It’s a not a popular trend, but for years, college tuition costs have been escalating.

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Books
12:15 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Books with Daren Wang

Credit Bob AuBuchon / flickr.com/bobaubuchon

The AJC - Decatur Book Festival’s Daren Wang drops by to fill us on the week’s literary events, and he starts with a couple of author appearances taking place at the Atlanta History Center.

Jennifer Senior at the Atlanta History Center

Civil War Lecture Series: Todd Purdum

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