Local

Politics
3:13 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Voter Registration Group Questions Kemp on Transparency

Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, said she was confused by Secretary of State Brian Kemp's recent comments. Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is to her right.
Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

Leaders of a voter registration group said Monday they’re confused by recent comments made by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.  The group, called the New Georgia Project, sued Kemp’s office and five counties over thousands of voter registration forms they say are missing. 

Kemp denied that last week, saying officials have added 40,000 new voters to the rolls.

Group founder and Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams Monday asked Kemp for clarity.

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Technology
1:23 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

High-Tech Farming: How PodPonics Grows Lettuce Indoors

Inside the PodPonics farm
Evan Changhwan Jang WABE

This story originally aired Sept. 17, 2014.

If it weren’t for the sign just outside the entrance to the Podponics farm, you might wonder if you’d gotten the address wrong.

As you pull into the lot, the scene most resembles an industrial truck yard. Airplanes are rushing overhead, taking off from Hartsfield-Jackson, just a few miles away. And the 11 acres of land in front of you are mostly empty, with exception of a few dozen shipping containers, stacked two levels high in the middle of the lot.

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Local
12:33 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Metro Atlanta Ready for the Season of the Witch

The Netherworld Haunted House is "scaring" up a lot of business this year.
Credit Fearworld.com

Halloween is right around the corner and there’s a lot of scary things to do in the metro Atlanta area.  

The Decatur Ghost Tour offers customers a chance to see some of the spookiness the area has to offer.

“Yes, Decatur does have its ghosts.  I mean, two or three of the restaurants are quite haunted,” says Boo Newell, a tour guide with the Decatur Ghost Tour.

That tour is open 12-months a year, but Newell says sales shoot up around 30% in October.

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City Café
12:20 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Author Events: Edward Humes, Jodi Picoult & More

Credit Bob AuBuchon / flickr.com/bobaubuchon

The AJC-Decatur Book Festival's Daren Wang dropped by WABE studios to fill us in on the week in metro Atlanta literary events. This week, you can catch readings from Edward Humes, Jodi Picoult and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. Daren tells us more in the interview below.

Miss anything?

Jodi Picoult will be at the Atlanta History Center on Wednesday Oct. 22. More details here.

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Local
6:53 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Brookhaven Having Trouble Getting Respect from USPS

This post office sits within the city limits of Brookhaven, GA. The city's Mayor Pro-Tem, Rebecca Chase Williams, is trying to get the U.S. Postal Service to acknowledge that by changing the sign.
Credit Lisa George/WABE News

Brookhaven has been a city for almost two years now, but the U.S. Postal Service has been a little slow to catch on.

Adrian Morton moved here about 18 months ago, and he gave his relatives his new address: Brookhaven, Georgia. Says Morton, “There has been some mail sent from home in the UK that hasn’t reached us.”

The likely reason? The postal service only just recognized Brookhaven as a legitimate mailing address.

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Education
6:46 pm
Sun October 19, 2014

School Districts Update Policies to Include Ebola Response

Credit Dan Raby / WABE

Some metro Atlanta school districts are updating their health policies to include guidelines for the Ebola virus. Some districts, like DeKalb and Cobb, announced this week students from Ebola-affected countries won’t be able to enroll until the superintendent approves their medical documents. Cobb schools spokesperson Kyler Post says it’s a proactive move.

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Atlanta Sounds
12:00 pm
Sun October 19, 2014

Atlanta Sounds: Covey Of Quail

Credit David Yu - flickr.com/photos/davidyuweb/

Sirkka Hougard has an aviary where she keeps a 'covey' of quail. A covey is a term for a small flock of birds. She feeds the birds each day, and the birds peck at the meal while making small noises. We meet Hougard and her quails in this Atlanta Sound.

Have an idea for Atlanta Sounds? Let us know!  

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Health & Science
7:00 am
Sun October 19, 2014

Piedmont Healthcare Ramps Up Ebola Preparedness

Health care workers with Piedmont Healthcare practice taking off protective gear during a training seminar on caring for Ebola patients Friday in Atlanta.
Credit Miche / WABE News

One of the largest health care systems in the metro-Atlanta area is preparing for the possibility of treating an Ebola patient after two Dallas nurses contracted the disease.

Early Friday morning, about 50 nurses and doctors from Piedmont Healthcare’s five hospitals gathered for an Ebola training seminar.

They’re learning how to properly put on and take off the masks, gloves, shoe covers, hoods and suits that make up protective gear.

They’ll take the information back to their own hospitals and train staff there.

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Local
5:41 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Atlanta VA Plans to Expand Women's Healthcare At Fort McPherson

Credit Michelle Wirth/WABE News

The Atlanta VA Medical Center says it plans to expand healthcare services for women at its Fort McPherson Campus. The expansion comes as some female veterans express concerns about the types of services available to women at the Atlanta VA.

On Friday, a crowd gathered to celebrate the expansion of veterans’ services at Fort McPherson. One of the newer services is a center focusing on reproductive care, mental health and other medical services for female veterans.

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Local
5:31 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

English Avenue and Vine City See Promise In New Plan Targeting Blight

Perhaps no other place in the region is plagued with more blight than west Atlanta’s English Avenue and Vine City neighborhoods.

Frustrated homeowners hope a new proposal could be a solution.

Far from improving, English Avenue resident Emily Hayden is seeing the neighborhood fall further into disrepair.

“It’s getting increasingly violent. We’ve actually had a bullet come through the wall of our home. I have two young children and I run a daycare here.”

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Health & Science
4:21 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Emory Learns Lessons Treating Ebola Patients

Media livetrucks line Clifton Rd. outside of Emory Univ. Hospital. The hospital's received local, national and international news coverage of its Ebola treatment efforts.
Credit Ryan Nabulsi / twinlensatl.com

Earlier this summer, Emory University Hospital was given just three days’ notice to get ready for two U.S. missionaries stricken with Ebola.

Despite the short notice, Emory had a good handle on how to do it. But the Ebola team didn’t see everything coming.

Dr. Bruce Ribner, the head of Emory’s Ebola treatment efforts, shared some of those lessons last week at an Infectious Disease conference in Philadelphia.

As Ribner told it, even the basics raised questions. Like, “Where do you do laboratory testing?”

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Sports
1:33 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Former NBA Player Chris Webber Eyes Atlanta Hawks Ownership

Former NBA player and TNT commentator Chris Webber smiles during the NBA basketball game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles, Tuesday, April 1, 2014.
Credit Danny Moloshok / AP Photo

    A former NBA player says he wants to buy a share of the Atlanta Hawks.

In a tweet, Chris Webber said his company, The Webber Group has contacted NBA officials to “acquire the majority interest of the Atlanta Hawks.”

But, buying a NBA team requires more than just a recognizable name, says Joe Perez of Sports Business Daily.

  “Chris Webber is the sexy name for his ownership group. In reality, Chris Webber is probably buying like five percent of the team.”

And here’s where all the numbers come into play.

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Page-Turners
12:53 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Three Page-Turners...from Luis Alberto Urrea

Luis Alberto Urrea

Who knew? Novelist, essayist and poet Luis Alberto Urrea is probably a nature writer at heart. At least, that’s what he tells us in this installment of Page-Turners, in which we also see his penchant for a bit of magical realism. In addition, he tells us a great story about the one Stephen King novel that both he, and his son, couldn’t put down—and why.

In this extended version, Luis Alberto Urrea tells us his harrowing real-life story involving Mexican curanderas, or wise healer women.

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Sports
12:06 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Facing Off With the Atlanta Street Hockey Club

Dan Raby WABE

We now head to Atlanta's Kirkwood neighborhood for some hockey. Twice a week, fifty-two weeks of the year, the Atlanta Street Hockey Club convenes on Bessie Branham Park’s basketball court for a few games. This loose confederation of players has been swinging sticks at each other since 1997, and we joined them one morning for a court-side view of the action and spoke to Keith Waldrop, the president of the club.

Here is the 30 second Atlanta Sounds version of this story:

  This story originally aired June 11, 2014

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Local
12:03 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Ebola Not Expected to Pose Major Threat

The Ebola virus is expected to be a non-issue for much of the country.
Credit CDC

State officials, including Gov. Nathan Deal, say having hospitals prepared to handle the threat of Ebola is a top priority.

Educating the general public is also being stressed.

"We are working to ensure that all of Georgia knows what to look for, what questions to ask and what to do," says Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health.

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Local
10:55 am
Fri October 17, 2014

DeKalb County Schools Create Ebola Monitoring Policy

Chamblee High School, one of the schools that will be affected by Dekalb County official's decision regarding students from Ebola-stricken areas.
Credit John Phelan / Wikimedia

DeKalb County schools officials say no new students from Ebola-stricken countries in West Africa may enroll without proper medical documentation and the superintendent's approval.

Officials said in a statement Thursday that the district has notified all principals and administrators of the policy, which includes new students from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and other areas.

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Mara's Music Mix
8:13 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Mara's Music Mix: October 17-20

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 17-20:

Ziggy Marley at Variety Playhouse; Friday October 17

Jason Isbell with John Prine at Fox Theatre; Saturday October 18

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Politics
8:11 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Do Political Endorsements Help Candidates?

Experts say endorsements can say a lot about a race, even if they don't produce votes.
Credit WABE

With elections coming up next month, some Georgia candidates are racking up endorsements. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was in town this week to support Republican Senate candidate David Perdue. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was in Atlanta Thursday stumping for Gov. Nathan Deal. But do endorsements really give candidates an edge?

It may be nice for a nominee to get a pat on the back from a big-name politician or even a celebrity. But does it matter to voters?

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DeKalb County
6:58 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Druid Hills Group Withdraws Petition to Create Charter School Cluster

Druid Hills High School would serve the proposed charter cluster. The other schools in the cluster are Druid Hills Middle School and five elementary schools: Avondale, Briar Vista, Fernbank, Laurel Hills and McLendon.
Credit DeKalb County School District

A DeKalb County group trying to create a charter school cluster has withdrawn its petition.

The group proposed a cluster of five elementary schools, a middle school, and Druid Hills High School. Its first shot at getting the DeKalb Board of Education to approve its plan was rejected last November, and the group had not been able to get back on the board’s agenda.

Another problem: all of the cluster’s seven schools are in unincorporated DeKalb County, but given current cityhood and annexation plans, that may not be the case for long.

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Local
6:00 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Ebola Fears Lead To Local Discrimination

Rev. William B.G.K. Harris, International Christian Fellowship
Katie King for WABE

As Ebola fears grow in the U.S., some local residents from countries hardest hit by the deadly viral disease are experiencing discrimination.

Rev. Dr. William B.G.K. Harris moved to Atlanta in 1980.  He still has family in Liberia and a large number of Liberian members in his church, International Christian Fellowship.

“Some members of the church have had relatives die, and that’s been very disturbing.”

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Local
9:00 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Community Court Aims To Cut Down On Repeat Offenders Along Fulton Industrial

Fulton Industrial Boulevard.
Credit facebook.com/TheBoulevardCID

Fulton Industrial Boulevard off I-20 is a busy thoroughfare with a seedy reputation. Crime is a persistent issue.

As part of plans to revitalize the area, county and business leaders are teaming up to launch a so-called community court next month.

Past the strip clubs and rundown motels, it’s easy to find locals with stories about cars broken-into, public drug-use, and vandalism.     

Connie Vann runs a staffing company along the strip. She’s been working in the area for 20 years and had this memory of a run-in with a prostitute.  

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Local
6:03 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Are Local Hospitals Prepared For An Ebola Patient?

Emory University Hospital has already successfully treated two Ebola patients and has been willing to share what’s worked for them with hospitals across the country.
Credit Ryan Nabulsi / twinlensatl.com

If a person with Ebola walks into a local hospital, what would be the response?

That’s become one of the most pressing questions facing hospitals across the country now that two Dallas nurses have tested positive for the virus after treating a Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who was diagnosed with the disease after arriving in the U.S. and later died.

Georgia Regents Medical Center in Augusta began preparing months ago for a possible patient when cases in West Africa started to ramp up.

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Politics
2:37 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Kemp Fires Back at Critics: Eligible Voters Have Been Processed

Brian Kemp denied that more than 50,000 voter registration applications have not been processed.
Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp Thursday shot back at critics who accused his office of failing to register thousands of voters. Last week, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights sued Kemp's office and five Georgia counties over 55,000 'missing' voter registration forms. Kemp called the lawsuit frivolous.

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Business
1:28 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Georgia Lottery Earns Record First Quarter Profit

Credit Dan Raby / WABE

  The Georgia Lottery Corp. says it earned record revenue for state education initiatives in the first quarter of fiscal year 2015.

Officials say the lottery earned more than $227 million dollars for state education initiatives, surpassing last year's total by more than $3.2 million.

Lottery officials say the first quarter of the agency's fiscal year spanned July 1 to Sept. 30.

Officials say the lottery has raised a total of $15.7 billion for Georgia education programs since the lottery's inception in 1993.

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From the AJC's Shane Harrison
12:15 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

AJC Events: Sleepy Hollow, Georgia Apple Festival & More

Credit georgiaapplefestival.com

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 chance to catch a performance of a spooky classic.

The Sleepy Hollow Experience at Serenbe Playhouse

The Georgia Apple Festival 

Sharon Van Etten at The EARL

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Local
8:48 am
Thu October 16, 2014

GA Unemployment Falls, But Still Above National Level

Georgia's unemployment rate in September fell slightly from August's rate.
Credit Robert Aaron/WABE

The unemployment rate in the state fell in September.

According to the Georgia Department of Labor, last month's jobless number was 7.9%

That's a dip from 8.1% in August.

But, it's only down slightly-----1/10th of a point-----from September 2013, and it's two full points above the national rate  of 5.9%

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Business
6:21 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

AT&T to Offer Super-Fast Internet in Atlanta

Credit Bidgee / Wikimedia

AT&T this week announced plans to offer super-fast internet service to Atlanta and three other cities in Georgia. Comcast and Google are also thinking about offering a similar service.

But does Atlanta really need it? And if so, will Atlanta’s sprawled-out geography affect the roll-out?

AT&T says Atlanta, Decatur, Sandy Springs, and Newnan will be the first to get the super-fast internet service. It allows a user to download a TV show in less than three seconds and an HD movie in about half a minute.

Fast indeed, but is it necessary?

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Health & Science
3:27 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Emory Expects To Receive Fourth Ebola Patient Today

Emory University Hospital
Credit Matt Phillips / flickr.com/discarnate

A second Dallas health care worker who tested positive for the Ebola virus is being transported to Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital for care and is expected to arrive later today, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials announced this afternoon.

During a teleconference Wednesday, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden confirmed the diagnosis of another Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital nurse who'd been in close contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who was diagnosed with the disease after arriving in Dallas. Duncan died on Oct. 8.

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Health & Science
1:46 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Nurse Who Caught Ebola Being Sent To Emory

Credit Emory University Hospital

Fears of the Ebola virus deepened Wednesday with word that a second Dallas nurse caught the disease from a patient and flew across the Midwest aboard an airliner the day before she was diagnosed. President Barack Obama canceled a campaign trip to address the outbreak.

It's not clear how the nurse contracted the virus, though the second case among health workers pointed to lapses beyond how one individual may have donned and removed protective garb.

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Local
12:06 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Cobb Commissioners Look for Ways to Ease Cumberland Traffic

Cobb Commissioners are looking at ways to ease traffic in areas in the Cumberland area, including Windy Hill Road.
Credit Cumberland CID

Cobb County officials are looking to unclog traffic in the Cumberland area.

On Tuesday, Cobb Commissioners approved two task order contracts for projects in the development process.  

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