Local

Fighting NOAA in Federal Court
6:42 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Georgia Aquarium Makes New Legal Move Toward Trying to Import 18 Beluga Whales

The Georgia Aquarium hopes to import 18 Beluga whales from Russia into the United States. Aquarium officials will not say how many would be housed in Atlanta, but some will live at one of five other facilities in North America.

The Georgia Aquarium is waiting on a federal ruling on privileged documents that it hopes will bolster its lawsuit against the federal government.

The aquarium is suing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to try to bring 18 Beluga whales into the country.

NOAA denied the aquarium’s permit last year to import the whales from Russia. Lawyers for the aquarium asked a federal judge Wednesday to compel the agency to turn over documents; the attorneys say the 19 documents they are requesting will shed more light on why the agency denied the permit.

Read more
Local
5:49 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

DJJ Unveils New Career Guidance Centers For Young Offenders

The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice announced Thursday it plans to open career guidance centers at eight of its facilities across the state, the first of which has already rolled out in a detention center near Atlanta.

According to DJJ officials, the new career centers will offer young offenders the opportunity to research careers and take aptitude tests. The new program will also provide programs on how to write resumes and interview training.

Read more
Politics
3:15 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Jason Carter Selects Campaign Committee

State Sen. Jason Carter
Credit facebook.com/Carter4GA

State. Sen. Jason Carter, the Democratic candidate for governor, has selected a 20-member campaign committee aimed at defeating Gov. Nathan Deal.

Prominent state Democrats are on the list including Ambassador Andrew Young, former U.S. Senator Max Cleland, state Rep. Scott Holcomb, and Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell.

One person not on that list is arguably the state’s most powerful Democrat - Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

Read more
Local
12:29 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Kennesaw Bans Tobacco and E-Cigs in Parks

Kennesaw officials tobacco ban for its parks include e-cigarettes.
Credit David Owens / Dixie's Vapor Shop

  Don't smoke 'em, even if you got 'em.

The Kennesaw City Council has banned tobacco products from its city parks.

Since 2005, parks in Kennesaw had designated areas for smokers.

However, Kennesaw officials say too many people were lighting up in areas outside of those spots, which is what kick-started the anti-tobacco push for the parks.

Read more
Music
12:15 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

An Interview With Jazz Legend Jimmy Heath

Credit Carol Friedman

As part of the National Black Arts Festival this year, there's a jazz concert series being held at various venues around city.  The next one in the series features the Heath Brothers, and WABE’s jazz host H. Johnson recently had the opportunity to speak with one of them; Jimmy Heath. They began by discussing Heath's life in jazz.

Read more
Food & Drink
12:09 pm
Wed August 20, 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.

Read more
Preview of Weekend Events
11:58 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Mary Poppins, Wabi Sabi and More This Weekend

Credit High Museum of Art

Have you been looking for something to do this weekend? If so, join host Lois Reitzes as she speaks with Betsy Riley of Atlanta Magazine about this weekend's events. This time around, Betsy and Lois began by talking about the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival.

Summer Shade Festival

Wabi Sabi: Mi Casa, Your Casa

Mary Poppins at Aurora Theatre

Read more
The 5:44 with Denis O'Hayer
7:25 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

A Fact Check on Some Early Ads in the Senate Race, with PolitiFact Georgia Editor Jim Tharpe

Jim Tharpe, editor of PolitiFact Georgia
Credit Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  Georgia's U.S. Senate contest has already sparked a blitz of television ads from Democratic candidate Michelle Nunn, Republican hopeful David Perdue--and from the groups allied to both (Libertarian Amanda Swafford is also in the race).  

WABE's Denis O'Hayer got a fact check on some of the more visible ads, from Jim Tharpe, editor of PolitiFact Georgia, the non-partisan fact-checking project of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and myAJC.com.  (The expanded version also features a check on one of the ads in the race for Governor.)

Read more
Local
6:12 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Metro-Area Teens Develop Phone App To Rate Police

From left: Caleb, Ima, Joshua and Asha Christen
Credit Pinetart

  Looking to review a run-in with a police officer?

A few metro-Atlanta teens have developed an app for that.

Sixteen-year-old Parkview High School senior Ima Christian and her sister, 15-year-old Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology sophomore Asha, said in recent months they've talked with their parents a lot about the images of police brutality they’d seen on TV.

Rather than just talk, Ima said her parents pushed them to “find a solution.”

After throwing their ideas on a wipe board, she said one such solution stood out above the rest.

Read more
Politics
5:57 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

PSC Approves Latest Round Of Vogtle Spending, Minus Cost Overruns

Construction of the two new reactors as of February 2014.
Credit Georgia Power

State regulators Tuesday signed off on the latest round of spending for Georgia Power’s nuclear expansion project at Plant Vogtle near Augusta.

Advocates say ratepayers should prepare for higher bills due to construction delays and cost overruns.

Georgia’s five-member Public Service Commission unanimously approved $389 million to continue construction, bringing total costs so far to $2.6 billion. The now-$15.5 billion project is at least 21-months behind schedule and around $1.5 billion over budget.

Read more
Politics
5:27 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

RNC Chair Stumps For Perdue, State's GOP Candidates

Republican U.S. Senate Candidate David Perdue, left, and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus
Credit Michell Eloy

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus Tuesday campaigned with the party’s Georgia U.S. Senate nominee David Perdue, and said he feels confident about Republicans winning both in Georgia and nationwide in this year’s Midterm election.

Priebus and Perdue spoke to a friendly crowd of staffers, volunteers and party officials at the GOP’s Cobb County headquarters in Marietta.

While a few other state candidates were there, Priebus focused primarily on Perdue, citing Republican efforts to regain the majority in the U.S. Senate this year. 

Read more
Politics
3:28 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Ethics Agency Changes Board Leadership, Announces New Hires

Ethics commission chief Holly LaBerge.
Credit Michelle Wirth/WABE News

The board of the state ethics commission Tuesday held its first meeting in five months, voting in new leaders and introducing two new attorneys.

The changes come as the agency faces intense scrutiny over its independence and questions about its ability to carry out basic functions.

One hundred and ninety ethics complaint cases -- that’s roughly the size of the backlog the two new attorneys are now taking on.

Commission chief Holly LaBerge says she’s obviously pleased.

Read more
Local
12:15 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

At Gwinnett County Jail, Dogs Get a Second Chance

Inmate handler Anthony Taylor with his dog Mia.

From the outside, Gwinnett County's Lawrenceville detention center looks just like any other jail: a multi-story concrete complex surrounded by barbed wire. 

But inside its housing unit "One Charlie," you'll discover a scene that's hardly typical of a county jail.

That's where "Operation Second Chance" takes place. As part of the program, inmates train and provide around-the-clock care for otherwise abandoned and neglected dogs. 

Read more
Local
12:11 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Metro Atlanta Sees Boost in Population

The Atlanta Regional Commission's analysis shows that while Fulton County added the most people in 2013, Gwinnett County had the highest growth rate as a percentage of total population. Interactive charts appear at the end of the story.
Credit Atlanta Regional Commission

Metro Atlanta continues to attract people from other parts of the state, and the country.

The 10 counties in metro Atlanta gained nearly 53,000 new residents during a 12-month period that began in April 2013.

“Better than still less than the historical average growth rate,” says Mike Alexander, the Research and Analytics Division Manager with the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Read more
Politics
10:54 am
Tue August 19, 2014

State Unemployment Rate Latest Topic in Gubernatorial Race

It’s a war of words and numbers from Jason Carter about Georgia’s unemployment rate and who’s at fault.
Credit WABE 90.1 FM

Georgia’s July unemployment rate is the latest topic that has gubernatorial candidates firing shots at one another.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its July 2014 labor report and it indicates Georgia has the 50th worst unemployment rate in the country.

WABE’s Rose Scott reports, that sparked claims from Democratic candidate state Senator Jason Carter aimed at republican Governor Nathan Deal.

It’s a war of words and numbers from Jason Carter about Georgia’s unemployment rate and who’s at fault.

Read more
Politics
8:15 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Libertarians Running in Some of Georgia's Big Races

Libertarian candidate Andrew Hunt is challenging Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter in Georgia's gubernatorial race.
Credit Andrew Hunt Campaign

Most Georgia voters know the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor and U.S. Senate. But both races also have Libertarian candidates. And some poll watchers say those nominees could affect the outcome.  

Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and Democratic challenger state Sen. Jason Carter have taken swipes at each other. But neither has really acknowledged Georgia’s third gubernatorial candidate: Libertarian Andrew Hunt.

Read more
StoryCorps Atlanta
7:40 am
Tue August 19, 2014

StoryCorps: Bobbi Patterson and Vichon Wilborn

Bobbi Patterson and Vichon Wilborn at StoryCorps

Bobbi Patterson has been researching her family history for years, and she has been able to trace her ancestry back many generations. She now shares this information with her relatives, including her grandchildren. In the StoryCorps booth, Bobbi told her granddaughter, Vichon Wilborn, about the person who inspired her research, her father Alf Crenshaw. 

This story was recorded in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, which hosts Atlanta's StoryCorps booth.

Read more
Local
6:00 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Metro Atlanta's Real Estate Market Holds Steady

The housing numbers in metro Atlanta have remained relatively steady according to a new report.
Credit Atlanta Board of Realtors

It could be better, but it could be worse.

That's the findings from the Atlanta Board of Realtors' latest report on the housing numbers for July 2014.

"All the indications are very, very favorable for a continued, thriving and sustainable housing market in Atlanta," says ABR president Todd Emerson.

But, there is room for improvement.

Read more
The 5:44 with Denis O'Hayer
5:35 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Congressman Hank Johnson to File Bill for More Controls on Military Equipment to Local Police Forces

Rep. Hank Johnson

  After an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, was shot to death by police in Ferguson, Missouri, the police there used tear gas and armored vehicles to respond to protest demonstrations.  That has raised new questions about the increased presence of military-style equipment in local police departments around the nation.  Many Georgia police agencies have used a U.S. Defense Department program to obtain all kinds of gear--from boots to armored vehicles.  But do they really need the heavy armor and high-powered weapons?

Read more
Local
4:57 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

East Point Police Chief Resigns

East Point Police Chief Woodrow Blue
Credit East Point Police Department

City of East Point Police Chief Woodrow Blue has resigned from the post he’s held for more than two years, with few details as to why.

According to a statement released by the city Monday, Blue tendered his resignation yesterday, and it was made effective the same day.

In his resignation letter to the East Point City Manager Ellis Mitchell, Blue said he was leaving his post for “personal reasons,” but gave no further explanation.

“I have appreciated the opportunity to serve the citizens of East Point, and I wish the city all the best in the future,” Blue wrote.

Read more
Health & Science
4:49 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Cobb County Providers and Businesses Discuss Health Care Challenges

Business and health care leaders attend a health care summit held by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and several partners at the Cobb Galleria Centre.
Credit Michelle Wirth/WABE News

Cobb County businesses and health care providers discussed national and regional health care challenges today during a healthcare summit held by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and several partners.

The discussion comes ahead of the next Affordable Care Act open enrollment period in November.

Read more
Local
4:34 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Atlanta Watershed Yet to Release Names of Those Fired

Credit Atlanta Department of Watershed Management

The city of Atlanta has yet to release the names of the 13 Watershed department employees who were fired Friday. The firings come amid three separate investigations into mismanagement and rampant theft within the department.

The city’s law and police departments, as well as the city auditor, are conducting their own investigations.

City spokeswoman Anne Torres acknowledged those were still ongoing, but said the timing of the firings was “necessary and appropriate.” 

Read more
Local
4:14 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Atlanta City Employees Blast Reed in Wake of Payout Controversy

Atlanta city employees are blasting Mayor Kasim Reed, accusing him of illegally handing out big cash payouts to members of his senior staff for unused sick and vacation time.  

At Monday’s City Council meeting, public comment period was dominated by city employees, mostly police and firefighters.

Sgt. Darren Barr, an 18-year veteran of the police force, said Reed's administration was giving preferential treatment.

Read more
Theater
12:30 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Synchronicity Readies a New Stage on Peachtree

Synchronicity Artistic Director Rachel May in the theatre's new home.
Credit Myke Johns / WABE

The Atlanta theater scene has experienced a number of losses and setbacks in the past year with companies like Dad’s Garage losing their homes or, in the case of Theater of the Stars, having to shutter altogether. But there has been hopeful news recently—Dad’s is under contract for a new space and in late July, Synchronicity Theater announced they were—at long last—moving into a permanent home. 

Read more
Books
12:05 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Author Events: James Rollins & Nimrod Frazer

Credit Bob AuBuchon / flickr.com/bobaubuchon

The AJC-Decatur Book Festival's Daren Wang stopped by WABE studios to preview the week in Atlanta literary events. He started by telling City Cafe host John Lemley about James Rollins, author of best-selling suspense thrillers, including a bit of suspenseful music from Rollins's website to set the scene.

James Rollins will sign copies of his new book, "The Sixth Extinction," at Eagle Eye Books on August 19. Find more details here.

Read more
Local
7:10 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Remembering the Beatles' Legendary Atlanta Concert

Larry Kane (center) says the Beatles' concert in Atlanta was one of the band's favorite performances.
Credit Larry Kane

 It was 49 years ago today……the Beatles came to Atlanta to play. 

WABE’s John Lorinc reports that show was remembered as one of the legendary band’s unique shows.

The show opened with "Twist and Shout" and ended with "I'm Down."     

Read more
Local
5:56 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Gas Prices Rise Slightly in Metro Atlanta

Commuters in Metro Atlanta are paying a little more to fill up

The average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded in metro Atlanta is $3.39, according to AAA.

That’s up about a penny from last week, but it’s still 17-cents less compared to last month.

The state-wide average is $3.34-----virtually unchanged from last week.

But, it appears there's a chance commuters will be getting a break.

Read more
Politics
8:52 pm
Sun August 17, 2014

Plaintiffs in Georgia Same Sex Marriage Ban Lawsuit Keep Close Watch on Recent Rulings

This is the most current map detailing same-sex marriage laws according to Mother Jones, the nonprofit news organization that specializes in investigative, political, and social justice reporting.
Credit MotherJones.com

A recent ruling, from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, is another good sign for those challenging bans on same-sex marriage in state constitutions.

That court denied the request asking to delay its ruling to strike down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban…while it’s being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

And as WABE’s Rose Scott reports, plaintiffs in Georgia’s same-sex marriage ban lawsuit continue to remain optimistic.

Read more
Politics
7:01 pm
Sun August 17, 2014

Reed Yet To Explain Policy At Center Of Payout Controversy

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed
Credit City of Atlanta

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has yet to explain the various "hardships" that allowed some of his senior staff to receive extra cash payouts last year as high as $79,000.

Critics say the payouts were illegal and accuse Reed of giving preferential treatment.

Reed has defended the payouts since they became known earlier this month.

“This is something we were able to do that was done frequently. It’s not illegal,” said Reed. 

Read more
Local
9:45 am
Sun August 17, 2014

Whew. Georgia's Short-Lived "Aquairium" Now Fixed

GDOT quickly replaced this sign on I75/85 Southbound in Atlanta. The word "Aquarium" was misspelled.
Credit Courtesy: AJC.com

A road sign on the Downtown Connector is now fixed. But, last week, the sign at exit 249-C southbound had motorists scratching their heads.

The word "aquarium" gained an "i." It invited motorists to exit for the Georgia Aquairium.

Don’t blame the Georgia Department of Transportation though.  Spokeswoman Natalie Dale says a subcontractor who builds the signs got it wrong.

Last month, a road sign along Highway 316 directed folks to Georgia Gwinett College, not Gwinnett.  

Oops.

Read more

Pages