Mara's Music Mix
11:45 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Dave Matthews, Shelby Lynne Among Upcoming Atlanta Concerts

Dave Matthews will bring his band to perform Saturday at Lakewood Amphitheater.
Credit Owen Sweeney / Invision/AP

Looking ahead at some of this weekend’s concerts, we have three music festivals taking over Candler Park, Suwanee and Woodstock, plus everything from Western Swing to the “Mozart of Guitar.” WABE contributor Mara Davis joins Morning Edition host Steve Goss for this week’s Music Mix.

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10:07 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Georgia Man Pleads Guilty To Seeking To Join Islamic State Group

A 37-year-old Georgia salesman has pleaded guilty in federal court to trying to join the Islamic State group.

Leon Nathan Davis told a U.S. District Court judge Wednesday that he bought a one-way plane ticket last fall from Atlanta to Turkey, where he planned to be smuggled into Syria in order to join the Islamic State. FBI agents arrested him at the Atlanta airport Oct. 24.

8:40 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Kanye West To Perform At Atlanta Birthday Bash 20 Concert

Kanye West is bringing his talents to Atlanta's most popular hip-hop concert shows. WHTA, known locally as Hot 107.9, announced Wednesday that West will be one of the headliners at Birthday Bash 20 at Philips Arena on June 20.
Credit Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File / Associated Press

Kanye West is bringing his talents to Atlanta's most popular hip-hop concert shows.

WHTA, known locally as Hot 107.9, announced Wednesday that West will be one of the headliners at Birthday Bash 20 at Philips Arena on June 20. The Grammy-winning rapper will share the stage along with some of hip-hop's top performers, including Ludacris, Wale, Future, B.o.B., Big Boi and Rae Sremmurd.

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8:26 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Police: Woman Who Gave Workers Kidnap Note Is Alive And Well

Atlanta police say they've found a woman who disappeared after giving employees of a fast-food restaurant a note saying she was being held against her will and needed help.

Police said Wednesday that they have found LaShonda Marie Cortez and she is alive and well. Police said they were still talking to her Wednesday afternoon and didn't release any further information.

Police say Cortez left a Wendy's restaurant about noon Monday after passing the note and got into a waiting pickup truck, which drove away. Police on Tuesday asked the public for help finding her.

6:07 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Cobb County Residents Angry Over Police Policies, Shooting

Residents spoke out at a Cobb County Board of Commissioners meeting about a recent officer-involved shooting.
Credit Jason Getz / Associated Press

Several Cobb County residents spoke out about police policies they say target people of color during last night’s board of commissioner’s meeting. They included comments from the parents of a man fatally shot by police in March.

Huey Thomas was the first to speak out in a wave of criticism leveled at official handling of his 25-year-old son’s death. 

“I’m tired of my wife crying every night, with no information and people being very disrespectful," said Thomas.

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5:45 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

EPA Releases Controversial Water Rule, Ga. Farmers Skeptical

Rivers like the Chattahoochee River are protected by the Clean Water Act, but the EPA wanted to clear up confusion over smaller bodies of water.
Credit Courtesy City of Peachtree Corners

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers released a controversial new water rule on Wednesday.

According to the EPA, almost 5 million Georgians get water from systems that rely on small or seasonal streams.  

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4:47 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Animation, Gaming Fans Converge On Atlanta For Momocon 2015

Momocon 2015 kicks off May 28 at the Georgia World Congress Center. Fans of Japanese anime, American animation, comics, and more celebrate their passions for the art forms.
Credit Heather Miller / flickr.com/heathervesta

A unique convention for fans of Japanese anime, American animation, comics, video games and more opens Thursday at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

Momocon 2015 features celebrity cartoon voice talent, costumes, designers, the writers behind favorite shows, games and comics.

The senior director of media relations for Momocon, Dan Carroll and prop artist Harrison Krix discussed the four-day convention, how it started, and what’s on tap this year on “A Closer Look.”

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A Closer Look
4:12 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

New Book Details Suburban Drug Use, Sales Among Ga. Teens

A pool parking lot in a suburban Atlanta town where author Scott Jacques says plenty of drug deals went down among young users and sellers.
Credit Scott Jacques

The illegal drug trade and the violence that often accompanies it are more common in disadvantaged, urban communities – at least that is the common perception.

But drug users and sellers are busy in city suburbs, too. And many of the sellers are teenagers. That's according to a newly published sociological study focusing on why middle-class, suburban youth get involved in the drug business.

The study was conducted in a wealthy metro Atlanta suburb.

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A Closer Look
3:59 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Ga. Rep. Raises Awareness Of Foster Care With Her Own Story

Single foster mom Sarah Hunsberger reads to her two foster children as the family's two cats listen in. May is National Foster Care Month to raise awareness of foster children and parents.
Credit Sarah Hunsberger

Thousands of children pass through Georgia’s foster care system every year.

Some 9,700 young people are currently in the system in Georgia, according to the Division of Family and Children Services.

Since May is National Foster Care Month, Georgia Rep. Erica Thomas of Austell and others are working to increase awareness about foster care and the children who are raised in the system.

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3:12 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Former Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. Not Romanticized In New Film

Former Atlanta Mayor Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. poses under a sign designating Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard.
Credit Associated Press

A new documentary takes a look at the life of a former Atlanta mayor. Fifty years ago, he gained national standing as a man of courage.

Ivan Allen Jr. was the only elected leader from the South to testify in Congress for the integration of all places of business.

It was one of Mayor Allen's moments of truth. His dedication to doing the right thing changed Atlanta's trajectory from a sleepy Southern town to the bustling economic center of the Southeast.

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City Lights
2:57 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Making A Case For Queso As A Southern Delicacy

“City Lights” commentator Nick Rogers is is disappointed the lack of queso dip on many Atlanta menus.
Credit Robert Occhialini / flickr.com/bump

Atlanta is known to be a prime destination for foodies; with soul food, ethnic cuisine, and Southern standards, there isn’t much you can’t find here.

However, “City Lights” commentator Nick Rogers found there is one item mysteriously absent from many menus, despite its popularity in much of the South.

Rogers, a lawyer working toward his Ph.D. in sociology at Georgia State University, is an expert on the subject.

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1:08 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

This Day in History: UGA Students Meet The Iron Horse

The Iron Horse sculpture surveys the scene near Watkinsville, Georgia.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Today is May 27.  

If we were to turn Georgia's clock back 61 years to this date in 1954, we'd witness a rather extreme reaction by University of Georgia students to the placement of a horse on their campus.  

As Georgia State University associate professor of history, Dr. Clifford Kuhn explains, the horse was a sculpture and part of a well-intentioned effort to expose the university community to some "culture."  

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12:43 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Dispute Over MLK Bible, Nobel Medal Heads To Mediation

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s children -- Dexter (left), Bernice and Martin III -- are involved in a dispute over their father's traveling Bible and 1964 Nobel Peace Prize.
Credit John Bazemore, File / Associated Press

A legal battle over the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s traveling Bible and 1964 Nobel medal is headed for court-ordered mediation.

King's estate, which is controlled by his sons, last year asked a judge to order their sister to surrender the items. In a board of directors meeting last year, Martin Luther King III and Dexter Scott King voted 2-1 against Bernice King to sell the two artifacts to a private buyer.

The two sides on Wednesday told Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney that they're close to an agreement but not quite there.

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12:11 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

LeBron, Cavaliers Earn NBA Finals Spot By Sweeping Hawks

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James and guard Kyrie Irving (2) are shown during a timeout in Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday. The Hawks lost 118-88.
Credit Ron Schwane / Associated Press

LeBron James scored 23 points; Kyrie Irving returned after missing two games, and the Cleveland Cavaliers reserved a spot in the NBA Finals with a 118-88 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night to win the Eastern Conference title.

By sweeping the top-seeded Hawks, the Cavs earned their second trip to the finals, where they will face either Golden State or Houston.

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12:06 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Civil War Trench Discovered In Cobb County

It may not look like much, but this is a view of a Civil War trench on Northern Ridge Summit.
Credit Courtesy of Cobb County Community Development Agency

Another piece of Georgia's past has been discovered in Cobb County.

A Civil War trench was found by builders planning to develop a senior residential community near Barrett Parkway.

This is one of the trenches where Confederate soldiers fired upon Union troops, according to local historians. 

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City Lights
12:00 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Yoko Ono Discusses Roswell's ‘Art Of John Lennon' Auction

A reproduction of John Lennon's “Forever Love” is up for auction in Atlanta.
Credit Courtesy of Bag One Arts

Reproductions of paintings and sketches by John Lennon will be up for auction this weekend in the Atlanta area.

From Friday through Sunday, the Ann Jackson Gallery in Roswell will be selling reprints of dozens of Lennon’s works to benefit North Fulton Community Charities.

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11:10 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Chuck Palahniuk To Celebrate New Novels At SCADShow

Chuck Palahniuk, author of “Fight Club,” appears in Atlanta on Wednesday.
Credit Allan Amato

Chuck Palahniuk is noted by the Library of Congress as being a writer of “transgressional fiction,” and his two latest works do little to change that.

“Fight Club 2” and “Make Something Up,” a collection billed as “Stories You Can’t Unread,” are out now, and the author is making an appearance in Atlanta to celebrate the books' release.

Palahniuk spoke on the phone with WABE's Myke Johns about his latest offerings and about what makes him tick as a writer.

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9:29 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Fulton County Plans To Offer Families More School Options

Fulton County's Centennial High School created a ''technology hub'' for students to provide more options.
Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

Parents who have children in the Fulton County schools may soon have more types of schools to choose from.

Fulton will offer more school models, such as Montessori schools, dual language programs and honors academies, for high school students. By giving families more choices, the district hopes to keep them from going to private schools or other districts.

“As we spent the last few months getting information from parents about what their needs are, we tried to match models to address the needs of each community,” says Ken Zeff, the district’s chief strategy officer.

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7:20 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Teen Driving Accidents Rise During Summer Months

Distractions are responsible for nearly 60 percent of teen crashes. In this Dec. 14, 2011, file photo, a driver uses an iPhone while driving in Los Angeles.
Credit Damian Dovarganes, File / Associated Press

The Georgia Department of Driver Services says motor vehicle crashes are the main cause of death for 15-to-20-year-olds in the state.

Teen crash fatalities historically climb between Memorial Day and Labor Day, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

“You know they’re going to be out there riding around with their friends; unfortunately a lot of them are going to be distracted,” says AAA spokesman Josh Carrasco.

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Clean Water
7:00 am
Wed May 27, 2015

EPA Water Rule Raises Private Property Concerns In Georgia

Rivers like the Chattahoochee are protected by the Clean Water Act. But for some smaller bodies of water, it's not clear whether they are protected by the Clean Water Act.
Credit Monika & Tim / flickr.com/tkennedy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is poised to release a new rule regulating water. The agency says it clarifies how the Clean Water Act works, but some people in Georgia worry that it threatens private property rights.

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6:30 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Some Ga. Charter Schools Aren't Outperforming Others

Georgia’s State Charter Schools Commission wanted to evaluate the performance of the 13 schools it has approved.
Credit Michelle Wirth/WABE News

State-approved charter schools perform about the same as regular public schools, according to a new report from the State Charter Schools Commission.

The report looked at test scores, school report cards, and other data for charter schools approved by the state. There are a total of 14 state-authorized charters. Officials combined data for two of the schools, focusing on a total of 13 in the report. 

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6:00 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Fulton Police Departments Gathering To Discuss Body Cameras

A handful of police departments around Fulton County are planning to gather in downtown Atlanta on Wednesday to discuss body cameras and how they'll be used across the county.
Credit Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

Some Fulton County police departments are gathering Wednesday afternoon in downtown Atlanta to discuss body cameras and how they’ll be used throughout the county.

Police chiefs are expected to talk about how they’ll use the cameras and figure out ways the different departments can adopt similar policies.

DeKalb County Public Safety Director Cedric Alexander, who sits on President Barack Obama’s Task Force for 21st Century Policing, will also be there.

Alexander says when it comes to body cameras, departments will still have to do a lot of learning as they go.

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6:00 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Creating New Cities: DeKalb County Is Ga.'s Latest Hotspot

One place where the idea of city creation is at the forefront is DeKalb County. There are currently four different cityhood movements in the works.
Credit Alison Guillory / WABE

Cityhood is a term you may have heard recently but didn’t really know what it meant.

It’s a quick way to explain the process of unincorporated parts of counties creating proposals to become their own cities. In the past decade there have been nine of these in metro Atlanta.

One place where the idea of city creation is at the forefront is DeKalb County. There are currently four different cityhood movements in the works.

Two will get a vote later this year, and two others are still stuck in the legislature, but the cityhood trend isn’t entirely new in DeKalb.

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Supreme Court
6:13 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

US Supreme Court To Hear Georgia Death Row Inmate's Case

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether prosecutors engaged in racial discrimination in the jury selection process for death row inmate Timothy Foster.
Credit Jonathan Satriale / flickr.com/politicalpulse

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of Timothy Foster, a Georgia death row inmate. The justices will decide whether prosecutors racially discriminated in the jury selection process.

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A Closer Look
5:55 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Atlanta Start-Up Changing How Nonprofits Fund Rebuilding

A rescue worker stands beside buildings that collapsed in an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal earlier this month. An Atlanta-based start-up hopes to eventually help rebuild homes.
Credit Ranup Shrestha / Associated Press

An Atlanta-based start-up is changing the model and approach for helping disaster victims rebuild destroyed homes.

New Story is similar to one of the largest nonprofit house building organizations, Georgia-based Habitat for Humanity, in that it builds homes for families who can’t afford to, but the similarity ends there.

The new company relies on crowdfunding to raise the money to rebuild one house at a time in a disaster zone.

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A Closer Look
5:41 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

DeKalb’s Outgoing School Superintendent Prepares Hand-Off

The DeKalb County School District is preparing for a new superintendent. Kansas City Schools Superintendent Stephen Green takes over for Michael Thurmond on July 1.
Credit Nick Nesmith / WABE

The new DeKalb County schools superintendent is getting ready to take the reins of one of the largest school districts in Georgia.

Stephen Green is the current superintendent of the Kansas City school system. He is scheduled to take over the DeKalb County school system on July 1.

Green will replace former state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. Thurmond has been in charge of the county school system for the past two years.

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A Closer Look
5:26 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Atlanta Green Groups Work To Clean Polluted Waterways

The extremely polluted Proctor Creek in northwest Atlanta forms the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River, one of Atlanta's main water sources.
Credit mouse / flickr.com/mouserz

Proctor Creek in northwest Atlanta is one of the most polluted waterways in metro Atlanta. 

The West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, or WAWA, says the creek is “impacted by at least 29 documented pollution sources and does not meet state-mandated water quality requirements.”

That's unfortunate because the creek is the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River, one of Atlanta’s main water sources.

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5:13 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Rare Peregrine Falcon Nest Found At Ga.'s Tallulah Gorge

A baby peregrine falcon preens in New Jersey. The peregrine falcon nest in Tallulah Gorge is the first time anyone has found a one in the wild in Georgia in more than 80 years.
Credit Ira Machefsky / flickr.com/machefsky

Peregrine falcons are raising two chicks at Tallulah Gorge in North Georgia. It’s the first time anyone has found a peregrine falcon nest in the wild in Georgia in more than 80 years.

Peregrine falcons nest in downtown Atlanta, too. But rangers at Tallulah Gorge State Park are excited because this nest is in a natural setting – on a cliff.

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City Lights
1:56 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Ga. Filmmakers Turn Lung Cancer Diagnosis Into Short Film

Robyn and Jonathan Hicks’ film “Nirvana: a short film about lung cancer” explores the inner turmoil of disease diagnosis. It’s based on Jonathan Hicks’ own process of dealing with lung cancer.
Credit Robyn and Jonathan Hicks

It was a classic love story. Jonathan Hicks and Robyn Young (now Hicks) met each other nine years ago in film school. Jonathan was pursuing filmmaking, and Robyn was studying acting at the time.

They instantly connected because of their love for Southern literature and art.

“I was writing stories, and I didn't realize it at the time, but I was writing them for her," Jonathan Hicks said.

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12:14 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Bus Rapid Transit May Be In Cobb County's Future

A bus rapid transit system would be faster than current buses in Cobb County with its own dedicated lane of traffic. Cobb’s transportation director Faye DiMassimo says the Cleveland BRT system is one the county has looked at as a successful model.
Credit EMBARQ Brasil / https://www.flickr.com/photos/embarqbrasil/7216673116/sizes/l

Cobb County is getting ready for more traffic with construction of the new Braves stadium in Smyrna.

Commissioners will vote Tuesday night on a $5.3 billion comprehensive plan that includes a bus rapid transit line. 

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