Local

Local
5:38 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Obama's Immigration Action Expected to Affect Thousands in Georgia

LAA President Jeffrey Tapia says President Obama's executive action is a critical step, but comprehensive immigration form is needed.
Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

Following President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, some local organizations are bracing for a flood of inquiries. The Latin American Association, for one, will hire extra attorneys to guide people through the process.

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Local
11:58 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Athens Makes "Best College Towns" List

Athens is among the 'Best College Towns' in the country, according to Travel and Leisure Magazine.
Credit StevenV / flickr.com/stevenv/

Athens is one of the Peach State’s bigger jewels. 

The “Classic City” is named one of “America’s Best College Towns” by Travel and Leisure Magazine.  

Athens is the only Georgia town to get the nod.

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Local
5:22 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Feds Say Atlanta Streetcar Not Ready Yet, Cite Safety Concerns

The Atlanta Streetcar during a test run in August.
Credit facebook.com/AtlantaStreetcar

Downtown Atlanta will have to wait a little longer for new streetcar service. Federal regulators say safety concerns still must be resolved.

City officials had been shooting to begin passenger service in mid-November, but they’re now aiming for an official launch date of December 6th.    

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Local
3:54 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

AAA Projects 46 Million Travelers This Thanksgiving

Long lines at the main security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Credit Jim Burress / WABE

AAA predicts more people will travel this Thanksgiving Holiday than in the past seven years, though numbers still haven’t caught up to pre-recession levels.  

The auto company says nationally about 1.3 million Georgians and 46 million people nationally will take a trip of more than 50 miles around the holiday.

In 2007, more than 50 million people traveled.

AAA’s Mark Jenkins says while this year’s still numbers don’t quite match those prior to the recession, this year still marks the biggest jump in the number of travelers in the past seven years.

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Food & Drink
8:20 am
Thu November 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.

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Local
8:10 am
Thu November 20, 2014

State Unemployment Rate Falls Slightly

Job hunter Bessie Soley, of Locust Grove, Ga., files out an application at the National Job Fair in Atlanta.
Credit John Bazemore / Associated Press

Georgia’s unemployment rate for October was 7.7%, according to the state’s Department of Labor.

That’s down two-tenths of a point from September and one-tenth of a point from October 2013. 

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Environment
5:30 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Georgia's Forests' Leftovers Becoming A Major Source Of Renewable Energy

Georgia ranks third in the nation for its conversion of woody biomass (here, shown as wood pellets) into renewable energy. The pellets are burned to create steam and electricity.
Credit Alternative Heat / flickr.com/alternative_heat

After a timber company makes its plywood or paper, there’s leftover sawdust and wood shavings. These leftovers are called woody biomass and in Georgia, they’re becoming a big source of renewable energy.

A Pew study ranked Georgia third in the country for converting this “woody biomass” into electricity. 

Trees are a big deal here.

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Ferguson Protest Prep
3:27 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Atlanta Prepares for Ferguson Protests

Protestors at local rally near Cumberland Mall in August
Credit Candace Wheeler / WABE

The events in Ferguson, Missouri, continue to hold the attention of the nation.

A grand jury decision over whether or not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown is expected any moment.

As the country watches Ferguson, Atlanta law enforcement and activists are making their own preparations.

Carlos Campos, a spokesman for the Atlanta Police Department, says the department has been meeting with local colleges, MARTA, and the Georgia State Patrol to prepare for possible protests.

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Local History
1:32 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

New Markers Recognize Role Of Atlanta Students In Civil Rights Movement

One of the markers recognizing the Atlanta Student Movement on Clark Atlanta University Campus.
Credit Stephannie Stokes / WABE

Atlanta is full of historical markers. You're bound to pass by a few of the standing bronze ones on any drive around the city. 

But surprisingly, there haven't been many markers recognizing Atlanta's role in the civil rights movement. At least, until now. 

A set of new markers went up this month to tell the story of the Atlanta Student Movement, which Atlanta University Center students started just after the Greensboro sit-in in 1960.

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Local
12:31 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Atlanta-Based Company Creates "Green" Can

Marietta-based Red Hare Brewing has been using Novalis' evercan sheets exclusively for the past few months.
Credit Johnny Clark / Associated Press

An Atlanta-based company gives beer drinkers a chance to do so in a much “greener” fashion.  

Novelis Inc. has released the evercan sheet, the first certified, high-recycled content aluminum for cans.

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Marietta
6:30 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Overcoming Perception: Possible Name Change for Marietta's Franklin Road

Franklin Plaza is one of several retail areas on Franklin Road that is only partially rented.
Credit Lisa George / WABE

The City of Marietta is in the middle of a multi-million-dollar revitalization project on Franklin Road, but one of the biggest changes in the works could be the name of the road itself.

The city wants to change the name of Franklin Road to Gateway Boulevard.

“It’s overcoming a perception,” says Marietta Mayor Steve “Thunder” Tumlin. “Deserved or undeserved Franklin Road is just the road people tend to avoid.”

Tumlin recognizes Franklin Road is associated with crime and rundown apartment complexes - and just a bad reputation.

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Local
7:27 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Residents Near Emory Gain Momentum In Effort To Join City Of Atlanta

Under Together In Atlanta's annexation plan, Emory Village is one of the DeKalb areas that would become part of the city of Atlanta.
Credit Keizers via wikipedia

As part of an effort to gain more control over basic services like public safety and trash pick-up, several neighborhoods in DeKalb County want to incorporate.

Amid the debate over boundaries, a front-runner has emerged in the contest for which cityhood campaign will attract Emory University and the affluent area surrounding it.

Emory and its neighbors aren't currently part of any city - the area exists within unincorporated DeKalb County. But most locals identify with either the city of Atlanta to the west or Decatur to the south.  

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Local
3:34 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

GEMA Head 'Comfortable' With State's Plans For Winter Weather

GDOT officials say after last year's winter storms, the agency will start pre-treating roads 24 hours before any predicted snow or ice.
Credit Michell Eloy / WABE

State agencies today held a mock snowstorm drill to test winter weather equipment and preparedness, but is Georgia really ready for severe weather like the two storms last winter that effectively shut down the metro area?

According to Georgia Emergency Management head Charley English, the state has come a long way since the year’s first storm, which left kids stuck at school and people stranded on the highway in their cars overnight.

“I am very comfortable now that we can handle a significant winter weather event,” English says.

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Local
8:50 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Isakson In The Running For Several Committee Chairmanships

Credit Sen. Isakson Press Office

When the U.S. Senate shifts to Republican control in January, a number of high-ranking GOP senators will get the opportunity to lead committees. Georgia U.S. Senator, Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) is in the running for two chairmanships.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) is currently in charge of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. But Burr has thrown his hat in the ring for chairman of Senate Intelligence. If he moves there, that would make Senator Isakson the highest ranking member of the Veterans’ Affairs committee.

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Local
6:49 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Atlanta Business Reporter Maria Saporta on Zoo Atlanta's Unprecedented Gift

Zoo visitors wait in line at the entrance to Zoo Atlanta.
Credit Valerie Renee / flickr.com/valerierenee

Zoo Atlanta will receive an unprecedented gift from the Woodruff Foundation. The money will go toward a planned expansion.

WABE's Martha Dalton spoke with long-time Atlanta business reporter Maria Saporta, of the Saporta Report and the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Saporta started by explaining what the gift will mean to the zoo. 

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Local
6:40 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Atlanta City Council OKs $2 Million For Employee Payouts

Credit "City Hall" by Geoffrey Meyer-van Voorthuijsen via flickr.com / https://flic.kr/p/6Zxzpc

Christmas is coming early for some City of Atlanta workers.

The Atlanta City Council Monday approved a plan to dish out nearly $2 million to employees who recently lost unused vacation time. 

Councilman C.T. Martin sponsored the measure and Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration supported it.

The measure provides a one-time cash payout to roughly 1,4oo workers who lost vacation time last year because they had been holding onto it for too long. 

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Weather
5:52 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

City Will Open Emergency Shelter As Record Low Temperatures Hit Metro Atlanta

Peggy Ann Schnitzius, 77, looks inside a garbage bin while braving the cold weather in front of a frozen fountain Monday, Dec. 13, 2010, in downtown Atlanta.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

Record low temperatures will hit metro Atlanta Monday night.

Temperatures will drop into the low 20s Monday evening with wind gusts of up to 20 miles per hour Tuesday morning.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jason Deese says these winds will take temperatures into the teens.

“What that’s going to result in is some really cold wind chills so it could be getting down to around the 10 degree mark and that’ll be for the morning bus ride for the school kids… so bundle them kids up for sure out there,” Deese says.  

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DeKalb Cityhood
5:39 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

DeKalb Cityhood Proponents Still Can't Agree On A Map, Miss Legislative Deadline

The proposed city of LaVista Hills released its map on Monday, Nov. 17. Even if a bill for cityhood passes the Georgia Legislature this year, the question will ultimately go to DeKalb County voters.
Credit Lakeside YES & City of Briarcliff Initiative / special to WABE

The deadline has passed, and three groups trying to form new cities in central DeKalb County cannot agree on a map. So what does that mean for their prospects in the 2015 legislative session?

Lakeside, Briarcliff, and Tucker scrambled at the end of this year’s legislative session to agree on a map for three new cities. In the end, lawmakers threw up their hands; the spirit of compromise had worn thin under the Gold Dome.

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Local
4:12 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Turner Field Neighbors Concerned About Potential Sale To GSU, Lack of Transparency

Credit Dan Raby / WABE

Concerned residents want in on negotiations over selling Turner Field. They’re urging Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to open up the process to the public. They’re also voicing reservations about the prospect of Georgia State University buying the land and building a new athletic complex.

Suzanne Mitchell heads the neighborhood association for Summerhill, which borders Turner Field. She notes GSU is a tax-exempt entity.

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Crime
3:23 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Georgia Receives Low Rank For Protection Of Records For Young Offenders

Georgia was among the bottom 15 states in the Juvenile Law Center's ranking of states and their protection of juvenile records.
Credit Juvenile Law Center

Say you were convicted of shoplifting a couple of times when you were 13. Fifty years later, you would hope that wouldn’t still be on your record.

But in some states, like Georgia, it probably is. And anyone can access it.

"Everyone assumes that these records are confidential and I think that’s because the public also wants them to be confidential,” says Lourdes Rosado with the Juvenile Law Center. 

Rosado says most states – including Georgia – are doing a poor job.

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Atlanta Sounds
12:30 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

"It Feels Good To Be Lucky Once In A While": Bingo Night In Avondale Estates

Bingo night at American Legion Post 66 in Avondale estates.
WABE/Stephannie Stokes

In the mid-to-late 20th century, people flocked to halls around the country to play a game of chance called Bingo. 

And today, while the game isn't quite as popular as it was in its heyday, there is still a group of dedicated Bingo players keeping the tradition alive. 

WABE producer Stephannie Stokes talked to a few of them at a Bingo night at the American Legion Post 66 in Avondale Estates and brought back this sound portrait.

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Atlanta Sounds
10:46 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Atlanta Sounds: Soda Fountain

A sign inside the Chapman Drug store still has the old prices for the fountain's various tasty treats.
Credit Dan Raby / WABE

In this edition of Atlanta Sounds, we meet Derek Chapman and the Chapman Drug soda fountain.

In the first part of the twentieth century, the soda fountain could be found in drug stores across America. However, with the rise of the vending machine and pharmacy chains, soda fountains began to disappear.

While there are very few working fountains these days, Chapman Drug in Hapeville has had one for almost 100 years. 

Have an idea for Atlanta Sounds? Let us know!

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Local
9:05 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Former Ga. Governor Carl Sanders Dies at 89

Carl Sanders raises his hands in greeting after being sworn in as governor of Georgia in ceremonies in Atlanta on Jan. 15, 1963. His wife, Betty, and children, Betty and Carl Jr., are at his side.
Credit Associated Press

Former Georgia governor Carl Sanders has died.

The Augusta native went to the University of Georgia, winning a football scholarship, although the left-handed quarterback didn’t get much playing time as a Bulldog.

Sanders enlisted into the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943 and fought in World War II.

After the war ended, Sanders completed his education, which included a law degree.

Sanders, a Democratic candidate, quickly entered the political world, winning a spot on the Georgia House of Representatives in 1954.

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Local
6:21 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Metro Atlanta Enjoying Another Dip in Gas Prices

Credit Rori-Tai Williams / WABE

The cost of gas is still going down throughout metro Atlanta.

The average price for a gallon is $2.84, according to AAA.

That’s a four-cent dip from last week and 33 cents down from last month.

Analysts with AAA say the falling price of oil and a decline in demand are to thank for these lower costs at the pump.

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Local
8:10 pm
Sun November 16, 2014

MARTA Union Ratifies New Contract

The agreement ratified by MARTA union workers is their first new contract since 2010 and includes a long-awaited pay raise.
Credit Scott Ehardt / Wikipedia

MARTA union workers voted Saturday to ratify a new labor agreement with management. It’s their first new contract since 2010 and includes a long-awaited pay raise.

“Fourteen months of negotiation. We've come a long way,” said Howard.

MARTA’s board is expected to finalize the deal at its next meeting Dec. 4.

Howard didn't want to discuss specifics until that happens, but according to several employees, the contract includes a 13 percent pay raise staggered over three years - the first salary bump for employees since 2006, according to the union.

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Cobb County
4:46 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

More Upgrades Coming to Marietta Square

Marietta Square is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

Parts of Marietta Square are getting a facelift.

Mill Street and Cherokee Street will be first on the list with work beginning early next year to widen some sidewalks and plant trees.

Sally Pullano of Powder Springs heard about the plans and headed to the square today.

“I thought we’d come and walk around and see it before it’s all kind of messed up, you know, because it’s always beautiful,” said Pullano.

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Local
4:32 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

MARTA Workers Pleased Tentative Deal Includes Long-Awaited Pay Raise

Credit Michell Eloy/WABE

More than a year of talks between MARTA management and its workers have resulted in a tentative deal on a new contract.

Union workers Friday expressed relief that a new contract with pay raises was close to being finalized.

“I’m not enthusiastic about it but I can deal with it,” said bus operator Lysander Herrod. "Eight years or nine years without a raise. Costs have gone up. Medical continues to go up. It could be better but it’s acceptable."

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Airlines and Aviation
4:21 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Hartsfield-Jackson Expecting 7.5 Million Thanksgiving Passengers

The security line at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will see more passengers this Thanksgiving holiday season than it did last year, airport officials said Friday.

An estimated 7.5 million fliers will pass through Atlanta's airport between Nov. 21 and Nov. 30.  That's up two percent from the same period in 2013.

Nine out of 10 will land here and hop on another plane to get to their destinations. But that still leaves 750,000 origination and destination, or "O&D," travelers who must undergo security screening at Hartsfield-Jackson.

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Local
7:49 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Nearly 25 Percent Of High Schoolers Using Tobacco Products

The CDC says about one out of every four teens use tobacco products, such as cigars and cigarettes.
Credit Jacob Garcia / flickr.com/jacobgarcia/

Despite extensive efforts to stub out tobacco’s attractiveness, nearly 25 percent of young men and women still partake. 

That’s according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The CDC’s report says a clear majority - more than 90 percent - of adolescents using tobacco do so with combustible products like cigars, cigarettes, hookahs and pipes.

Officials with the CDC say that’s a concern because tobacco smoking is responsible for most tobacco-based deaths in the country.

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Local
7:00 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Georgia Farmers Sign Up To Accept Food Stamp Benefits

Credit Michelle Wirth / WABE

State and federal officials are working to increase the number of Georgia farmers and farmers markets that accept food stamp benefits.

More than a dozen farmers gathered in an exhibit hall Wednesday at the Atlanta State Farmers Market to sign up or learn more about how to accept food stamp benefits.

   

Susan Giddens owns Gratitude Gardens, a small farm in the Savannah area. She grows all kind of fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, kale,  blueberries and strawberries. For her, getting fresh produce to those in need is personal.

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