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Local
5:36 pm
Fri August 28, 2015

Atlanta Chefs Throw Down At Annual 'Meat Brawl' This Weekend

The humble meatball is the focus of this weekend's upcoming Taste of Atlanta festival.
Credit Brenna Beech / WABE

When you think of meatballs, you probably think of the nursery rhyme.

You know, “On top of spaghetti, all covered in cheese.”

But Chef Ron Eyester prefers his meatballs "between two slices of bread and eating it fairly quick.” 

Eyester is head chef and owner of Rosebud, a restaurant in the Morningside neighborhood. He’s also, once again, a participant in the second annual Atlanta Meatball Festival coming up this weekend, which is produced by Taste ATL.

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A Closer Look
3:41 pm
Fri August 28, 2015

Atlanta BeltLine Insert Tucked Into Some AJC Sunday Papers

The Atlanta BeltLine will eventually circle the central neighborhoods of Atlanta.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

Residents who live near the Atlanta BeltLine and who also receive the Atlanta Journal-Constitution will notice an extra publication in this Sunday's edition of the newspaper. It's called Living Intown, The Atlanta BeltLine.

Parts of the BeltLine around the city are already finished, with the entire project scheduled for completion by 2030.

The editor of the Living Intown magazine, Curt Holman, joined Rose Scott and Denis O'Hayer on “Closer Look” to discuss the special section and offer up a little preview.

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A Closer Look
3:00 pm
Fri August 28, 2015

Dragon Con Brings To Life Fantastical Creatures, Super Heroes

Superheroes unite! This photo from the 2012 Dragon Con convention in Atlanta shows participants dressed up as their favorite superheroes and other characters. Dragon Con 2015 kicks off Sept. 4.
Credit Jim H. / flickr.com/greyloch

Klingons, storm troopers, hobbits, pirates, superheroes and other mythical creatures will overrun Atlanta next week when Dragon Con kicks off Sept. 4 for the Labor Day weekend.

Media relations director and spokesperson for Dragon Con, Dan Carroll, and special events manager Robert Rector joined hosts Rose Scott and Denis O’Hayer on “Closer Look” to talk about one of the largest multi-media, pop culture conventions in the country.

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Commentary
2:55 pm
Fri August 28, 2015

Atlantans Fight To Restore Gaines Hall After Fire

Credit Ric Feld / AP Photo

Gaines Hall, built in 1869 as a dorm for Atlanta University, caught fire on Aug. 20. The next day, the Atlanta Fire Department said the historic building should be torn down for safety reasons. But local preservationists immediately objected, saying Gaines Hall can and should be saved.

Atlanta has a pretty dismal record when it comes to preservation.

All too often, vacant older buildings suffer from a condition known as demolition by neglect ─ they fall victim to the elements or catch on fire ─ giving property owners an excuse to tear them down.

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Local
11:12 am
Fri August 28, 2015

Atlanta Shelters Continue Low Adoption Fees After National Dog Day

Goddard, a male German Shepherd mix, at Fulton County Animal Services is full of life and love. If you'd like to talk about adoption, call 404-613-0358. All adoptions in the month of September are free!
Brenna Beech WABE

More than 40 animals were adopted from Fulton County Animal Services and DeKalb County Animal Services earlier this week on National Dog Day, when adoption fees were waived to help find forever homes for pups and kittens at the shelters. 

Lara Hudson, director of Fulton County Animal Services, said the shelter has lowered its fees to only $10 for the remainder of the month to continue to momentum.

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Local
10:50 am
Fri August 28, 2015

Four Months In Four Days: Life Of Japanese Exchange Student, Part 4

Tomomi Hibino, 20, poses with her host sister Ashley Zhou, 12, in the last minutes before Tomomi leaves Atlanta for good.
Credit Kate Sweeney / WABE

Tomomi Hibino is a student from J.F. Oberlin University in Japan, which sends a group of students to study in Atlanta every year. Last fall, WABE spent four months chronicling her time in metro Atlanta as she studied at Georgia Tech.

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Closer Look
4:56 pm
Thu August 27, 2015

Overcoming Hardships Key To Success For Riverdale Mayor

Riverdale City Hall in Riverdale, Georgia, is south of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and is part of the Atlanta metro area.
Credit Thomson200 / wikimedia.org/Thomson200

Riverdale, Georgia is located south of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and is part of the Atlanta metro area, but, unlike the name suggests, the city is not located on or near a major waterway.

It is, however, located near a major freeway. Interstate 75 passes just northeast of the city and there’s easy access to Interstate 85 from Riverdale as well. Marta recently extended a new bus line into Clayton County with Riverdale on the route.

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Nation
4:44 pm
Thu August 27, 2015

Documentary: Hurricane Katrina Was A Man-Made Disaster

A screenshot of the documentary “Swamped: Hurricane Katrina Remembered.”
Credit Courtesy AmericaCrumbling.org

The destruction of New Orleans' levees are to blame for the deaths and devastation that followed Hurricane Katrina, according to America Crumbling, a movement that calls for the United States' infrastructure to be mended. 

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Water
2:13 pm
Thu August 27, 2015

Personal Water Use In Atlanta Drops Thanks To Conservation

In the past 15 years, Atlantans have cut their water use.
Credit Steve Johnson / flickr.com/SteveJohnson

In the past 15 years, per capita water use has dropped by more than 30 percent, according to the Metropolitan North Georgia Water District. Katherine Zitsch, the director of the district, called it a testament to conservation and efficiency measures.

“This is showing not just the district measures, but also the impact of Georgia’s Water Stewardship Act, which was enacted in 2010,” she said. Among other things, the act requires low-flow toilets, showerheads and faucets in new buildings.

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Environment
12:06 pm
Thu August 27, 2015

Georgia Allows For Lower Water Flows Down Chattahoochee

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources opened the possibility of lower water flow levels down the Chattahoochee River.
Credit John Bazemore / Associated Press

 Georgia is opening up the possibility of lower water flows down the Chattahoochee River.

This week, the Department of Natural Resources eliminated a minimum flow requirement for the water leaving Lake Lanier via the Buford Dam. For decades, water had to flow at a rate of at least 750 cubic feet per second.

The change has environmentalists concerned. Chattahoochee River Keeper Jason Ulseth says lower flows will hurt water quality downstream.

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Law Enforcement
10:46 am
Thu August 27, 2015

Metro Atlanta Faith Leaders Put To Police Use-Of-Force Test

A member of the faith community participates in a ''use-of-force'' simulation at the DeKalb County Police training facility in Lithonia. The simulation was part of the seventh annual Faith Leaders Conference.
Credit Alison Guillory / WABE

“Good afternoon, sir,” David Joseph Balzer says. “If I could ask you to remain where you are."

Using a police encounter simulator, Balzer virtually pulls over a motorcyclist who ran a stop sign. Balzer isn’t an officer in training but the pastor of Grace Church for All Nations in Stone Mountain. He’s one of about 30 religious leaders gathered at the DeKalb County Police Department training center in Lithonia on Wednesday for the seventh annual Faith Leaders Conference with the district attorney.

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Life in Translation
10:06 am
Thu August 27, 2015

Four Months In Four Days: Life Of Japanese Exchange Student, Part 3

Tomomi Hibino, right, and her friends pose for a photo in Little Five Points.
Credit Kate Sweeney / WABE

Tomomi Hibino is a student from J.F. Oberlin University in Japan, which sends a group of students to study in Atlanta every year. Last fall, WABE spent four months chronicling her time in metro Atlanta as she studied at Georgia Tech. Find parts one and two, here and here.

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Closer Look
5:05 pm
Wed August 26, 2015

Katrina Evacuees Helped Ga. Improve Emergency Response System

Veterans Administration doctors, nurses and other medical personnel from Georgia and South Carolina provide triage services to New Orleans evacuees when they arrived at Dobbins Air Reserve Base.
Credit George Armstrong / FEMA

Hurricane Katrina barreled ashore in the Gulf of Mexico 10 years ago this week, forever changing the people and the places in the storm’s path and wreaking untold devastation and tragedy on an area ill-prepared for the magnitude of the storm.

While Mississippi and Louisiana were the hardest hit, states like Georgia and Texas were profoundly impacted by the massive influx of evacuees in the aftermath of Katrina.

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A Closer Look
4:19 pm
Wed August 26, 2015

Ga. Official: Post-Katrina Emergency Plans 'Vastly Better'

A meeting of officials at the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, which coordinates hurricane and winter storm preparedness as well as homeland security.
Credit courtesy Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security

 

The catastrophic damage inflicted by Hurricane Katrina a decade ago this week prompted government emergency agencies to dramatically overhaul how they respond to major events.

In Georgia, crippling winter storms last year also dramatized the need for a coordinated, proactive set of plans to be activated “before the skies turn dark,” according to the state’s top emergency official.

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Real Estate
1:17 pm
Wed August 26, 2015

New Midtown Atlanta Office Spaces To Have West-Coast Flair

An aerial view of one of the warehouses that will be part of the future Armour Yards project.
Courtesy of Third & Urban

A collection of warehouses in industrial Midtown, known as the historic Armour Yard, is joining the growing loft-office trend in Atlanta.

Construction will begin soon on the first of seven buildings. They'll be converted into so-called "West-Coast-Style Loft Office Space."

Hank Farmer is one of the partners at the real estate firm Third & Urban. He and his former colleague at Jamestown, Pierce Lancaster, started the firm to work on smaller-scale projects closer to Atlanta.    

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Local
12:04 pm
Wed August 26, 2015

DeKalb Residents To Oversee 'Independent' County Auditor

A group of DeKalb County residents will soon oversee county audits. As a result of a new state law, DeKalb is searching for five residents with accounting or auditing experience to serve on an audit oversight committee.

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Local
11:19 am
Wed August 26, 2015

Free Puppies: Atlanta Animal Shelters Waive Fees For National Dog Day

It’s National Dog Day. Two Atlanta shelters are waiving adoption fees for dogs in celebration.
Credit bullcitydogs/flickr.com

National Dog Day is here, and some of Atlanta's shelters are celebrating with free adoptions. 

Adoption fees are being waived August 26 at Fulton County Animal Services and DeKalb County Animal Services thanks to Lifeline Animal Project, a nonprofit that works to eradicate animal euthanasia rates. 

All adoptable pups are microchipped, neutered or spayed and vaccinated. 

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Life in Translation
10:06 am
Wed August 26, 2015

Four Months In Four Days: Life Of Japanese Exchange Student, Part 2

Early in the morning, Tomomi Hibino waits for the bus that will take her from Peachtree City to the Georgia Tech campus.
Kate Sweeney WABE

Tomomi Hibino is a student from J.F. Oberlin University in Japan, which sends a group of students to study in Atlanta every year. Last fall, WABE spent four months chronicling her time in metro Atlanta as she studied at Georgia Tech. Find the first installment here.

The Navigation Problem
Peachtree City: Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014

Tomomi Hibino’s mornings begin with a challenge common to many metro Atlantans: the commute.

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Closer Look
4:23 pm
Tue August 25, 2015

PolitiFact Georgia Checks Politicians, Sets Record Straight

The editor of PolitiFact Georgia, Jim Tharpe, sets the record straight when it comes to startling remarks and statistics from politicians and public figures alike.
Credit Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Politicians and other public figures often make head-turning statements. Take Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and a recent speech he made before the Commerce Club. Reed said the Peachtree-Pine Homeless Shelter is directly linked to the spread of tuberculosis. True or false?

Or how about the estimates of the economic impact of the movie business in Georgia. Gov. Nathan Deal and the State Department of Economic Development have put the figure as high as $6 billion. True or false?

What about the warning this summer that kissing chickens can spread salmonella? Is that true or false?

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Closer Look
3:27 pm
Tue August 25, 2015

Community Groups Want A Say In Redevelopment Of Turner Field

Turner Field was built across the street from the former home of the Braves, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, which was demolished in the summer of 1997. Neighborhood groups want a say in the redevelopment of the stadium when the Braves leave next year.
Credit Valerie / flickr.com/ucumari

As the Atlanta Braves prepare to move their sports operations and a new stadium into Cobb County over the next year, it’s unclear what the future holds for Turner Field and how the surrounding neighborhoods might be impacted.

There has been no official word from the city on any potential buyers or developers for the property, although rumor has it that Georgia State University is interested in the property.

The Braves are scheduled to depart Turner Field by the end of 2016 and will begin the 2017 season in a brand new ballpark.

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Local
2:51 pm
Tue August 25, 2015

Chattahoochee Plan Stokes Fear Downstream From Atlanta

State environmental officials will vote Wednesday to allow less Chattahoochee River water to flow below Atlanta.
Credit Steve Harwood / flickr.com/captkodak

State environmental officials will vote Wednesday to allow less Chattahoochee River water, at times, to flow below Atlanta, a proposal that angers downstream communities that fear a return to the 1990s when the big city's sewage discharges polluted their lives.

The vote comes as Carroll, Coweta, Douglas and Heard counties embrace the Chattahoochee as never before. Carroll County, for example, has spent $6 million buying up riverfront land, building boat ramps and creating beautiful parks that enhance the county's image, economy and quality of life.

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Local
12:34 pm
Tue August 25, 2015

Newborn Baby Found Outside Atlanta Home; Police Search For Mother

Atlanta police say they're searching for the mother of a newborn baby left outside a house on the city's southwest side.

Police say the hours-old baby was found Monday night outside a home on Harlan Road.

She was wrapped in a "Hello Kitty" blanket and still had her umbilical cord attached to her, WSB Radio reports.

The infant was taken to a local hospital.

Atlanta police Capt. Terrell Griffin said the main focus early Tuesday was to find the mother to make sure she has received proper medical treatment.

Local
11:23 am
Tue August 25, 2015

Magazine Names Athens 6th Best Place To Live In The US

Athens, Georgia, the home of the University of Georgia, is a Top 10 spot to live in the country, according to a magazine.
Credit StevenV / Flickr.com/stevenv

Athens, Georgia, is known as the "Classic City." It now has also been dubbed the sixth best place to live in the U.S., according to Outside magazine.

The magazine praised Athens' football and party scenes as well as its farm roads and mom-and-pop restaurants.

But there's more to Athens than just UGA football and pizza shops.

"It's the quality of life; it's the parks; it's the art; it's the entertainment that really makes the difference here.  It's just a very comfortable place to live.  The cost of living is fantastic," resident Pete Konenkamp said. 

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Local
10:35 am
Tue August 25, 2015

Vice President Biden Hires Atlanta Native As Spokeswoman

In this July 21, 2015, file photo, Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a roundtable discussion at the Advanced Manufacturing Center at Community College of Denver.
Credit Brennan Linsley, File / Associated Press

Vice President Joe Biden has hired Kate Bedingfield to be his communications director, according to Politico.

Bedingfield, a metro Atlanta native, has a long political resume.

She previously served as spokeswoman for former Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards and spent time with the White House's press office.

So, does this mean Biden wants a title change inside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

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Life in Translation
10:06 am
Tue August 25, 2015

Four Months In Four Days: Life Of Japanese Exchange Student, Part 1

Tomomi Hibino poses with her host mother and host sister, Shirley Zhou and Ashley Zhou, in her first minutes in the United States.
David Barasoain WABE

Tomomi Hibino is a student from J.F. Oberlin University in Japan, which sends a group of students to study in Atlanta every year. Last fall, WABE spent four months chronicling her time in metro Atlanta as she studied at Georgia Tech.

First Hellos

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Aug. 14, 2014

The plane trip from Tokyo to Atlanta takes nearly 13 hours.

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Local
7:27 am
Tue August 25, 2015

Former Atlanta Mayor: FEMA Was Not Prepared For Katrina

Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin sat down with Rose Scott and reviewed city reports, press clippings and other documents from 10 years ago during Hurricane Katrina.
Credit Stephanie M. Lennox / WABE

On Aug. 23, 2005, a tropical storm began to take form.

It grew stronger and roared through the central Bahamas, it was a hurricane in the making. Spending three days swirling in the Gulf, Hurricane Katrina was poised to make history.

Finally, by Aug. 29, Hurricane Katrina hit landfall. Now a category 5, it left devastation and death in its path, mostly in Mississippi and Louisiana. At the time, it wasn’t known that Hurricane Katrina would become one of the most deadly storms ever in the United States.

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A Closer Look
4:25 pm
Mon August 24, 2015

Extraordinary Steps Needed To Save Gaines Hall After Fire

Students at Morris Brown College in Atlanta walk past the historic Gaines Hall in September 1998. The hall was built a century before to educate former slaves. A $4 million face-lift saved it from the wrecking ball. The building was gutted by fire last week.
Credit Ric Feld / AP Photo

Historic Gaines Hall in Atlanta’s Vine City neighborhood was severely damaged by fire last week. There’s still no word yet on what caused the fire that gutted the 140-year-old former Morris Brown College building, one of the city’s oldest structures.

The building was sold to the city’s economic development agency, Invest Atlanta, and Friendship Baptist Church after Morris Brown declared bankruptcy. The sale was part of the college's efforts at getting out of debt.

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Education
4:09 pm
Mon August 24, 2015

DeKalb Parents: Testing Conflicts With Jewish, Muslim Holidays

DeKalb County parents are upset with the school district for scheduling mandatory testing during Jewish and Muslim holidays.
Credit Phil Roeder / flickr.com/tabor-roeder

Some DeKalb County parents are upset with the county school district for scheduling mandatory testing on Jewish and Muslim holidays.

The DeKalb School District has slated the Cognitive Abilities Test and the Iowa Test of Basic Skills from Sept. 8-11 and Sept. 14-25, respectively. The two tests are mandatory for children in grades 1, 3, 5 and 7, and help with placement in gifted and special programs.

This year’s testing dates, however, fall over the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, as well as the Muslim holiday, Eid al-Adha.

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A Closer Look
3:01 pm
Mon August 24, 2015

Old Farmer’s Almanac Predicts Cold, Dry Winter In Southeast

Accidents in Atlanta on Interstate 285 along the perimeter after a winter storm on Jan. 29, 2014, closed down the road, making driving impossible for hours. The Old Farmer's Almanac is predicting a cold, dry winter this year in the Southeast.
Credit David Tulis / AP Photo

The National Weather Service recently predicted this winter would blow in with a strong push from El Niño, a weather event that typically means warmer weather and more precipitation.

But the Old Farmer's Almanac, which began making its predictions over two centuries ago, is predicting a cold, dry winter this year.

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Local
11:55 am
Mon August 24, 2015

UGA Ranked 9th In Associated Press Football Poll

The University of Georgia ranks ninth in the new AP college football poll.
Credit John Bazemore / AP Photo

Bulldog Nation has plenty to bark about.

The University of Georgia will have a top 10 football team this year, according to the broadcasters and writers who take part in the Associated Press poll.

The Bulldogs, who kick off the season Sept. 5 against the University of Louisiana-Monroe, are ranked ninth.

Georgia Tech came in 16th place.

This is the first time since 2010 that the Yellow Jackets had a pre-season ranking.

Ohio State tops the college football poll. The defending champs collected all 61 first-place votes from the panel.

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