Local

Local
7:00 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Residents Explain Why They Didn't Vote This Week

Georgia voters have been casting their ballots all summer. Some votes leading up to the general election in November.
Credit WABE

State officials predict that only 12 percent of registered Georgia voters cast their ballots in this Tuesday's run-off election. 

Some Atlanta residents had work, while others were disillusioned, unsatisfied or ill-informed.       

Jermaine Martin said he almost always votes but work kept him from going out and casting his ballot. Martin said he voted in May's primary election and plans on voting in November. He also encourages his friends to do the same. 

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Local
2:22 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Cyclorama To Move To Atlanta History Center In Buckhead

Mayor Kasim Reed Wednesday announcing the Cyclorama move.
Credit Evan Changhwan Jang

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced Wednesday the massive panoramic painting of the Battle of Atlanta known as the Cyclorama will be moved to the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead.

The painting is currently housed in a historic structure in Grant Park near downtown Atlanta. That building will be renovated into administrative offices for Zoo Atlanta, as well as an event space.

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Local
12:03 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Cox, Glavine and Maddux Honored by Hall of Fame

Former manager Bobby Cox, and two of his former players, are all getting into the Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend.
Credit Major League Baseball / Atlanta Braves

Cooperstown, New York is rolling out the red carpet for three former Atlanta Braves.

Manager Bobby Cox and pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine are entering the Baseball Hall of Fame together.

“You don’t win that many consecutive league championships and pennants without knowing what you’re doing," says sports author and analyst Tim Darnell.

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Local
5:43 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

U.S. Senate Candidates Campaign Across Georgia Before Primary Runoff

Kingston shortly before getting on a plane to travel across Georgia.
Dan Raby WABE

With less than 24 hours until the polls open, both of Georgia’s Republican U.S. Senate candidates are on statewide fly-around tours. WABE’s Michelle Wirth caught up with Congressman Jack Kingston as he tries to pull out a Republican primary runoff victory against businessman David Perdue.

Prior to getting into a small airplane at the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, Kingston told supporters he will fight for every last vote.

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Local
6:00 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Friendship Baptist Church Demolition Likely This Week

Construction workers prepare Friendship Baptist Church for demolition.
Credit Marylee Williams / WABE

Construction officials say the oldest African American church in Atlanta will likely be torn down this week. 

Friendship Baptist Church, located near Vine City along Martin Luther King Drive, waits among construction equipment. 

John Lewis also waits. 

Lewis is the president of the Historic Westside United Coalition. He's been holding vigils for almost two years in front of Friendship Baptist Church. 

He said he knows the church building can't be saved, but he wants to be there when it's torn down. 

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Local
4:30 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Carter Leads Deal In Poll Following Release of Ethics Memo

A new poll has Senator Jason Carter leading Governor Nathan Deal 49 percent to 41 percent in the Georgia governor’s race. The Landmark Communications poll conducted for channel 2 comes just after the release of a memo by the head of Georgia’s ethics commission. In the memo, Holly LaBerge claims top Deal aids pressured her to quietly settle ethics complaints against the governor and threatened the commission’s authority.

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Local
2:52 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Another New Cityhood Push in DeKalb County

A new cityhood push is underway in southern DeKalb County.

The proposed City of South DeKalb’s organizers want a bill in next year’s legislative session. However, Kathryn Rice, who is leading the effort, says plans are in their first stages. The group does not have a sponsor for the bill or even the money for a feasibility study.

Rice says her group is still deciding on the exact boundaries. “At a minimum we’re looking at everything south of 285 excluding the cities,” said Rice. “But we would also like to include unincorporated Clarkston, and that’s up to them.”

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Local
2:54 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Dad's Garage Has Sights Set on Sanctuary

Dad's Garage Theatre may be moving to this church on Ezzard Street in the Old Fourth Ward.
Credit Google Street View

After searching for more than a year, Dad’s Garage Theatre has tentatively found a new home in Atlanta.

And it is not the venue you would expect for the group known for its irreverent improv comedy.

It is a church on Ezzard Street in the city’s Old Fourth Ward, and Dad’s Garage has its sights set on repurposing the house of worship as a home for its plays and weekly improv shows.

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Local
2:45 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Children's Hospital of Atlanta Considering New Clinical Services at I-85 and North Druid Hills Road

The Executive Park Motor Inn, built in the early 1970s, will be torn down by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta for new facilities.
Credit Google Street View

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) plans to expand its clinical services, and it is tearing down a hotel to do it.

The 19-story Executive Park Motor Hotel, near the intersection of Interstate 85 and North Druid Hills Road, has sat empty for years. Last year, CHOA paid $9.6 million for the hotel and will start tearing it down this fall.

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Local
12:38 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Reed Urging Braves To Give Notice On Turner Field Lease

Credit Dan Raby/WABE

The Atlanta Braves announced its surprise move to Cobb County in November. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has come to terms with that, but he still needs the team to officially say it won’t be renewing its lease at Turner Field. Reed says it’s necessary for the city to move forward with redevelopment plans.  

Briefing City Council members Wednesday, Reed said he sent a letter to the Braves asking for early notice.

“Parties that are interested in Turner Field have been waiting to find out what the Braves decision was around their exit,” said Reed.

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Local
11:58 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Georgia Gains 81,100 Jobs Over the Past Year

Credit WABE

  There's been a boost in Georgia's job growth.

The Georgia Department of Labor says the state added 81,100 jobs from June 2013 through last month.

“Our economic development policies seem to be working……..giving the right incentives to the right companies and they’re hiring.  Georgia was just voted the number one place to do business by a couple different surveys," Dr. Jeff Humphreys, an economist with the University of Georgia.

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Piedmont Heights
7:35 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Arrest in Cyclist Greg Germani Hit-and-Run

Greg Germani continues to recover from his injuries at a private medical facility.
Credit MedlockPark.org

Atlanta police have arrested the man they say intentionally ran over a cyclist in Piedmont Heights last month.

Police have charged 19-year-old Joseph Allen Lewis with attempted murder.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Lewis owns the Dodge Nitro that hit Greg Germani on Flagler Avenue June 9, leaving him with a traumatic brain injury.

Germani is well known to many Atlantans because of his website, Atlanta Time Machine.

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Local
5:28 am
Thu July 17, 2014

UPS Officials Say Drone Usage is Possible in the Future

UPS officials say there's a chance drones could be used in the future to deliver packages.
Credit UPS

As controversy over the use of drone aircraft continues, the new head of Atlanta-based UPS made comments recently about the commercial use of drones. 

David Abney…..the CEO-elect of UPS……said there’s a  chance drones will deliver shipments in the future.

Abney made that statement at a Rotary Club of Atlanta luncheon on Monday.

But, on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the carrier would only issue a written statement that says, in part:

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Local
4:30 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Atlanta Streetcar Delayed Again Due To Construction Issues

One of the four streetcars making its way to the charging station under the downtown connector in the Sweet Auburn district.
Credit facebook.com/AtlantaStreetcar

The Atlanta Streetcar’s launch date has been delayed yet again.

City officials now say the Streetcar won’t be ready for passengers at least until October, but probably November. The latest estimate had been this summer.

Streetcar spokeswoman Sharon Gavin said it’s due to track and station construction issues along the downtown Atlanta route.

“What’s the phrase the mayor likes to use … doing hard things is hard ... and building a streetcar system is hard and there’s a lot of utility relocations and things that go along with that,” said Gavin.

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DeKalb County
6:20 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Demolition Underway at Suburban Plaza

Crews are starting the demolition with the building closest to Scott Boulevard.
Credit Lisa George/WABE

After more than two years of fighting back a legal challenge, demolition at DeKalb County’s Suburban Plaza shopping center is now underway.

Scott Selig is Vice President of Acquisitions and Development for Selig Enterprises, which owns Suburban Plaza. In an email to WABE, he said the latest construction timeline calls for digging to begin for the underground parking lot for Walmart late this year or in early 2015.

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Local
6:47 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

KKK Recruiting In Atlanta Through Fliers

Recently, fliers from the Ku Klux Klan passed out in several Atlanta neighborhoods have been causing a stir.

Residents found the fliers on their cars.

WABE’s Rose Scott reports an official with the KKK confirmed it was from a North Carolina chapter.

The fliers reportedly were passed out in the Candler Park and Cabbagetown neighborhoods.

The messaging indicated crime statistics involving blacks as perpetrators.

Atlanta wasn’t specifically targeted, but instead it’s part of a national initiative to recruit potential new members.

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Local
5:46 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Cobb Commission Approves Zoning Change For Braves' Mixed-Use Development

Crews work on a pipeline relocation project on the Braves' stadium site.
Credit Chris Ferguson/WABE

The Cobb County Commission Tuesday  unanimously approved a zoning change that will allow the Atlanta Braves to move forward with a mixed-use development near their new stadium.

Commissioner Bob Ott says he voted for the change because he sees it as a continuation of efforts to reinvigorate the Cumberland Galleria area.

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Local
4:37 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Second Report Details More Safety Lapses At CDC

Laboratories at the CDC work with dangerous pathogens such as anthrax.
Credit CDC

  A second investigation into the possible anthrax exposure at the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revealed more safety problems.

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Transportation
4:00 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

New Website Helps Map Public Transit Routes Throughout Metro Atlanta

ATLtransit.org
Credit ATLtransit.org

Getting around metro Atlanta on public transit can be a hassle, but a new website just went live that helps you take the first step toward meeting the transportation challenge.

ATLtransit.org helps you plan your route if you have to take more than one transit system: MARTA, Cobb Community Transit, Gwinnett County Transit or the Xpress system run by the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA).

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Local
6:32 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Zoo Atlanta's Giant Panda Twins Turn One

Credit Zoo Atlanta

They’re planning a big birthday celebration at Zoo Atlanta today as giant panda twins Mei Lun and Mei Huan turn one.

The twins were the first giant pandas born in the United States last year, and caregivers are pulling out all the stops for their birthday including an ice-cake for each of the cubs, which will include bananas and other treats frozen into the cakes.

You can see the celebration on Zoo Atlanta’s Panda-Cam starting today around 10:45 a.m.

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Local
5:00 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

State GOP Facing Civil Rights Lawsuit

An African-American woman who worked for the Georgia Republican Party is suing the state GOP, claiming she was discriminated against by her white colleagues, then fired for complaining about it.

According to the civil rights lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Qiana Keith worked as an assistant to state party chairman John Padget from June 2013 to March of this year.

During that time, Keith says in the lawsuit she was “repeatedly treated differently” than her white colleagues because of her race.

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Wallis House Site
3:00 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Federal Legislation Pending to Expand Kennesaw Battlefield National Park

The Wallis House
Credit CobbLandmarks.com

Legislation is pending before the U.S. Congress that will allow Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park to expand.

Passage of the measure will add what historians consider an important site to the park.

The legislation is the final step in adding eight acres to the park, which includes the Wallis House, built by Josiah Wallis in 1853.

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Local
6:00 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Financial Institutions Claim Georgia Consumer Confidence Is Rising.

Credit Dan Raby / WABE

Georgia financial institutions are remaining cautious about the economy, but spokesmen agreed from their perspectives that consumer attitudes are looking up.  

Kennesaw State University professor Mark Patterson said in the last year and a half, he’s noticed the economy has gotten better. 

“I’m at a place where, if I were in the market for a big ticket item, I’m assuming you mean TVs and cars and things like that, that I could go out and buy it and feel confident about it,” Patterson said. 

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Local
6:31 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Giving In Someone Else's Name: National Gay Blood Drive

After giving blood, Miley and Medwed signed letters and a White House petition.
Marylee Williams WABE

Today, Atlanta was one of 60 cities participating in the National Gay Blood Drive. For this event, gay and bisexual men prohibited from donating blood asked a someone to give in their place. 

Josh Miley is a graphic designer in Atlanta, and he donated blood for his friend Robbie Medwed who isn’t allowed to donate because of an FDA lifetime ban on men who have had sex with other men since 1977.

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Local
4:56 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Former APS Chief Will Not Stand Trial in August

Credit Michelle Wirth/WABE News

Former Atlanta Public School Superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall will not stand trial next month when testimony gets underway in the massive test cheating case. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter made the decision Friday based on Hall’s current battle with stage four breast cancer.

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Local
4:11 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

King Center Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act

Ambassador Andrew Young, Dr. C.T. Vivian, and panel moderator Monica Pearson
Credit Evan Jang/WABE News

Fifty years ago this month, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law.

At the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, today’s celebration of the anniversary focused on both looking back and moving forward.

Hundreds of teenagers and young adults came to the King Center today: a study in contrasts as civil rights icons -- now in their later years -- met with the next generation.

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Local
8:54 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Attorney: Former Atlanta School Chief Battles Cancer, Unable for Upcoming Trial

In this file photo, Dr. Beverly Hall, along side attorney Richard Deane, appears for a motion regarding the upcoming trial.
Credit WABE 90.1 FM

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE:

Friday, August 11th, 2014:

Judge Jerry Baxter rules trial will go on without Dr. Beverly Hall...for now.

The trial for the twelve remaining educators will begin as scheduled next month.

Attorneys for Dr. Beverly Hall say the chemotherapy treatment for the former Atlanta schools superintendent is extreme and she is incapable of remaining alert for a trial.

WABE’s Rose Scott reports, that’s what will be presented during a hearing .

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Local
8:00 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Atlanta Hosting Third Annual Street Food Festival

More than 13,000 tickets have already been sold for the Third Annual Atlanta Street Food Festival.
Credit Atlanta Street Food Festival

The Third Annual Atlanta Street Food Festival takes place Saturday at Piedmont Park.

More than 40 food trucks are expected to be on hand.

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Local
4:40 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Cobb Chair Denies SPLOST Project List Includes Funding For Controversial Bus Line

Cobb Commission chair Tim Lee.
Credit leeforcobb.com

Cobb County Commission chair Tim Lee denies the claim he’s sneaking in funding for a controversial bus project on a November ballot measure.

Lee says the funds in question are there because of existing and future traffic issues.

“Those projects need to be done with or without the bus rapid transit project just simply because we’re at the point where we need to make adjustments along the corridor,” said Lee.

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Local
4:25 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

DeKalb Ethics Board Shoulders Heavy Caseload

Attorney John Ernst chairs the DeKalb County Board of Ethics. It is an all-volunteer board.
Credit John Ernst

The DeKalb County Board of Ethics currently faces a caseload of complaints against every single county commissioner, some of their staffers, and both the suspended and acting county CEOs.

DeKalb Board of Ethics Chairman John Ernst recently distributed an email emphasizing the board will take every complaint seriously. “Ethics complaints are, a lot of times, they’re filed, [and] the people have alternative motives to them,” Ernst told WABE. “That’s just the nature of ethics complaints a lot of times, but that doesn’t make them any less valid.”

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