5:00 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

AAA Report: About A Third Of Boaters Lack Proper Insurance

The AAA says roughly one-third of boaters take to the waterways without proper insurance.
Credit Christine / flickr.com/thekeenes

The Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of the boating season.

And a new report from AAA says roughly one-third of boaters take to the waterways without proper insurance.

"Well, many people wrongly assume that their homeowners insurance is the coverage that they need for their boat. But for the most part, most homeowner policies just have minimal coverage for small boats. That would be the no engine or a very small engine," says AAA spokesman Garrett Townsend.

Last year, there were more than 4,000 boating accidents nationally, with 610 fatalities reported.

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A Closer Look
4:17 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Study: Atlanta Commute Times May Affect Economic Mobility

A recent Harvard study maintains that income-earners with shorter commute times tend to enjoy greater economic mobility.
Credit Eric Allix Rogers and Billy Wilson / flickr.com/EricAllixRogers and flickr.com/BillyWilson

Atlanta will never be confused with a commuter-friendly city.

But do long commute times limit the future economic mobility of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds?

That’s among the questions a recent Harvard University study has examined, and the results aren’t promising for the Atlanta area.

Jamie Fogel, a pre-doctorate Harvard economics fellow who participated in the study, said that places with high economic and social mobility "tend to have shorter commute times."

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A Closer Look
4:15 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Georgia Ranks Near Bottom In Children’s Well-Being Survey

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released its 2014 KidsCount survey this week on how children are faring in the United States. Georgia ranked 42 among the 50 states.
Credit The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Georgia lags behind the rest of the nation when it comes to the well-being of its children.

That’s the finding of the annual Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KidsCount survey on how children are faring in the United States. Georgia ranked 42 out of the 50 states.

The Georgia Family Connection Partnership’s Rebecca Rice, who works with the survey in Georgia, discussed what it means and why it's important during an interview on “A Closer Look.”

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A Closer Look
4:02 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Travel Agency Fills Vacation Void For Special Needs Children

Clearwater Marina in Clearwater, Florida is home of Winter the Dolphin from “A Dolphin's Tale.” The marina has a program for children with special needs.
Credit Courtesy of Special Globe

As summer vacation season cranks into high gear, parents with special needs children face a bigger challenge than most parents in finding fun, family-friendly destinations and lodgings.

Special Globe is a company that helps families with special needs children find the right place to stay when traveling and vacationing.

Jonathan Yardley is the president and co-founder of Special Globe.

Yardley said that one of the biggest challenges families with special needs children face when traveling is “anxiety” over how people will react to their children.

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A Closer Look
3:01 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Midwest Avian Flu Epidemic Has Ga. Poultry Industry Worried

An avian influenza epidemic in the Midwest has killed almost 40 million chickens and turkeys.
Credit Tom H / www.flickr.com/tomh

It’s been called the worst avian flu outbreak in U.S. history. 

Almost 40 million chickens and turkeys have died in 15 Midwestern states. 

Avian influenza expert Daniel Perez, who recently joined the University of Georgia’s School of Veterinary Medicine, explained during an interview on “A Closer Look” how this deadly epidemic might impact Georgia’s poultry industry.

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1:07 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Hillary Clinton Got Now-Classified Benghazi Info On Private Email

The State Department has released 296 emails from Hillary Clinton's personal account during her time as secretary of state.
Credit Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

The State Department released the first batch of emails from Hillary Rodham Clinton's tenure as secretary of state Friday.

Spokeswoman Marie Harf says publication includes 296 emails given to a House committee investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.

Clinton received information on her private email server about the deadly attack in Benghazi that was classified Friday at the FBI's request.

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1:00 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Georgia Joins Fight Against Four Charities Accused Of Fraud

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens says the public was defrauded by four cancer charities.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

The Georgia Attorney General’s Office and the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office have joined in a federal complaint against four cancer charities. The charities are accused of defrauding residents in all 50 states out of more than $187 million.

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8:44 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Study: Severe Vision Loss Is Most Common In The South

A CDC study found that the South suffers more commonly from vision loss than other parts of the U.S.
Credit Joerg Sarbach / Associated Press

Health officials say bad eyesight in the U.S. is most common in the South.

A new report found the South was home to three-quarters of the U.S. counties with the highest prevalence of severe vision loss.

The South also has higher rates of poverty, diabetes and chronic disease. Health officials believe those problems are all related to the vision loss.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the report Thursday. Overall, about 3 percent of people had severe vision loss. The highest rate was from Owsley County, Kentucky, which surpassed 18 percent.

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7:29 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Highway Crash Kills Georgia Musician During Wheelchair Trek

The Georgia State Patrol says 59-year-old jazz harmonica player Frank Barham, center, died Wednesday while steering his wheelchair along Highway 21 in Screven County.
Credit Photo Courtesy Frank Barham



Authorities say a highway crash in southeast Georgia killed an Atlanta musician traveling 300 miles by wheelchair to raise awareness for people with disabilities.

The Georgia State Patrol says 59-year-old Frank Barham, a jazz harmonica player, died Wednesday while steering his wheelchair along Highway 21 in Screven County. Troopers say a tractor-trailer slammed into the back of an escort van following Barham. The impact hurled the van into Barham's wheelchair.

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A Closer Look
5:13 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Georgia Trails Summit Hopes To Connect State's Pathways

A path through the woods in Roswell, Georgia offers solitude and beauty for hikers on the trail. Organizers for the Georgia Trails Summit hope to connect the state's trails one day.
Credit Zlatko Unger / flickr.com/ZlatkoUnger

The state of Georgia has a varied environment – from mountains, forests and swamps to beaches, bogs and the urban jungle.

A series of trails wind through the various terrain and now a group of trail enthusiasts is working to try and connect these pathways throughout the state.

The second annual Georgia Trails Summit will convene in Athens next month to address that effort and other issues.

“We call it a world class network of connected trails in Georgia,” summit organizer Tracie Sanchez said during an interview on “A Closer Look.”

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A Closer Look
3:23 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Future Of Ga.’s Death Penalty Unknown Due To Drug Shortage

The death chamber at the state prison in Jackson, Georgia. The state has not revealed when it might resume executions after problems with the lethal injection drugs earlier this year.
Credit Ric Feld / Associated Press

As Nebraska lawmakers voted to ban the death penalty this week, the future of capital punishment in Georgia has also been called into question. Georgia lawmakers aren't ready to ban it, but the lethal injection drugs used for killing the state’s worst criminal offenders are hard to come by.

State corrections officials are not revealing when executions might resume in Georgia after they encountered problems with the lethal injection drugs earlier this year.

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1:52 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Boy Scouts' Leader Says Ban On Gay Adults Not Sustainable

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates says that banning gay people from the Boy Scouts is no longer sustainable.
Credit Mark Zaleski / Associated Press

The national president of the Boy Scouts, Robert Gates, says the organization's longstanding ban on participation by openly gay adults is no longer sustainable and is urging change in order to avert potentially destructive legal battles.

In a speech Thursday in Atlanta to the Scouts' national annual meeting, Gates referred to recent moves by Scout councils in New York City and elsewhere to defy the ban.

"The status quo in our movement's membership standards cannot be sustained," said Gates, a former U.S. secretary of defense.

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City Lights
11:09 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Atlanta ‘Staycation’ Options Abound For Memorial Day Weekend

A Dwarf black-bellied salamander is one of the many creatures in Zoo Atlanta's Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian Experience exhibit.
Credit Courtesy of Zoo Atlanta


Don’t feel like leaving town for the long holiday weekend?

Neither does “City Lights” travel contributor Kevin Benefield, who admits he usually stays home for Memorial Day.

With that in mind, he says in this week’s getaway segment that getting away doesn’t take much in the way of planning or distance.

From Zoo Atlanta’s new Scary Slimy Spectacular to an ongoing World War II encampment at the Atlanta History Center’s Swan House, there’s plenty on tap for having a relaxing respite and honoring the service of those who sacrificed for our country.

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9:07 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Atlanta Officials Rename Section Of Street After Ted Turner

A portion of Spring Street has been renamed for media mogul Ted Turner.
Credit Michelle Wirth / WABE

Atlanta City Council has approved a plan to rename part of a street after media mogul Ted Turner.

City officials said in a statement Tuesday that council approved of an ordinance to rename Spring Street to Ted Turner Drive at Historic Spring Street. The street will carry Turner's name along a roughly 1.5-mile stretch through downtown Atlanta. The ordinance was approved in a 9-3 vote.

City officials say the renamed road will span areas near some of Turner's business endeavors, including the CNN Center and a Ted's Montana Grill restaurant.

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8:55 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Truck Crash Shuts Down Lanes On Interstate 285

A tractor trailer truck accident has shut down all the westbound lanes on Interstate 285 in Atlanta.
Credit GDOT

All westbound lanes on Interstate 285 at Jonesboro Road were closed Thursday morning due to an accident.

A tractor trailer truck is blocking all the westbound lanes and one eastbound left lane. The truck is the only vehicle involved in the accident. The Georgia Department of Transportation is urging westbound drivers to find an alternative route and expects the area to be cleared around 10:30 a.m. Eastbound motorists should also expect a 25 to 30 minute delay. 

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8:01 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Ga. Veterinarians Raising Money For Dog Set On Fire

Caregivers are raising money to help a dog that police say was set on fire inside its dog house.

The 1-year-old pit dog named Royalti was taken to the Cobb Emergency Veterinary Clinic May 12 after she was found burned behind a Smyrna home, WXIA-TV reports.

Police arrested the dog's owner, Caleb Lanier, who faces charges of arson and cruelty to animals. He's accused of using a flammable accelerant to ignite the dog house with the dog inside.

6:00 am
Thu May 21, 2015

GSU Researcher Finds Possible Treatment For Bat-Killing Fungus

A Georgia State University researcher thinks he may have found a treatment for white-nose syndrome, a deadly disease that's killed millions of North American bats.
Credit Dan Raby / WABE

A Georgia State University researcher may have found a treatment for white-nose syndrome, a disease that’s decimating North American bat populations and threatens some species with extinction.

White-nose syndrome has killed almost 6 million bats in Canada and the United States since it arrived about a decade ago. But Tuesday, scientists and researchers gathered outside the Mark Twain Cave Complex in Hamilton, Missouri, to release some of the first bats to survive the disease into the wild.

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City Lights
3:58 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival Founders Mark Fifth Year

The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, which began in 2010, returns May 28-31.
Credit Brenna Beech / WABE

Dominique Love and Elizabeth Feichter have ventured far and wide to pursue their passion for food.

It wasn’t until recent years that they joined forces to stage what’s become a high-profile event showcasing the cuisine of their native South. 

The founders of the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival are marking the fifth year since the event began, and it returns May 28-31 at the Loews Atlanta Hotel and other Midtown locales. 

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12:52 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Georgia Could See A Heavy Mosquito Season

If Georgia experiences a wet summer, the remainder of the mosquito season could be heavy.
Credit AFPMB / flickr.com/afpmb

Despite a wet start to the spring, so far the number of mosquitoes is typical for this time of year, says University of Georgia Extension entomologist Elmer Gray. But he says it could get worse.

“It has been wet up to this point, and now it’s begun to dry out,” Gray says.

But Gray says seasonal forecasts call for wet weather.

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10:39 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Union Leader Calls For Atlanta Watershed Chief To Step Down

The head of one of Atlanta's employee unions is calling for the city's embattled Watershed commissioner, Jo Ann Macrina, to step down. It comes days after police arrested six Watershed employees in an ongoing investigation into widespread theft within the department.

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A Closer Look
9:20 am
Wed May 20, 2015

East Atlanta Citizens Bet On Elbow Grease To Build Community

The intersection of Flat Shoals and Bouldercrest roads will be the site of the project.
Kate Sweeney WABE

One of Stephanie Parker’s favorite things to do is to take long walks through East Atlanta, where she’s lived for more than two decades. But until recently, she almost never ventured south of Glenwood Avenue.

When asked why, her sigh is audible. “Unfamiliar territory. Wasn’t as attractive. I like trees, I like architecture, but there was nothing down here to look at.”

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9:05 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Emu The Cause Of Georgia Interstate 20 Traffic Jam

In this photo provided by the Douglas County (Ga.) Sheriff’s Office, a handler holds on to an emu that wandered onto Interstate 20 west of Atlanta and slowed traffic, Tuesday morning. Authorities said the bird escaped from a private owner’s property.
Credit Alex Roman/Douglas County Sheriff’s Office / Associated Press

Drivers may have mistaken it for an ostrich, but an emu was at the heart of a highway traffic jam in metro Atlanta.

Authorities in Douglas County received calls about a big bird running around Interstate 20 early Tuesday morning, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Douglas County Sheriff's Lt. Glenn Daniel says the emu had gotten loose from a private owner who lived nearby.

Several deputies corralled and captured the flightless bird. Daniel says it appeared to be scared but was not injured and was returned to its owner.

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8:39 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Police Chief: 5 Dead In Crash On Interstate 16 Near Savannah

A police chief says five people are dead after a tractor trailer smashed into two passenger cars and caught fire on Interstate 16 just west of Savannah.

Seven total vehicles were damaged in the crash Tuesday afternoon and a stretch of I-16 was shut down for hours near the busy interchange with Interstate 95.

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7:12 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Atlanta Among Cities Bidding To Host Super Bowl

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank wants to host a Super Bowl in the near future.
Credit John Bazemore / Associated Press

There's a chance the National Football League's grand finale could be played in Atlanta soon.  

Atlanta is among the four cities hoping to host a Super Bowl.

In addition to Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans and Tampa have placed bids for the 2019 and 2020 Super Bowls, according to a statement released by the NFL late Tuesday.

A final decision is expected during a team owners meeting in May 2016.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank has said numerous times in the past that he would love to have a Super Bowl in Atlanta.

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6:30 am
Wed May 20, 2015

More Southern Drivers Are Posting Selfies Behind The Wheel

A survey of more than 2,000 drivers who own smartphones found that 40 percent admit to using social media apps while they're driving.
Credit Daniel Stagner / flickr.com/38147529@N03

The driver in the lane next to you with his cellphone out is probably not only just texting his mother. He may also be posting a video of his driving skills on his Snapchat story. 

More drivers aren’t just texting – they’re using their phones to post photos and videos to social media – while they’re driving. 

That’s according to a new study released by AT&T that found Southerners are some of the worst offenders behind the wheel.

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A Closer Look
5:24 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

East Point, Georgia Is ‘Where Main Meets Metro’

The city of East Point is located southwest of Atlanta, between the city and Hartsfield-Jackson International airport. The town's motto is “East Point is where Main meets metro.”
Credit Courtesy of the City of East Point

East Point, Georgia, which is southwest of Atlanta between the city and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, was established in 1847. It was the eastern terminus for the Western Railroad. And is known for its historical industrial plants.

Jannquell Peters is the city mayor. She was elected in 2013.

The town's motto is “East Point is where Main [Street] meets metro.”

Peters explained the motto during an interview on “A Closer Look.”

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12:53 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Ga. University Board Supports Plan To Prevent Sexual Violence

Georgia's state university system plans to set specific training requirements for students and staff in hopes of preventing sexual violence at its 30 schools.

Members of the Board of Regents on Tuesday backed recommendations made by a committee that studied the issue since September.

The group's recommendations include purchasing an online training program that every school's students will use annually and hiring a coordinator to ensure that campuses follow federal and state laws.

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10:45 am
Tue May 19, 2015

Adnan Syed of 'Serial' Wins Chance To Call Alibi Witness

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals issued an order Monday remanding the case of Adnan Syed, whose story was the centerpiece of the “Serial” podcast and who is serving a life sentence for the murder of his former high school girlfriend. In this Dec. 10, 2014 file photo, a family photo is shown in the home of his mother, Shamim Syed, in Baltimore.
Credit Patrick Semansky, File / Associated Press

A convicted killer featured in a podcast that raised questions about his guilt can seek to call an alibi witness who never testified and include her account in a request for a new trial.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals issued an order Monday remanding the case of Adnan Syed, whose story was the centerpiece of the "Serial" podcast and who is serving a life sentence for the murder of his former high school girlfriend, to a lower court so the testimony of a witness who was never interviewed can be added to the record.

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9:30 am
Tue May 19, 2015

Turkey Sightings Surprise Atlanta's Ormewood Park Residents

A turkey in Ormewood Park, as seen by resident Martyn Hope.
Credit Martyn Hope

Residents in an east Atlanta neighborhood have been trying to explain the arrival of an unexpected wild visitor.

WABE learned of the unusual wildlife sightings through the Ormewood Park neighborhood Facebook group. Some residents described what they saw:

"It was probably, I want to say like, noon," says Aubry Donoghue.

 "I was in the front room; all of a sudden we saw it," says 4-year-old Rebecca Reedick.

"It was in the street, crossing the street, and then I followed it into the back of a vacant house," says Martyn Hope.

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8:58 am
Tue May 19, 2015

GBI Arrests Over 20 Suspects In Child Sex Sting

Authorities say they arrested more than 20 people in a weekend operation aimed at curbing the exploitation of children.

The Augusta Chronicle reports that the 22 suspects were arrested. Authorities say they communicated with male or female children online and then traveled from areas around Augusta and from South Carolina to meet the children for the purpose of having sex. The suspects range in age from 19 to 52.

Authorities said all of the suspects are being charged with criminal attempt to commit child molestation.