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A Closer Look
6:04 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Atlanta YMCA Offers New Outdoor Adventure Program For Kids

Cowart Family/Ashford-Dunwoody Leaders Club. The YMCA of Metro Atlanta is partnering with the government to offer a new ''Outdoor'' program for young people.
Credit Courtesy of Cowart Family Ashford Dunwoody Leaders Club

Young people in Atlanta, like those across the country, face countless challenges on their journey into adulthood. One of the big challenges for inner city children is often a lack of adequate outdoor green spaces and parks. Most certainly do not have ready access to forests or wilderness areas.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell called it “a growing disconnect between young people and the great outdoors.”  

But that’s about to change under a new federal program.

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A Closer Look
4:17 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Cobb County Expands Bus Service With “Flex” Routes

Cobb County rolled out a new Flex bus service this week to help meet the needs of local transit riders.
Credit Alison Guillory / WABE

It just got a lot easier to get around parts of Cobb County by bus.

The Cobb County Department of Transportation rolled out a new “Flex bus service” this week that allows residents to travel almost anywhere they choose in the metro area. Riders can use the new, on-demand service to call and make a reservation for home pick-up or catch the busses at any Flex bus stop within three county zones.

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Local
2:43 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Brookhaven's New Mascot Is A Big, Green Bird Wearing A Bowtie

Brookhaven's new mascot, Brook, likes to wear a pink bowtie.
Credit Courtesy of City of Brookhaven

Brookhaven's newest tourism booster is in the form of a big, green bird. His name is Brook, and he likes to wear a pink bowtie. 

He was introduced this week during a City Council meeting and is expected to be the official mascot of the city's Cherry Blossom Festival this weekend.

The city's Communication Director Rosemary Taylor says Brook is not any particular type of bird, “he is a bird unto himself.”

Last year, the city adopted the cherry tree ─ “a symbol of peace and good will” ─ as it's official tree.  

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Local
2:31 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

MLK Heirs Get More Time To Settle Bible, Nobel Medal Dispute

In this Feb. 6, 2006 file photo, the children of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, left to right, Dexter Scott King, Rev. Bernice King, Martin Luther King III and Yolanda King participate in a musical tribute to their mother at the new Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Credit John Bazemore, File / Associated Press

A judge is giving the children of Martin Luther King Jr. more time to try to resolve a dispute over their father's traveling Bible and 1964 Nobel medal without a trial.

King's estate, controlled by his sons, last year asked a judge to order their sister to surrender the items. In an estate board of directors meeting, the brothers, Martin Luther King III and Dexter King, had voted against their sister, Bernice King, to sell the items.

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City Lights
12:00 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Antebellum Pilgrimage Tours Bring The Old South To Life

The Monmouth Historic Inn, with its restaurant, lounge and manicured gardens, is a must-visit stop for those taking in the spring Natchez Pilgrimage Tour.
Credit Monmouth Historic Inn

In the early spring of 1931, the ladies of the Natchez Garden Club had a problem.

A very big problem.

A garden tour scheduled as part of the Mississippi State Garden Club convention in Natchez fell victim to a late freeze.

So the Natchez ladies acted fast to create a special event their guests would appreciate by throwing open some of the historic homes around town.

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A Closer Look
10:44 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Councilwoman Proposes Economic Development Task Force For Southwest Atlanta

One of the crosswalks at Continental Colony Elementary School in Southwest Atlanta.
Credit Brenna Beech / WABE

Atlanta City Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms visited "A Closer Look" studios to talk about her proposal for an Economic Development Task Force for Southwest Atlanta. The area, which stretches from Greenbriar Mall to the gated communities of Cascade, has experienced multiple periods of boom and bust, so she began the conversation by explaining what her proposal offers that's different from the past.

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A Closer Look
6:16 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

BaconFest Hopes To Bring In The Bacon For Local Nonprofit

The Atlanta BaconFest offers up a sizzlin' menu of bacon, beer and bands at Masquerade Music Park on Saturday.
Credit Ted Westby / Dad's Garage

The 2015 Atlanta BaconFest will offer up a sizzling menu of bacon, beer and bands at Masquerade Music Park on Saturday. The annual outdoor festival is a fundraiser for Dad’s Garage, a local nonprofit theater company.

Organizers described the festival as an “unbridled bash,” which will include more than 2,250 pounds of cooked bacon, literally a ton of pork.

“Basically at BaconFest, there’s bacon every couple of steps and a bunch of different people doing different things with it,” said Mike LaSage of Bone Lick BBQ on WABE’s “A Closer Look” on Wednesday.

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Local
2:36 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

King Center To Mark MLK Slaying With Call To Stop Violence

In this Aug. 28, 1963 file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addresses marchers during his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
Credit File / Associated Press

The nonprofit organization devoted to the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. plans to hold a remembrance on the anniversary of his assassination.

The Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change is calling for a moratorium on all violence on April 4, the 47th anniversary of King's slaying in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Rev. Bernice King, daughter of the civil rights icon and CEO of the King Center, said the center is asking people to abstain from verbal violence, physical violence and gun violence on that day.

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Local
2:33 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Georgia Trout Fishing Season To Open Saturday

The Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Melissa Cummings says officials are stocking Georgia waters with more than 80,000 trout this week before trout fishing season opens Saturday.
Credit Helti / flickr.com/helti

Georgia wildlife officials say they're stocking the state's waterways with fish before the opening of trout fishing season.

Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Melissa Cummings says officials are stocking Georgia waters with more than 80,000 trout this week before trout fishing season opens Saturday. Cummings says the state plans to stock waterways with more than 1 million trout by the end of the year.

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Local
2:14 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

UGA Gets Grant To Investigate Rural Communities

Rural communities in Georgia are getting placed under the microscope.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

Rural communities in Georgia are getting some attention from the University of Georgia.

Researchers will be taking a look at more than 300 small towns throughout the state. Many of them are in rough shape.

“Dilapidated housing, a lack of affordable housing, you know, access to home ownership can be an issue,” Kim Skobba, an assistant professor of financial planning, housing and consumer economics at UGA, says.

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Local
6:58 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Distracted Driving A Factor In 60 Percent Of Teen Crashes

This March 6, 2014, image shows a driver during the Cognitive Distraction Phase II testing in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Credit DanCampbellPhotographer.com via AAA Foundation / Associated Press

Young men and women aren’t paying enough attention while behind the wheel.

That’s according to the largest research ever conducted into crash videos of teenage drivers.

A study from AAA and Lytx Inc. shows distractions played a factor in nearly 60 percent of moderate-to-severe crashes involving teenage drivers.

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A Closer Look
6:00 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Savannah’s Tour Guide Licensing Requirement Challenged

Dan Leger, who works under the name Savannah Dan, stands in Reynolds Square, in Savannah, Ga. Leger and three others are suing the city of Savannah in federal court over a local ordinance that requires tour guides to take a 100-question multiple choice history and architecture exam.
Credit Russ Bynum / Associated Press

If you want to be a tour guide in the city of Savannah, you have to pass a history exam and pay a $10 fee, but there’s a pending lawsuit challenging those requirements.

Savannah isn’t the first city to debate restrictions on people who talk for a living. 

When Ron Avery worked as a tour guide in Philadelphia, he used to hear other guides twist the truth.

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Local
2:45 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Two Atlanta Watershed Employees Arrested Over Stolen Equipment

The Atlanta Police Department has arrested two men with the city's Department of Watershed Management for allegedly stealing tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment to sell for profit.

The Watershed Department says since 2008, William Spaulding and Charles Edwards made more than $60,000 off of the stolen brass, copper and water meters.

The arrests come after the launch of three separate investigations into mismanagement and theft within the department last year.

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City Lights
1:17 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Laid-Back Jekyll Island Offers Convenient Getaway Options

The Jekyll Island Club Hotel still looks and feels as it did when it was a ''vacation playground'' for the American Gilded Age aristocracy.
Credit courtesy of Jekyll Island Club Hotel

 

The onset of spring means an abundance of outdoor activities and the desire to get away to enjoy them.

As Kevin Benefield, the editor of Atlanta Magazine’s Southbound travel guide, explained recently on “City Lights,” Jekyll Island is an ideal place for all that. From the luxurious Jekyll Island Club Hotel to new hotels and resorts, outdoor recreation and beachcombing, Jekyll Island features a wide variety of getaway attractions.

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State
10:33 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Savannah Tour Guides Move Ahead With Free Speech Suit

Dan Leger, shown on March 20, and three others are suing the city of Savannah, Georgia, in federal court over a local ordinance that requires tour guides to obtain a license after passing a test on history and architecture.
Credit Russ Bynum / Associated Press

 

Tour guides who say a licensing requirement imposed by the city of Savannah violates their free speech rights are pressing ahead with a lawsuit in federal court.

Attorneys on both sides of the case filed a status report March 12 in U.S. District Court saying it's unlikely they will reach a settlement. Since 1978, a Savannah ordinance has required tour guides to obtain a license. First they have to pass a 100-question test on history and architecture.

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Local
6:30 am
Tue March 24, 2015

The Punchline, A Legendary Atlanta Comedy Club, Is Closing

Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Robin Williams and Jerry Seinfeld are among the many who have graced the stage at The Punchline.
Credit Dan Raby / WABE

One of Atlanta's legendary comedy clubs is closing its doors, and that's no joke.

The Punchline made its debut in 1982 and has hosted countless comics over the years. The Sandy Springs comedy club is shutting its doors on Sunday.

Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Robin Williams and Jerry Seinfeld are among the many who have graced the stage at The Punchline.

People with the comedy club say they plan on re-opening at a different location sometime in the near future.

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Local
5:19 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Blue Bell Recalls Ice Cream Cups

This recall is for Blue Bell's 3-oz. chocolate, vanilla and strawberry food service ice cream cups.
Credit FDA.gov

After going more than a century without having any problems with its products, Blue Bell has issued a second recall within two weeks.

Earlier this month, Blue Bell recalled a number of its ice cream products due to listeria contamination. 

The Food and Drug Administration reports that’s the reason for this week’s recall as well.

This recall is for 3-oz. chocolate, vanilla and strawberry food service ice cream cups.

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A Closer Look
5:25 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Vidalia Onion Farmers Await Decision On Shipping Restriction

The Georgia Agricultural Commission adopted a rule last year requiring that Vidalia onion farmers wait until later in April to ship their onion crop.
Credit Mike Mozart / flickr.com/jeepersmedia

Georgia farmers are getting ready for the early spring harvest in April. They’ll soon begin shipping fresh fruits and vegetables, from beets and blueberries to asparagus and arugula, to markets and grocery stores across the state and the country.

One of the most popular of the state’s early springtime harvests is its famous Vidalia onion crop, but shoppers may not see the sweet onion in stores until after April 27.

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Local
3:01 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Milledgeville To Remember Visit Of Revolutionary War Hero

Marquis de Lafayette was hailed as an international celebrity nearly two centuries ago.
Credit Marion Doss / flickr.com/ooocha

Georgia's Old Capital Museum in Milledgeville is hosting a new exhibit to commemorate the time in 1825 when a Revolutionary War hero visited the city.

Marquis de Lafayette was hailed as an international celebrity nearly two centuries ago, during a nationwide farewell tour at the invitation of President James Monroe.

While in Georgia, he visited Savannah, where he was welcomed by Gov. George Troup before traveling to Augusta, Warrenton, Sparta and the state capital of Milledgeville.

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Local
1:33 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Chicken Processing Plant Poses Threat To Ga.'s Lake Lanier

Documents reveal that one of Georgia's largest chicken processors has for years exceeded pollution standards for stormwater runoff into Lake Lanier.
Credit Christine / flickr.com/thekeenes

 

Documents reveal that one of Georgia's largest chicken processors has for years exceeded pollution standards for stormwater runoff into Lake Lanier ─ one of metro Atlanta's major sources of drinking water.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the violations have resulted in few consequences from state regulators. It said in a report Sunday that stormwater runoff can contain bacteria found in chicken feces, and that Georgia's methods of regulating the industry raise serious health and safety questions.

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Local
12:05 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

Atlanta Test Cheating Trial Jury Resumes Deliberations

Jurors will resume their deliberations Monday in the APS test cheating trial.
Credit Kent Johnson / Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Jurors will resume their deliberations in the trial of a dozen former Atlanta Public Schools educators accused of participating in a conspiracy to cheat on standardized tests.

On Thursday, the jurors meeting in Atlanta heard an explanation of the law and began deciding the outcome of the case shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday. They are scheduled to resume their deliberations on Monday morning.

A grand jury indicted 35 educators in March 2013. Many reached plea agreements with prosecutors.

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Local
10:47 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Gas Prices Drop Again In Metro Atlanta

Commuters in metro Atlanta are paying a little less to fill up.
Credit Rori-Tai Williams / WABE

The cost of filling up is going down.

The average price for a gallon in metro Atlanta is $2.25, according to AAA. That’s down about four cents from last week and five cents from last month. It’s also well over a $1 less compared to this time last year.

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Local
5:51 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Accused Of Violating Eagle Raid Court Order, Atlanta Vows Fight

In 2013, APD reversed its procedure, putting the old policy on detainment back into effect.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

The city of Atlanta is promising to “vigorously defend” itself against a motion filed in federal court Tuesday that accuses the Atlanta Police Department of willfully violating the court’s order.

The case, Calhoun v. Pennington, dates back to 2009 when Atlanta Police officers stormed the Atlanta Eagle – a gay bar in Midtown — and unlawfully detained its patrons.

Nobody was suspected of committing a crime.

A year later, a federal judge ordered the Atlanta Police Department to — among other things — change its policy related to when it’s OK to detain someone.

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A Closer Look
5:22 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Bicycling In Atlanta Kicking Into High Gear

Atlanta currently has 45 miles of bike lanes, but Rebecca Serna says the city is soon to become more bike-friendly.
Credit Sharif Hassan / Courtesy Atlanta Bicycle Coalition

On Tuesday, Atlanta voters said yes to a $250 million infrastructure bond package that will begin to address the city’s backlog of infrastructure projects. This means drivers will eventually see re-paved roads, and pedestrians will have fixed sidewalks — but what about the city’s cyclists?

Rebecca Serna is executive director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, the non-profit group that conducted the feasibility study for the city's upcoming bicycle share program. She joined the "A Closer Look" studio to talk about the state of bicycling in the city. 

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A Closer Look
3:33 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Tornado Season Is Here And Georgians Need To Be Prepared

Tornadoes can strike anytime, but they are more common in the South between March and May. Weather officials are urging people to be prepared.
Credit Mark 'Storm' Farnik / Associated Press

A powerful tornado slammed into the city of Atlanta in 2008, leaving one person dead and injuring several dozen more. The twister shocked and frightened residents of a big city who were not prepared for a storm of that magnitude.

People in large cities like Atlanta may not expect to see a twister barreling through city streets, shredding trees in Centennial Olympic Park or shaking large buildings like the CNN Center or the Georgia Dome, but that’s exactly what happened on the evening of March 14, 2008, just after 9:30.

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A Closer Look
1:29 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

AJC Peachtree Road Race Lottery Is Nearing The Finish Line

On the Fourth of July, 60,000 runners will sprint from Buckhead for the finish line in Piedmont Park.
Credit Tim Easterday

Thousands of people converge on Atlanta for the city’s AJC Peachtree Road Race every year. When the 10k race starts on the Fourth of July, 60,000 runners will sprint from Buckhead for the finish line in Piedmont Park.

The window to register for the public lottery for a chance to be one of the 60,000 runners is quickly closing. Midnight Sunday on March 22 is the deadline to enter.

The event, now in its 46th year, is the largest 10k in the world, according to the Atlanta Track Club. The club randomly selects the lottery winners and notifies them by email within a week.

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Local
1:17 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

CDC Lab Safety ‘Inconsistent and Insufficient,’ Report Says

An external report on CDC lab safety details “inconsistent and insufficient” practices at multiple levels across the agency.
Credit David Goldman / CDC

A report on lab safety at the CDC details “inconsistent and insufficient” practices at multiple levels across the agency.

The report, which was penned by a group of 11 biosafety and lab experts, was completed in January but wasn’t made public on the CDC’s website until this week.

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Local
9:19 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Ex-Ga. Aquarium Employee Sentenced In Embezzlement Scheme

Fulton County prosecutors say a former Georgia Aquarium employee has been sentenced to 20 years in an embezzlement scheme with four to serve in prison.
Credit Dan Raby / WABE

Fulton County prosecutors say a former Georgia Aquarium employee has been sentenced to 20 years in an embezzlement scheme with four to serve in prison.

District Attorney's spokeswoman Yvette Jones said Thursday that 24-year-old Marina Davis pleaded guilty to racketeering charges and 11 counts of theft. Prosecutors say Davis stole roughly $225,000 from the aquarium during an 11-month timespan between 2012 and 2013.

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Local
9:10 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Georgia Wildlife Officials Offer Fishing Guide, Tips Online

The fishing guides are meant to provide in-depth information on Georgia's 31 reservoirs and 18 rivers for anglers of all skill levels.
Credit Monika & Tim / flickr.com/tkennedy

 

Georgia wildlife officials are offering online tips to help anglers enjoy Georgia reservoirs and rivers.

The website of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division now features updated fishing prospects. The guides are meant to provide in-depth information on 31 reservoirs and 18 rivers for anglers of all skill levels.

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Local
7:16 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Medical Marijuana Bill Clears Ga. Senate Committee

The Georgia Senate bill limits the THC content in the marijuana oil to 5 percent.
Credit Brett Levin / flickr.com/scubabrett22

State lawmakers could be close to deal over medical marijuana. On Thursday, a state Senate committee passed a compromise bill that would decriminalize cannabis oil for thousands of Georgians.

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