Local

Local
4:24 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Ebola 'Czar' Visits Atlanta

Ron Klain
Credit Jacquelyn Martin, File / AP Photo

The White House’s Ebola coordinator is visiting Atlanta today to meet with the head of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, but again remained behind the scenes.

This is Klain’s first visit to the CDC since being appointed the Ebola coordinator, though White House officials say he’s been in daily contact with Director Dr. Tom Frieden.

Klain didn’t make any public appearances, maintaining the low profile he’s kept since being called on to head the government’s Ebola response.

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Local
4:09 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Plan To Boost Community Input Prior To Painting Murals Draws First Amendment Concerns

The mural that sparked opposition in south Atlanta's Pittsburgh neighborhood.

Atlanta’s City Council is set to vote Monday on a controversial proposal aimed at increasing community input before murals are painted on private property.

The proposal was triggered in part by a 2012 incident in south Atlanta’s Pittsburg neighborhood. Some in the community took issue with a large mural they interpreted as satanic. During a press conference held by opponents, a confrontation took place that police ultimately had to disperse.

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Local
12:54 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Employers Seek Ebola Advice

Credit CDC

After several recent U.S. Ebola cases, a number of businesses are trying to figure out how to keep workers safe and to make sure they don’t get sued if a case pops up in their office. WABE’s Michelle Wirth reports on two law firms with Atlanta offices who are giving companies advice on Ebola.

Eric Berezin, a shareholder at Ogletree Deakins says his firm kept getting the same questions from employers about Ebola things like: how do you keep workers safe, and what to do about international travel? So his law firm, formed an Ebola Rapid Response Team to answer those questions.

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Local
12:44 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Georgia's Historical Markers Give Insight to Past

Georgia has nearly 3,000 historic markers across the state.
Credit David Goldman / AP Photo

The Peach State is proud of its history.

Georgia has roughly 3,000 historical markers, which is second only to Texas for having the most. 

And, there are plans to keep adding more markers throughout the Peach State.  

Two new markers were dedicated earlier this month.  One recognized the Atlanta Student Movement, the other was for the Rush Memorial Congregational Church.

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Local
8:09 am
Thu October 30, 2014

UPS Expects to Ship 585 Million Packages in December

UPS is preparing for a busy December.
Credit David Goldman / AP

United Parcel Service Inc. is already preparing for another busy holiday season.

The Atlanta-based shipping giant predicts it will be delivering at least 585 million packages during the last few weeks of the year.

That’s an 11% increase from 2013.

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Local
4:14 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Feds OK Next Phase Of Planning for Clifton Light Rail Line

Example of an elevated section of light rail in Seattle
Credit MARTA

MARTA recently received federal approval to move forward with planning for a new light rail line through Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in north DeKalb County.

The area is a major job center and has been plagued with heavy congestion for years. Many see the MARTA project as a solution.

Local resident Elise Lemieux says a new MARTA line can’t come soon enough. She describes driving in the area as “absolutely  horrible.”  

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Local
12:05 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

"Tow to Go" Service Offered in Georgia this Weekend

AAA and Bud Light are offering "Tow to Go" service this Halloween weekend.
Credit AAA

There’s going to be ghosts, goblins and many other monsters on the streets this Halloween. 

But, thanks to an ongoing project, there will be less drunk drivers.  

Georgia is among the three states taking part in the “Tow to Go” program this weekend.

The service - which comes from a partnership between AAA and Bud Light - offers safe rides home for intoxicated drivers and their vehicles.

Everyone, including non-members of the service, can take advantage of this.

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Local
9:00 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Streetcar Rolls Through Downtown Neighborhoods

The streetcar pulls out of its maintenance facility on Fort Street.
Credit Mary Claire Kelly / WABE

The Atlanta Streetcar started daytime routes yesterday without passengers.

It’s part of the training for streetcar operators.

This means that from now on, the big purple vehicles will be running the rails every day from Centennial Olympic Park to the King historic district

The 96,000 pound streetcar will run along the two-point-seven-mile track downtown—a route the old streetcar used to take, before it was replaced in 1949.

Elsie Williams is 81 years old.

She rode the streetcar when the cost of a ride was little more than a dime.

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Local
7:49 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Man Stabbed at MARTA Station, Suspect Arrested

Credit MARTA.com

  One man is injured after a stabbing incident at the North Avenue MARTA station this morning.

MARTA spokesperson Saba Long says the victim was taken to a local hospital, with non-life threatening injuries.

The suspect has been taken into custody.

Police have not released the names of the two men involved in the fight.

Service at the station was not affected.

An investigation is underway.

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Local
6:32 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Witness Credibility Issues Complicate DeKalb Corruption Cases

The prosecution's case against DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis relied heavily on Kelvin Walton, shown above.
Credit Kent Johnson/AJC

Two major DeKalb County corruption cases are in jeopardy. Part of the reason is the prosecution’s star witnesses have struggled with credibility issues.

It’s a constant dilemma for prosecutors – how much to rely on witnesses with questionable character.

DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis is accused of shaking down county contractors for campaign donations. During the trial, DeKalb's former purchasing director Kelvin Walton was the state’s star witness. Walton cooperated with prosecutors only after being caught accepting gifts from contractors and lying under oath.

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Local
11:41 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Georgia Shows Major Job Growth

Labor Commissioner Mark Butler says Georgia has seen a boost in jobs over the past five years.
Credit Georgia Department of Labor

Five years ago, Georgia ranked forty-fifth  in the country for over-the-year job creation.

In 2014, Georgia jumps to sixth place.

“You know employers all over the state are looking for talent right now,” says State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.

Butler says Georgia gained 80,000 non-seasonally adjusted jobs from September 2013 through last month.

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Local
10:36 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Dallas Nurse to be Released from Emory Today

On Oct. 15, Amber Vinson arrived from Dallas at Emory University Hospital. Today, she's Ebola-free and being discharged.
Credit Ryan Nabulsi / twinlensatl.com

A second Dallas nurse who contracted Ebola while treating a patient from Liberia will leave the hospital today.

Amber Vinson was flown to Atlanta and admitted to Emory University Hospital on Oct. 15, just a day after her diagnosis.

Last week, Vinson’s family issued a statement saying doctors could no longer detect the Ebola virus in her system. 

Emory now confirms Vinson is Ebola-free, and will be discharged today.  The 29-year-old is expected to speak at a news conference this afternoon .   

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Local
5:48 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Georgia Affected by Baby Wipes Recall

Some of the labels affected by the baby wipes recall.
Credit FDA.gov

  A nationwide recall of baby wipes has been voluntarily issued by Nutek Disposables of Pennsylvania.

The Food and Drug Administration says the products in question might contain a bacteria that can be resistant to many antibiotics.

The wipes are listed under a variety of names, including: Simply Right, Sunny Smiles  and Tender Touch.

They were sold at Family Dollar, Fred’s, Sam’s Club, Walgreens and Diapers.com.

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Local
6:45 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Deal Announces Tiered Ebola Monitoring, Quarantine Policy

Gov. Deal speaks during a press conference on Oct. 20, naming members of the Georgia Ebola Response Team.
Credit Branden Camp / AP Photo

  Following moves by a handful of states late last week, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal Monday announced a new monitoring and quarantine policy for travelers coming from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three West African countries hardest hit by the Ebola virus.

“We’re going to try to be as mindful of [travelers’] privacy and their own necessity to move about,” he said, “but by the same token, if they pose a potential threat to the health of the citizens of the state of Georgia, we believe a quarantined will be appropriate.”

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Local
4:20 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Governor Deal to Announce Ebola Policy for Travelers

In an earlier press conference Gov. Nathan Deal names members of the Georgia Ebola Response Team to assess emergency procedures if Ebola were to spread in Georgia.
Credit Branden Camp / Associated Press

Monday Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal will announce the state’s policy for monitoring and quarantining people who might be at risk for Ebola. 

The governor will speak in Cumming, Georgia.

Deal’s announcement is coming after Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Andrew Cuomo of New York initially announced additional protocols for their states, which included mandatory quarantine for health care workers returning to the United States after treating Ebola patients.

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Local
12:03 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Springdale Place Homeless Shelter Soon to Reopen

City of Refuge is the shelter's new primary operator.
Credit atlanta.backonmyfeet.org / City of Refuge

An emergency homeless shelter that closed earlier this year is opening back up next month.

The Springdale Place Shelter will again provide beds and other services for over a hundred homeless women and children.

Springdale Place was one of two emergency shelters closed earlier this year.

It came after the breakdown of something called the Tri-Jurisdictional Collaborative on Homelessness.

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Local
11:37 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Georgia Pecan Harvest Affected by Fungus

Georgia will likely see a dip in pecan production this year.
Credit Judy Baxter / flickr.com/judybaxter

  Georgia’s top crop isn’t going to be as plentiful this year.

The Pecan Scab, a fungus that hurts its namesake nut, has thrived during a wetter-than-normal spring.

Thanks to help from Mother Nature, this year's harvest will not be a total bust.

“Because of the dry June and July, we’ve been able to have a pretty decent crop,” says Dr. Lenny Wells, with the Georgia Pecan Growers Association.

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Local
7:35 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Controversial Krog Masquerade Goes On

The Krog Street tunnel was closed to traffic for a party on Saturday night.
Ryan Nabulsi twinlensatl.com

In recent weeks the Krog Street tunnel has been the site of controversy, but last Saturday night the streets of Cabbagetown were filled with masquerade partygoers and a few curious residents.

Among the crowd there was a man riding a unicycle, a masked couple on stilts and a jazz ensemble.

Abby Ellis is a resident of the neighborhood and lives across the street from the tunnel. She has lived in the area for three years and decided to check out the event.

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Local
7:13 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Georgia Gas Price Average Falls Below $3

Good news for commuters, prices at the pump continue to fall.

The cost of gas in Georgia is officially below the $3 dollar mark.

That includes metro Atlanta, where the average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded is $2.99, according to AAA.

That’s down about two-cents from last week, and a whopping 38-cents from last month.

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Atlanta Sounds
12:15 pm
Sun October 26, 2014

Atlanta Sounds: Auto Enthusiast

Danni Suskin.

Many car enthusiasts are drawn to vehicles for their speed. They’ll pour time and money into their cars all to make them run as fast as possible.

But for Sandy Springs resident Danni Suskin, his love of cars has little to do with their horsepower. In fact, the ones that interest him barely make it past twenty miles an hour.  

Suskin collects and restores old cars, some of which date back more than a hundred years. We profiled him for this Atlanta Sounds.  

 

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Local
4:30 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Tour de Pink Raising Money, Awareness for Breast Cancer

The annual Tour de Pink is Atlanta's only bike ride for breast cancer.
Credit Youth Survivor Coalition

Hundreds of bikers, runners and walkers are “getting a leg up” for a good cause this weekend.

It's called the Tour de Pink and it is Atlanta’s one and only bike ride for breast cancer.

“It’s just something about a community of women with a really strong cause, especially for young women that get this disease, that we’re all there together.  And we have a great time doing this,” says rider Susan Hendricks, who is taking part in her third Tour de Pink.

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Local
4:22 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Cynicism Among DeKalb Residents Remains High Following Ellis Trial

Suspended DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis.
Credit Kent Johnson / Atlanta Journal-Consitution

It’s been an eventful week in DeKalb County. The corruption case of suspended DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis ended with a hung jury. And a much-anticipated audit showed lax oversight of commissioner spending.

Some DeKalb residents have resigned themselves to a certain level of impropriety, while others see light at the end of the tunnel.

DeKalb politics has been anything but dull - kickback schemes, federal probes, forced-out school board members, and most tragically an assassination of the county’s sheriff-elect.  

So it makes sense residents would be a bit cynical.

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Local
11:36 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Annual Taste of Atlanta Offers the Area's Finest Foods

The 13th annual Taste of Atlanta kicks off Friday and runs through Sunday.
Credit Taste of Atlanta

It's kind of like an early Christmas for foodies, or hungry people.

The 13th annual Taste of Atlanta kicks off Friday and runs through Sunday.

More than 300 menu items are available at the event, held in midtown Atlanta at Tech Square.

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Local
8:19 am
Fri October 24, 2014

DeKalb Audit Shows Commissioners' Charity Spending, Spotty Record Keeping

DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton
Credit DeKalb County Government

DeKalb County has released an independent audit of County Commission spending for the last ten years.

The audit includes on use of county purchasing cards. The so-called “P-cards,” which function like debit cards, are used by elected officials and some staff members to pay for work-related expenses. The P-cards have been the focus of ethics complaints against several commissioners.  

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Local
5:00 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Metro Atlanta's Unemployment Rate Dips

Michelle Wirth/WABE News

Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent in September. That’s slightly lower than a year ago. But are job seekers feeling a difference, and does that rate really matter? WABE's Michelle Wirth spoke with a local economist and several who are unemployed.

34-year-old Nickolas Smith types on a computer at a local unemployment office.  He’s been looking for job in law enforcement for about a year. Smith has had several interviews, but so far there’s been no fulltime job offers.

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Krog Street Tunnel
3:25 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Krog Street Tunnel Painted Over to Protest Masquerade

Only a small bit of graffiti can be found on the sides of the Krog Street tunnel now.
Credit Jason Parker / WABE

Northeast Atlanta's iconic Krog Street Tunnel is looking a bit less colorful today.

That's after about 100 protesters spent Wednesday night covering with concrete-grey paint the constantly-changing piece of Atlanta's graffiti culture.

“I think artists were upset that their work was being used to promote and sell tickets to this party without any compensation to them,” said local artist Peter Ferarri, who was among those repainting the tunnel Wednesday night. 

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Local
1:59 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

DeKalb County to Release Purchasing Card Audit Today

Former DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer pleaded guilty to federal charges last month in connection with the use of her county purchasing card for personal expenses.
Credit http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/boc/district1.html

WABE has learned that DeKalb County officials will release the official audit of county commissioners’ purchasing cards later today.

The so-called “P-cards,” which function like a debit cards, let elected officials and some staff members pay for work-related expenses. The P-cards have been the focus of ethics complaints against several commissioners.  

The Commission called for the audit of all P-card purchases, dating back at least to 2010, for all commissioners, their staff members, and any employees of the Board of Commissioners’ central office.

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Local
1:12 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Same Sex Supporters Hold Rally in Atlanta

Georgia Equality is taking part in Thursday's same sex marriage rally in downtown Atlanta.
Credit Georgia Equality

The same-sex marriage debate continues in Georgia.

Attorney General Sam Olens' view remains the same: it's between a man and a woman.

But not everyone agrees, and many of those voices will be heard outside of Atlanta City Hall Thursday afternoon.

“It’s about respecting the love two people have for each other and honoring the lifetime commitment that they want to make through the act of marriage,” says Jeff Graham, the executive director for Georgia Equality

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Food & Drink
12:06 pm
Thu October 23, 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
6:48 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Metro Atlanta Unemployment Rate Fell in September

Atlanta's unemployment rate dropped to 7.3% in September.
Credit Robert Aaron/WABE

  The temperature wasn't the only thing in metro Atlanta to fall last month.

According to the Georgia Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in metro Atlanta dropped to 7.3% in September.

That’s down from an even 8% in August.

According to the latest data from the Department of Labor: there was an over-the-year gain of 51,900 jobs, or 2.2 percent, from September 2013’s 2,416,700. This was the second largest September-to-September growth since 2007. 

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