Adam Ragusea

Backup host "On Second Thought"

Adam is host of Current's podcast, "The Pub." He's a Journalist in Residence and Visiting Assistant Professor of Journalism at the Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University in Macon, Ga. He’s also reported for public radio shows including "Morning Edition," "All Things Considered," "Here & Now," "Marketplace" and "The Takeaway." Before becoming a journalist, Adam studied music composition, and he creates all the music for "The Pub."

Ways to Connect

Sergey Ponomarev / AP Photo

In 2016, over two million cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis were reported in the United States. Georgia is among the most infected states. According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia has the fourth highest rate of sexually transmitted diseases in the nation. We talk about this with Michelle Allen, Director of the Infectious Disease Section for the Georgia Department of Health.

Beverly Daniel Tatum leads frank conversations about race. Back in 1997, the former Spelman College President wrote a book called,  “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” Now, she’s updated the text. We caught up with her to mark the 20th anniversary edition.

Tampa Bay Mizzou

UGA has a great football team this year. They’re ranked number seven in the nation, after a spell in first. But it’s not all good news. UGA ranks dead last in the Southeastern Conference when it comes to  graduation success rates for student athletes – all while the university’s overall student graduation rates are way up. Eric Kelderman is Senior Reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education. Also with us is Professor of Sports Journalism at UGA, Vicki Michaelis.

Ryan McFadin / GPB News

Savannah’s NAACP chapter celebrated its centennial this fall at the historic First African Baptist Church. The church was also honored by the Georgia Historical Society earlier this year for its extensive role in African-American history and the civil rights movement, from hiding people on the underground railroad, to being the site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s first public speech in 1944. GPB’s Ryan McFadin went to a Sunday service, and sent back an audio postcard.

UGA has a great football team this year. They’re ranked number seven in the country -- after a spell in first. But it’s not all good news. UGA rates dead last in the Southeastern Conference when it comes to graduation success rates for student athletes – all while the university’s overall student graduation rates are way up. Eric Kelderman is Senior Reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education. Also with us is Professor of Sports Journalism at UGA, Vicki Michaelis.

Wikimedia Commons

Finding your true calling can take years, even decades. Children’s book author Christopher Paul Curtis found his calling in his 40s. After spending more than a decade working at a Detroit car factory, he began writing young adult fiction about the African-American experience. He was the first American man to win the Newbery Medal literary prize. 

Starz

In 1981, actor Bruce Campbell first took on "The Evil Dead." The cult hit spawned two sequels, video games, Marvel comic books, and a television series. Campbell is always working, and is in Atlanta this weekend for Walker Stalker Con. We talked with Campbell on low budget horror films and his cult star status.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

You may have heard about the Iron Pipeline. It's an underground network used to ship guns from states like Georgia with relatively lax gun laws to other states with tighter regulations. Many of these weapons are purchased legally in the South, but some are stolen. An investigative report finds Atlanta has an alarming rate of guns stolen from cars.

 

Atlanta is officially a soccer town. In its first season, Atlanta United broke MLS attendance records and made the playoffs. The team plays its first postseason game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Thursday night against the Columbus Crew. We talked with AU President Darren Eales about Georgia’s growing passion for what the rest of the world calls football.

This year a federal court in Chicago ruled for the first time that workers can’t be fired based on sexual orientation, extending workplace protections in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the LGBT community. Yet, a Georgia judge ruled against a similar case. Now that case is up for appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Jameka Evans claims Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah fired her for being a lesbian. Earlier this month, 18 state attorneys general filed briefs in support of Evans's petition.

Imagine being in outer space with two sassy robots, and being forced to watch really bad science fiction movies with them. That’s the premise of the cult classic TV series, “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” The show got a reboot on Netflix this summer. We talk with series creator Joel Hodgson.

Ryan McFadin

The Breakroom returns to discuss Woody Allen’s comments on the “Me Too” campaign, and check out some upcoming Star Wars and Marvel films. We also talk about Georgia’s commitment to high speed rail, why boxing is less popular than it was, and if the infamous jewel thief Doris Payne is actually calling it quits. Joining us this week are Donnie Leapheart, Steve Brown, Kalena Boller, and Natalie Pawelski.

Musical acts from all over the world come to Atlanta this weekend for the Afropunk Music Festival. One group performing is Georgia’s own, Algiers. Their latest album is called “The Underside of Power.” GPB’s Sean Powers catches up with lead singer, Franklin James Fisher.

NBC

The Breakroom gang joins guest host Adam Ragusea to weigh in on the week's news. The panel includes Democratic strategist Howard Franklin, Editorial Page Editor Charles Richardson of the Telegraph in Macon, Amy Condon of the Refinery Writing Studio, and writer Jessica Szilagyi of AllOnGeorgia.com.

The less money you have, the more careful you are likely to be in spending it. That’s one find in Rachel Schneider’s new book, “The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope In A World Of Uncertainty.” It follows the lives of low- and middle-income households as they try and manage their money. We sit down with Rachel Schneider to talk about her book, and the personal side of planning. Rachel Schneider will be at Savannah's Armstrong Center on October 12 from 8:30-10 a.m.

Hurricane Maria slammed the entire U.S. territory of Puerto Rico two weeks ago. Maria came hard on the havoc of other storms, leaving the entire island dreadfully damaged, flooded, without basic necessities, and difficulty distributing what they did have, and no electricity. Nearly 90,000 Puerto Ricans live in Georgia, nearly a fourth of them in Cobb and Gwinnett Counties. Cynthia Román-Hernández is a Managing Director with the Latin American Association in Atlanta, and her husband Juan Carlos Rodriguez is an assistant professor at Georgia Tech.

U.S. Department of Defense

Hurricane Maria slammed the entire U.S. territory of Puerto Rico two weeks ago. Maria came hard on the havoc of other recent storms, leaving the entire island damaged, flooded, without basic necessities, with disrupted supply lines and no electricity.

John Locher / The Associated Press

The death toll in Las Vegas now stands at 59. More than 500 more people were injured in the shooting and the stampede that followed, but amid the carnage, there are stories of heroism. Gail Davis attended the music festival where a gunman shot people from the the 32nd floor of a nearby hotel. She told CBS News one police officer led her to safety under a tent.

 

Wikipedia.org

The Biltmore House, in Asheville, North Carolina was once home to a branch of the super-wealthy Vanderbilt family. Now, it attracts a million people a year to the sprawling estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains. There’s a long history of opulence and intrigue there. But it is also where the original idea of sustainable forestry was born in America. All that and more is explored in a new book by New York Times best-selling author Denise Kiernan. “The Last Castle” hit shelves in late September, and Denise Kiernan is in Atlanta on October 2 to appear at the Carter Presidential Library.

Goldstar

Chicken is the most popular meat in America. And Georgia is the top chicken producer in the nation. Joining us is author, Maryn McKenna. Her book “Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats,” explores the role antibiotics play in transforming our food. 

Georgia has submitted a new plan to hold public schools accountable for student performance. The updates are more lenient on testing. Governor Deal says intense testing is critical to hold schools accountable, but the state Superintendent says we must avoid a “measure, pressure, and punish” culture. We talk with Ty Tagami of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Also Dana Rickman, Director of Policy and Research with the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education.

Dirk Lammers / AP Photo

Georgia has submitted a new plan to hold public schools accountable for student performance. The updates are more lenient on testing. Governor Deal says intense testing is critical to hold schools accountable, but the state superintendent says we must avoid a “measure, pressure, and punish” culture.

In the wake of back-to-back natural disasters, insurance companies are flooded with claims for destroyed property. For many, there's doubt about the willingness and ability of those insurance providers to handle the millions of dollars in damage. We sit down with Carrie Teegardin, an investigative reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, to discuss her reporting as part of our occasional series, “AJC Investigates.” 

Ryan McFadin / GPB

The Breakroom returns! We discuss silent protests at NFL games, Trump’s antagonizing North Korea, and Twitter’s decision to expand the length of tweets to 280 characters. We also remember some hard goodbyes, Saudi Arabia, and critique HuffPost’s Atlanta Playlist. Joining us this week are Roxanne Donovan, Hector Fernandez, Tomika DePriest, and Greg Williams.

 

 

In the wake of back-to-back natural disasters, there’s doubt about the willingness and ability of insurance companies to handle a flood of claims for destroyed property. We sit down with an investigative reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Carrie Teegardin, to discuss her in-depth reporting, part of our occasional series, “AJC Investigates.”  We add two more tunes to our ever-growing Georgia Playlist. Evan Leima is the frontman and singer for Athens-based Dream Culture. They perform at Seeds of Sound Festival in Sparta this Saturday, Sept.

Cat ownership is subject to a lot of debate. Inside or outside, claws or no? We’ll hear how GPB’s Sean Powers comes nose to nose with the conflict, then we talk with Barbara King, an Emerita Professor of Anthropology at the College of William and Mary, about the ethics of cat ownership.

Athens-based band, Drive-by Truckers was co-founded by friends Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley in 1996. We revisit an interview with Patterson Hood about the band’s latest album, “American Band,” before Drive-by Truckers play this Friday, Sept. 29, at Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse.

Twillio

Atlanta gets more robocalls than any other city in the United States. If that’s not bad enough, in August the city broke its own record for the number of times mass marketers, pre-recorded commercial pests, pleaders, and politicians annoyed people via phone in one month. On top of that, Hurricane Irma only made this problem worse. Maureen Mahoney, Public Policy Fellow at Consumers Union joins us.

Indigo Girls -- no “the” -- have been hits since their first release in 1985. One of the most successful and influential Georgia-formed groups, the folk rock pair have gone platinum and won a Grammy, too. They have a show tonight, Sept. 27, at Atlanta Symphony Hall with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. We revisit an interview with one half of the group, Amy Ray.

The Atlanta Music Project

American orchestras have a diversity problem. People of color make up only about four percent of the musicians in U.S. symphonies. The Atlanta Music Project is looking to change that. They provide free instruments and lessons to underserved kids in southwest Atlanta, in the hopes of getting them interested in classical music careers.

Atlanta History Center

Former Spelman College President Beverly Daniel Tatum  is on a long quest to understand of psychology of racism. In 1997, she wrote a book about called ”Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race.” Twenty years later, Tatum has updated the book. We talk with her ahead of an appearance Tuesday night, September 26, at the Atlanta History Center.

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