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

Leighton Rowell / GPB

Georgia is a hub of multiculturalism.

 

At Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, there’s a new class tapping into that topic. It's called "Literary Tribalism: How to Read Race, Class, Nation & Gender."

May is Older Americans Month. In 2017, Georgia ranked 41st in the nation for senior health. GPB Special Correspondent Celeste Headlee talked about the state of our elder care system with Kathy Floyd, executive director for the Georgia Council on Aging, and Glenn Ostir, director of the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Georgia.

Adam Ragusea / Center for Collaborative Journalism

In a predominantly Latino immigrant neighborhood outside of Warner Robins, a woman got up and headed to work.

She has asked not to be identified, so that coming forward about what happened next on that recent morning won’t be used against her, as she fights to stay in the country she’s called home for 15 years.

As she drove away, the woman said, she saw a Houston County sheriff’s deputy parked at a house near hers.

“He was waiting,” she said in Spanish.

The face of local news in Macon, Georgia, is changing. After nearly four decades, Friday is Oby Brown's last day at The Telegraph in Macon. Brown's departure comes amid what another outgoing editor called a "transformation" of the newspaper. Brown joined us in the studio to discuss the way local news is changing and reflect on his longtime career covering the news in middle Georgia. 

Leighton Rowell / GPB

This week we talked about the psychology of newlyweds, an unsung civil rights hero and the future of local news. So, as always, we invited a group of smart people to help us break down the week's biggest headlines.

Natalie Pawelski, vice president of Cater Communications, conservative radio host Greg Williams, Kennesaw State University Roxanne Donovan and Decatur-based author Nicki Salcedo joined this week's Breakroom.

Adam Ragusea / GPB

The face of local news in Macon, Georgia, is changing. After nearly four decades, Friday is Oby Brown's last day at The Telegraph in Macon. 

Last month, investigators in Atlanta recovered about 500 pounds of methamphetamine hidden inside Disney figurines. That's worth about $2 million. Drug Enforcement Administration officials not only say that Atlanta is a hub for crystal meth distribution; according to the DEA, meth also the "No. 1 threat" in the metro area.

Sanford Health / Flickr

A new study from Johns Hopkins University finds that 1 in 8 organ transplants in the United States involves organs from someone who died of a drug overdose, adding another set of ethical questions to a hot-button issue.

 

With higher rates of homelessness and poverty, as well as diseases such as HIV, the demographic makeup of donors who have died of overdoses is radically different from that of the “normal” pool of organ donors.

 

Could organs from patients who overdosed actually pose health risks to the people who receive them? To answer this question, we turned to Dr. Christine Durand, who co-authored the study.

 

Radspunk / Wikimedia Commons

Last month, investigators in Atlanta recovered about 500 pounds of methamphetamine hidden inside Disney figurines. That's worth about $2 million. Drug Enforcement Administration officials not only say that Atlanta is a hub for crystal meth distribution; according to the DEA, meth also the "No. 1 threat" in the metro area.

New research on anxiety in the workplace finds in some cases, anxiety can actually help improve employee performance. Georgia State University psychology professor Page Anderson developed a technology to help people with social anxiety by using virtual reality. The software simulates real life settings that cause patients anxiety, helping them learn to cope before they have to confront the same scenarios in the real world. 

The Carolina Parakeet was a wild bird in lots of senses of the word; it flew throughout the Southeast and Midwest, including along the Georgia coast. Revolutionary War soldiers and Manifest Destiny explorers journaled about their bright green plumage and “disagreeable screams.” And they were thought to be poisonous, because they ate cocklebur seeds that were harmless to them but toxic to cats hoping for a feathered meal. The birds went extinct at the beginning of the 20th century. Now, researcher Kevin Burgio is using their migration patterns and physiology as a means to explore how we can save at-risk species today.

Courtesy of Thomas Dunne Books / Courtesy of U.S. State Department

Stuart Eizenstat has worn many hats: U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, international lawyer.

 

He was also President Jimmy Carter's chief domestic policy adviser, a position which served as the basis for his new book, "President Carter: The White House Years."

 

In the history, Eizenstat details what he says is the underappreciated legacy of the Carter administration.

 

Among the accomplishments of President Carter that Eizenstat describes are the peace negotiations Carter facilitated between Egypt and Israel. Carter also passed the country's first comprehensive energy policy and deregulated some of America's biggest industries, including communications.

John James Audubon / Wikimedia Commons

The Carolina Parakeet was a wild bird in lots of senses of the word; it flew throughout the Southeast and Midwest, including along the Georgia coast. Revolutionary War soldiers and Manifest Destiny explorers journaled about their bright green plumage and “disagreeable screams.” And they were thought to be poisonous, because they ate cocklebur seeds that were harmless to them but toxic to cats hoping for a feathered meal.

The birds went extinct at the beginning of the 20th century. Now, researchers are using their migration patterns and physiology as a means to explore how we can save at-risk species today.

On Second Thought For Friday, April 27, 2018

Apr 27, 2018

It’s been seven months since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. Blackouts continue. Utility crews on the island are still in emergency restoration mode. As recovery continues on the island, Georgia Tech’s Economic Development Lab (EDL) has opened free office space in Atlanta’s Tech Square to entrepreneurs and researchers from Puerto Rico. It's an expansion of a program Georgia Tech has had in place since 2012.

Rodrigo Ferrari / Wikimedia Commons

This week we talked about racist robots, climate change and autism awareness. So, as we do every Friday, we sat down with our Breakroom guests to process the week's biggest news stories.  We were joined in the studio by Georgia State University professors Héctor Fernández, Soumaya Khalifa, executive director of the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta, Fayette County commissioner Steve Brown and Korea Daily reporter HB Cho. 

Courtesy of Special Kneads and Treats

April is Autism Awareness Month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 1 in 68 U.S. children is on the autism spectrum.

 

Ten years ago, Tempa and Michael Kohler opened Special Kneads and Treats, a bakery in Lawrenceville. Like many bakeries, they make delicious cakes and other sweets treats. But what's special about the Kohlers' bakery is the employees: adults with disabilities.

Leighton Rowell / GPB

It’s been seven months since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. Blackouts continue. Utility crews on the island are still in emergency restoration mode.

 

As recovery continues on the island, Georgia Tech’s Economic Development Lab (EDL) has opened free office space in Atlanta’s Tech Square to entrepreneurs and researchers from Puerto Rico. It's an expansion of a program Georgia Tech has had in place since 2012.

Jamily Ali Pons, a biomedical student from Puerto Rico's Inter-American University, is one researcher continuing her work in the EDL.

For Mark Sanchez, being a peach grower means "you pretty much stay worried all year. That's because for peaches to bloom in the spring, peach trees have to stay cold in the winter. At Lane Southern Orchards in Fort Valley, Georgia, that means getting 650-850 "chill hours" — or hours under 45 degrees Fahrenheit — between November and February. But last year, conditions didn't even come within range. By Sanchez's estimate, Fort Valley only got about 550 cold hours. Whereas a typical peach season goes through mid-August, Lane wrapped up operations in early July. So after this year's cold winter, Sanchez, Lane's CEO, is more optimistic. We talked to him about what we can expect from this year's peach season and what makes Georgia the peach state even though other states have surpassed our production levels. 

James Palinsad / Flickr

A new study from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation finds disparities in breast cancer outcomes among African-American women compared to white women.

 

This follows a 2016 Cancer Epidemiology study that found that of any U.S. city, Atlanta had the widest gap in breast cancer mortality rates between African-American women and white women. That’s with 44 black patients per 100,000 residents dying, compared to 20 per 100,000 white women.

 

Courtesy of the Peabody Awards

Every year, the George Foster Peabody Awards honor “stories that matter.” Founded and archived at the University of Georgia, the awards are often called the Pulitzer Prize of broadcast.

Between several categories — individual/institutional, documentary, entertainment, news, radio/podcast and public service — 60 finalists are chosen. From those 60, the Peabody Awards board of jurors selects 30 winners. The board's decisions must be unanimous.

This year's winners include HBO's "Insecure," Netflix's "Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King," Vice News's coverage of the violent neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the "S-Town podcast" from This American Life and Serial.

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