Emily Cureton

Reporter

Emily Cureton is a reporter for GPB News.  Her background includes producing and hosting public radio, newspaper reporting and studying foreign languages. She's lived in New York, Texas, California and Oregon; spent time in Russia, and road-tripped through Mexico and Central America. She might help you finish that crossword puzzle, or get overly competitive during a friendly game of Scrabble. And when she's not enjoying the power of words: she's probably outside, sniffing around and greeting strangers with her best friend, Hank the cow dog.  

To reach her call: 404 - 685 - 2455 .

Emily Cureton/GPB

One week after 17 people were shot and killed at a Florida high school, gun safety advocates rallied at the Georgia Capitol Wednesday morning. 

What would you do for true love? How about travel back in time, to the middle of bloody war you already know ends badly for your beloved? That’s the dilemma of the heroine in the “Outlander” series of novels. Since the first book came out 27 years ago, the story has spawned a television series, a graphic novel and even a musical. All this was born from the mind of author Diana Gabaldon, who holds advanced degrees in marine biology and behavioral ecology. Gabaldon visits with us before an appearance at the Savannah Book Festival, 6 p.m. , February 15.

Wikimedia Commons / Larry Moats, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Mountain lions, pumas, panthers... Whatever you call them, big cats once roamed every U.S. state. But they’ve long been a ghostly presence east of the Mississippi. This year, federal wildlife managers officially declared the Eastern Cougar extinct. The last confirmed sighting was in 1938.  Key word there is confirmed. People still report seeing cougars in the South. Take Todd Lester. He’s a former president of the Eastern Cougar Foundation. We hear about his close encounter.

A record number of guns were confiscated in 2017 at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. According to the Transportation Security Administration, 245 guns were caught. All but 23 were loaded. This increase follows a national trend. But for yet another year, the Atlanta airport leads the nation in the number of guns found. We talk about why with Kelly Yamanouchi, a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution who focuses on airport-related stories. Also Tom Barton, a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer.

This week, we learned that the Federal Emergency Management Agency canceled the contract of an Atlanta-based company operating in Puerto Rico.

The reason? That Atlanta company was really just one woman.

She promised to deliver 30 million meals to the people of Puerto Rico... but only delivered 50,000.

GPB’s Emily Cureton reports from Río Grande, Puerto Rico.

RICKEY BEVINGTON: Emily, tell us about this Atlanta based enterprise called Tribute Contracting.

Georgia could make it more difficult for underage girls to get an abortion. Legislation filed in the Georgia state Senate would require underage girls to justify why they should be allowed to avoid notifying a parent or guardian if they are getting an abortion. At the federal level, President Trump has vowed to see the Roe v. Wade decision overturned. We move away from the political side the abortion debate, and focus on the science. For that, we talked with Didi Saint Louis, an Atlanta-based physician for reproductive health.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Last month, the DeKalb County Commission voted to relocate the Confederate monument in Decatur Square. But state law is tricky, and the county’s options are limited. What is the process for getting a monument successfully taken down? What legal barriers will make the effort difficult? We ask these questions with Elena Parent, state Senator for Decatur.

 

 

Noir stories are dark, sometimes scary, and in a new anthology, also distinctly Southern. Tayari Jones is the editor and co-author of “Atlanta Noir.” She joined the Georgia Authors Hall of Fame this year, and we spoke with her back in August.

 

The Tide Pod Challenge has sent dozens of people, many of them young teens, to hospitals across the country. Eating laundry detergent may seem like a new level of stupidity, but kids and adolescents have been doing dumb things to impress each other for a long time. And, despite first appearances, there might actually be good reasons why. Joining us to talk through this are Catherine O’Neal, Assistant Research Scientist at UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences, and Jay Hathaway, Senior Writer at the Daily Dot.

This is the first year Atlanta has a police officer dedicated to handling cases of animal cruelty. The position was created at the end of 2017 by the city’s police Chief Erika Shields. The first officer to fill the post is Patrol Officer Amy Soeldner, a 22-year veteran of the force. We talk to Soeldner about solving and preventing crimes of cruelty to animals.

For more than 35 years, The Weather Channel has been on the frontlines of some of the biggest stories in the world. Literally. Longtime meteorologist John Coleman co-founded the Atlanta-based television network in 1982. He died earlier this month. The Weather Channel has played a major role in shaping our understanding of the environment. We talk about this with Weather Channel CEO Dave Shull.

www.julielythcotthaims.com

Julie Lythcott-Haims is the seventh generation of her family to grow up in the United States.  And yet, she is still asked, over and over: “Where are you really from?” She responds eloquently in her new memoir: “Real American.”

civilrightstrail.com

This month Southern tourism departments banded together to unveil The U.S. Civil Rights Trail. The trail links 110 historic sites, from Kansas to Delaware. These are places where the struggle for equality for African Americans left a mark.

The GOP tax bill has many concerned the law will negatively impact the middle class while bolstering the rich. But a new study from the union Actors Equity finds another problem: the tax bill could also harm Georgia’s film industry. They looked at how the plan might reduce deductions and reimbursements for contractors and part-time film workers. We talk about this with Chris Joyner with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution -- he writes the AJC Watchdog column. Also Craig Miller, Film Producer and Founder of Craig Miller Productions.

University of South Carolina Press

Fifty years ago, babies in the U.S. were three times more likely to die before reaching a first birthday. And the problems driving infant and maternal mortality were even worse in rural areas. Diane Cantor set out to be part of a change. She left college in the early 1970s to work for a federal program providing prenatal care to women in North Georgia. Her experiences inspired a novel called “When Nighttime Shadows Fall.” Diane Cantor lives in Savannah.

Fifty years ago, babies in the U.S. were three times more likely to die before reaching a first birthday. And the problems driving infant and maternal mortality were even worse in rural areas. Diane Cantor set out to be part of a change. She left college in the early 1970s to work for a federal program providing prenatal care to women in North Georgia. Her experiences inspired a novel called “When Nighttime Shadows Fall.” Diane Cantor lives in Savannah. We talk to her ahead of an appearance on January 30 at A Cappella Books in Atlanta.

Astralytical

A report on Camden County’s bid for a spaceport came out a few months ago. Laura Forczyk is an author of it, and the owner of Astralytical. The Atlanta-based consulting firm is working for Camden County on developing its plans for a launch site and space education center, which supporters say will bolster the economy.

Wikimedia Commons / From Riverside Natural History, by permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Co.

Cumberland Island is 14 miles of beaches, forests and marshes. Ecologist Carol Ruckdeschel has lived among the plants and animals there for 45 years. Her observations are presented in a recently published book: “A Natural History of Cumberland Island Georgia.”

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