Emily Cureton

Assignment Editor / Producer - On Second Thought

Emily Cureton is an assignment editor / producer for "On Second Thought." Her background includes producing and hosting public radio, newspaper reporting and studying foreign languages. Emily'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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Last week President Trump disparaged professional football players for kneeling during the national anthem. The president’s comments generated gestures of unity at NFL games Sunday and Monday night. The Atlanta Falcons were among the many players, coaches and owners who locked arms during the anthem to protest racial injustice. Fifty years ago two Olympic athletes brought this kind of silent protest to the medal podium. Track stars Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists during the ceremony.

Last week President Trump disparaged professional football players for kneeling during the national anthem. The president’s comments generated gestures of unity at NFL games Sunday. The Atlanta Falcons were among the many players, coaches and owners who locked arms during the anthem to protest racial injustice. Fifty years ago two Olympic athletes brought this kind of silent protest to the medal podium. Track stars Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists during the ceremony.

Georgia Tech student Scout Schultz was shot and killed after provoking campus police officers. Schultz had a history of mental health issues and suicide attempts. Anxiety and depression are common in high pressure schools like Georgia Tech. We talk about the mental health of college students with Tim Elmore, President of Growing Leaders, which works to raise awareness of mental health in young adults. Also joining us is Collin Spencer, External Relations Committee Chair for the Mental Health Student Coalition at Georgia Tech.

Is Atlanta at risk of overcrowding? Last month, The Atlanta Regional Commission reported nearly 80,000 new people in the metro region since just last year -- the highest growth rate since the Great Recession. How this will affect more than your commute, like your rent, and your space to walk down the street, has yet to be seen. We talk with Mike Carnathan, a researcher with the Atlanta Regional Commission, and Chris Leinberger, a business professor at George Washington University.

The South has seen its Hispanic population increase 43 percent between 2007 and 2014, according to the Pew Research Center. The story of the 1996 Olympic Games is key to understanding the Latino boom in Atlanta, and in the South more broadly.

The fallout from the data breach at Atlanta-based Equifax is far and wide. At the end of July, the credit rating company learned it had been hacked, leaving personal information of more than 140 million people exposed. But that revelation wasn’t made public until this month. Now the company is facing a number of lawsuits, investigations, and a massive stock price hit. We talk with Atlanta-Journal Constitution reporter Tamar Hallerman, who has been following this story from Capitol Hill.

It’s time for our regular roundup of movies and television shows currently filming in Georgia. We talk with AJC Buzz Blog writer Jennifer Brett about the new Ant-Man movie, Kevin Hart’s latest comedy, and the much-awaited second season of the FX show "Atlanta."

A recent study done by the Department of Labor shows that employed Americans spend more time working than on any other activity during the hours they are awake.  Of them, many say they dislike where they work, but few really do love their jobs. The Atlanta Business Chronicle just released its annual list of the best places to work here in the city.  Joining us to talk about the keys to workplace happiness is Tom Conklin, Clinical Associate Professor of Managerial Sciences at Georgia State University.

GPB News

As the world comes to grips with the unprecedented damage of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, millions of Americans in the southeastern United States are working to rebuild their lives. Irma crossed into Georgia in the early morning hours of Monday, September 11, 2017. Over the next 24 hours, water inundated island and beach communities over 100 miles of coastline. Winds topping 69 miles per hour toppled trees and power lines. 1.1 million Georgians lost power and three lost their lives.

The B-52s made it big. And the iconic band from Athens takes the stage in their home state tonight, Sept. 15, at the Atlanta Symphony Hall. We revisit an interview with founding member Kate Pierson.

Hurricane Irma put a lot of lives on hold. But for Jacob Gmitter of Lakeland, Florida, there was one thing that just couldn’t wait. GPB reporter Grant Blankenship brings us the story of a young saxophonist on the road.

The number of high-poverty neighborhoods in the metro Atlanta area tripled between 2000 and 2015. That’s according to a new Harvard study, which finds poverty is largely moving to the many suburbs surrounding the city. We talk about this with Kim Addie, Senior Director of Health for United Way of Atlanta. Michael Rich, a Professor in the Department of Political Science at Emory University, also joins us.

Animal shelters in Georgia are at capacity. As millions fled the storms this week, many pet owners left their furry friends in shelters across the state. We talk about how shelters are accommodating the overcrowding with Tracey Belew, Shelter Manager for the Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare Department.

As Hurricane Irma hit Georgia, hundreds of evacuated horses, goats and cows sheltered at the Georgia National Fairgrounds south of Macon. GPB's Emily Cureton brings us an audio postcard.

Hurricane Irma has made landfall, and is working its way up our state. The remnants of Irma were downgraded to a tropical storm, but that storm remains a major threat. We checked in with National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Nadler and GPB reporter Emily Jones.

Author Greg Iles has sold millions of books. He’s written 15 novels, 12 of which have been New York Times best sellers. His latest novel is “Mississippi Blood” -- the final installment of a trilogy that he began eight years ago. We revisited our conversation with Greg Iles from back in March.

GPB News/Grant Blankenship

Hundreds of thousands of Georgians are without power as rain and wind whips through the state, downing trees and damaging power lines. In Macon, many people are sheltering at facilities managed by the Red Cross and local churches. 

Emily Cureton / GPB News

Middle Georgia is bracing for tropical storm force winds by Monday afternoon. This news put many evacuees staying in RVs back on the road. At a campground outside of Macon, most campers cleared out Sunday. But a few Floridians decided to stay put.

Emily Cureton / GPB News

Hundreds of animals and their humans have evacuated to the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricultural Center in Perry, Georgia, ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Horses are welcomed with a free stall, three bags of shavings and access to the arenas. State veterinary regulations are suspended for animals coming from Florida and within the state of Georgia. As of Saturday morning, nearly 200 horses were on site, with at least as many humans tending to them. Barn managers say the facility can hold 350 horses in stalls, but no one will be turned away.

Hurricane Irma is howling towards the Southeast. A state of emergency has been declared for 94 Georgia counties. The hurricane is one of the strongest ever recorded in the Atlantic. Joining us to talk about how best to prepare for this mammoth storm is John Knox, Professor of Geography at the University of Georgia.

What if your dog could talk? Georgia Tech researchers have developed a vest that can help service dogs communicate. Melody Jackson leads the initiative, and she’s the director of Georgia Tech’s Center for BioInterface Research. We talk about canine communication with her, and with Greg Berns. He directs the Center for Neuropolicy at Emory University, and is author of the new book, “What It's Like to Be a Dog: And Other Adventures in Animal Neuroscience.”

Rachel Parker

A flood devastated Rome, Georgia in 1886. According to local lore the waters rose high enough for a steamboat to float down Broad Street, the town’s main thoroughfare. This event inspired city leaders to elevate the street, and all the buildings along it. Business owners recently opened up their basement doors for people to tour the remains of old Rome. We took the tour, and brought back this audio postcard. 

Barbecue is truly Southern food.  Almost everyone has an opinion on the best way to cook, flavor and serve barbecue. But it’s controversial for another reason. Barbecue has roots in slavery and some popular restaurants have decidedly racist pasts.  We talked about the political side to barbecue with Kathleen Purvis, food writer with the Charlotte Observer. Chuck Reece, Editor for the Bitter Southerner, and Michael Twitty, a food writer and historian, also joined.

Hurricane Harvey displaced tens of thousands of people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes across the Southeast. Even though the storm has passed, there’s a long road to recovery. Georgia-based MAP International is one of the relief organizations helping the storm’s victims. We check in with the group’s CEO, Steve Stirling.

GPB News/Emily Cureton

In South Georgia’s Wiregrass Country, a plaque in the town of Quitman marks a hanging place. It’s where, in August of 1864, four men were executed for plotting a slave rebellion. Over the next century, mob violence against African-Americans often erupted in South Georgia.

This is where our Senior Editor Don Smith was born and raised. He moved away in 1958. Don recently went back to his hometown to mark the anniversary of the Civil War hanging, and talk with longtime residents about how they remember the county’s history of racial violence. GPB's Emily Cureton reports. 

Ayyyy! Henry Winkler is coming to Georgia this week for the Decatur Book Festival. He’s the co-creator of a popular children’s book series that centers on Hank Zipzer, a young boy with learning difficulties. Henry Winkler joined us to talk about his life and writing.

Regina Bradley, writer and hip-hop scholar, is author of the recently released “Boondock Kollage: New Stories from the Contemporary Black South.” The collection offers 12 short stories chronicling Southern life in the post-civil rights era. Regina joined us earlier this year.

Among the legendary music acts to come out of Athens in the ‘70s was the band Pylon. The group had been a local mainstay until 2009, when guitarist Randall Bewley passed away. But singer Vanessa Briscoe Hay recently revived the band into the newly formed Pylon Reenactment Society. They have a new EP, called “Part Time Punks Session,” coming out this fall. We talk with Vanessa Briscoe Hay and drummer Joe Rowe about the new music.

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