Grant Blankenship

Reporter

Grant came to public media after a career spent in newspaper photojournalism. As an all platform journalist he seeks to wed the values of public radio storytelling and the best of photojournalism online.

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Grant Blankenship / GPB

Plans for a clinic that would provide abortion access drew protest in Macon. 

About 150 anti-abortion protesters sang, prayed and held sometimes medically graphic posters outside the proposed location of a Summit Medical Center clinic in downtown Macon. Summit Medical Center operates a clinic in Atlanta and another in Detroit.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

A string of 32 arsons that began in January in Macon-Bibb County has almost doubled the pace of firefighting in the county.

There were 11 arsons in April alone. Macon-Bibb County Fire Chief Marvin Riggins says in a typical month, firefighters here tackle five or six serious, fully involved house fires. 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 


 

There’s a little dirt path leading from Pio Nono Avenue to what until not too long ago was a Kroger grocery store. The store’s closed now.

 

One morning before the closure, Shon Williams walked down the path, headed toward her apartment. Like a lot of people in this neighborhood, she can afford groceries, but she can’t afford a car.

You find all kinds of things in drawers when you're getting ready to move. Expired credit cards. Single socks. Concert tickets. Chargers from old phones. Two-foot-long dead squirrels.

Well, maybe not the squirrels - unless you're a scientist moving to a new lab. That's what happened in the Biology Department at Mercer University in Macon, Ga.

The music of Macon based band Mani exists at a nexus of styles.

The vocals are pushed deep into the mix of their first real release, icanthearwhattheyresayingbutithinkigetit, the better to focus on their mix of world music, math rock, noise and psychedelia.

Guitarist Zach Farr said the project started with his composing and recording on his own until a live band, featuring drummer Steve Ledbetter, started to jel sometime around 2013.

 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

  

 

The things you find in drawers when you move.

Old credit cards. Single socks. Concert tickets. Phone chargers. Two foot long dead squirrels.

Well, maybe not the squirrels. Unless you’re a scientist moving to a new lab that is. Biologists save all kinds stuff to look at later. Take the science department at Mercer University in Macon for instance.

Grant Blankenship/GPB

Students across Georgia walked out of class today, as part of a nationwide protest against gun violence and to remember the victims of last month’s school shooting in Florida. Some school systems encouraged students to participate, while others said those who take part could face consequences. We begin our look at the protests with GPB’s Maura Currie.

Highlights from schools that participated in the protest around Georgia: 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

 

Three years ago, a coyote with ice blue eyes lay stock still as scientists took her blood, weighed her, and fixed a GPS collar around her neck on a dirt road next to a field near Augusta.

 

Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday morning Dick's Sporting Goods announced it would no longer sell firearms to anyone under 21. They also would stop selling assault-style rifles and high capacity magazines.

GPB's Grant Blankenship asked Dick's Sporting Good shoppers about how they felt on the new policy.

Richard Spencer

On March 1st, Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources will open its second annual Coyote Challenge. It invites hunters to present coyotes they’ve killed in exchange for the chance to win some free prizes. The mysterious southern coyote is considered a nuisance to some people and other wildlife. First, we heard a report from GPB’s Grant Blankenship on researchers who catch and release coyotes to give them GPS tags. Then we were joined by Chris Mowry, associate professor of Biology at Berry College and cofounder of the Atlanta Coyote Project, to talk more about the Coyote Challenge.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Racial disparities in home lending, a practice sometimes called redlining, is alive and well in the United States.

That's the big picture takeaway from new data analysis by the Associated Press and the Center for Investigative Reporting of two years of mortgage lending.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

 

Macon’s Target store is closed. When Target announced it was closing a dozen stores across the country, people in Macon were disappointed to learn the Presidential Parkway store on the was on the list.

If there was an upshot, it was the going out of business sale. That’s how Robert and Mikieoel Revels loaded up with the children’s clothes they had when they left the store a few weeks before it closed with their son Noah. Though they were happy for the bargains, Robert Revels said he wasn’t happy to lose the store.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

There's no future in crabbing.

That's the conclusion Earnest McIntosh, Sr. came to when his son, Ernest McIntosh, Jr. said he wanted to work with his father on the water near their home in Harris Neck, Ga., in McIntosh County. 

"I couldn't see a future into crabbing. But I could see it into oysters," McIntosh, Sr. said. 

That's farmed oysters. Earnest Sr. grew up watching his father work on a crab boat. Earnest Jr. did the same with his dad. Tending to metal cages of oysters spread around the marshland that they lease is what they are hoping will allow them to continue the tradition. 

Mashama Bailey is a fan. Bailey is the head, James Beard Award nominated chef at The Grey restaurant in Savannah. Harris Neck oysters are the first item on the online menu for the restaurant in face.

On a drive from Savannah to Florida, Bailey said she caught the odor of Harris Neck oysters on the wind. 

"They're marshy and funky but they're also clean and salty at the same time," Bailey said. 

In this short film, head out onto the water near Harris Neck where the oysters are farmed with Bailey and the McIntoshes. 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

Georgia Power’s expansion of nuclear power at Plant Vogtle is still alive following a unanimous vote by the state’s Public Service Commission.

Cindy Hill / GPB

Think Christmas music and there are sounds that probably jump to mind. 

There's Bing Crosby, Vince Guaraldi, maybe Handel's "Messiah." Well, as it turns out, one of the oldest African-American musical traditions is also tied to Christmas.

That's the Ring Shout, still performed by the Geechee and Gullah people of the Georgia and South Carolina coast.

Don't know the Shout? Meet the McIntosh County Ring Shouters. We caught up with them introducing their music to children at a recent Savannah Music Festival Musical Explorers concert.  

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