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


Odds are good you have never heard of Emmett Miller. Not too long ago, neither had Ben Arthur.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

What do kids need for success in school? Good textbooks? Great teachers? Sure. But there are some intangibles, too.

Three former sheriff’s deputies in Washington County, Georgia face murder charges. A man they tased this summer died. The incident was captured on video. We talked with GPB’s Grant Blankenship, who is following the case.

 

  

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

Most school days You can find Jared Moore teaching freshman English at Northeast High School in Macon.


On a recent morning, students all faced each other, with their desks arranged in a room filling oval. Before they got to discussing the day’s text, Moore brought the class to attention.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

What did you do the last time your toaster broke? Or your smart phone? 

If you said you threw it out, you aren't alone. So in an age when its more the habit to toss electronics than to fix them, why would you teach high school students how to put together a circuit board? 

Well, not everything is digital. And some stuff can't be replaced.

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.

Grant Blankenship

When Hurricane Irma took out the power in Marshallville, Georgia, Monday, it took the water pump behind City Hall with it. 

Since then, the 1,500 or so residents of Marshallville have had no drinking water. Officials with Georgia's Environmental Protection Division said eight South Georgia water systems are under boil advisories with more to come soon. That's where Marshallville Chief of Police Ronald Jackson said the city finds itself now that the power is back on and the water is running.

Irma: Recovery Continues; 158k Without Power In Georgia

Sep 11, 2017
Grant Blankenship

The contents of a child’s room–baby dolls, blankets, toys–line the ditch in front of Cary Westbrook’s house in Radium Springs not far outside Albany. She hasn’t lived there since January. The windows are nailed dark with nine month old plywood and the roof is gone.

 

“It’s not habitable at all. At all,” Westbrook said.

 

NOAA

 

 

Hotels across the South are booking up, as people leave the coast ahead of Hurricane Irma.

All it takes is a quick look at any of the online booking sites to see. Georgia’s hotel rooms are sold out. Brigette Lee is the director of sales of the Holiday Inn on the north side of Macon, Georgia. She says people leaving the South Carolina barrier islands beat Floridians to the punch by looking for rooms as long ago as last Friday.

Jessica Gurell / GPB

Every day in the United States 91 people die of opioid overdose. That includes prescription opiates and heroin. Over a year, that’s more than ten times the number of people who died on 9/11. On today’s “On Second Thought,” we’re going to hear from some of the people struggling with addiction, those who offer help, and communities caught in the middle.

Jessica Gurell / GPB

Dr. James Black wants opiate drug seekers to know not to look in his emergency room.

“You know, we're not going to be easy prey, so to speak, for people with repeated usage,” Black said. Black is the director of emergency medicine at the Phobe Putney Medical Center in Albany.

In the context of national trends, Southwest Georgia doesn’t have it as bad as other places. Opiate use is in decline here, but Black said he has seen his fair share of overdoses.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Imagine a man going from 170 to 255 pounds before your next big trip. Ruby-throated hummingbirds fight for the chance to do just that near the end of every summer. What does that sound like? Listen here to find out. 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

 

Dependable sources of labor and a fresh look at international trade topped the wish list of farmers and other stakeholders when they met with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue Friday.

Perdue held a roundtable discussion in Tifton in his role as the head of President Trump’s Task Force on Rural Prosperity. It was the first such roundtable in the South.

“We’re here from the federal government and we’re here not to hurt you,” Perdue joked.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Three hours. 

That's about how long it takes to get from Macon's airport to Union Station in Washington, D.C. 

How? Contour Airlines is the latest air carrier to take a shot at using Macon's status as a recipient of Federal Essential Air Service subsidies as a cornerstone of their business plan. That program is under considerable threat by the Trump administration, but Contour's application was processed just before the election last November. It amounts to $4.7 million dollars in subsidies. 

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