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.

Ways to Connect

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. 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

In Macon, people came to the most ancient spot in town to watch the 2017 eclipse, the Temple Mound at the Ocmulgee National Monument. 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

 

Continuing disputes between the United States and Canada over lumber imports will not get in the way of a new factory announced Wednesday in Bibb County.  

 

Canada based Irving Consumer Products announced their intent to build a $400 million, 700,000 square foot plant  which will turn softwood lumber into toilet tissue in Macon. That will create 200 permanent jobs.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 


Allison Goldey says there’s one big question that makes her job hard.

“How do we even think about solving this problem without knowing what we have?” she asks.

As the head of the Macon-Bibb County Land Bank, Goldey is on the front lines of the $15 million blight remediation effort in the city. The Land Bank buys blighted houses, which the county then demolishes. The thing is, Macon-Bibb County can’t really say where its blighted housing is.

 

 

Georgia Congressman Austin Scott (R GA-08) wants to end a program that offers subsidized, low cost cell phones.

Scott introduced the End Taxpayer Funded Cell Phones Act in late July. It would end an Obama era program which provides basic smart phone service to people with low incomes for $9.25 a month.

A Nashville great at the Cox Capitol Theatre, experimental pop at the Fresh Produce Music Hall a

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

 

When students don’t come to open house, why not take open house on the road?

That’s what teachers at Hartley Elementary in Macon did the day before the first day of school this week when they piled onto a bus and toured the Hartley school zone.

Why do this? Principal Carmalita Dillard said, sure, a lot of kids missed open house, but there were other reasons.

“I want the teachers to be able to experience where our kids come from,” Dillard said.

 

 

When she was a kid, SaVana Cameron says she loved to sing.

“But I never did voice lessons or anything like that,” she said.

She didn’t get serious until her senior year of high school when she landed a solo in the musical "Annie."

“After I did the solo that night a lot of people came up to me and said ‘You have a really pretty voice,’” she said.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

On average, scores released in the 2017 Georgia Milestones end of year test show incremental but positive improvement for schools across the state. Look past the big picture, though, and schools still have ground to make up. 

Take third grade literacy, largely held as one of the best predictors of future academic achievement. Third grade literacy ranged from being almost universal in some suburban schools to being largely absent elsewhere.

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