LaRaven Taylor

On Second Thought Producer

LaRaven was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, so she’s no stranger to the south. LaRaven developed a passion for storytelling at a very young age. She became a features editor on her high school’s newspaper staff and an anchor on the school’s station. She graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in Journalism. She started working as an Associate Producer for WLBT in Jackson, MS. There, she worked her way up to become a senior producer. She also did some reporting. LaRaven is a member of NABJ and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She loves reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She lives by the quote: “I think, therefore I am” by Descartes.

A teenager in Thomasville, Georgia is facing charges for allegedly stealing a gun from a car earlier in March. We've seen this problem across the state. In 2016 The Trace, an investigative news website, examined firearm theft in Atlanta and Savannah. finding Atlanta led many cities with its rate of guns stolen from automobiles. We spoke with Brian Freskos, a reporter who covers gun trafficking for The Trace. 

Former Georgia Gov. Zell Miller, 86, died Friday morning at his home in Young Harris. Miller was best known for pioneering the lottery-funded HOPE scholarship, which has provided nearly 9.5 billion dollars in financial assistance to millions of Georgia college students since its creation in 1992. 

 

HBCUs Take Center Stage On BET's "The Quad"

Mar 26, 2018
BET

BET's “The Quad” is in its second season.

The true-to-life drama takes place on a fictional historically black college in Georgia. A majority of the production took place across several historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Atlanta.

Tullio Saba / Flickr

The estate of Harper Lee, author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," is suing over an upcoming Broadway adaptation of the classic novel. In the lawsuit, Lee's estate complains about significant differences between the book and the play, which was adapted for the stage by "The West Wing" creator Aaron Sorkin. 

Normally when you think of cherry blossoms, you think of Washington D.C. or Japan. But unbeknownst to a lot of tourists, Macon, Georgia is the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World. William A. Fickling Sr. discovered the distinctive blooms in his backyard in 1949.

Opioid addiction is a major problem in Georgia. Several years ago, Governor Nathan Deal signed the "Good Samaritan" bill. The bill was created to prevent opioid overdose deaths by giving amnesty to anyone who reports drug-related emergencies. The measure also equips law enforcement and first responders with Naloxone, a drug that can reverse overdoses if given right away.

Frankenstein has been a popular novel turned movie since it was first published in 1818. At Emory University, three Atlanta playwrights took a new look at Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with modern scientific research. They each contributed to a single show that’s being performed at the Atlanta Science Festival. We were joined by Neely Gossett and 

Frankenstein has been a popular novel turned movie since it was first published in 1818. 

At Emory University, three Atlanta playwrights took a new look at Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with modern scientific research. They each contributed to a single show that’s being performed at the Atlanta Science Festival.

Now that it’s warming up, you may consider visiting one of Georgia’s many historic monuments. The Ocmulgee National Monument near Macon was designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The most prominent features at Ocmulgee are huge earthen mounds that spread across 700 acres. Native Americans first settled there thousands of years ago. We talked with a professor at Middle Georgia State University, Matt Jennings, to learn more about the history.

Summer Evans / GPB

Georgia ranks near the top nationally for having the most human trafficking cases.

Data compiled by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center shows that this year alone, Georgia has the seventh highest rate of cases. Most involve sex trafficking.

Legislation is working its way through Congress to give prosecutors and sex trafficking victims a way to take legal action against websites, like Backpage.com, that welcome ads for prostitutes. However, some companies worry this measure could hurt the tech industry.

Atlanta’s professional soccer team has come a long way fast. Atlanta United took to the field for the first time in March 2017. Now it draws in tens of thousands of fans. Atlanta United FC squares off against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday evening at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. We talked with the team’s president, Darren Eales.

 

Last week, Gov. Nathan Deal announced his pick for Deputy Commissioner for Rural Georgia. In January, GPB Special Correspondent Celeste Headlee looked at legislative efforts to improve services like health care and internet access in rural parts of the state. She spoke with Mark Niesse, a reporter with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Sharon Wright Austin, Political Science Professor at the University of Florida.

 

A month ago, 17 people died in a mass school shooting in Florida. To remember the victims, students nationwide are walking out of their classrooms Wednesday morning in solidarity. We talked with student Lauren Bengtson of Pope High School in Cobb County. Her father, Mike, also joined the conversation.  Then, we talked with Frank LoMonte of the Student Press Law Center about whether schools can take action against students who participate in Wednesday’s walkout. 

Sean Powers / GPB

According to a study released last year by the University of Chicago, more than 4 million youth in America face homelessness every year. As part of Women’s History Month, women from all over America were in Atlanta last week for a “sleep-out” at Covenant House Georgia, an area shelter.

GPB

Last month, Atlanta’s mayor signed a measure to eliminate the city’s Municipal Court cash bond requirement for minor offenses. The alternative would be having many offenders sit in jail if they can’t afford bail. Other cities across the state are seeing similar calls to action. What does bail reform look like in other states, and what might it look like throughout Georgia?

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