Maura Currie

On Second Thought Producer/Reporter

This is the first year Atlanta has a police officer dedicated to handling cases of animal cruelty. The position was created at the end of 2017 by the city’s police Chief Erika Shields. The first officer to fill the post is Patrol Officer Amy Soeldner, a 22-year veteran of the force. We talk to Soeldner about solving and preventing crimes of cruelty to animals.

For more than 35 years, The Weather Channel has been on the frontlines of some of the biggest stories in the world. Literally. Longtime meteorologist John Coleman co-founded the Atlanta-based television network in 1982. He died earlier this month. The Weather Channel has played a major role in shaping our understanding of the environment. We talk about this with Weather Channel CEO Dave Shull.

Wikimedia Commons/Daniel Schwen

An Atlanta man with a history of mental illness was put in jail for almost three months recently because he couldn’t pay $500 in bail. He was released earlier this month.

Since then, the city of Atlanta has proposed changes to its cash bail system and there are calls for broader reforms across the state.

 

The GOP tax bill has many concerned the law will negatively impact the middle class while bolstering the rich. But a new study from the union Actors Equity finds another problem: the tax bill could also harm Georgia’s film industry. They looked at how the plan might reduce deductions and reimbursements for contractors and part-time film workers. We talk about this with Chris Joyner with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution -- he writes the AJC Watchdog column. Also Craig Miller, Film Producer and Founder of Craig Miller Productions.

Fifty years ago, babies in the U.S. were three times more likely to die before reaching a first birthday. And the problems driving infant and maternal mortality were even worse in rural areas. Diane Cantor set out to be part of a change. She left college in the early 1970s to work for a federal program providing prenatal care to women in North Georgia. Her experiences inspired a novel called “When Nighttime Shadows Fall.” Diane Cantor lives in Savannah. We talk to her ahead of an appearance on January 30 at A Cappella Books in Atlanta.

Southern rock band Drive-by Truckers was co-founded by friends Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley in 1996.  They still call Athens home, and they're planning a series of shows next month at the 40 Watt. We talk with Hood about the group’s latest record “American Band,” and his role as a musician in a politically tumultuous time.

Getting the flu is at best unpleasant. At worst, it can kill you.  Seven more Georgians died from the flu this month, bringing this season’s statewide death toll to twelve. And many more people end up in the hospital. The term flu shot is heard and used all the time, but not well understood. We broke it down with Emory University professor Robert Bednarczyk.

 

Maura Currie / GPB

This past weekend marked one year since President Trump’s inauguration. It was also the first anniversary of the record-breaking Women’s March. The 2017 march likely included more than 3 million people. That’s about one-and-a-half percent of the entire US population. This weekend’s marches saw more than a million people participate, and organizers are working to broaden the movement's scope and inclusivity.

 

Last week, the Coca-Cola Company unveiled an ambitious plan to recycle a bottle or can for every drink it sells. It’s the latest move by the Atlanta-based soda giant to address environmental concerns tied to its production. Will this plan work? We talk with environmental historian Bart Elmore, author of the book, “Citizen Coke: The Making of Coca-Cola Capitalism.”

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