Sean Powers

Producer/Reporter - On Second Thought

Sean Powers is a producer and reporter for "On Second Thought.” Powers is a native of the south suburbs of Chicago, and he graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Missouri.  In 2012, he completed a fellowship at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He moved to Atlanta after working as a reporter for the public radio station in Urbana, Ill. His reporting has earned him about a dozen Associated Press awards, two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, five national PRNDI awards, a first place award for best use of sound from the Atlanta Press Club, and recognition from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters. After a long week of public radio, Powers enjoys live jazz and soul food. He also mentors teenage journalists who report for VOX Teen Communications, a magazine in Atlanta. In addition to his work at GPB, he also oversees the development of several podcasts for an audio book company in Atlanta called ListenUp Audiobooks.

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DonTaé Hodge

Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on the Southeast. It was even more destructive on the Virgin Islands, where it hit as a Category 5 storm. Nearly every building was damaged, and many were completely destroyed. As Irma approached, DonTaé Hodge of Atlanta was anxiously following updates. Hodge grew up in the British Virgin Islands, and told us what it was like to be so far from home at a critical time.

Is Atlanta at risk of overcrowding? Last month, The Atlanta Regional Commission reported nearly 80,000 new people in the metro region since just last year -- the highest growth rate since the Great Recession. How this will affect more than your commute, like your rent, and your space to walk down the street, has yet to be seen. We talk with Mike Carnathan, a researcher with the Atlanta Regional Commission, and Chris Leinberger, a business professor at George Washington University.

The South has seen its Hispanic population increase 43 percent between 2007 and 2014, according to the Pew Research Center. The story of the 1996 Olympic Games is key to understanding the Latino boom in Atlanta, and in the South more broadly.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

The South has seen its Hispanic population increase 43 percent between 2007 and 2014, according to the Pew Research Center. The story of the 1996 Olympic Games is key to understanding the Latino boom in Atlanta, and in the South more broadly.

Elise Amendola / The Associated Press

The fallout from the data breach at Atlanta-based Equifax is far and wide. At the end of July, the credit rating company learned it had been hacked, leaving personal information of more than 140 million people exposed. But that revelation wasn’t made public until this month. Now the company is facing a number of lawsuits, investigations, and a massive stock price hit. We talked with Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Tamar Hallerman, who has been following this story from Capitol Hill.

The fallout from the data breach at Atlanta-based Equifax is far and wide. At the end of July, the credit rating company learned it had been hacked, leaving personal information of more than 140 million people exposed. But that revelation wasn’t made public until this month. Now the company is facing a number of lawsuits, investigations, and a massive stock price hit. We talk with Atlanta-Journal Constitution reporter Tamar Hallerman, who has been following this story from Capitol Hill.

Erika Beras for NPR

Culinary historian Michael Twitty traces his ancestry—both black and white—through food. In his memoir, "The Cooking Gene," he asks the question: "Who owns Southern food?" We talked with him ahead of his appearance on Thursday, Sept. 21 at 8 p.m.

It’s time for our regular roundup of movies and television shows currently filming in Georgia. We talk with AJC Buzz Blog writer Jennifer Brett about the new Ant-Man movie, Kevin Hart’s latest comedy, and the much-awaited second season of the FX show "Atlanta."

A recent study done by the Department of Labor shows that employed Americans spend more time working than on any other activity during the hours they are awake.  Of them, many say they dislike where they work, but few really do love their jobs. The Atlanta Business Chronicle just released its annual list of the best places to work here in the city.  Joining us to talk about the keys to workplace happiness is Tom Conklin, Clinical Associate Professor of Managerial Sciences at Georgia State University.

Nicole Abalde / flickr

Food can evoke so many rich memories. A new book by Savannah food writer Jonathan Barrett captures some of the stories tied to Southern recipes. We talked with Barrett, author of the new book, Cook & Tell. We also heard from freelance writer Amy Condon, who contributed her own story to the book.

 

Photos From Music Midtown '17: Saturday

Sep 17, 2017
Jeff Harris / GPB

The annual Music Midtown festival returns to Piedmont Park in Atlanta this weekend. Saturday was packed with big names like Bruno Mars, Blink 182, and Weezer. Our photographers didn't miss out on a minute of it. Check out our photo recap in the slideshow above.

The B-52s made it big. And the iconic band from Athens takes the stage in their home state tonight, Sept. 15, at the Atlanta Symphony Hall. We revisit an interview with founding member Kate Pierson.

Hurricane Irma put a lot of lives on hold. But for Jacob Gmitter of Lakeland, Florida, there was one thing that just couldn’t wait. GPB reporter Grant Blankenship brings us the story of a young saxophonist on the road.

the artist

The B-52s have been a major part of Georgia’s music scene since the 1970s, when it formed in Athens.

The number of high-poverty neighborhoods in the metro Atlanta area tripled between 2000 and 2015. That’s according to a new Harvard study, which finds poverty is largely moving to the many suburbs surrounding the city. We talk about this with Kim Addie, Senior Director of Health for United Way of Atlanta. Michael Rich, a Professor in the Department of Political Science at Emory University, also joins us.

Animal shelters in Georgia are at capacity. As millions fled the storms this week, many pet owners left their furry friends in shelters across the state. We talk about how shelters are accommodating the overcrowding with Tracey Belew, Shelter Manager for the Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare Department.

As Hurricane Irma hit Georgia, hundreds of evacuated horses, goats and cows sheltered at the Georgia National Fairgrounds south of Macon. GPB's Emily Cureton brings us an audio postcard.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / The Associated Press

Last week, the Trump administration announced plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program grants legal protections to people who entered the United States illegally as children. The decision left roughly 800,000 people who rely on the program in a legal limbo. People like Valentina Emilia Garcia Gonzalez.

Hurricane Irma has made landfall, and is working its way up our state. The remnants of Irma were downgraded to a tropical storm, but that storm remains a major threat. We checked in with National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Nadler and GPB reporter Emily Jones.

Author Greg Iles has sold millions of books. He’s written 15 novels, 12 of which have been New York Times best sellers. His latest novel is “Mississippi Blood” -- the final installment of a trilogy that he began eight years ago. We revisited our conversation with Greg Iles from back in March.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Georgia has welcomed thousands of people fleeing Hurricane Irma. After Hurricane Katrina, our doors were also wide open to evacuees, like the Rev. E. Leroy Brown. He had been preaching in New Orleans for nearly 20 years, when he moved to Dallas, Georgia. He shared his story of relocating after the powerful storm.

Stephen B. Morton / The Associated Press

Hurricane Irma has made landfall, and is working its way up our state. The remnants of Irma were downgraded to a tropical storm, but that storm remains a major threat. We checked in with National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Nadler and GPB reporter Emily Jones.

Shawn Mullins

We added a couple of tunes to the Georgia Playlist, courtesy of Atlanta singer-songwriter Shawn Mullins. Mullins chose tracks from Gladys Knight & the Pips and the Indigo Girls.

Hurricane Irma is howling towards the Southeast. A state of emergency has been declared for 94 Georgia counties. The hurricane is one of the strongest ever recorded in the Atlantic. Joining us to talk about how best to prepare for this mammoth storm is John Knox, Professor of Geography at the University of Georgia.

What if your dog could talk? Georgia Tech researchers have developed a vest that can help service dogs communicate. Melody Jackson leads the initiative, and she’s the director of Georgia Tech’s Center for BioInterface Research. We talk about canine communication with her, and with Greg Berns. He directs the Center for Neuropolicy at Emory University, and is author of the new book, “What It's Like to Be a Dog: And Other Adventures in Animal Neuroscience.”

Barbecue is truly Southern food.  Almost everyone has an opinion on the best way to cook, flavor and serve barbecue. But it’s controversial for another reason. Barbecue has roots in slavery and some popular restaurants have decidedly racist pasts.  We talked about the political side to barbecue with Kathleen Purvis, food writer with the Charlotte Observer. Chuck Reece, Editor for the Bitter Southerner, and Michael Twitty, a food writer and historian, also joined.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Since the outset of the American presidency, African-Americans have worked in the White House kitchen, but they’re often left out of the history books. We talked with food historian Adrian Miller, author of the book, "The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Stories of African-Americans Who Fed Our First Families, From the Washingtons to the Obamas."

David J. Phillip / The Associated Press

The Trump administration is asking Congress for an initial $8 billion for recovery efforts after Harvey hit Texas and Louisiana. The storm caused an estimated $180 billion in damage and the economic impact of that will be felt all across the country. In the weeks and months ahead, communities devastated by the storm will need to rebuild.

Hurricane Harvey displaced tens of thousands of people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes across the Southeast. Even though the storm has passed, there’s a long road to recovery. Georgia-based MAP International is one of the relief organizations helping the storm’s victims. We check in with the group’s CEO, Steve Stirling.

MAP International

Hurricane Harvey displaced tens of thousands of people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes across the Southeast. Even though the storm has passed, there’s a long road to recovery. Georgia-based MAP International is one of the relief organizations helping the storm’s victims. We checked in with the group’s CEO, Steve Stirling.

 

Foreign and Commonwealth Office / flickr

Actor Henry Winkler, best known for his leading role on TV's "Happy Days," is coming to Georgia this week for the Decatur Book Festival. He’s the co-creator of a popular children’s book series that centers on Hank Zipzer, a young boy with learning difficulties. We talked with Winkler about his love for writing.

Ayyyy! Henry Winkler is coming to Georgia this week for the Decatur Book Festival. He’s the co-creator of a popular children’s book series that centers on Hank Zipzer, a young boy with learning difficulties. Henry Winkler joined us to talk about his life and writing.

Regina Bradley, writer and hip-hop scholar, is author of the recently released “Boondock Kollage: New Stories from the Contemporary Black South.” The collection offers 12 short stories chronicling Southern life in the post-civil rights era. Regina joined us earlier this year.

Among the legendary music acts to come out of Athens in the ‘70s was the band Pylon. The group had been a local mainstay until 2009, when guitarist Randall Bewley passed away. But singer Vanessa Briscoe Hay recently revived the band into the newly formed Pylon Reenactment Society. They have a new EP, called “Part Time Punks Session,” coming out this fall. We talk with Vanessa Briscoe Hay and drummer Joe Rowe about the new music.

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