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.

Ways to Connect

Georgia’s Girl Scouts recently joined the debate over a Savannah bridge name. As it stands, Talmadge Memorial Bridge honors a segregationist. The Girl Scouts would like the bridge renamed in honor of their founder and Savannah native, Juliette Gordon Low. Today marks 91 years since Low’s death. We talk about her life with Girl Scouts historian Jami Brantley. She manages the Girl Scout First Headquarters Museum in Savannah.

Last week, a federal judge temporarily halted the Trump administration's plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. It’s unclear if legislative efforts to extend the program will be successful. 

STEPHEN FOWLER / Georgia Public Broadcasting

Last September, Georgia Tech student Scout Schultz was shot to death by a campus police officer. According to investigators, Schultz called 911 to report an armed suspicious person on campus. When police arrived, they found Schultz holding a blade. After repeated commands to drop it, an officer opened fire. Schultz, who was suicidal, was one of 30 Georgians shot and killed by police last year.

JIM MELVIN / CLEMSON UNIVERSITY

For a while, Purple Ribbon Sugarcane thrived on Sapelo Island, off the Georgia coast. Then, disease nearly wiped it out altogether in North America, but it’s been brought back, thanks to a team of farmers, geneticists, and historians.

LA Johnson / NPR

Last week, a federal judge temporarily halted the Trump administration's plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. It’s unclear if legislative efforts to extend the program will be successful. Under DACA, some 800,000 young immigrants, often referred to as "Dreamers," can legally live and work in the U.S. One of those Dreamers is Valentina Emilia Garcia Gonzalez, who moved from Uruguay to Gwinnett County. She told us how the DACA program has helped her.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Monday, January 15, 2018 would have been Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 89th birthday. His legacy remains strong. Nearly a decade after his death in 1968, President Jimmy Carter awarded Dr. King the posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom. Producer Sean Powers takes us back to that day at the White House with an audio postcard.

For years, print publications have been struggling to stay afloat in a digital world. Recently, that uphill battle hit Atlanta’s alternative magazines. Creative Loafing announced last month it would cut its staff, after transitioning from weekly to monthly earlier in the year. We talk about the role of alternative magazines with Keith Herndon, Professor of Journalism at the University of Georgia. He is also author of the book, ‘The Decline of the Daily Newspaper.’

We’ve all seen it: somebody shops on their work computer, or takes really long lunches, or “borrows” supplies. The workplace doesn’t always foster the most ethical behavior. But recent University of Georgia research shows it can get worse than that. Many employees lie on their timesheets, and even trash their co-workers to get ahead. We discuss with Marie Mitchell, a Professor of Management in the Terry College of Business at UGA. And Karen Rommelfanger, a professor from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University.

This hour we get into some serious questions about science, economic development and where the two meet. But first, we revisit a conversation about the power of curiosity for its own sake. The Ig Nobel Prizes reward silliness in science. They’ve been awarded annually since 1991, to honor achievements that first make you laugh, then make you think. Georgia Tech doctoral student Patricia Yang won one in 2015. She joins the show with Marc Abrahams, founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes.

  

The Georgia legislative session has begun. Among many bills in play: a sweeping plan to revitalize rural Georgia. This might mean paying people who move to the country, subsidizing internet connections, and making it easier for small hospitals to stay open and in the black. But how all this attention under the Gold Dome translates to real improvements for people outside Atlanta remains to be seen.  We talk with Sharon Wright Austin, a political scientist at the University of Florida. And Mark Niesse, a reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

The third and final installment of the Pitch Perfect film series is out now in theaters. Pitch Perfect 3 was produced in Atlanta. On Second Thought regular Kalena Boller goes behind the scenes with Ryan Christopher Taylor of Marietta, who worked as a key assistant location manager on the film. 

This story was recorded for the podcast "The Credits." It's produced by Zero Mile Media.

The High Museum of Art

One of the ways we learn about the world’s many cultures is through art, but art museums have struggled to diversify their patrons. In Atlanta, the High Museum of Art has made some important to strides in that regard. In the last few years, the museum’s non-white audience has tripled.

David Goldman / The Associated Press

Atlanta’s the college football center of the world on Monday night, as the University of Georgia Dawgs try to stem the University of Alabama’s Tide, in the National Championship game. A win for Georgia would be the first national championship victory for the team in more than 35 years.

 

Atlanta’s the college football center of the world on Monday night, as the University of Georgia Dawgs try to stem the University of Alabama’s Tide, in the National Championship game. A win for Georgia would be the first national championship victory for the team in more than 35 years. We get a preview from GPB’s senior sports correspondent Jon Nelson and University of Georgia sports journalism professor Vicki Michaelis.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

The Breakroom gang joined host Celeste Headlee to weigh in on the week's news.

Marvel Studios/Disney

There are a lot of major productions currently filming in Georgia. We talked with AJC Buzz Blog writer Jennifer Brett about the fourth Avengers movie and the Ant-Man sequel. Also on the docket: Son of Shaft, Ozark Season 2, and YouTube’s Karate Kid reboot.

 

The Avengers: Infinity War  was shot in Georgia recently. Another Avengers cast and crew are at work here, along with a slew of movies and TV shows. We talk about who’s working on what with Jennifer Brett. She writes the Buzz Blog for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Actress Issa Rae got the attention of many audiences in 2011 with her popular Web series, "The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl." Five years later, her latest project is an HBO series called "Insecure.” Rae is up for a Golden Globe award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy TV Series this Sunday. We revisit a conversation with Rae about her new show and what she wishes she could tell her dad.

Georgia lawmakers convene next week. The Center for Public Integrity and The Associated Press recently analyzed financial disclosure reports from state legislators nationwide. They found many examples of legislators using their power to benefit personal interests.  We talk with Liz Whyte, reporter with the Center for Public Integrity. And James Salzer, who covers state politics for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Wanda Irving

The U.S. ranks worst among economically developed countries in maternal deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, about 700 mothers die every year; and black women face the greatest risk.

The U.S. ranks worst among economically developed countries in maternal deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, at least 700 mothers die every year; and black women face the greatest risk. A recent investigation by ProPublica and NPR examines racial disparity in maternal deaths. We talk with NPR Special Correspondent Renee Montagne, who has reported in Atlanta for this series.

A show featuring producer Trevor Young’s favorite OST segments of 2017. Hosted by Celeste Headlee:

This summer, more than sixty bands flocked to Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta for the fifth annual Shaky Knees Music Festival. Producer Trevor Young caught up with many musicians there, including rocker Ron Gallo. Gallo is best known for his philosophical musings and a care-free attitude. Trevor also spoke with Fantastic Negrito. The soulful artist was the first ever winner of NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest.

Mass shootings, volatile protests and major policy changes. Hurricane, after hurricane, after hurricane. And a solar eclipse that brought us together like never before in any living person’s lifetime. Yep, 2017 was a doozy. We take stock of the biggest news stories of the year, and the deeper conversations they sparked.

If you want to see theater in one of its most nerve-racking forms, look no further than actor Colin Mochrie. The comedian is best known for his role on the short-form improvisational comedy show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" Mochrie has a richly deserved reputation for his skill at improvisation. We talked with him about his craft.

The Georgia film industry is big business - $9.5 billion big in 2017. We spent the hour meeting the people who work on film and television projects that are produced in the state

 

“My Cousin Vinny” premiered 25 years ago to critical and popular acclaim. Filmed mostly in Monticello, Georgia, it tells the story of an inexperienced New York attorney who takes on the biggest case of his career --- a murder trial. We looked back on the film’s legacy with its director, Jonathan Lynn.

A show featuring OST’s best music segments of 2017. Hosted by Celeste Headlee:

We talk with singer and songwriter Rhiannon Giddens, who is best known as the lead vocalist for the folk band the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Her new solo album, “Freedom Highway,” tells the stories of oppressed African-Americans. We caught up with her ahead of a performance at the Variety Playhouse in May.

We spent the hour talking about what makes Southern food Southern, how collard greens played a role in the civil rights movement, and the politics of barbecue. 

For the first time, Atlanta has a police officer dedicated to cases of animal cruelty. The position was created in October. And the first cop to fill the post is Senior Patrol Officer Amy Soelder. She’s a 22 year veteran of the force, and joins us in the studio.

Hunan Garden Restaurant / Facebook

Millions of American Christians are preparing to celebrate Christmas, but what about those who don’t celebrate? It’s a federal holiday, and most businesses are closed. What is Christmas like for the non-Christian?

Imperial War Museum

During December 1914, something remarkable happened. For a week before Christmas Day, French, British and German soldiers laid down their arms. They talked, sang carols, and wished each other Merry Christmas. This was known as the Christmas Truce, and did not happen again. We learned more about this piece of holiday history from Emory University professor Patrick Allitt.

 

 

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