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

Starz

In 1981, actor Bruce Campbell first took on "The Evil Dead." The cult hit spawned two sequels, video games, Marvel comic books, and a television series. Campbell is always working, and is in Atlanta this weekend for Walker Stalker Con. We talked with Campbell on low budget horror films and his cult star status.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

You may have heard about the Iron Pipeline. It's an underground network used to ship guns from states like Georgia with relatively lax gun laws to other states with tighter regulations. Many of these weapons are purchased legally in the South, but some are stolen. An investigative report finds Atlanta has an alarming rate of guns stolen from cars.

Courtesy of the artist

When you hear singer and songwriter ALA.NI perform, you may be reminded of iconic artists like Billie Holiday and Judy Garland. The British-born, Paris-based artist was recently featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert. She talked with us about her debut album, “You and I,” ahead of a performance in Atlanta this weekend.

Behind The Scenes Of 'Stranger Things'

Oct 26, 2017
Sean Powers / On Second Thought

The second season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” drops Friday. The Georgia-filmed show has a massive following, and the people behind the scenes play a vital role in this success. Taraja Ramsess is an on-set dresser for the show. He’s been part of Georgia's film and television industry for years.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

In its first season, Atlanta United FC broke MLS attendance records and made the playoffs. The team plays its first postseason game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Thursday night against the Columbus Crew. We talked with AU President Darren Eales about Georgia’s growing passion for what the rest of the world calls football.

 

Atlanta is officially a soccer town. In its first season, Atlanta United broke MLS attendance records and made the playoffs. The team plays its first postseason game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Thursday night against the Columbus Crew. We talked with AU President Darren Eales about Georgia’s growing passion for what the rest of the world calls football.

Chris Ballard / GPB

Health economist Ted Miller says to understand the real cost of gun violence, you must factor in the value of human life. According to Miller, the monetary cost of gun violence in Georgia in 2012 was more than $9 billion. He breaks down the cost of shootings.

For Anthony Mackey, 29, guns were part of his upbringing in Albany, Georgia. As a teen, he joined a gang, and saw firsthand the incredible power of a gun. Mackey says being shot at was a turning point in his life.

Chris Ballard / GPB

The Peach State is a leading exporter of illegal firearms. That’s largely due to the I-95 corridor, where guns flow from Georgia to other parts of the country with stricter gun laws. This route’s nicknamed the Iron Pipeline. Many of the illegal weapons end up in New York City. We talk about this with BuzzFeed News National Editor Tina Susman and New York City’s Public Advocate, Tish James.

Chris Ballard / GPB

Georgia is no stranger to the tragedy of gun violence. On a November day in 2012, Atlanta native Jordan Davis was shot and killed at a Jacksonville, Florida gas station. The African-American teen was unarmed when a white man named Michael Dunn shot him. Dunn was reportedly angered by the music Davis and his friends were playing in their car. Michael Dunn drew a life sentence for that murder. During the trial, Dunn told the judge he may have saved someone's life by killing Jordan Davis.

Chris Ballard / GPB

Amid the barrage of news stories about gun violence, there are the real people whose lives are torn apart by tragedy. Semaj Clark, 20, is one of them. Two years ago, he was paralyzed after being shot in Savannah. Now, he’s confined to a wheelchair. Before becoming a vocal anti-gun violence advocate, Semaj was involved in gang activity. He says the media have a certain responsibility when they cover shootings.

A special hour about guns in the South: the people who own them, the emotions they stir, how they’re bought and sold, the total cost of gun violence, and the history of laws controlling who has access to them.

For most of us, our idea of politics is influenced by what we see on TV. Millions of Americans regularly watch shows like “The West Wing,” “Veep,” and “House of Cards." Georgia native Jay Carson worked as supervising producer and political consultant for Netflix’s “House of Cards.” We talk with him about how to write engaging political drama in 2017, and how much the fictional White House resembles the real one.

This year a federal court in Chicago ruled for the first time that workers can’t be fired based on sexual orientation, extending workplace protections in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the LGBT community. Yet, a Georgia judge ruled against a similar case. Now that case is up for appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Jameka Evans claims Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah fired her for being a lesbian. Earlier this month, 18 state attorneys general filed briefs in support of Evans's petition.

Imagine being in outer space with two sassy robots, and being forced to watch really bad science fiction movies with them. That’s the premise of the cult classic TV series, “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” The show got a reboot on Netflix this summer. We talk with series creator Joel Hodgson.

"On Second Thought" is celebrating its third anniversary this week. The show launched its first broadcast on GPB on October 20, 2014. To celebrate three amazing years, we’re re-airing our best segments in a two part broadcast. Here are the best picks for today:

This week "On Second Thought" celebrates three years on the air. The show launched October 20, 2014. To celebrate, we’re re-airing a few of our best segments. Do you have a favorite segment or episode? Let us know.

Actor George Takei first came to fame as a young Sulu in the original Star Trek series. But he’s since become an active voice in promoting equal rights for LGBT people. We spoke to Takei earlier this year when the play “Allegiance,” was showing in Atlanta movie theaters. The play is inspired by Takei’s experiences in a U.S. internment camp during World War II.

Sean Powers / University of Missouri

The annual AfroPunk music festival returned to Atlanta, attracting thousands of concertgoers. The celebration of innovation in the music and fashion world began in 2005 in Brooklyn, and has morphed into an international celebration in other major cities, like London and Paris. Producers Jeff Harris and Sean Powers documented the festival.

  

  

  

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

As Hispanic populations grow in the South, already problematic color lines there are shifting. It’s particularly evident in South Georgia. Sean Powers reports on a violent and tragic incident in Tifton, Georgia that slowed progress in bringing people of color closer.

Earlier this month the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments that could change how Georgia lawmakers draw districts for Congress and state legislative seats. The case hinges on allegations of gerrymandering in two Georgia districts. Plaintiffs claim these districts were redrawn to discriminate against black voters, and create an advantage for Republicans. We break down what gerrymandering really is, and the incredible impact it has on the nation.

We continue our coverage of gerrymandering in Georgia with Kennesaw State’s Kerwin Swint, a political science professor.

Musical acts from all over the world come to Atlanta this weekend for the Afropunk Music Festival. One group performing is Georgia’s own, Algiers. Their latest album is called “The Underside of Power.” GPB’s Sean Powers catches up with lead singer, Franklin James Fisher.

NBC

The Breakroom gang joins guest host Adam Ragusea to weigh in on the week's news. The panel includes Democratic strategist Howard Franklin, Editorial Page Editor Charles Richardson of the Telegraph in Macon, Amy Condon of the Refinery Writing Studio, and writer Jessica Szilagyi of AllOnGeorgia.com.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Musical acts from all over the world come to Atlanta this weekend for the Afropunk music festival. One group performing is Georgia’s own Algiers. Their latest album is called “The Underside of Power.” We talked with lead singer, Franklin James Fisher.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

We spend the full hour exploring how journalism is changing in the age of President Trump. Host Celeste Headlee recently led a panel discussion on how journalism has changed in the time of the Trump administration, presented by the Columbia Journalism Review. 

The winners of this year’s Nobel Prizes were announced last week. Last month, slightly less prestigious awards honored the funny side of scientific discovery. The Ig Nobel Prizes have been awarded annually since 1991 to honor achievements that “first make people laugh, and then make them think.” We talk about silly science with Marc Abraham, an organizer and founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes. Also with us is Georgia Tech doctoral student Patricia Yang, who won an Ig Nobel Prize in 2015.

Susan Walsh / The Associated Press

Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to restrict law enforcement seizing cash and property from people who may not be charged with a crime. According to the FBI and the Institute for Justice, police seized more property than burglars stole in 2014. It’s called civil forfeiture. We asked attorney Robert Johnson of Institute for Justice to help us better understand what it means.

Two major puppy mill were busted in Georgia this year. One in April rescued more than 350 animals. Last month in Fulton County, authorities found 60 dogs, 53 lizards, a rabbit and a piranha at another site. We talk with Jessica Rock, Founding Partner at Animal Law Source.

Chalane Bauzo

One of the performers at this weekend's Afropunk music festival in Atanta is Atlanta-based DJ Chalane Bauzo, who goes by Anónima. We asked her to add two more songs to our Georgia Playlist. For this, we have people in Georgia's music industry pick their two favorite songs written or performed by another Georgian. DJ Anónima chose works by Matt Martians and Abra.

 

On Monday, the Atlanta City Council voted unanimously to weaken punishments for the possession of marijuana. Now, those caught with an ounce or less will not serve jail time, and will be fined no more than $75. We talk about this monumental move with Andrea Young, Executive Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia. 

Georgia’s campus carry law allows firearms on all public college campuses, minus a few excepted spaces. We hear about the research into the effectiveness of such laws with Matthew Boedy, a Professor of English at the University of North Georgia. Also Mark Rosenberg, former President and CEO of the Task Force for Global Health.

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