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, and recognition from the Atlanta Press Club. 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.

Ways to Connect

Olivia Reingold / On Second Thought

We talked with Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Robert Coram, who is used to writing about other people’s lives. He’s written a number of biographies, but his new book focuses on his own life. It is called "Gully Dirt: On Exposing the Klan, Raising a Hog, and Escaping the South."

 

 

Disney

The Breakroom gang joins host Celeste Headlee to weigh in on the week's news. The panel includes Jessica Leigh Lebos of Connect Savannah, Amy Condon of Savannah Magazine, Steve Brown of the Fayette County Board of Commissioners, and Milledgeville farmer Jon Jackson.

 BREAKROOM TOPICS:

Go back almost 110 years, and you couldn’t find a place in Savannah that was legally serving alcohol. Georgia went dry the first day of 1908, and stayed that way more than 25 years, until Prohibition was repealed. A museum in Savannah opening next month tells the Prohibition story from the first drop to the last. We got a preview from the museum’s manager, Kayla Black.

 

Kayne Lanahan founded the Stopover Music Festival seven years ago. She left New York City for Savannah after a successful advertising and marketing career. Since then, she’s become a loud pulse in Georgia’s bustling music scene. We asked her to add to our ongoing series, the Georgia Playlist. She chose works by R.E.M. and Neutral Milk Hotel.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

In recent years, many newspapers and magazines have abandoned their print publications for an all digital format. From the Christian Science Monitor, to Newsweek, to Jet Magazine. One Decatur-based magazine is moving from digital back to print.

Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt

All this year, in our series Georgia Eats, we explore the South’s relationship with food. We’ve talked about the state’s craft beer industry. Turns out there’s also a craft chocolate movement, and it’s taken some Georgia chocolatiers far beyond the state’s borders.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

The Breakroom gang joins host Celeste Headlee to weigh in on the week's news. The panel includes Soumaya Khalifa of the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta, former NPR correspondent Kathy Lohr, environmental blogger Ken Edelstein, and Republican strategist Julianne Thompson.

    BREAKROOM TOPICS:

PBS

Tony Award-winning actor Alan Cumming loves the musical “Cabaret.” He starred in a performance in London’s West End, and he’s played the smarmy emcee twice on Broadway. He’s on tour now, not with the musical "Cabaret" but with an actual cabaret: “Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs.” "On Second Thought" guest host Adam Ragusea talked with him ahead of his performance Friday at 8pm at Atlanta Symphony Hall.

Georgia Southern University

There is change in the works at two Georgia universities. Earlier this year, the University System Board of Regents voted to merge Armstrong State University and Georgia Southern University. The new school will keep Georgia Southern’s name. Since 2011, the university system has completed seven mergers, in the interests of efficiency and economy.

John Amis / The Associated Press

In his speech to a joint session of congress on Tuesday night, President Trump outlined his priorities. The president has received widespread backlash since he took office in January. There have been rallies and protests, but Trump supporters, like Georgia Tea Party activist Debbie Dooley, also want their voices heard. Dooley is organizing “Spirit of America” rallies across the country. 

Andrew Harnik / The Associated Press

Today marks one month, one week, and one day since Donald Trump took office. The president is slated to address a joint session of Congress tonight, outlining his agenda. As the Trump administration rolls out its plans, the nation remains divided over issues like immigration, abortion rights and “alternative facts.” President Trump’s distrust of the media is no secret. The role of journalism in a Trump-led America is under intense scrutiny.

MARTA

All this year, we’re exploring the South’s identity with food. This is part of a series called Georgia Eats. A new exhibit at the Museum of Design Atlanta hones in on the changing landscape of sustainability.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Atlanta is the fifth highest metro area for rates of new HIV diagnoses, but recent data shows annual infection rates in the state are dropping, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

niksnut / flickr

Georgia scored a big win in a long-running legal battle with Florida. Last week, a special master appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court said the high court should refuse Florida's request to cap Georgia’s water use. Florida argues the cap is needed because Georgia’s high rate of water consumption is dampening its oyster industry and state economy. E&E News reporter Amanda Reilly joined us to talk about this latest development in a decades-old water war.

Sean Powers and Olivia Reingold / On Second Thought

Since we did our show live from Savannah for the Savannah Book Festival, we organized a special edition of The Breakroom featuring all authors. The panel included Alejandro Danois, Karin Slaughter, Nicki Salcedo, and Mike Lowery.

Emory University / flickr

Dennis Lockhart, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, will step down this month. The Federal Reserve may be in for changes in the months ahead. It is an important agency, but there’s one problem. Not a lot of average Americans understand what the Fed is or what it does. So, we explain it in another edition of our Break It Down series.

University of Georgia Press

Food is an integral part of the South’s identity, and all this year, we’re paying homage to Southern cuisine. It’s a series we call Georgia Eats. A lot of chefs and food writers know the name Mrs. S.R. Dull. In 1928, she wrote the book "Southern Cooking," which has been described as the "bible" of Southern cooking. That got us thinking if there are any other cookbooks that rise to that level.

Greenland Travel / Flickr

There’s a major climate change conference on Thursday in Atlanta. It’s happening at the Carter Center, but only because it was canceled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We talked with Georges Benjamin of the American Public Health Association, who is giving the keynote address at the conference.

Gabrielle Ware

J.B. and Lynette Tuttle have been married for more than 70 years. The Savannah couple is now in their 90s. They're both retired and live together in a nursing home. GPB's Sean Powers shared their timeless story of love.

gopleader / flickr

Betsy DeVos was confirmed last week as President Donald Trump’s secretary of education. She has been an aggressive proponent of school choice, but her definition of school choice may not be the same as how other people define it. School choice is one of those phrases that gets thrown around a lot, but is often misunderstood. So, we explain it in another edition of our Break It Down series.  

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Hundreds of refugees from Syria now call Georgia home. We hear from two of them, who have become good friends. One of them is a man who arrived in Georgia right after 9/11, but before the Syrian civil war. The other is a young child, who came to the state last year. Besides calling Syria their birthplace, they share an even greater bond.

 

Hector Alejandro / flickr

A federal appeals court upheld a stay on President Trump’s executive order that temporarily bans travel to the United States for refugees and people from seven countries. But that doesn't mean the travel ban is dead. The president may take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

slgckgc / flickr

A recent report from the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows Georgia leads most states in harassment by debt collectors. Often these are for debts people already paid, or don’t even owe. Beth Kobliner is on a mission to make sure you and your kids don’t fall prey to one of these collectors.

Eric Gay / The Associated Press

Abortion rights groups are keeping a close eye on Washington as President Trump vows to see the landmark Roe v. Wade decision overturned. Last week, he announced his choice to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Atlanta Falcons

On Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons meet the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. It will wind up as the Falcons first Super Bowl win, or the Patriots’ fifth. GPB Senior Sports correspondent Jon Nelson joined us for a preview.

University of Georgia

In a world of screens, some teachers are putting their foot down with technology in the classroom. And research suggests there may be good reason behind that decision. A recent study from MIT found college students do better on exams when they’re not allowed access to computers.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

President Trump’s executive orders concerning immigrants and refugees have upset a lot of people across the country. The town of Clarkston, Georgia is home to a large refugee population. It’s been called the Ellis Island of the South. On Tuesday night, the city held a special meeting to discuss President Trump’s executive actions. We talk with Clarkston mayor Ted Terry about how the president’s orders may impact his refugee community.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Over the weekend, federal immigration officials detained and later released 11 lawful permanent residents at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. They were returning from a trip to Iran, one of seven predominantly Muslim countries where there is now a three month ban on travel to the United States. That’s the result of an executive order signed by President Trump. We talked with Atlanta immigration attorney Sarah Owings about the impact of the order on Georgia.

The DePaulia / flickr

A class at Armstrong State University in Savannah teaches students about the music of OutKast. As part of our Lessons from Left Field series, we talk with professor Regina Bradley and two of her students: Anthony Scott and Gabby Nichols.

 

Thousands Protest Immigration Ban At Atlanta Airport

Jan 30, 2017
Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Eleven people detained over the weekend after flying from Iran to Atlanta are now free. But tensions still run high over President Trump’s executive order, which temporarily bans travel from several predominantly Muslim countries. As GPB’s Sean Powers reports Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport was the scene of a major protest on Sunday.

Beating drums and chanting "Love trumps hate!" thousands of peaceful demonstrators gathered at the Atlanta airport to join protesters across the country in opposing President Donald Trump's travel ban.

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