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

Solar Energy Industries Association

As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office, it is unclear what effect his administration might have on renewable energy. Trump has raised concerns about wind and solar energy, and several of his Cabinet picks have ties to the oil and gas industry. However, the renewable fuel industry may have reason to be hopeful.

Jonathan Phillips

By all accounts, Atlanta’s Fox Theatre shouldn’t be around anymore. The historic movie palace, which opened Christmas Day of 1929, escaped financial ruin several times, dodged a date with a wrecking ball, and survived a potentially fatal fire. But 87 years later, the theater’s future couldn’t be brighter. To mark its anniversary, a new GPB documentary premiering Christmas night at 7 p.m. ET, tells the theater’s incredible story.

Best Southern Albums Of 2016

Dec 18, 2016

A lot of amazing music has come out of in 2016. We talk about some of the best Southern albums of the year with Chuck Reece of The Bitter Southerner. He recently compiled his list for the magazine.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

We add a couple tunes to our essential Georgia Playlist from Atlanta performer Mike Geier. He is best known for creating Puddles, a sad clown with an incredible singing voice.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Georgia is not particularly welcoming to the craft beer industry. In fact, our state ranks 48th for number of breweries per capita. Yet, a new one will open its doors next year. When it does, the Oconee Brewing Company will pour its beer into cans instead of bottles.

Richard Elzey / flickr

In about 10 days, many families will gather around the table for a holiday feast, and you can be sure that most of those tables will include delicious drinks. If your mind has now wandered to wine glasses -- or sweet tea -- stop right there. There's another tasty and tasteful option to serve with all those wonderful dishes. It’s craft beer.

U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence

Construction recently began on the future headquarters of the U.S. Army’s cyber command facility. It’s based at Fort Gordon, right outside Augusta. The state of the art center will bring with it many new intelligence and security jobs. We learn more about the project, and the area’s new role as the Silicon Valley of cyber security.

From its earliest days as a nation, the United States has struggled with a problem that we can’t seem to solve - racism.

National Park Service

The Ocmulgee National Monument near Macon was designated this month as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The most prominent features at Ocmulgee are huge earthen mounds that spread across 700 acres. Native Americans first settled there thousands of years ago.

Emily Jones / GPB News

The Savannah-based group Twisty Cats performs this month in Atlanta. We talk with the duo behind the band: Peter Mavrogeorgis and Blake Olmstead. The married couple runs a recording studio during the day, and by night they perform what they call "electro, gotha-billy, psych-punk-pop." 

Twisty Cats performs at 529 in Atlanta on Saturday, Dec. 17.

Adam Fagen / flickr

The Breakroom gang joins host Celeste Headlee to weigh in on the week's news. The panel includes Tomika Depriest (Marketing and Communications Strategist), Sam Burnham (Blogger, All the Biscuits in Georgia), Ed Sohn (Global Director, Legal Managed Services, Thomson Reuters), and Roxanne Donovan (Psychology Professor, Kennesaw State University).



U.S. Department of Education

One of the final acts by the Obama administration deals with corporal punishment in schools.

Steve Pavey

A debate is going on over the operation of immigration detention centers. Georgia’s Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin is one of the largest in the country. It is run by a private company. There are many like it. Critics say those private facilities are problematic. This month, a Department of Homeland Security subcommittee recommended continuing the use of private immigrant detention facilities with greater oversight.

Sharon Rowen

The fight for equality among race, gender, and sexual orientation has often ended up in the courtroom. Many of the female attorneys fighting on the front lines have been subject to gender bias. A new documentary tells their stories across several generations. It’s called "Balancing the Scales," and is based on 20 years of interviews by Atlanta filmmaker and attorney Sharon Rowen. We talked with her about the project.

Gage Skidmore / flickr

In 45 days, Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States. One of the top priorities of that administration is to repeal and replace Obamacare. The man who will be at the forefront of that is Georgia Congressman Tom Price. President-elect Trump has nominated him as the next secretary of Health and Human Services.

At Emory University, the Law School conducts classes you expect — contracts, torts — but it also offers one you might not: Drama. The professor behind it — and before it — is Janet Metzger.  We talked with her and law student Prasad Hurra about the class as part of our series, “Lessons from Left Field."

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Hundreds of firefighters from all over the country have battled the Rock Mountain Fire in North Georgia. They're winning. It’s nearly contained. A local Jewish camp opened its doors to these crews as they fought to contain the blaze. GPB's Sean Powers visited the campsite.

Emory University

A Georgia lawmaker plans to introduce legislation to discipline universities that declare "sanctuary" status for undocumented immigrants.

Sam Hatcher

In 1916, two teams played one of the most lopsided games in college football history. Georgia Tech beat Cumberland College with a score of 222–0. We talk with author Sam Hatcher about his new book on the game, and how he says it forever changed college football in the South. 


This week, Atlanta-based Delta Airlines banned a disruptive passenger for life. This passenger was captured on video a week earlier shouting pro-Donald Trump and anti-Hillary Clinton remarks on a flight from Atlanta to Allentown, Pennsylvania. In addition to banning this passenger, Delta also gave refunds to people aboard that flight. Delta's decision came after the airline was criticized for its initial inaction in the matter.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Yesterday, Georgia governor Nathan Deal suspended all five members of the Dooly County school board following concerns about the district's accreditation. High school graduation rates in Georgia remain below the national average, but data released last month by the U.S.

New York Public Library

Barbeque has been a culinary staple in the South for generations. By the Civil War, many barbeque cooks were enslaved African-Americans, according to food writer and editor Robert Moss.  He recently wrote about two of these talented cooks from Augusta, Georgia. Moss and culinary historian Michael Twitty tell us about the forgotten African-American influence on barbeque.


What celebrity sightings might you be in store for this week? That all depends on what film projects are taking place around the state. We get an update on who’s currently on set from Jennifer Brett of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Buzz Blog.

2dollarshoes / flickr

In 2015, more than half of American workers opted not to take advantage of paid vacation time. The group Project: Time Off found that added up to 658 million unused vacation days. Workplace consultant Jeanne Meister tells us how we became a nation of workaholics. 

Thirty years ago, one cookbook called  "White Trash Cooking" shook up the culinary world. The title alone was enough to offend some people, and the recipes -- with ingredients like canned corned beef and potato chips -- offered a glimpse into what was served in the homes of poor Americans in the South. We look back on its controversial legacy with Southern Foodways Alliance director John T.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Fifty-five years ago, the University of Georgia accepted its first African-American students. It was the kind of progress Bill Shipp had demonstrated for years earlier.

Library of Congress

The next time the you open your kitchen cabinets, consider this: a lot of the processed food we eat today started off as food for soldiers. The Army has a long history of culinary innovation that’s trickled down to our homes. We listen back to our conversation with writer Anastacia Marx de Salcedo, author of the book "Combat-Ready Kitchen: How the U.S.

LA Johnson / NPR

The United States has the lowest college completion rate in the developed world. It's not easy to fix, but what if schools knew early which students might drop out? A new report from the New America Foundation says at least 40 percent of schools try to gauge student performance by comparing past students to current ones. It's called predictive analytics, but how well does it work?

President-elect Donald Trump says he plans to crack down on people living in the country illegally by deporting or jailing those with criminal records. A recent Southern Poverty Law Center report shows undocumented immigrants in Georgia are already deported and denied bond at rates higher than the national average. GPB’s Sean Powers followed the case of one man stuck in a Georgia detention center as he seeks political asylum.




In the week since Donald Trump won the presidential race, we’ve learned more about what to expect from him in the Oval Office. Trump's campaign and ultimate success changed the political playbook in many ways. This election year also exposed how divided we are as a nation. What are the challenges we need to address before we can move forward?