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

Lewis Hine

Early 20th century photographer Lewis Hine made his mark by documenting the working conditions in mill towns, like those in Georgia. His photos led to major reforms in child labor laws. An exhibit at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia tells the story of one family he documented.

Olivia Reingold / On Second Thought

The Breakroom gang joins host Celeste Headlee to weigh in on the week's news. The panel includes Georgia State University professor Hector Fernandez, filmmaker and podcast producer Kalena Boller, Sam Burnham of the blog “All the Biscuits in Georgia,” and Democratic Strategist Howard Franklin.



Richard Watkins

This week, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was honored as a Pulitzer Prize finalist for its investigation of thousands of doctors across the country. Reporters discovered that a disturbing number of medical professionals are sexually abusing their patients with little or no repercussions.

The Library of Congress

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the United States' involvement in World War I. More than a 100,000 men and women from Georgia served in the conflict. One of them was Roland Neel of Macon. Lieutenant Neel received the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in action. He shared his memories in a 1975 interview with the Macon Telegraph.

A hundred years ago, the United States entered into WWI. To mark the centennial, the Atlanta History Center is taking a closer look at Georgia’s connections to the conflict. Take the red poppy, now a ubiquitous symbol in times of war.

Wikimedia Commons

Plans to build two nuclear reactors at a Georgia power plant may be in jeopardy. That’s after the main contractor on the project at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro filed for bankruptcy protection last month. Tim Echols is a Georgia Public Service Commissioner.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

A new café in Atlanta caters to cats and their humans. At Java Cats Café, you can order coffee and hang out with adoptable cats. GPB’s Sean Powers stopped by to learn more about this purrfectly feline coffee shop.  

Memaw's At LG's Restaurant

Georgia leads Southern states in hospitality, according to a recent survey from What does Southern Hospitality really mean?

Wikimedia Commons

The closed section of I-85 carries more than 240,000 vehicles a day with few alternate routes. We talked with Emory University labor economist Tom Smith about the economic impact of the collapse on the state and the region.

Georgia Department of Transportation

The collapse last week of a portion of I-85 in Atlanta left the city in a state of gridlock and uncertainty. At a news conference on Monday, Georgia Department of Transportation officials told reporters work to repair the bridge won’t be finished until mid-June. For more on the I-85 disaster, we talked with GPB news reporter Sam Whitehead.  

Universal Studios

From the next installments of the Avengers series to a new television series on the Unabomber, there are a lot of major productions currently filming in Georgia. Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Jennifer Brett gave us an update about the latest film and TV projects in the state.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

The new home of the Atlanta Braves opened Friday. Fans headed out of the city to SunTrust Park while the team’s former home sat empty. Turner Field was purchased by Georgia State University for millions of dollars. Now, those who live near the stadium want to make sure redevelopment doesn’t drive up the cost of living in their neighborhoods, and drive them out of their homes. At least 150 people marched from Mechanicsville to Turner Field this weekend. GPB’s Sean Powers was there, and brought back this audio postcard.



Some people who flee war-torn countries get a chance to start fresh elsewhere. That’s the case for Lebanese-born comedian Nemr Abou Nassar. He was a young child when he left Lebanon for the United States with his family. Nemr is known as Lebanon's King of Comedy. We talked to him ahead of his performances this weekend at the Punchline Comedy Club in Atlanta.   

GW Pharmaceuticals

One of the bills likely to pass in the Georgia legislature would expand access to medical marijuana. Patients being treated for AIDS are among those who would qualify for a prescription.

Wally Gobetz / flickr

Thursday marks the end of the legislative session at the Georgia state capitol. GPB capitol reporter Lisa Rayam gives us a recap of which bills died, and which will proceed to the governor’s desk.


One of the musical acts performing this week as part of the Atlanta Film Festival is the New Orleans group, Tank and the Bangas. The band won this year’s NPR Tiny Desk Contest.

Ed Fidler / flickr

When we watch baseball today, it’s hard to imagine teams being segregated by race. But there was a time when Atlanta had separate teams for white and black players. The history of integration in professional baseball is storied, and it began long before Jackie Robinson. We talked with Atlanta playwright Kerwin Sims, who wrote a play about that history

the Atlanta Braves

SunTrust Park opens with an exhibition game this Friday. The road to a new home for the Atlanta Braves has been a long and expensive one. The estimated cost of the project is now more than $1 billion. We talked about the massive undertaking with GPB senior sports correspondent Jon Nelson.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

The Breakroom gang joins host Celeste Headlee to weigh in on the week's news. The panel includes Georgia State University professor Hector Fernandez, Bee Nguyen of Athena’s Warehouse, Ed Sohn of Thomson Reuters, and Natalie Dale of the Georgia Department of Transportation.


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In the last year, a nonprofit abortion and birth control clinic on the East Coast has expanded its presence in the South by opening two clinics in Georgia. The group is called Carafem, and it’s also trying to reduce the stigma around abortion through an aggressive media campaign. We talked with Melissa Grant, who is Carafem's vice president of health services.

Theatrical Outfit

One of the true divas of the 20th century was singer and songwriter Nina Simone. She served as the voice for many frustrated African-Americans in the 1960s, particularly during the civil rights movement. A new musical in Atlanta called “Simply Simone” tells her story from the very beginning. It's called "Simply Simone," and it's being performed at the Theatrical Outfit. We talked with director/choreographer Patdro Harris.

Atlanta Fiilm Festival

This weekend, the Atlanta Film Festival pays tribute to a courtroom classic. "My Cousin Vinny" premiered 25 years ago to critical and popular acclaim. The movie, which was filmed in Monticello, Georgia, tells the story of an inexperienced New York attorney who takes on the biggest case of his career  -- a murder trial. We talked with the film’s director, Jonathan Lynn. 

Crystal Hernandez

Federal data show the suicide rate among veterans has risen over the last decade. In 2007, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs approached this problem with a 24-hour call center in upstate New York.

Jim Gathany / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The museum at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention features a collection of photos by Jim Gathany. The exhibit is called “A Lens on CDC,” and it runs until the end of May. For 30 years, Gathany has documented the center’s scientific breakthroughs, its facilities, and its history. We talked with Gathany about his experience behind the lens at the CDC. 


The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has made countless appearances on the big and small screen from the 1995 thriller “Outbreak” to an explosive debut on the first season of the hit show “The Walking Dead.”  GPB's Sean Powers walks us through some of the CDC’s most memorable roles and how the agency has been portrayed by Hollywood.  


A new study says there are dangerous chemicals that we should avoid in many cosmetic products, particularly those marketed to black women. We learned more about the evolution of these products and the dangers they may pose.

Brandon Anderson / flickr

Unsolved murders can become cold cases, and leave more questions than answers. That’s where the Murder Accountability Project (MAP) comes into the picture. The group sifts through large amounts of homicide data to find crime patterns and predict possible outcomes.

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."




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.


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.