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.

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A decades-old battle over Georgia water will be sorted out in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Supreme Court will decide who has rights to supply and use water in a fight between Georgia and Florida. The decision will have a major effect on agriculture in those states. GPB's Sam Whitehead reports on a farmer in Southwest Georgia who has had to do some creative thinking about water conservation.

James Byard / Washington University in St. Louis

What should America’s next big national conversation be in the wake of the 2016 election? We get perspectives from Georgians at both ends of the political spectrum.

Gage Skidmore / flickr

If there's anything to say about the results of the presidential race— it's that it defied expectations. Many expected to wake up Wednesday morning to hear from President-elect Hillary Clinton. Instead, it was Donald Trump wh o came out on top.

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Being president of the United States is a job very few Americans have held -- 43, to be exact.  There's some argument over who was the best among them. But who was the worst? Robert Strauss says the worst American president is James Buchanan and he argues that point in his new book, “Worst President Ever.” We talk with him and Kenneth C.

FiveThirtyEight

On Nov. 8, the presidency will be decided once one of the candidates reaches 270 electoral votes. Electoral votes are cast by members of the Electoral College. That's something most people know, but what they don't know is how exactly the Electoral College works.

Melanie Peeples / NPR

The Breakroom gang joins host Celeste Headlee to weigh in on the week's news. The panel includes Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Natalie Dale, music blogger Jordan Stepp, Korean Daily reporter HB Cho, and conservative radio talk show host Greg Williams

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Sean Powers / On Second Thought

There are millions of blogs on the Internet, but only a very select few attract millions of readers and influence society. Awesomely Luvvie is one of those blogs. It’s written by comedian and activist Luvvie Ajayi. Now she’s put something down on paper – a new book called “I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual.” We talked with her about finding her voice as a blogger and an author.

JJIE Multimedia

Students at Kennesaw State University are taking journalism to another level. A group of them recently reported on the incarceration of a young man from Georgia named Christopher Thomas, who at the age of 15 was given a 40-year prison sentence for a non-lethal shooting. The reporters presented the story in a virtual world.

Joel McLendon / flickr

With a week to go until Election Day, more than a million early ballots have been cast in Georgia. There are many Georgians who are voting for the first time, but some residents say the nastiness of the presidential race has tainted the experience.  

 

Kevin Baggott / flickr

The longer a building has been around, the more likely people will say that it’s haunted. The Fox Theatre in Atlanta opened in 1929 and some say a few of the millions who’ve passed through those doors still remain. The theater hosts ghost tours this time of year. We sent producer Sean Powers to learn about spirits that refuse to leave...even after the curtain comes down.

An interview with former Fox Theatre organist Bob Van Camp, whose ashes are stored in the Fox Theatre auditorium:

Lewis Hine

Ghosts aren’t just individual people who were once alive. They can also be entire towns – thriving communities that now only exist in memories, historical documents or the remnants of old buildings. We learn more about some of these communities from Lisa Russell, author of the new book, “Lost Towns of North Georgia.” 

 

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

A new book has fueled the indoor-outdoor cat debate by calling for the removal of all outdoor cats by any means necessary. The authors say feral and outdoor domestic cats are a threat to wildlife.

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. A new investigative report finds Atlanta has an alarming rate of guns stolen from cars.

Pete Souza / White House

It's fair to say that we haven't ever seen a presidential race quite like this one. While Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are under plenty of scrutiny, so is the media. A question that's come up in coverage of the Trump-Clinton face-off is whether traditional standards of journalism apply.  Are reporters expected to show objectivity?

Fox 5 Atlanta

It's been a few weeks since Hurricane Matthew and crews along the coast are still cleaning up.  The storm caused more than a million gallons of partially treated wastewater to flow into the Savannah River.

Sean Powers / Georgia Public Broadcasting

The AfroPunk music festival draws thousands to Brooklyn every summer. The celebration of innovation in the music and fashion world began in 2005, and has morphed into an international celebration  with AfroPunk festivals in London and Paris. This year, it made its debut in Atlanta with AfroPunk's Carnival of Consciousness. On Second Thought producer Sean Powers documented the second night of the festival.

Shannon Robinson / On Second Thought

The Breakroom gang joined host Celeste Headlee to weigh in on the week's news. The panel included LGBT educator and activist Robbie Medwed, Kennesaw State University professor Roxanne Donovan, former NPR correspondent Kathy Lohr, and conservative radio talk show host Greg Williams

  

St. Beauty

The Atlanta-based duo St. Beauty performs on Friday at AfroPunk festival in Atlanta. We asked its members Alex Belle and Isis Valentino to stop by our studios for a performance, and to add a couple more tunes to our Georgia Playlist.

Shelby Gordon

The Afropunk Festival draws thousands to Brooklyn every summer. It's a celebration of innovation in the music and fashion world.  AfroPunk has expanded its presence to other international hubs around the world, and this weekend the festival makes its debut in Atlanta.  Afropunk's Carnival of Consciousness begins Friday.  Two of the headliners performing are Alex Belle and Isis Valentino of the Atlanta-based duo, St. Beauty.

Steve Petteway / Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Twenty-five years ago this month, the nation watched as a federal judge from Savannah, Georgia named Clarence Thomas went through a grueling confirmation hearing to the U.S. Supreme Court. The hearing became a media circus after a young law professor named Anita Hill was called into testify. The nation watched in disbelief as Hill described in graphic detail her allegations of unwanted sexual advances by Thomas.

Phil Roeder / flickr

Reports of sexual assaults on college campuses are all too common, but what's less-known are cases at the high school level. In both colleges and high schools, Title IX coordinators are supposed to be on hand to review sexual assault allegations, but a recent investigation in Slate Magazine reveals that's not happening the way it should at many schools, including at least one in Georgia.

Glynn County EMA

 

 

“Catastrophic and devastating.”

That’s how Glynn County Emergency Management director Jay Wiggins describes Hurricane Matthew.

His and five other counties on the coast are anxiously waiting for the storm, which could bring winds of over 100 miles an hour and a storm surge as high as eight feet.

Lots of people say they can't draw and if they do doodle, they draw boxes or something really simple.  But Atlanta-based illustrator Mike Lowery wants to start young when it comes to creating artists. He's the author of "The Pursuit of the Pesky Pizza Pirate!" It's part of a series of books that encourage kids to doodle. We talked with Lowery about why doodling matters. 

NHC / NOAA

UPDATE 10/9/16 12:25 p.m

Governor Nathan Deal is lifting the mandatory evacuation order for coastal counties except for Chatham, where it won't be lifted until 5 p.m. At that point, Chatham County will be open to the public as well, though there will be a curfew in effect from 10 p.m.-7 a.m.

Liam Daniel / Bleecker Street

A new film called “Denial” starring Rachel Weisz tells the story of the 2000 legal battle between Emory University professor Deborah Lipstadt and British Holocaust denier David Irving. We talked with Lipstadt about the libel case, which garnered international attention.

Georgia Innocence Project

In 2001, a jury in Georgia convicted 20-year-old Joey Watkins to life in prison for a number of charges, including murder. His case caught the eye of the Georgia Innocence Project, which contacted the hosts of the “Undisclosed” podcast. The show looks at criminal convictions where there’s room for doubt and Watkins’ case was perfect for coverage.

In Georgia native Karin Slaughter's latest novel "The Kept Woman," we are taken to the frontlines of a crime scene where there are more questions than answers. A body turns up, and the lead investigator is Will Trent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. If you're familiar with Karin's other novels, you've likely come across him many times before.

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Two Georgia residents who competed in the 1968 Olympic games in Mexico City were honored by President Obama last week.  The pair are former Olympians who competed in the 1968 games in Mexico City. Tommie Smith took home the gold in the 200 meter dash, while John Carlos clenched the bronze. However, what happened on the awards podium was an even bigger headline. Smith and Carlos raised their gloved fists in a black power salute.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

This October marks 50 years since the founding of the Black Panther Party. Kathleen Cleaver joined the Black Panthers in 1967 after she left the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Atlanta. She’s now a lecturer at Emory University. Cleaver reflects on the party's legacy, and the work that still needs to be done for civil rights.

 

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The Breakroom gang joins host Celeste Headlee to weigh in on the week's news. The panel includes writer Nicki Salcedo of Decaturish.com, music blogger Jordan Stepp, Georgia State University professor Hector Fernandez, and Jeff Breedlove, who is the communications director for DeKalb County commissioner Nancy Jester.

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