On Second Thought For Tuesday, February 13, 2018

It’s been about six months since Atlanta-based credit rating company Equifax admitted it had been hacked. More than 140 million people were exposed by the data breach to possible ID theft. According to documents the company recently handed over to members of Congress, even more sensitive information was obtained as a result of the breach. We talk about latest with the investigation into the breach with Tamar Hallerman, Washington D.C. correspondent for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

How your credit rating is figured can be arcane and mysterious, but one significant factor is how much credit card debt you carry ... and pay off. The Federal Reserve says America’s plastic debt is the highest it's ever been: a trillion dollars last year. A recent ranking of cities by CreditCards.com places Atlanta near the top of that list. We talk with Atlanta-based financial advisor, Cecily Welch.

If you have a baby or a medical crisis in your family and take time off work, it could cost you your job. The Family and Medical Leave Act was intended to prevent that. This month marks 25 years since the Family and Medical Leave Act became federal law guaranteeing unpaid leave to certain employees. But in Georgia, 60 percent of working adults either aren’t covered by the law, or can’t afford to take the time off it provides, according to diversitydatakids.org. We talk about the past and future of these employment protections with Julie Smith, president of Custom Human Resources Solutions. And Erica Clemmons, Georgia State Director for 9 to 5.

Mountain lions, pumas, and panthers, Oh MY! Whatever you call them, big cats once roamed every U.S. state. But they’ve long been a ghostly presence east of the Mississippi. This year, federal wildlife managers officially declared the Eastern Cougar extinct. The last confirmed sighting was in 1938.  Key word there is confirmed. People still report seeing cougars in the South. Take Todd Lester. He’s a former president of the Eastern Cougar Foundation. We hear about his close encounter.

New info from the Department of Corrections finds Georgia’s incarceration rate of black men dropped by 30 percent in the last eight years. But a huge imbalance still exists in our state prisons. African American men still make up nearly two thirds of Georgia’s prison population. We talk about this trend with Bill Rankin, Reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Also James Forman Jr., a Professor of Law at Yale Law School. He is also author of the book “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.”

A recent NPR poll finds 60 percent of black Americans say they or a family member have been stopped unfairly by police. Some 45 percent say they or a family member have been treated unfairly by the courts. Ameer Mohammed of Atlanta wants his experiences with police to be a learning experience for his 14-year-old son, Faheem. We listen to a conversation between them.