Athens

Two new types of spiders have been found in Athens, Georgia. That’s bad news if you’re an arachnophobe, but great news if you’re an arachnologist. Bud Freeman is the Director of the Georgia Museum of Natural History. He and his team of fellow spider hunters are leading the search for new types of eight-legged creatures in the Southeast.

In recent years, Atlanta has been on a mission to turn around failing public schools, while many parents turn to charter schools. David Osborne is author of the new book, “Reinventing America’s Schools.” He suggests treating all schools a bit like charter schools would improve the situation. We talk with David Osborne and Maureen Downey, Education Reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

We dedicate an entire show to the Southern drawl. Y’all listen up now…

Where did y’all come from, anyway? We can trace the use of the word all the way back to colonial ancestors. Cameron Hunt McNabb, an English professor at Southeastern University, gives us a history and dialect lesson. Plus, The Atlantic staff writer Vann Newkirk II makes the case for why y'all is needed.

U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct by five women. Many high ranking Republicans have called on him to drop out of the race. But one state poll says Moore enjoys support by many Alabama evangelicals. This could be part of a bigger picture. In 2011, the Public Religion Research Institute found only 30 percent of white evangelicals thought elected officials who commit an immoral act could still fulfill their public duties. In 2016, that number had more than doubled, to 72 percent. We talk with Dan Cox,  Director of Research for PRRI.

Good news: breast cancer death rates dropped by nearly 40 percent in the last three decades. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosis for U.S. women. Skin cancer’s first. But there is bad news. Black women continue to die at a higher rate than whites, especially in the South. But some states have eliminated the racial disparity in breast cancer deaths. These are recent findings by the Atlanta-based American Cancer Society. Carol DeSantis is Director of Breast and Gynecological Surveillance for the organization, and our guest.

This summer, 27 so-called micronations gathered in Dunwoody, Georgia for MicroCon 2017. A micronation is defined as a small, self-proclaimed entity which claims to be an independent sovereign state, but is not acknowledged as such by any recognized sovereign state, or by any supranational organization. Vice News produced a documentary from the convention, which featured many micronations based within Georgia. We get the inside scoop from Vice Media Video Producer Oliver Noble.

UNODC / http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/statistics/data.html

As a nation, we’re having more tough conversations about sexual violence and harassment, as more women step forward to accuse powerful men of abusing their positions. We have profiles for killers and terrorists, what about people who commit sexual assault and rape?

A new book explores why so many young men of color wind up in prison. “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America” is the work of Yale Law School Professor James Forman, Jr. His father was a leader of SNCC -- the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. Forman, Jr. is also a graduate of Atlanta’s Roosevelt High. He joins us in the studio.

R.E.M.

R.E.M.’s hit record “Automatic for the People” was released 25 years ago. In 1992, the album hit #2 on the Billboard 200 charts, and became certified 4x platinum in the United States. The record is getting an anniversary re-release, out tomorrow, November 10. We talk with Athens’ own Mike Mills, R.E.M.’s bass player.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of R.E.M.'s iconic album, "Automatic for the People." We asked R.E.M mega-fan and Athens-based music reviewer Jordan Stepp to share an appreciation of the album. She talked about two of her favorite tracks: "Drive" and "Sweetness Follows." 

Comedian Jim Gaffigan has appeared in “That 70s Show,” “Fargo,” “Bob’s Burgers,” and many times on “Law and Order.” But he may be best known for his stand-up comedy specials, and two seasons of "The Jim Gaffigan Show." We catch up with him ahead of a live show in Atlanta this weekend.

On Tuesday Atlantans voted for a new mayor and other important city positions. We analyze election day results with Andra Gillespie, Professor of Political Science at Emory University. And Greg Bluestein, Political Reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Athens music scene is legendary and always booming. Since it became famous for launching bands like R.E.M., the B-52s, and countless others, it has only grown in the number of bands, talent, and musical quality. Some Athenians are documenting the music and history of that town's scene. 

Three former sheriff’s deputies in Washington County, Georgia face murder charges. A man they tased this summer died. The incident was captured on video. We talk with GPB’s Grant Blankenship, who is following the case.

Many of Georgia’s historic theaters need repairs. This month, the Atlanta-based Fox Theatre Institute gave $85,000, shared by four theaters, for historic preservation. One recipient is Rome’s DeSoto Theatre. We learn about that theater’s legacy from Rome resident Tommy Lam, whose grandfather started the DeSoto.

Democrats lost big in 2016. But this year, progressive candidates in the South begin to win state and local races. Birmingham, Alabama recently joined the list of Southeastern cities electing left-leaning, African-American candidates. Senator Bernie Sanders personally endorsed Birmingham’s new Mayor-elect Randall Woodfin. Woodfin beat a two-term Democratic incumbent in a runoff election last month. We talk with Woodfin about his campaign, and his plans for Birmingham.

Next Tuesday, Atlanta voters will pick a new mayor. With nine candidates vying for office, campaign fundraising and robocalls have played a major role in the race. That’s been a hot-button issue as the feds investigate pay-to-play contracts at city hall.  A joint investigation by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Georgia News Lab examines the flow of money from city contractors to the campaigns. We talk with AJC reporter Dan Klepal and Georgia News Lab reporter Ryan Basden.

Rio Gandara/Helsingin Sanomat

The terms “alt-right,” “far-right,” and “radical right” get thrown around a lot these days. But there’s actually very little research on what those terms mean and who the people are identifying with them. Cas Mudde, Professor in the Department of International Affairs at UGA, is looking to change that. His new book is “The Far-Right in America.” He joins us to analyze the movement and its many subsets.

The terms “alt-right,” “far-right,” and “radical right” get thrown around a lot these days. But there’s actually very little research on what those terms mean and who the people are identifying with them. Cas Mudde, Professor in the Department of International Affairs at UGA, is looking to change that. His new book is “The Far-Right in America.” He joins us to analyze the movement and its many subsets.

Sara Wise

Jeffrey Kilpatrick, a lecturer at the University of Georgia, has a new collection of scary stories that take place in Athens.This collection is called “Hometown Horrors, Terrifying Tales of Athens: Volume 1: Bloody Boulevard.” One of these terrifying tales revolves around two University of Georgia students who want to learn more about a cult in town called the Inner Circle.

An Atlanta attorney accused of murder says it was a tragic accident.  The prosecutor says Tex McIver knew what he was doing when he shot his wife, Diane McIver. The case is explored in this season’s “Breakdown” podcast, produced by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It premiered earlier this month. AJC reporter Bill Rankin joins us in the studio.

UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences - OCCS

On September 30, a rape allegedly occurred on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens. Afterwards, students received no timely notifications or information from UGA officials. Of the 15 reported rapes on campus last year, students were only notified of two of them quickly.

A special hour about guns in the South: the people who own them, the emotions they stir, how they’re bought and sold, the total cost of gun violence, and the history of laws controlling who has access to them.

Experts: Opioid Crisis Is Hitting Georgia Especially Hard

Oct 23, 2017
johnofhammond / Flickr/CC

The nation's deepening opioid epidemic is hitting Georgia harder than most states, experts say.

That's one of the messages that came out of a recent conference at the University of Georgia.

Some of the highest opioid use is in the Rust Belt and the Southeast, authorities said.

This year a federal court in Chicago ruled for the first time that workers can’t be fired based on sexual orientation, extending workplace protections in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the LGBT community. Yet, a Georgia judge ruled against a similar case. Now that case is up for appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Jameka Evans claims Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah fired her for being a lesbian. Earlier this month, 18 state attorneys general filed briefs in support of Evans's petition.

Imagine being in outer space with two sassy robots, and being forced to watch really bad science fiction movies with them. That’s the premise of the cult classic TV series, “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” The show got a reboot on Netflix this summer. We talk with series creator Joel Hodgson.

"On Second Thought" is celebrating its third anniversary this week. The show launched its first broadcast on GPB on October 20, 2014. To celebrate three amazing years, we’re re-airing our best segments in a two part broadcast. Here are the best picks for today:

This week "On Second Thought" celebrates three years on the air. The show launched October 20, 2014. To celebrate, we’re re-airing a few of our best segments. Do you have a favorite segment or episode? Let us know.

Actor George Takei first came to fame as a young Sulu in the original Star Trek series. But he’s since become an active voice in promoting equal rights for LGBT people. We spoke to Takei earlier this year when the play “Allegiance,” was showing in Atlanta movie theaters. The play is inspired by Takei’s experiences in a U.S. internment camp during World War II.

David Goldman / AP Photo

In Georgia, sports are a way of life. The fandom surrounding sports often influences the psyche of both the individual and the groups obsessing over teams. Erin Tarver explores how sports can influence our values in her new book, “The ‘I’ in Team: Sports Fandom and the Reproduction of Identity.” She talks to us, along with Vicki Michaelis, Professor of Sports Journalism at the University of Georgia.

A new novel by Atlanta-based author Nic Stone explores police violence against people of color through the eyes of a teenage boy. He tries to make sense of contemporary racism using the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr., asking if those teachings still hold up. “Dear Martin” is out today, Oct. 17. The book launches with an event tonight at The National Center for Human and Civil Rights in Atlanta. Author Nic Stone joins us live in the studio.

Pages