Athens

Federal prosecutors are investigating bribes paid to Atlanta city officials in exchange for business contracts. Two contractors have already plead guilty to dishing out these bribes--though it is not clear who accepted them. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has exclusive new info on the situation. We talk with reporter Scott Trubey, who has been covering the bribery scandal at City Hall.

Then, Kaleb Anderson is a 19 year-old-from Atlanta. He was diagnosed with HIV just a couple of months before starting college. He shares his story in a commentary.

Courtney McDermott

Athens band Five Eight has been a staple in the Georgia music scene for decades. An upcoming documentary called “Weirdo: The Story of Five Eight” follows the band’s return to glory. This week, the group premieres their new double record “Songs for St. Jude." Five Eight members Mike Mantione and Sean Dunn join us from Athens.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Mike Mantione said he gets to live out his teenage fantasy, right around the halfway mark of the song "Palace Estates."

“It's got the best guitar solo I've ever done,” Mantione said.

Commentary: Athens' Discrimination Problem

Jul 13, 2017
Mokah Jasmine Johnson

The City of Athens is facing a discrimination problem. That’s according to Mokah Jasmine Johnson, President and Co-founder of the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement. She brings us this commentary.

First, last week, Georgia’s public health commissioner was named as the new head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here in Atlanta. Brenda Fitzgerald was chosen by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, a former Georgia congressman. The last permanent director of the CDC was Tom Frieden, who was appointed by President Obama in 2009. We re-visit our conversation with Frieden, who talked about his work with the CDC, and what he hopes to see happen there in the future.

First, the battle for voter data is reaching a tipping point in Georgia. Last week, a lawsuit filed in Fulton County Superior Court seeks to overturn the results of the 6th District congressional election, alleging a voter data breach at an election center at Kennesaw State University influenced the outcome. And a new restraining order is looking to bar President Trump from obtaining voter information in Georgia. We talk about these issues with Kristina Torres, reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Kindercore Vinyl

Kindercore Vinyl in Athens is bringing analog music back to Georgia. The pressing plant is the newest and only such record producer in the state, and one of fewer than 30 in the country. We talk with Kindercore president Ryan Lewis.

First, President Trump recently unveiled new trade restrictions with Cuba. We look at how this will impact Georgia’s poultry industry. Joining us is James Sumner, President of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council and Marisa Anne Pagnattaro, Associate Dean for UGA’s Terry College of Business.

First, walking might be good for your health, but maybe not so good for your safety. Last year, 236 pedestrians were killed in Georgia. That’s a 40 percent increase in just two years. We discuss this with Sally Flocks, President and CEO of PEDS, which advocates for pedestrian safety in Georgia.

David Barbe is a legend in the Athens music scene. He runs the Chase Park Transduction recording studio, and has produced albums for Drive-By Truckers, Deerhunter, New Madrid, and many others. His new solo album, “10th of Seas,” is slated for release in August.

Courtesy of Thayer Sarrano / Curtis Wayne Millard Studio

All this week we get additions to the essential Georgia playlist from musicians playing at AthFest over the weekend, June 23-25. Today’s picks come from Athens singer/songwriter Thayer Sarrano. She adds some tunes from Don Chambers and Vic Chesnutt.

Thayer Sarrano performs at the Caledonia Lounge Friday at midnight as part of AthFest.

Today, we revisit our conversation with musician Kishi Bashi. He was raised in Virginia, but has lived in Athens since 2011 when he started playing with the band Of Montreal. We spoke to him just before his concert at the Variety Playhouse last fall. He is up for "Best Album of the Year" at the Flagpole Music Awards tonight in Athens.

Courtesy of Roadkill Ghost Choir

All this week we get additions to the essential Georgia playlist from musicians playing at AthFest over the weekend, June 23-25. Today’s picks come from Andrew Shepard of the Athens-based band Roadkill Ghost Choir. Picks include songs by Neutral Milk Hotel and Thayer Sarrano.

Courtesy of Hardy Morris

All this week we get additions to the essential Georgia Playlist from musicians playing at AthFest over the weekend, June 23-25. Today’s picks come from Athens-based singer/songwriter T. Hardy Morris. He waxes about music by James Brown and Robert Lester Folsom.

Hardy will perform the first night of AthFest at 1 a.m., June 23 at the Caledonia Lounge in Athens.

Courtesy of Five Eight

All this week we get additions to the essential Georgia playlist from musicians playing at AthFest over the weekend, June 23-25. Athens band Five Eight is one staple in the town’s music scene. The group has performed with R.E.M., Pylon, and The Ramones. Frontman Mike Mantione adds two songs to our essential Georgia Playlist, including picks from The Glands and Vic Chesnutt. 

Five Eight performs at AthFest this Sunday on the Hull St. Stage at 6:30 p.m.

Controversy has enveloped a recent column published by the Athens Banner-Herald. In the piece, titled “Radical Left Should Be Eradicated,” Robert Ringer writes: “As with ISIS, merely containing the Radical Left is not an acceptable alternative.

Morton Theatre

In honor of National Historic Preservation Month, we are visiting historic theaters across the state. Our first visit takes us to the Morton Theatre in Athens. It opened in 1910, and it's one of the oldest surviving African-American built, owned, and operated vaudeville theaters in the United States. Theater director Lynn Green shares her memories of the Morton Theatre.

Jason Thrasher

Athens Photographer Jason Thrasher has been shooting the music scene there for decades. His new book “Athens Potluck” captures the early gigs of R.E.M., Pylon, and the Drive-By Truckers. Thrasher adds two more tunes to our essential Georgia Playlist.

Photo courtesy of Cicada Rhythm

Cicadas are expected to return to Georgia this year after a long hiatus. Athens band Cicada Rhythm paid tribute to the raucous insects by naming their band after them. We asked Dave Kirslis to add some favorites to our essential Georgia Playlist.

Thousands of scientists plan to march on Washington this weekend. We look at how science is changing the world around us.

 

Before he was elected, President Trump called climate change a hoax. Now, he is rolling back policies meant to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Georges Benjamin says combating climate change is a public health issue. He’s the Executive Director of the American Public Health Association. He joined us with Peter Dykstra, the publisher of Environmental Health News.

Kevin Christopher Burke / Foter

A fraternity at the University of Georgia was recently suspended for a year for misconduct during a hazing ceremony. A ban on new bars opening in Downtown Athens took effect in February. All this points to a problem with partying.

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. He joins us with Sue Sturgis of the online energy magazine, Facing South.

A special election is coming up in a week to fill Tom Price’s vacated seat in Georgia’s 6th Congressional district. The race is both contentious and expensive, by-products of the modern democratic process. We talked about our democracy and its health.

Centuries ago, Plato predicted that democracy is always doomed to fail. Was he right? We asked two political science experts: Robert Pirro of Georgia Southern University and Michael Evans of Georgia State University.

Memaw's At LG's Restaurant

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

I-85 Arson Suspect Could Face Federal Charges

Apr 5, 2017
Henry P. Taylor / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Investigators say the man accused of starting the raging fire that caused the collapse of a section of I-85 in Atlanta on March 30 could face federal charges.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assistant special-agent-in-charge James Deir told WSB-TV on Wednesday that Basil Eleby could be charged with federal offenses after the U.S. attorney's office reviews the March 30 incident.

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

When a person dies, a part of them can remain with the living. That’s the case for one spirit in Savannah at the Sorrel Weed House Museum. We get a ghost story from the museum’s operation manager, Nicholas Wood.

UGA

University of Georgia officials say they plan a public talk about human remains found during a campus construction project, and about the history of slavery at the institution.

Workers on a campus construction project discovered the first of the remains from more than 100 burial sites in late 2015, on land that was once part of Athens' main burial ground. The remains were reinterred at an Athens cemetery.

It’s no secret young kids’ parents don’t get a lot of sleep. But new research shows living with children means less sleep for women than it does for men. Georgia Southern University assistant professor of epidemiology Kelly Sullivan is the author of this study. She joins us from our Savannah studio.

Over 15 million people in the United States deal with social anxiety disorder. SAD is an extreme fear  of being scrutinized and judged in social situations. For people who deal with social anxiety, it can be a paralyzing part of their everyday life. Georgia State psychology professor Page Anderson has developed a new technology to help people with social anxiety by using virtual reality. Her technology simulates real life settings and helps patients treat their anxiety virtually before confronting real-world situations.

University of Georgia

In 2015, construction workers at the University of Georgia made a startling discovery. They dug up a human skull while working on an addition to a classroom building. Eventually, archeologists discovered more than 100 gravesites. Some of them could have been slaves.  Some in Athens’ black community are upset with the way the university handled the remains.

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