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Varnell City Council Votes To Eliminate Police Department

Jul 12, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

The North Georgia city Varnell has voted to disband its police department.

Media outlets report that Varnell Mayor Anthony Hulsey reinstated Police Chief Lyle Grant on Tuesday morning. However, in a special meeting later that day, the city council voted 3-1 to dissolve the police department "effective immediately." This leaves Grant and 10 officers in limbo.

The elimination comes after police say former city council member Sheldon Fowler assaulted police officers. As a result, Grant was put on paid leave for the way he handled the investigation.

Judge: Man Accused Of Threats To Rep. John Lewis’ Staff Is Competent

Jul 12, 2017

A man accused of threatening the staff of U.S. Rep. John Lewis has been deemed competent to stand trial.

A report from the warden at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, indicates that Dante Antione Rosser is competent to stand trial and understands the nature of the legal proceedings, U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Baverman said Tuesday.

Baverman had ordered a mental health evaluation during a hearing in March.

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.

27 Arrested In 4-Day Police Sting Targeting Guns, Felons

Jul 12, 2017
WCN 24/7 / Flickr/CC

The Savannah-Chatham police department conducted a four-day operation targeting illegal guns and convicted felons, netting 27 arrests.

David Goldman / AP Photo

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.

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.

Takénobu

Atlanta cellist Nick Ogawa, better known as ‘Takénobu," takes the cello beyond the orchestra. His latest album, “Reversal,” uses loops and percussive sounds to create thick soundscapes. We catch up with Takénobu ahead of a performance at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur tomorrow night, July 13.

Branden Camp / AP Photo

Since its passage in the wake of 9/11, the Patriot Act has become a symbol to civil liberties activists for any law which invades personal freedoms in the name of preventing terrorism. But a new law which went into effect on July 1 has Georgia’s branch of the American Civil Liberties Union saying it’s even broader than the Patriot Act.

Steve Johnson / flickr

“Boil Before Using” was the rule for tap water in several Atlanta neighborhoods last week ... not long after we learned about undetected lead contamination in many Georgia waterways. Now, a recent study by the Natural Resources Defense Council shows Georgia leads most states in drinking water violations, most of them in rural areas.

Other Press

On this day in 1773, the first Jewish settlers arrived in Savannah. They founded what has become the oldest Jewish congregation in the South. Nearly two centuries later, Savannah again became a refuge for Jewish immigrants. Author Jonathan Rabb explores this difficult transition in his novel, "Among The Living.” We talk to him about the book, and researching Jewish communities in Georgia. 

A recent study by the Natural Resources Defense Council shows Georgia leads most states in drinking water violations. Most happen in rural areas. We talk about the findings with Erik Olson, the NRDC’s health program director.

Then, 40 years ago President Jimmy Carter posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Dr.  Martin Luther King, Jr. The civil rights icon had died about a decade earlier. Our producer Sean Powers takes us back to the day MLK was honored at the White House with this audio postcard.

University of Georgia Press

Jurist Leah Ward Sears is a trailblazer. On top of being the first woman, and youngest person to sit on Georgia's Supreme Court, she was also the first African-American female Chief Justice in the United States. A new biography about her life, called “Seizing Serendipity" by Rebecca Davis, tracks her rise to success from humble Georgia beginnings.

The Associated Press

Forty years ago, President Jimmy Carter awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. some ten years after his death. The civil rights icon was assassinated in 1968. Producer Sean Powers took us back to that day at the White House with this audio postcard.

Georgia state agencies have ramped up efforts to crack down on elder abuse, with law enforcement training and a tougher criminal code.

But an underlying anxiety exists among several officials who feel the issue will continue to plague at-risk Georgians until stricter protocols are put in place to track offenses, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Despite a new statewide focus on the issue, Georgia has no elder abuse registry, unlike Tennessee and New Hampshire, two leading states in addressing elder abuse.

Charles Tasnadi / AP Photo

Today on “Political Rewind,” we take a deep dive into the summer of ’72 and the botched burglary that eventually toppled a president. Bill Nigut and the AJC’s Jim Galloway spend the full hour with Richard Ben-Veniste, chief of the special prosecutor’s Watergate Task Force.

The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History

This year marks 155 years since a daring operation happened in Georgia to try and end the Civil War. A team of Union soldiers planned to steal a train, and destroy railroad bridges, tunnels, and telegraph lines to the South. All of this was a plot to derail the Confederacy. The locomotive captured in that raid is now on display at the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History in Kennesaw.

Wikipedia

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case against the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, alleging the company discriminates against older workers by not hiring them in the first place. This leaves in place a ruling from Atlanta’s 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. We discuss the implications with Paul Chichester, an Atlanta-based employment attorney. And Peter Gosselin, contributing reporter for ProPublica.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case against the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, alleging the company discriminates against older workers by not hiring them in the first place. This leaves in place a ruling from Atlanta’s 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. We discuss the implications with Paul Chichester, an Atlanta-based employment attorney. And Peter Gosselin, contributing reporter for ProPublica.

Evan Vucci / AP Photo

Today on “Political Rewind,” we have the first official face-to-face meeting of Trump and Putin. A conversation slotted for 30 minutes went longer than two hours, but what was truly accomplished? Set against the framework of a volatile G-20, we break down the conversation. 

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department/Savannah Morning News via AP

Over the holiday weekend, three people in Savannah were killed following a shooting and car crash. Savannah has one of the highest murder rates in Georgia.

The Breakroom gang joins host Celeste Headlee to weigh in on the week's news. The panel included Kennesaw State University professor Roxanne Donovan, writer and blogger Jessica Szilagyi, business owner Ruel Joyner, and Korean Daily reporter HB Cho.

Flickr

President Trump has created a commission to investigate voter fraud. Most states are refusing to hand over their registration records. But Georgia’s leadership has agreed to release extensive personal information about voters here. Blogger Sam Burnham takes issue with this. He brings us this commentary.

Max Pixel

Georgia still calls itself the Peach State. But California ships about 680,000 tons more peaches than we do. Might it be time to rebrand the Peach State? AJC columnist George Mathis III brings us this commentary.

Flickr

Sucheta Rawal is a children’s book author on a mission. She created Beato, a world traveling cat, who’s part of a broader plan to raise cultural awareness in both kids and adults.  Her latest book is “Beato Goes to Indonesia,” which just hit the shelves. The author joins us in the studio.

Updated at 5:39 pm ET July 7: Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, an obstetrician-gynecologist who has served as the top health official in Georgia for the past six years, has been appointed director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday.

First, Sucheta Rawal is a children’s book author on a mission. She created Beato, a world traveling cat, who’s part of a broader plan to raise cultural awareness in both kids and adults. Her latest book is “Beato Goes to Indonesia,” which just hit the shelves. The author joins us in the studio.

WME

If you attend a church service in Atlanta on any given Sunday you may have heard this song: "Break Every Chain."

 

The woman behind this Billboard chart-topping song is Grammy Award winning gospel singer Tasha Cobbs.  

On this day in 1981, Cobbs was born in Jesup, Georgia.

The singer, who was the most streamed gospel artist of 2016, has attracted the attention of another entertainer by the name of Onika Maraj, better known as Nicki Minaj.

Elizabeth Tammi / GPB

 

Wesleyan College is known for its diversity. A fourth of their students are international, and over a third are minorities. But it hasn’t always been that way.

 

In fact, back in the early 1900s, the Ku Klux Klan had something of a presence in campus life. Students named classes in honor of the KKK and even wore hooded robes and nooses. But dr. Vivia Fowler, president of Wesleyan, says the school’s past does not reflect its future.

Macon Museum Prepares For Solar Eclipse

Jul 6, 2017
Katie Atkinson / GPB

 

For the first time since 1918, the entire continental United States is going to experience a solar eclipse. And though it won’t be his first, Paul Fisher is looking forward to the eclipse on August 21.

"I've always really found them to be more exciting than I expected them to be," Fisher said.

Fisher is the science curator and planetarium director at the Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences. This summer, he’s spending a lot of time educating guests on what exactly is about to happen.

Black Georgia Lawmakers Blast Trump Panel On Voting Fraud

Jul 6, 2017
Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

Black lawmakers in Georgia blasted President Donald Trump's election fraud commission for requesting extensive personal voter information Thursday, accusing the administration of trying to scare people away from voting.

Members of Georgia's Legislative Black Caucus, all Democrats in the General Assembly, said there's no logical reason the federal government would ask states for the information. They said releasing it would violate voters' privacy.

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