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Comcast expects to invest $200 million over the next 20 years in startups at its new accelerator opening at its new regional headquarters near SunTrust Park, called The Farm.
Courtesy of Boomtown

Comcast will dedicate part of its new nine-story office tower going up next to the Atlanta Braves stadium to a new start-up accelerator program called “The Farm.”

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Toby Krout, executive director of Boomtown, a startup accelerator in Boulder, Colorado, is launching the program with Comcast early next year.  

Josh Edelson / AP Images for Lyft

A group of state senators in Georgia is proposing to remove all taxes on transportation.

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The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday heard a bill that would allow the state to better collect taxes from ride-booking services such as Uber and Lyft.

 

But during debate, senators changed the proposal to eliminate transportation taxes entirely. They said the removal would fix the problem of unfair taxing.

 

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Judge Neil Gorsuch has been grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee for more than 18 hours of questioning over two separate days, and the proceedings are not finished yet.

On Thursday, the committee hears testimony from witnesses about Gorsuch's qualifications to be a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

ALISON GUILLORY / WABE

Georgia's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for February fell to 5.3 percent, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

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That's down two-tenths of a point from January.

"Our job growth is doing better than most of the rest of the nation," Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said.

Georgia gained nearly 12,500 jobs last month and 114,000 jobs over the last year, according to the Labor Department.

In theater, typically the way things work is a playwright writes a play and then a theater company puts it onstage. There is one group helping Atlanta artists with all of the stuff that happens in between. They’re called Working Title Playwrights.

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Norman Mackenzie, director of choruses for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, poses for a portrait on July 9, 2015.
Stephanie M. Lennox / WABE

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus has won almost as many Grammy Awards as Adele. But whereas Adele makes millions, ASO singers get paid … nothing.  A visit to an ASO rehearsal explains why these singers volunteer.

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To get into this choir, performers need a great voice that blends well with others and the ability to read music really well.

Meaghan Curry has those skills. 

"I get so much joy out of singing with the chorus and getting to hear this orchestra,” she says.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal speaks during a press conference to announce he has vetoed legislation allowing clergy to refuse performing gay marriage and protecting people who refuse to attend the ceremonies Monday, March 28, 2016, in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

As the U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote Thursday on the healthcare bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, leaders in Georgia have expressed mixed views about the plan. 

So far, many of Georgia's Republican members in the U.S. House appear to support the bill. But Wednesday, a spokesperson for Congressman Jody Hice, a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, said Hice was opposed to the measure.  

A section of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area on Cobb Parkway called the Paces Mill/Palisades facility is about to get major facelift and a new name.
Courtesy of Cumberland CID

Off Cobb Parkway near Paces Mill Road, is a tucked-away section of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area that's about to get major facelift and a new name.

The recreation area currently known as the Paces Mill/Palisades facility has more than a few problems

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Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) during a hearing at the Senate Finance Committee, May, 2013.
Charles Dharapak / Associated Press

Sen. Johnny Isakson is recuperating from his second back surgery this year at his Georgia home, complicating Republican leaders' plans as they count the votes for the GOP health care overhaul and a Supreme Court nominee.

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Aides to the third-term Republican senator said Wednesday that Isakson is still awaiting his physician's approval to travel back to Washington.

 

Al Such / WABE

Wednesday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

David Goldman / Associated Press

Atlanta was named by a trade publication as America's best big city for people working in the film industry in 2016.

As productions flourish around the city, so do calls for extras, actors participating in non-speaking roles for the purpose of world-building and atmosphere in films and television shows.

AP Photo/Dave Martin, File

Cheers! Lawmakers have approved the Georgia brewery bill.

Starting Sept. 1, visitors to breweries will be able to down a few ales and take up to a case of beer home.

The Senate voted Wednesday to do away with prohibition-era laws and allow breweries to sell directly to consumers.

The bill was approved by the House and will move to the governor's desk to be signed into law.

The bill includes craft distilleries, allowing them to serve liquor and allow customers to purchase up to three bottles of spirits right from the source.

House members work during the House's session on the final day of the 2015 legislative session, Thursday, April 2, 2015, in Atlanta.
Branden Camp / Associated Press

The Georgia General Assembly passed a $49 billion budget Wednesday. House Speaker David Ralston said it’s possibly the earliest point in the legislative session lawmakers have agreed on a budget.

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Under the plan, teachers would get a 2 percent raise; state workers who handle child welfare cases would see a 19 percent pay increase; and state law enforcement would receive a 20 percent salary boost.

Georgia's Health System Score Just Went Up

Mar 22, 2017
Gerald Herbert / Associated Press

Georgia’s ranking on a health system scorecard has improved from 46th in the nation to 41st.

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The Commonwealth Fund’s 2017 scorecard ranked the 50 states and the District of Columbia on the most recent data available in five areas: health care access, quality, avoidable hospital use and costs, health outcomes, and health care equity.

More Bike Lanes Are Headed To Downtown Decatur

Mar 22, 2017
Pixabay Images

Decatur's City Commission has approved $1 million to build more bike lanes downtown. It's part of the Decatur PATH Foundation Connectivity and Implementation Plan, which is a long-term cycling and walking connectivity plan for the city.

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Jeremiah Parker Hobbs and India S. Tyree star as the titualar characters in the Alliance Theatre’s fairy tale ''Cinderella and Fella.''
Greg Mooney / Courtesy of the Alliance Theatre

The phrase "Cinderella story" is used to describe a meteoric rise from humble beginnings to fame and fortune. The Alliance Theatre is putting a new kind of Cinderella story onstage –  one that subverts its fairy tale origins for today's children.

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"Cinderella and Fella" is billed as being "more high-tops than glass slipper" and is fueled by a different kind of magic.

David Goldman / Associated Press

In nine days the Atlanta Braves will play their first game in their new Cobb County ballpark.

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Team officials have repeatedly said they've got traffic troubles under control and have assured fans that they will be able to get to the stadium on-time.

Those who live and work nearby are bracing for the traffic boost.

Residents of Metro Atlanta voted for officials and SPLOST measures during the March 21st special election.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Jason Lary has won the mayoral election for the new city of Stonecrest, but South Fulton’s race is headed into a runoff this year, following Tuesday’s election.

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In South Fulton, William B. Edwards will face off against Benny Crane in the April 18 runoff, as no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote.

Martha Dalton

A bill that would require Georgia colleges to report sexual assaults to police is advancing in the Senate. That mandate is controversial.

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Currently, victims can report assaults to law enforcement, but they aren't required to. A federal law, called Title IX, also lets them file a complaint on campus that’s handled by the school. Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, is the bill’s sponsor. He said colleges aren’t equipped to manage such serious cases.

Robb D. Cohen / Invision/Associated Press

Atlanta hip-hop artist Future recently set a record which was unprecedented in the music industry. His self-titled album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 album charts.

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Rob Griffith / Associated Press

 

 

Remember the "Burqa Ban?"

Last November a Georgia lawmaker introduced, and then quickly withdrew, a measure many believed targeted Muslim women wearing face veils. The bill may be long dead, buried under a firestorm of instant resistance from both the right and the left, but on certain parts of the Internet, Georgia is still making headlines.

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Alex Brandon / AP Photo

New legislation before the Atlanta City Council would make possession of small amounts of marijuana a citation-only offense.

The ordinance, from Council Member Kwanza Hall, would mean someone caught with less than an ounce of the drug would face a fine of up to $75, not jail time.

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The proposal is similar to a law adopted in the town of Clarkston last July.  

Atlanta City Council president Caesar Mitchell said the council isn’t attempting to greenlight marijuana use.

Johnny Kauffman / WABE

The words “slavery” and “Civil War” don’t appear in a resolution filed in the Georgia legislature that’s meant to honor the state’s role in the “four-year struggle for state’s rights, individual freedom, and local government control.” It would recognize April as Confederate History Month, and April 26, 2017 as Confederate Memorial Day at the state capitol.

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Georgia Power

Thousands of Georgians are starting the day in the dark, after storms passed through Tuesday night. 

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Georgia Power reports at one point last night more than 171,000 customers were without power. Of those, about 38,000 were in the greater Atlanta area.

The strong storm system started to enter North Georgia in the afternoon.

A New Look For Downtown Atlanta Outlined In Master Plan

Mar 21, 2017
David Goldman / Associated Press

Downtown Atlanta could look a lot different in 15 years.

The City of Atlanta and Central Atlanta Progress are updating the Downtown Atlanta Master Plan for the first time in a decade.

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Jennifer Ball, CAP's vice president of planning and economic development, said some wants are the same, like more bike facilities and walkable streets. She also said parks and green space have now become bigger priorities.

AP File

Georgia lawmakers have reached a compromise on a bill that would require doctors to log into a pill-tracking database before prescribing painkillers and other high-risk drugs. The goal is to curtail the overprescribing of opioids.

But critics say loopholes written into the proposal would create a false sense of accomplishment while leaving patients exposed to harm. Physician groups counter that the exceptions are necessary to reduce the burden on already strained doctors.

Students at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance.
Alison Guillory / WABE

Tuesday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Rene Perez / Associated Press

Nina Simone, one of the most extraordinary musical artists of the twentieth century, is having her story told now at Theatrical Outfit.

“Simply Simone,” which opens on March 23 and runs through April 15, is part biography, part music revue, and it takes a unique approach to telling the story of both her public and inner life.

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Photo Courtesy of Capitol City Opera

Don Quixote is such an iconic story that a word derived from the name: quixotic, meaning exceedingly idealistic, unrealistic and impractical.

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Miguel de Cervantes' tome was adapted into a Broadway musical in 1965. In it, Cervantes has been captured by the Inquisition and must face trial. In the meantime, he and his fellow prisoners reenact the adventures of a blundering nobleman, Don Quixote.

Rene Perez / Associated Press

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

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