Mark Ralston / Pool via AP

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

Dr. Jonathan Eisentat is the GBI's chief medical examiner. He says the number of heroin-related deaths is doubling, so there's a need for more investigators and more morgue space.
Alison Guillory / WABE

More than 1,200 people in Georgia died of a drug overdose in 2014, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To keep up with the increase in these cases, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Medical Examiner's office in south DeKalb County is spending $4.5 million to expand its morgue and office space.

Morgue Space

Mary Claire Kelly / WABE

Gwinnett County has had four days of long lines at its only early voting location, so now it's opening more.

County communications director Joe Sorenson said two new locations, fully staffed, will open Monday.

"To find enough people to actually fill of these advance voting centers was the most difficult thing," Sorenson said.

The new sites are the George Pierce Park Recreation Center in Suwanee and Lenora Park in Snellville. Like the original location, the county elections office in Lawrenceville, they will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Monday.

In this Saturday, May 31, 2014 photo, members of the graduating class and faculty attend the SCAD Commencement in Atlanta. On Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, the College Board said the average cost of attending college crept up again in 2014.
John Amis / Associated Press

College student debt is on the rise in Georgia, according to a new report. The Institute for College Access and Success found 61 percent of Georgia's college graduates carry student debt. 

For those who graduated last year, the average amount was $27,754. The report found in 2004, the average amount was about $15,354.

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Burn bans are in effect in five Metro Atlanta counties.

Local news organizations report that people in Hall, Forsyth, Fayette, Clayton and Gwinnett counties will not be allowed to burn items due in part to an ongoing drought.

Officials say they're worried about a home catching fire under dry conditions and are asking people to take yard debris to recycling centers instead of burning them.

Fayette County Fire Marshal Jeff Felmet says an acre burned last week after a campfire was abandoned before being properly extinguished.

Fred Hayes / Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Al Such / WABE

Richard Thompson has been performing professionally and writing songs for nearly 50 years.  Starting with his work with the seminal British folk-rock band Fairport Convention, Thompson has assembled a long line of critically-acclaimed albums which feature his unique songwriting style. Rolling Stone ranked him as one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, and his albums regularly appear in best-of lists.

John Bazemore / Associated Press

The drought covering most of Georgia is expanding, and will likely continue through the end of the year. Much of metro Atlanta is in "extreme drought," the second-worst category on the U.S. Drought Monitor's scale. It's even worse in the northwest corner of the state, where the drought is considered "exceptional."

Courtesy of Trey Clegg Singers

Eight months ago, Atlanta choir director Trey Clegg set out on a new venture. He had noticed that choirs were rarely culturally mixed, and he wanted to change that. His new choir, the Trey Clegg Singers, seeks to represent the true diversity of Atlanta through music.  

Clegg said that having a diverse group of singers promotes conversations that people might not be having.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration via AP, File

In this "Medical Minute" segment, WABE senior correspondent Jim Burress and medical analyst Dr. Ford Vox talk about a concerning new "trend" in healthcare: the discovery that some of the complicated devices we rely on to help save lives can sometimes spread infections between patients.

Promotions Marketing

This weekend there are events to help get you in the Halloween spirit, a special tour where you can explore the unique architecture of a downtown neighborhood, and a food festival that introduces you to some of the city’s best restaurants and chefs.

Atlanta PlanIt has compiled their top picks for events happening this weekend, Oct. 21 through 23.

Friday, Oct. 21

The Ghastly Dreadfuls

A man convicted of killing an Atlanta police officer and wounding a second officer with an AR-15 rifle was executed late Wednesday, becoming the seventh inmate put to death in Georgia this year.

Gregory Paul Lawler, 63, was pronounced dead at 11:49 p.m. at the state prison in Jackson after he was injected with the barbiturate pentobarbital. He was convicted of murder in the October 1997 slaying of Officer John Sowa and for critically wounding Officer Patricia Cocciolone.

Alison Guillory / WABE

Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in September, according to the state Department of Labor.

That’s up from 4.9 percent in August. 

Officials say more jobs were created in September, but the number of people looking for employment also grew. 

“In September, we had the largest increase in our labor force we’ve seen in nearly a quarter of a century,” said state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.

Georgia’s labor force, which includes people with jobs and those actively looking for one, grew by 25,737 to 4,918,505 in September.

AP Photo/David Goldman

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton face off in the final presidential debate Wednesday night at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. No other candidates met the poll percentage threshold to participate in the debate. The moderator is Chris Wallace of FOX News.

Russ Bynum / Associated Press

A federal judge Wednesday refused to order a second extension of Georgia's voter registration deadline in coastal areas that evacuated for Hurricane Matthew.

The decision came just days after the same judge ordered a brief extension for a single storm-stricken county.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Civil rights groups say they plan to deploy election observers to polling sites in several Georgia counties this election.

Those observers will keep an eye out for instances of voter intimidation, said Georgia NAACP president Francys Johnson.

“They will be looking for … people who may be displaying the Confederate battle emblem, for example. Or people who will be displaying firearms within 150 feet of a polling place,” Johnson said.

The Georgia NAACP is working with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the ACLU and the Legal Defense Fund.

Neil Hall / Pool Photo via AP

Jimmy Carter says allegations that this fall's elections will be rigged are "baseless."

The former president released a statement on Wednesday along with The Carter Center, the human rights organization he founded after leaving the White House. Carter's statement doesn't specifically mention Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has repeatedly complained that the election is rigged against him.

The Carter Center has monitored more than 100 elections around the world, but never in the U.S. Carter says he's seen "problematic" elections in that work.

Closer Look: Female Leaders In The Workplace; And More

Oct 19, 2016
Eboni Lemon / WABE

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

Eric Charbonneau / Invision for Twentieth Century Fox/AP Images

Wednesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

The Democratic National Committee has apologized after one of its campaign buses was spotted dumping raw sewage along a road outside Atlanta.

News outlets report a Lawrenceville auto shop employee alerted police Tuesday morning after witnessing the sewage getting dumped into a storm drain. The bus, which bears the slogan "Forward Together" and features the likenesses of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine, was in town for an early voting event.

This undated photo provided by the Georgia Department of Corrections on Wednesday, Oct. 12. 2016, shows death row inmate Gregory Paul Lawler. Convicted of killing an Atlanta Police Officer John Sowa in 1997, he is scheduled to be executed in Oct. 19, 2016
Georgia Department of Corrections via AP

A man convicted of killing an Atlanta police officer and wounding a second officer with an AR-15 rifle is scheduled to be the seventh person executed by the state this year.

Gregory Paul Lawler, 63, is set to die by injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital on Wednesday night. He was convicted in the October 1997 slaying of Officer John Sowa and for critically wounding Officer Patricia Cocciolone.

A television camera operator tests his position during a rehearsal for the third presidential debate between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at UNLV in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton debate for the final official time Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 9 p.m. on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas stage.

The moderator is Chris Wallace of FOX News, and the debate will comprise six themed 15-minute segments. 

Courtesy of

As part of France-Atlanta, an exhibition and program is being presented called “Cartooning for Peace: The of Art of Democracy.” Three world-renowned press cartoonists participated in the program – Jean “Plantu” Plantureux with Le Monde, France, Michel Kichka with Courrier International who is based in Israel, and our own Mike Luckovich with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In this "Medical Minute" segment, WABE senior correspondent Jim Burress and medical analyst Dr. Ford Vox talk about the current predicament in Alzheimer's disease research and treatment.

We're getting better and better at predicting this common form of dementia, even 15 or 20 years before clinical symptoms develop. But treatment lags behind our growing knowledge and ability to detect the problem.

President and CEO of NPR Jarl Mohn during a national road tour of NPR member stations.
John Haas / WABE

President and CEO of National Public Radio Jarl Mohn is on a coast-to-coast road tour of member stations. He stopped in Atlanta recently and spoke with WABE’s "Morning Edition" host Denis O’Hayer on the business model of public radio, digital media and the future of the network.

“I think if you attempt to make everybody happy, you probably fail,” Mohn said. “I think what we have to do is not overly complicate things. We have to think about what sounds good, what sounds right, what fits with our brand and what sounds like the future.”

Mohn said the network isn’t trying to find exact replicas of shows that have new hosts or hosts who are retiring like "A Prairie Home Companion" and "The Diane Rehm Show," but is experimenting with different sounds that fit the brand. He said it will require giving shows longer than the six-month test runs most traditional media outlets allow.  

“It is a hell of a challenge. It’s very difficult to do,” Mohn said. “Because every one of those shows, which are big monster hits, took years to develop. They were not overnight hits. None of them were. They took time to develop. So there are a lot of ideas out there and if we discover that idea tomorrow or this afternoon, it’s probably going to take years before we can really see the success.”

Mohn started his career as a DJ in 1967 before joining MTV as an executive in 1986. He later created E! Entertainment Television, spent time at VH1, CNET and served on the board of XM Radio.

Al Such / WABE

About 37 million Americans practice yoga, and some people in Atlanta are starting to do it in unexpected places. They do it on paddle boards out on Stone Mountain Lake, at area malls and at a park just off the BeltLine. WABE stopped by one yoga class to learn why hundreds of people there have left the gym behind.

Yoga As Community

The class is at a field near the Old Fourth Ward Skate Park. There, hundreds of people cram together yoga mats and move together like synchronized swimmers.   

Closer Look: West Side Developments; HIV/AIDS; And More

Oct 18, 2016
Candace Wheeler / WABE

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

Al Such / WABE

Former Atlanta Mayor and U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young joined the growing chorus of voices opposing Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposed school takeover. The plan would let the state manage some low-performing schools. On Tuesday, Young held a press conference with Atlanta baseball legend Hank Aaron and Georgia PTA President Lisa-Marie Haygood.

Proponents of the so-called “Opportunity School District” say some schools are struggling so much that the state has to step in. Deal said recently that impoverished communities, where most of the 127 schools are located, don’t have a voice.

Meg Chase

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Willie Grover voted early in Fulton County at the Southeast Atlanta Public Library for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

The final presidential debate between the top two candidates, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, is Wednesday night, but more than 146,500 Georgia voters have already cast their ballots.

Heyward Young, a resident of Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward, said he doesn't need to see any more debates and is looking forward to the end of the election.