Closer Look: Anonymous Da Band; Parking; And More

May 27, 2016
Mario Eugene Page

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

Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky / Wikimedia

Friday on "City Lights at Lois Reitzes":

Andre Penner / Associated Press

The Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed the first sexually transmitted case of the Zika virus in the state.

According to a press release from the DPH, the woman, who had not traveled out of the U.S., had been infected. Her partner, who had traveled to Brazil earlier this year, was among Georgia's confirmed travel-related cases of the virus.

Both she and her partner have now recovered from the virus, the release said.

Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press

Travelers who were dreading long airport security lines ahead of the Memorial Day weekend instead reported moving quickly through checkpoints Friday after authorities opened extra screening lanes and used bomb-sniffing dogs to give some passengers a break from removing their shoes.

"Wow. I mean, wow," said Mike Saresky, who flew into Chicago from Philadelphia, where he breezed through airport security in 12 minutes and got to leave his shoes on. "I thought it was going to be a lot worse."

A voter takes a "I'm a Georgia Voter" sticker after voting during Georgia's primary election at the polling station at South Lowndes Recreation Complex in Lake Park, Ga., Tuesday, March 1, 2016.
Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

State officials say about 20 percent of Georgia's registered voters turned out for this week's primary elections.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp's spokeswoman Candice Broce says totals on Friday showed 1,003,662 votes were cast. She says that's 20.42 percent of the people registered to vote.

Tuesday's elections included primaries for candidates seeking congressional, state legislative and local offices.

Sharon Schuster

A line in the opening paragraph of Faith Salie's new book, "Approval Junkie", reads "I'm wary of total self-acceptance. I'd rather fail dramatically than risk complacency."

Al Behrman / Associated Press

The 96-year-old Cincinnati surgeon credited with developing his namesake Heimlich maneuver recently used the emergency technique for the first time himself to save a woman choking on food at his senior living center.

Dr. Henry Heimlich told The Cincinnati Enquirer in an interview Thursday he has demonstrated the well-known maneuver many times through the years but had never before used it on a person who was choking.

Michael Burns (cropped) /

Last year was one of the deadliest in recent years for highway fatalities in Georgia, and this year isn't looking any better.

“On this day in 2015, we had 551 roadway fatalities. Sadly today, we’re at 544,” said Annalysce Baker, a spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

According to the National Safety Council, Georgia’s rise in roadway deaths is part of a national trend. Three thousand more people died on U.S. roadways in 2015 than the year before.

Writer Lauretta Hannon with her favorite subversive, Leo Tolstoy.
Kate Sweeney / WABE

Lauretta Hannon's favorite author of all time is Leo Tolstoy. She loves the Russian author's sprawling novels like "Anna Karenina" and "War and Peace."

But her favorite Tolstoy — the book that has sat dog-eared and bookmarked at her bedside for more than 20 years — is one not many people have heard of.

"A Calendar of Wisdom" was banned for decades after its publication in 1910, but Hannon says its nuggets of sagacity still inspire her day after day. In this installment of "Page-Turners," she talks about why.

Ebenezer historic baptist church at the King National Historic Site.
Al Such / WABE

Twenty different national parks are battling it out for some $2 million in grant funding. One contender is Atlanta's own historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. It's part of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

Rebecca Karcher, chief of interpretation, education and cultural resource management at the site, said they'd like more than $200,000 for repairs.

"The Ebenezer Baptist Church needs some help mitigating water infiltration and to repoint the building's brick façade,” said Karcher.

Johnny Kauffman / WABE

Georgia's Democratic Party Thursday presented their candidate for U.S. Senate Jim Barksdale and made the case for why he and Hillary Clinton will win the state in 2016.

Barksdale was the pick of the party establishment even before voters chose him in the May 24 primary, but until a Democratic press conference Thursday, Barksdale had mostly avoided the media. He gave more details Thursday about why he's running.

“I've been troubled by the building of increased walls of discrimination and hate,” said Barksdale, “Immigrants are demonized; Muslims are demonized.”

Alison Guillory / WABE

The city of Atlanta is putting together a list of transportation upgrades and transit expansions that could bring big changes to how people get around.

Alison Guillory / WABE

State transportation authorities have threatened to shut down the Atlanta Streetcar next month unless the city resolves dozens of problems outlined in recent audits.

News outlets report the Georgia Department of Transportation wrote a letter Monday to Mayor Kasim Reed and Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Agency CEO Keith Parker, giving the city until June 14 to submit plans to address 60 outstanding problems outlined in the reports.

Dave Matthews performs with his band during a concert at West Point Military Academy,N.Y. on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2007.
Daniel Morel / AP Photo

This weekend, Atlanta is playing host to a jazz festival, an '80s teen movie throwback and the mighty Dave. Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look at the calendar with Mara's Music Mix.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Gov. Nathan Deal has put together a group of 90 teachers across the state to weigh in on recommendations on how to reform the state's education system as part of an advisory committee.

A special commission Deal appointed last year made recommendations, but critics said they didn’t include enough input from teachers.  

David Johnston
Alison Guillory / WABE

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

Stephannie Stokes / WABE

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes"

thomas hawk /

A new analysis has found that nearly every state made prison-related reforms in 2014 and 2015.

The Vera Institute of Justice report released Thursday finds that in those two years, 46 states enacted 201 bills, executive orders and ballot initiatives.

The fixes ranged from improving bail systems to supporting recently released former prisoners to curbing the use of solitary confinement.

Other states created specialty courts for veterans, the homeless and drug addicts.

Susan Walsh / Associated Press

Soldiers are placing nearly a quarter of a million U.S. flags at Arlington National Cemetery as part of a Memorial Day tradition.

The event Thursday is known as "flags in." It marks the beginning of Memorial Day weekend activities at the cemetery.

The U.S. Army Military District of Washington says in a statement that the tradition began in 1948. The mission is carried out by the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, nicknamed "The Old Guard." The unit puts every available soldier to work, planting small flags in front of the more than 230,000 grave markers.

A Forsyth County man whose son serves in the U.S. Coast Guard is upset after he says his homeowners association forced him to stop displaying American flags on his property or else face hefty fines.

Stacy Campbell tells WSB-TV that he removed six small flags from his porch after receiving a letter from his homeowners association this month. The letter said he would be fined $300 each day the flags were kept on display — $50 for each flag.

Lawyers for a Wisconsin man targeted in a nationwide probe of Gangster Disciples street gang members say he should be freed while awaiting trial and allowed to return home, where he contributes to the arts and music scenes there.

A pair of indictments unsealed this month in federal courts in Atlanta and Memphis, Tennessee, name 48 defendants arrested in nine states — Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, Tennessee and Wisconsin. They're accused of crimes including murder, drug trafficking, robbery and carjacking.

TimothyJ (cropped) /

The Atlanta Regional Commission has approved its plan to make the area more friendly to cyclists and walkers.

The new plan, called "Walk. Bike. Thrive!," aims to make biking and walking more safe by building additional bike lanes and multi-use trails, and, when possible, creating buffers against cars.

David Goldman / Associated Press


More than 1 million Georgians will be heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA.

Some of them will spend at least a few hours at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. And even with the new technological updates at the airport that debuted this week, there likely will still be long lines.

“When weather is favorable like it’s expected here in the Southeast, it’s perfect ingredients for a nice long weekend, but a busy weekend,” AAA spokesman Garrett Townsend said.

A3C Festival and Conference

School is out for most metro-Atlanta students, and some will soon head to summer camp – even those who can't afford it. ChopArt, a nonprofit organization that empowers homeless youth through art-related programs and projects, is offering a free, seven-day, over-night art camp for homeless teens in Atlanta. 

Malika Whitley founded ChopArt in 2010 when she lived abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. The organization then traveled to Hyderabad, India, where it continues to serve thousands of youth. This is its second year in Whitley’s hometown Atlanta.

Pamela Henman

Back when Atlanta was still little more than a town, William Jasper "the Goat Man" Franklin was a town character.

Franklin was known as "the Goat Man," obviously, because of his goat. Franklin had been partially paralyzed by illness, and he relied on a goat named Pete to pull him in a homemade cart around downtown Atlanta as he peddled apples and pencils.

Franklin was born in 1849 – just two years after the city of Atlanta incorporated. He died in 1910 and was buried in Oakland Cemetery next to his parents.

Kate Sweeney / WABE

  So far, so good.

That’s the word from some passengers at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, which saw the first full day of operations of a new high-tech screening system at the South Checkpoint on Wednesday.

Ben Bloom, from San Diego, says he travels for business about twice a month. He rates today’s trip through the new security line as “about average.”

“But definitely not an annoyance. It kind of removes that feeling of ‘everything’s backing up behind you and you have to keep moving.’ You just kind of stay in one spot,” Bloom says.

Martha Dalton / WABE

On Tuesday, voters in DeKalb and Fulton counties and the cities of Atlanta and Decatur approved the renewal of a one-cent sales tax for school renovations. DeKalb's Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST) passed by a record-setting 71 percent margin, according to school district officials.

State Sen. Mike Crane and former West Point mayor Drew Ferguson are headed toward a runoff in Georgia’s Third Congressional District, the state’s only federal race without an incumbent.

Crane and Ferguson each drew about 26 percent of the vote, while Jim Pace came in third with about 23 percent.

Support from Pace’s voters, and Pace himself could be a big boost to either candidate in the runoff.

Michael Delli Carpini (cropped) /

"City Lights" travel contributor Kevin Benefield continues his exploration of national parks in the South. Today Benefield's highlighting South Carolina's Congaree and the Gulf of Mexico's Dry Tortugas parks.

Despite only existing as a national park since 2003, Congaree is the Southeast’s largest old-growth bottomland hardwood forest. While visitors can see abundant wildlife in the swamps and rivers, Benefield says “it’s all about the trees.”

Skyline of Atlanta Buildings, 1950s. By this decade, tearing town buildings downtown to build parking lots for commuters from suburban neighborhoods was big business.
Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection, 1920-1976 / Georgia State University Library

 Tim Keane is no fan of free parking.

“That has been proven time and again, in every single city in the world that the more parking you provide, the more people drive,” said Keane, who became Atlanta's planning commissioner last summer. “I mean, we live in Atlanta. This is a city that is a great example of: If you design for everyone to drive, then what will you get? Congestion.”