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Once Mercedes-Benz Stadium is finished, the Georgia Dome will be torn down and will be replaced by a park. The 13-acre space will be for tailgating on game days and open to the public when the new stadium is not in use.

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Fired Gwinnett County Police Officer Asks For His Job Back

Apr 21, 2017
Gwinnett County Police Department

A Gwinnett County police officer fired after authorities said a video showed him hitting a man in the face during a traffic stop wants his job back.

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Mike Puglise, a lawyer for Michael Bongiovanni, says the former Gwinnett police sergeant this week asked the human resources department to reinstate him. Puglise says Bongiovanni's request will be reviewed by the county merit board.

Ron Harris / Associated Press

This weekend, the city is host to two big festivals and two big country stars.

Contributor Mara Davis and host emeritus Steve Goss are in to preview the concert calendar with "Mara's Music Mix."

JamesDeMers / Pixabay

Georgia's hunters and fishers will see an uptick in licensing fees come July 1.

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Gov. Nathan Deal will sign a bill on Tuesday that will increase the fee to buy a hunting or fishing license to be on par with surrounding states. For example, hunting licenses that are currently $10 will be $15.

Right now, Georgia has some of the lowest prices in the Southeast. That's according to a state audit from November 2016.

Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

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

Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods in his office at the state Capitol, Feb. 13, 2015.
Alison Guillory / WABE

Georgia now has its first STEAM school, and it's right here in metro Atlanta, at Henderson Mill Elementary in DeKalb County.

The school meets science, technology, engineering and math requirements for STEM certification and is the first school to officially add the arts to that mix.

MARTA Gets Stalled Concessions Program Back On Track

Apr 21, 2017
The entrance to the MARTA station near underground Atlanta
Brenna Beech / WABE

New legislation passed during the recent session of the General Assembly makes way for MARTA to expand its concessions program. According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, MARTA officials will survey customers to find out what types of businesses and services they would like to see set up shop in rail stations.

The Volkswagen logo on a VW car
Michael Simmons / flickr.com/msimmons

DETROIT—A judge on Friday ordered Volkswagen to pay a $2.8 billion criminal penalty in the United States for cheating on diesel emissions tests, blessing a deal negotiated by the government for a "massive fraud" orchestrated by the German automaker.

U.S. District Judge Sean Cox stuck to the plea deal during the sentencing hearing, six weeks after VW pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice in a bold scheme involving nearly 600,000 diesel cars in the U.S. They were programmed to turn on pollution controls during testing and off while on the road.

Chrissa McFarlane, CEO of the Atlanta healthcare tech startup Patientory, shows off how the website works.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

If you're a recent transplant to Atlanta with medical records from another state, you may have had to deal with filling out lengthy medical history forms at the doctor's office.

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One Atlanta health care technology startup, Patientory, wants to make it easier for patients to access and share their electronic medical records using technology known as blockchain, which is behind the digital currency Bitcoin.

City Lights: Cindy Wilson; Topher Payne; And More

Apr 21, 2017
Jeff Daly / Invision/AP

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Alison Guillory / WABE

First, the bad news: When it comes to trash, the average American reportedly produces more than 4 pounds of it per day. Over the course of a year, that adds up to 220 million tons of waste, more than half of which ends up in one of more than 3,500 landfills across the country.

Civil rights activist and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. is introduced before speaking at the unveiling of a U.S. Postal Service stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, Friday, Aug. 23, 213, at the Newseum in Washington.
Charles Dharapak / Associated Press

The work and achievements of civil rights leader and longtime Congressman John Lewis of Georgia have been recognized by Time magazine. He made its list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

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The 2017 list, released Thursday, recognizes artists, activists, athletes, leaders and executives who have worked to change and influence the world.

JIM BURRESS / WABE

The term "affordable" can take on different meanings depending on whom you ask. Also, quality and affordability are not always one in the same. That's something Mechanicsville Cityside is trying to change. It's an entire neighborhood in Southwest Atlanta designed to provide low-income families with the chance to own their own home. 

In this installment of "Closer Look's" affordable housing series, co-host Jim Burress visits the neighborhood to learn how public-private partnerships and tax credits, make this possible.

Eboni Lemon / WABE

Winter pretty much stood up South-Central Texas this year, and the neglect is showing in this season's scanty crop of Hill Country peaches.

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"Some things bloomed really extended and long, and some didn't take, so it's been really an interesting year," peach grower Russ Studebaker said. "We'll have, I think, about a 30 percent crop, which is better than nothing. So we're happy about that."

Mary Claire Kelly / WABE

A coalition of civil rights groups is challenging a Georgia law that doesn't allow new voters to register before a closely watched runoff election in the 6th Congressional District.

 

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The Washington, D.C.-based Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law filed a federal lawsuit Thursday in Atlanta on behalf of the groups.

 

The registration deadline was March 20.

 

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed refused to answer questions about the lawsuit and walked away from reporters.
Patrick Semansky / Associated Press

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has named a new city attorney.

 

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In a news release Thursday, Reed announced that Jeremy Berry will assume the position of the city's top legal officer, replacing Cathy Hampton who plans to step down May 19.

 

Reed didn't say when he would begin the new job.

 

Interfaith Group Opposes 'Campus Carry' Bill

Apr 20, 2017
Adhiti Bandlamudi / WABE

Outcry, an interfaith anti-violence group is asking Gov. Nathan Deal to veto House Bill 280, commonly known as the "campus carry" bill.

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"I, myself, am a supporter of the Second Amendment. My father and my grandfather spent some of their careers in law enforcement. However, campuses don't need more guns," said James Lamkin, pastor of Atlanta's Northside Drive Baptist Church.

Thibault Camus / AP

PARIS—An attacker with an automatic weapon opened fire on police in Paris' iconic Champs-Elysees shopping district Thursday night, killing one officer and seriously wounding two others before police shot and killed him.

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Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told The Associated Press that the attacker targeted officers guarding the area near the Franklin Roosevelt subway station at the center of the avenue popular with tourists. She said he appeared to be acting alone.

Atlanta City Council Begins Hearings On FY 2018 Budget

Apr 20, 2017
City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and the Atlanta University Center Consortium leaders announced the launch of a new camera surveillance program. The president of Morehouse School of Medicine, Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, is pictured right.
Al Such / WABE

Atlanta City Council members on Thursday began examining outgoing Mayor Kasim Reed's budget proposal for fiscal year 2018.

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The first draft of the budget was $2.5 billion, already $30 million more than the current year. The general fund portion of Reed's proposed budget is $637 million.

David Goldman / Associated Press

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

City Lights: Hari Kondabolu; Colin Hay; And More

Apr 20, 2017
Katy Porter

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Atlanta skyline in smog. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Atlanta_cityscape_032008.jpg
Cwolfsheep / wikimedia.org

Metro Atlanta and Georgia continue to show improvements in air quality, a new report says.

The American Lung Association’s 2017 “State of the Air” report shows Georgia has improved on the three most common forms of hazardous air pollution.

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matt rourke / Associated Press

A Starbucks barista has taken to social media hoping to make orders for the coffee chain's much buzzed about Unicorn Frappuccino disappear.

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Dario Lopez-Mills / Associated Press

Georgia has issued a birth certificate for a toddler with the last name "Allah" after initially declining to do so because that doesn't match either of the parents' last names, a civil rights group that sued on behalf of the parents said Thursday.

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NPR

The 42-year-old rapper Killer Mike, of Run The Jewels, and the 75-year-old funk legend George Clinton, founder of Parliament and Funkadelic, may be from different generations, but it turns out they have a few things in common: They've both created music that seemed commercially risky at first, yet ended up transcending genres and creating a new audience.

Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga.,  July 23, 2013.
Charles Dharapak / Associated Press

The federal government is giving states $500 million to combat the nation's opioid abuse epidemic. 

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U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price made the announcement Wednesday at the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in downtown Atlanta, where thousands gathered. The funds will come from the 21st Century Cures Act, he said, which passed Congress last year and was signed by President Barack Obama. 

Chris Gotshall / SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment via AP

The last orca has been born in captivity at a SeaWorld park in San Antonio just over a year after the theme park decided to stop breeding orcas following animal rights protests and declining ticket sales.

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The Orlando-based company said the orca — the last in a generation of whales bred in confinement — was born Wednesday afternoon. SeaWorld did not immediately name the calf because the park's veterinarians had not yet determined whether it was male or female.

The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that the new March jobless metro Atlanta was 5.9 percent. That is down from 6.1 percent in February and 7 percent from March 2014.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Good news for job seekers in Georgia.

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent in March, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

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Labor Commissioner Mark Butler says this is the lowest that rate has fallen to since December 2007.

How 6th District Residents Feel About The Runoff Election

Apr 20, 2017
Al Such / WABE

The congressional election in Georgia's 6th Congressional District has garnered international attention over the last few months. But after the election last night ended with a call for a runoff election, some 6th District residents have mixed feelings about the campaigning that will inevitably continue for the next two months.

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Maureen Coleman lives in Milton, towards the northern part of the 6th District. She says she's not looking forward to the next two months. 

Steven Senne / Associated Press

March for Science organizers in Atlanta are preparing for thousands of people to turn out this Saturday in a movement that’s coalesced since President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

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The main march is in Washington, D.C., but like the Women’s March in January, satellite events are happening all over the country. Here, people are gathering in Candler Park to hear speakers, to march, and to express their support for what they say should be a non-partisan issue: science.

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