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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, begins his three-day confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.

Atlanta Takes Annexation Case To Georgia Supreme Court

Mar 20, 2017
Georgia Supreme Court building
Nick Nesmith / WABE

The city of Atlanta is going to the state Supreme Court to try to get back five neighborhoods it annexed from Fulton County.

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Last year, Georgia's General Assembly passed legislation to create the city of South Fulton. It included all of the last unincorporated areas in the county.

The law allowed areas that didn't want to be part of South Fulton to annex into another city, but it gave a time limit.

 

At the South by Southwest festival, participants stopped by the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce booth and put on virtual reality headsets to experience Atlanta.
Courtesy of Foundry 45

In Austin, Texas, this week, hundreds of people visited Atlanta virtually.

At the South by Southwest festival, participants stopped by the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce booth and put on virtual reality (VR) headsets to experience Atlanta.

Virtual reality has mostly been associated with gaming or selling a brand, but groups like the Metro Atlanta Chamber are using it to recruit candidates.

Dave Beck is co-founder of an Atlanta-based virtual reality company called Foundry 45.

BRENNA BEECH / WABE

The University of Georgia will hold a public ceremony Monday at 3 p.m. to rebury remains construction crews found while expanding a building on campus. The discovery of the remains has highlighted an emotional conversation in the Athens community.

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In late 2015, workers discovered 105 grave sites at Baldwin Hall, a campus classroom building. Of those grave sites, the remains of 30 individuals were preserved.

Todd Kirkland / associated press

The stands are packed with red-and-black-clad fans who chant incessantly, accompanied by a steady drumbeat and swirling flags.

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"Atlanta!" they shout from one end of Bobby Dodd Stadium.

 

"United!" everyone else responds.

 

There's plenty to cheer about with an expansion team that has already displayed a dynamic style of play, scoring 11 goals in its first three games.

 

charles hill campaign

The weekend before Stonecrest residents vote for their first mayor claims of dirty politics were being made.

On Saturday, a mailer that called Charles Hill mentally ill, bipolar and manic depressive was delivered in parts of DeKalb County.

It showed separate pictures of Hill and Anthony Hill, a veteran who was fatally shot two years ago by a DeKalb police officer who has since been indicted.

atlanta botanical garden
Atlanta Botanical Garden

Is the best botanical garden in the U.S. located right here in Atlanta? USA TODAY's 10BEST series is choosing readers' favorites, and the Atlanta Botanical Garden is in the running.

Nineteen botanical gardens across the U.S. are competing in the 10BEST. The top 10 will be selected through online polls. Voting is open through March 27 at 12 p.m. Winners will be announced March 31.

‘It’s Unimaginable Feeling Unwelcome In The Country That I Was Born In’

Mar 18, 2017
courtesy of vox

With the election of Donald Trump, political divide is at a seemingly all-time high, causing an uprise in social and racial tensions.

With the Trump administration’s revised travel ban that was scheduled to go into effect on March 16 now on hold  (it bans foreign nationals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days and bans all refugees for 120 days but judges in Hawaii and Maryland have ruled against it) heightening this separation, I decided to investigate what it feels like to be Muslim in the heap of this great American divide.

Alison Guillory / WABE

The director of Georgia's state agency for child welfare services said changes to a bill approved by a Senate panel Thursday evening could put millions of dollars in federal funding at risk.  

Republican senators approved a change to a 100-page bill intended to modernize the state’s adoption laws. The change would allow private foster and adoption agencies to refuse services based on their “mission as evidence by its written policy, statement or other document.”  

Patrick Sullivan

 

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

Ballethnic Dance Company

The City of Atlanta could get a small sales tax to support the arts. For every dollar spent in the city, one-tenth of a penny would go into a fund for music, dance, theater, fine art or other creative endeavors. That money would generate an estimated $15 million a year. City leaders hope to let voters decide the matter in a referendum this November. 

City Lights Host Lois Reitzes discussed the plan with WABE Arts and Culture Reporter (and "All Things Considered Host") Amy Kiley.

INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS

Gerald Herbert / AP

This weekend's concert offerings include gritty soul, New Orleans jazz, and indie rock both new and old. Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look at the calendar with Mara's Music Mix.

Joan Marcus

“The New York Times” estimated that somewhere between 700 and 900 productions of the musical “Annie” are performed each year in the United States.

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Most of those productions, however, do not feature a sizeable chunk of the original crew, including director and lyricist Martin Charnin, or real dogs from rescue shelters.

City Lights: Jazz Portraits; Irish Poetry; And More

Mar 17, 2017
COURTESY OF THEATRICAL OUTFIT

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Al Such / WABE

This week, a federal judge in Hawaii temporarily blocked President Donald Trump's revised order on travel and immigration.  The renewed legal battle comes at a time when Atlanta area religious leaders are working out their messages to their congregations, about the president's order--and about immigration in general.

On the day the judge in Hawaii issued the temporary block on the president's order, WABE's Denis O'Hayer spoke with Atlanta Catholic Archbishop Wilton Gregory at the archdiocese office in Smyrna.

Trump Welcomes Merkel To White House For High Stakes Visit

Mar 17, 2017
Evan Vucci / Associated Press

It was all smiles as President Donald Trump welcomed German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House on Friday, their first personal encounter since he frequently criticized her during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Courtesy of Theatrical Outfit

Reading liner notes, talking to aficionados and library research guided Birmingham-based Leanna Leithauser-Lesley's portraits of jazz musicians.

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Her collection is now on display at Theatrical Outfit in conjunction with their production of "Simply Simone," a revue of Nina Simone’s music, which opens next week.

These are not paintings: Leithauser-Lesley does her portraiture in needle point.

Don Heupel / AP

A state Senate health committee Thursday approved a bill to offer optional testing of Georgia newborns for Krabbe disease, a rare genetic disorder.

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The form of Krabbe that strikes newborns is caused by a change, or mutation, in the gene that carries the blueprints for an enzyme called galactosylceramidase, which is crucial to wrapping protective insulation called myelin around nerves. Without it, the brain and nerves deteriorate.

Georgia State Capitol gold dome.
Al Such / WABE

Private adoption agencies that receive state funding could refuse to provide services based on religious faith and other priorities under a last-minute change swiftly approved Thursday evening by Republicans in a Georgia Senate committee.

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The 11-year-old Tara Grinstead case has been solved, police say.
Elliott Minor / Associated Press

More information may soon be available in the Tara Grinstead case.

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Last month authorities charged Ryan Duke with killing Grinstead in 2005. Since then there's been a gag order on the case.

Duke's lawyer said the gag order is necessary to make sure that his client receives a fair trail.

Thursday, a number of news organizations challenged the order. The attorneys representing those outlets said the order restricts free speech and is too broad.

John Bazemore / associated press file

Higher education leaders have approved a major expansion and renovation project involving the west end of Sanford Stadium, the University of Georgia football team's home field.

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The Athens Banner-Herald reports that the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved the project at a meeting this week.

 

J. Scott Applewhite / associated press file

The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing next week to consider former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue's nomination to be agriculture secretary.

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President Donald Trump announced in January that he would nominate Perdue. After a seven-week delay, Perdue submitted the necessary ethics paperwork last week and said he would step down from several companies bearing his name.

 

Georgia Senate Passes Family Sick Leave Legislation

Mar 17, 2017
Georgia sick leave laws, Georgia SB 201
WABE File

Soon, you might be able to use your sick leave days to take care of a family member.

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The Georgia Senate passed SB 201 that would require employers to let workers use their sick days to take care of a child, parent, or any dependent listed on tax returns.

State Rep. Brian Strickland (R-McDonough) is sponsoring the bill in the House.

Underground Atlanta, Underground Atlanta sale, Underground Atlanta developer
Miranda Hawkins / WABE News

The City of Atlanta is one step closer to closing the sale of Underground Atlanta.

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It was standing room only Thursday morning when the board of directors of Invest Atlanta, the city's economic development authority, approved a master plan of Underground Atlanta by South Carolina developer WRS Inc. This means the city can now close the deal, which is planned by the end of the month.

MARTA Chief Operating Officer Richard Krisak says $700 million in funding has been identified and approved for 250 new rail cars.
Alison Guillory / WABE

It's a long road to Congress finalizing the new federal budget. But under President Trump's proposed plan, Atlanta's transportation future could be at risk.

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When Atlanta voters approved a half-penny sales tax last year to expand MARTA, the idea was that the money raised could be used to draw in matching federal dollars.

Trump's budget proposal says it will cut off future funding for the Federal Transit Administration's New Starts program.

North Georgia drought, Georgia drought, Atlanta drought
Alison Guillory / WABE

Federal government forecasters issued spring weather conditions Thursday, and the news for North Georgia, which remains under a severe drought, is mixed. 

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the risk of river flooding in this region is expected to be low this spring.

In this June 22, 2016, photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks in New York.
Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

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

Gary McLoughlin

The smell of butter and garlic emanate from chef Judith McLoughlin’s Roswell kitchen. Traditional Celtic music plays softly in the background. Framed pictures of Celtic crosses hang on the walls, and a fresh shamrock plant serves as the centerpiece on her dining room table. 

Her teenage son is pouring himself a bowl of Lucky Charms.

Atlanta St. Patrick's Day, Atlanta PlanIt
Cherish the Ladies

Atlanta celebrates St. Patrick's Day this weekend with a number of related events, but there’s also plenty for kids to do. Atlanta PlanIt shares some of its top picks for things to do this weekend.

Judith McLoughlin's Sticky Toffee Pudding

Mar 16, 2017
Gary McLoughlin

Sticky Toffee Pudding with Kerrygold Toffee Sauce

This traditional Irish (and English) dessert is generally served with gobs of whipped cream, but fresh strawberries are a nice alternative to the already very sweet finale. (PUDDINGS, TARTS, CRUMBLES, AND FOOLS)

Ingredients:

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