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Charles Reed / U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP

Since President Trump's inauguration, federal immigration officials have arrested nearly 2,000 more people in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina than they did during the same period last year.

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According to numbers released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), officials arrested 4,246 people from Jan. 20 through April 29 this year. That's compared to to 2,429 arrests during the same time period in 2016 – a nearly 75 percent increase. 

Conceptual rendering by HDR, Inc. courtesy of The Trust for Public Land

Atlanta broke ground Friday on a big new park, just west of downtown. Cook Park, in Vine City, will have statues honoring Civil Rights leaders. It’s also being built to alleviate flooding on the Westside.

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Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said the park will be a new Atlanta landmark.

Cumberland Island Development Plans Spark Controversy

May 19, 2017
Georgia Wildlife Resources Division https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode / flickr.com/photos/wildliferesourcesdivision/

Cumberland Island on Georgia's coast is famous for its untouched, natural landscape. Tourists from around the United States and the world visit the island specifically for its wilderness.

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Most of Cumberland's 36,000 acres are protected by federal legislation that preserves the island in its "primitive" state. But some of the island is privately owned and several property owners are applying to Camden County authorities for rezoning to build houses. 

Courtesy of the artist

Brad Zimmerman received quite a compliment from legendary comic Joan Rivers: He’s the best comic . . . in his price range.

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Perhaps Rivers would have given him higher praise for his finesse not as a comic or an actor, but as a waiter.

Rock Band GOODING Teaches Finance Skills To Teens

May 19, 2017
Courtesy of GOODING

Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll are a supposed trifecta. But drop the drugs, drop the sex, and add financial literacy.

Then, you get GOODING, a rock band that preaches fiscal responsibility and rails against financial inequality. They visit middle and high schools across the country to rock out and to encourage young people to get the lowdown on their own finances. They performed at Inman Middle School earlier this week

Courtesy of Historic Oakland Foundation

The Greek myth of Persephone is an origin story of the seasons, and it's temptingly ripe with symbolism. Saturday night — and for one night only — the historic Oakland Cemetery will host an ethereal evening of art inspired by the Persephone myth.

For the Cemetery's third annual "Arts at Oakland" event, artist Sanithna Phansavanh created 10 life-size murals that will be installed throughout the Victorian garden grounds. Improvisational music and movement collective Flight of Swallows will also perform throughout the evening.

Huge Galdones

After five consecutive years and five consecutive nominations, Miller Union Executive Chef Steven Satterfield is now, officially, the Best Chef in the Southeast.

That’s according to the James Beard Foundation – the most distinguished and respected authority on American cuisine. The Chef joined Lois Reitzes in a live interview on “City Lights,” which you can hear in the audio posted above.

Jim Burress / WABE

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

Ga. Insurer Files Statewide Plans For Obamacare Exchange

May 19, 2017
A pedestrian walks past the corporate headquarters of health insurer Anthem, formerly known as Wellpoint, on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 in Indianapolis. The Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer sells insurance in several states under the Anthem brand, which was th
Darron Cummings / Associated Press

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia has taken the first step to continue participation in the Obamacare insurance exchange, by filing proposed plans with the state insurance commissioner.

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The company, which is owned by the health insurance firm Anthem, says it has filed plans for all regions of the state, including the 96 counties where it is the only provider in the marketplace.

Courtesy of Historic Oakland Foundation

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

City Lights: 'Unloaded'; Kenny Leon; And More

May 19, 2017
Courtesy of Dashboard

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP

This weekend, Atlanta plays host to R&B superstar John Legand at Chastain Park and a mysterious Icelandic quartet at the Fox. Here to unpack it is contributor Mara Davis and host emeritus Steve Goss.

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Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA-09)
Office of Congressman Doug Collins / U.S. Government

 

Pressure has been building for U.S. Congress members to hold in-person town halls in their districts. On Thursday night, northeast Georgia Rep. Doug Collins held one over the phone.

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In an hourlong call, Collins took 12 full questions from constituents. He assured listeners that his staff doesn’t unfairly screen calls.

“They simply put up the questions so we can get as many as we want to,” Collins said.

Caitlin Cunningham

On Sunday evening, The Breman Museum will host a taping of “From the Top,” NPR’s long-running weekly program showcasing the country’s finest young classically-trained musicians.

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This episode is particularly special because it doubles as the latest installment of the Breman’s Molly Blank Concert Series. The program is a celebration of Jewish contributions to classical music and will feature music by Jewish composers, Jewish themes in music and young Jewish musicians.

Brenna Beech / WABE file

Documents show that an Atlanta police officer who shot a tourist who was in town to attend a motocross event at the Georgia Dome has been fired.

 

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WSB-TV reports that it obtained documents that Sgt. Mathieu Cadeau was notified of the firing May 8.

 

Authorities said Cadeau was working an off-duty job directing traffic near the dome in February.

 

Alison Guillory / WABE

Friday afternoon, there's a groundbreaking for a new park on Atlanta’s Westside. Cook Park will honor civil rights leaders. It will also help with long-term flooding and pollution in the area.

Georgia Gets Ready For Unpredictable Mosquito Season

May 18, 2017
2006 photo from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito acquiring a blood meal from a human host.
James Gathany / AP/CDC

Fulton County has already started spraying for mosquitoes, but it can be hard to predict how bad the bugs will be.

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Fulton County started its mosquito control program in 2001, when Georgia saw its first case of West Nile virus. Kathleen Toomey, the county's health director, said Fulton has continued the program because of other mosquito-borne diseases, like Zika.

Wes Browning / Sema Films

Every once in a while we need a change in setting to get a fresh perspective and, hopefully, to be inspired. Enter “the retreat,” a tried and true way to get away from the daily grind.

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It isn’t reserved for just the office worker though, artists often use retreats to improve upon their craft. In this edition of “Writer to Reader,” best-selling novelist Joshilyn Jackson explains how.

Jackson goes on three to five retreats per book, typically with a group of close confidants.

Stephannie Stokes / WABE

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao paid a visit to the newly rebuilt I-85 bridge Thursday.

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Chao joined Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and other state officials under the reconstructed interstate overpass in Atlanta for a rededication ceremony.

She praised the completed bridge as an example of local, state and federal agencies collaborating to get something done.

Atlanta City Detention Center
Alison Guillory / WABE

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

Andy Kropa / Invision/AP

Be it directing for the stage or the screen, Kenny Leon is a living legend. He's even directed the stage for the screen, including "The Wiz Live" and "Hairspray Live" for NBC.

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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

The national Democratic Party wants reinforcements for the closely watched 6th Congressional District election, helping pay for 10 new field workers to reach more minority voters in the traditionally conservative Atlanta suburbs.

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Courtesy of Americolor Opera Alliance

Three brothers, all born of different mothers, find themselves all living under their father's roof. Truths about past affairs surface and the tension builds. This is the way "House of Brothers," the latest production by The Americolor Opera Alliance, begins.

Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

NEW YORK—A man drove the wrong way up a Times Square street at lunchtime Thursday and plowed into pedestrians on the sidewalk, killing one and injuring about 20 others, a law enforcement official said.

The 26-year-old driver was taken into custody and was being tested for alcohol, the law enforcement official told The Associated Press. He has a history of driving while intoxicated, the official said.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

Dario Lopez-Mills / Associated Press

A Georgia city's policies illegally restrict access to utility services, and those policies disproportionately affect black and Latino residents, according to a federal lawsuit filed Thursday.

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Stephannie Stokes / WABE

Alumni and staff of Morris Brown College are still pushing to regain accreditation.  The historically black college lost it more than a decade ago, in large part due to financial woes.

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Some Morris Brown supporters showed their loyalty at one of the school's regular cleanups Wednesday. Volunteers repainted parts of the campus and worked on other projects the college can’t get to on its limited budget.

A City Divided By Income

May 18, 2017
from video courtesy of Vox Atlanta

We went to three different neighborhoods in Atlanta to break the bubble we were living in.

Christian explains…

We decided to do this project because we wanted to show people that poverty is not an issue that is far away from them; it is in their backyard. All of these neighborhoods were within 30 minutes of each other, but they were drastically different. We want to break the bubble that many wealthy people live in and show them that poverty is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Mike Stewart / Associated Press

Several high-profile failures have plagued Atlanta's reputation on a national stage over the years: unpreparedness for ice and snow storms, a recent highway collapse and subsequent shutdown from a fire and chronic traffic and public transportation woes.

 

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Al Such / WABE

A global "ransomware" attack that started last week locked thousands of computers in more than 150 countries.

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As a cybersecurity hub, metro Atlanta hosts nearly 100 cybersecurity firms. Some of them are helping affected companies respond to the attacks.

Kaitlin Kolarik / WABE

 

 

A new ad in the Georgia 6th Congressional District runoff campaign is tackling thorny issues around women's health care. In it, Democratic candidate John Ossoff attacks Republican Karen Handel on her controversial time as the head of a prominent breast cancer nonprofit.

 

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