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Alison Guillory / WABE

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

Matthew Kaminski, the Atlanta Braves organist, during a game against the Washington Nationals.
Pouya Dianat / Atlanta Braves/Getty Images

At 7:35 p.m. Friday, the Atlanta Braves host the San Diego Padres in their first home game of the new season, and in a brand new stadium to boot.

Now in his ninth season, Matthew Kaminski is the official organist of the Braves, no matter where the team calls home. Matthew joined Lois Reitzes on "City Lights" to discuss his brand-new, state-of-the-art suite at SunTrust Park ahead of tonight's game.

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Georgia's Space Industry Gets Ready To Blast Off

Apr 14, 2017
Atlanta Business Chronicle

The space industry in Georgia is about to take off.

This week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle reports an Arizona-based aerospace company will test launch a sub-orbital rocket as soon as this summer from a 400-acre site on the Georgia coast that could become the Peach State’s first commercial spaceport.

Al Such / WABE

At the beginning of 2017, Erika Shields became Atlanta's new police chief.  In her first three months on the job, she has emphasized that preventing violent crime is her priority.  Shields now leads a force where she has spent 22 years -- in jobs from beat patrols, to vice enforcement, to internal affairs, to deputy chief.

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Shields talked about her career, and her priorities, in a wide-ranging conversation with Denis O'Hayer on "Morning Edition."

Dan Balilty / Associated Press

Christians from around the world are in Jerusalem commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ by following the path in the Old City where, according to tradition, he walked on the way to the cross.

Pilgrims, some carrying large wooden crosses on their backs, packed the narrow cobblestone alleyways of the Old City on Friday, chanting prayers.

 

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Deborah Feingold/Bloomsbury

The personal is author Melissa Febos' fodder, but she never thought she’d be a memoirist. It was only when a professor encouraged her in graduate school to expand on a nonfiction writing assignment that she saw the power in that type of writing.

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“I do think there is a particular power in knowing that the person who wrote the story and lived it is real,” she said.

Elly Yu / WABE

More and more signs are popping up in neighborhoods near Atlanta's Interstate 85 overpass collapse site that say "No Thru Traffic During I-85 Closure."

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"The neighborhood streets were definitely not designed to accommodate the heavy traffic volume and the weight of some of these vehicles that would normally try to go through those streets," Atlanta's Public Works Commissioner Will Johnson said.

He said neighborhood streets often have children playing in them, which can make it dangerous for cars to rush through them. 

Voters cast ballots in Georgia's primary election at a polling site in a firehouse Tuesday, March 1, 2016, in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Early voting in the Georgia 6th Congressional District special election ends on Friday in a race that figures to continue generating national attention into the summer.

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Braves officials advised fans to buy their tickets and parking spots in advance, use its mobile apps to get to SunTrust Park and follow the signs when they arrive.
David Goldman / Associated Press

The Atlanta Braves' new stadium is ready for its first real unveiling. The Braves' new team remains an unfinished work.

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A sellout crowd will be watching when the Braves finally play their first regular-season game in SunTrust Park against San Diego tonight.

 

After struggling on a long road trip to open the season, the Braves are glad to finally play in their new home.

 

Gwinnett County Police Department

Two Georgia police officers were fired Thursday, a day after authorities say one punched a man who had his hands up and the other kicked the man in the head once he was handcuffed on the ground.

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Alison Guillory / WABE

Police say they plan to increase the number of officers patrolling Metro Atlanta's transit system after a man was fatally shot.

They said the shooting on a Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority train Thursday appears to be a "targeted, isolated incident."

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Transit officials say ridership has been surging as motorists look for alternate ways to get around after a fire beneath an Interstate 85 overpass led to its collapse on March 30.

Tasnim Shamma / WABE File

The Atlanta Braves play their first regular season game in their new home at SunTrust Park on Friday. Meanwhile, a group of protesters has taken up residence in tents outside the Braves' old home at Turner Field.

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MARTA
Alison Guillory / WABE

A MARTA spokesperson says one person is dead and three are wounded after a shooting at the West Lake MARTA station.

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Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority spokesman Erik Burton says in a statement that the shooting happened about 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the station.

Burton says police have detained a suspect. Authorities have not released the man's name but say he's in his 30s. The investigation is ongoing.

Al Such / WABE

More than 18,000 people have signed a petition to preserve an illegally-built skatepark underneath an Interstate 85 bridge close to the site of the recent bridge collapse.

The petition, which will be delivered to Mayor Kasim Reed, Gov. Nathan Deal and several Georgia Department of Transportation officials has received national attention from supporters and members of the skateboarding community, earning signatures from states as far away as Arizona.

South Georgia Wildlife Refuge Bans Grills, Campfires

Apr 13, 2017
skeeze / Pixabay

A fire ban at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge means charcoal grills and campfires are off limits.

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The refuge, which sits on the Georgia-Florida line, has been fighting the huge swamp fire for several days. The refuge is also still in the middle of a drought.

Susan Heisey, Okefenokee's supervisory ranger, said Easter weekend is the park's busiest time of year.

South Arts

One Atlanta artist has just received a boost to his practice: This week, South Arts, which highlights and supports artists working in the Southeast, named Masud Olufani as one of their 2017 State Fellows. Olufani was chosen to represent Georgia in this honor, and is one of nine artists in the region to receive this fellowship.

Courtesy of Atlanta Ballet

Atlanta Ballet will stage "Firebird" April 14-16. It's the first performance since the announcement that half the company's dancers are leaving.

This is the first season with Atlanta Ballet Artistic Director Gennadi Nedvigin. He has a new vision for the company, and, in "Firebird," it shows.

“I want to bring different styles of ballet to the city, to the company that would attract the largest audience possible,” he said.

Right now the company leans toward contemporary dance techniques. Nedvigin wants more variety.

Brad Barket / Invision/AP

 

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

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

President Donald Trump honored 15 officers from the Georgia State Patrol, Atlanta Police and Atlanta Fire Department at the White House Thursday.

Trump praised them for their “amazing bravery” and quick response after a section of the Interstate 85 Bridge collapsed in Atlanta on March 30.

"On that day, Georgia State police and Atlanta police took fast action to get motorists away from danger,” Trump said. “Then our brave fire fighters battled 40-foot flames, which was incredible."

Trump said he stands with Georgia as it works to repair the I-85 bridge.

Courtesy of Songs for Kids Foundation

Few welcome a trip to the doctor's office let alone weeks inside a hospital. Then there are kids who should be spending their time with crayons or running outside who are instead battling serious illnesses cooped up inside their hospital rooms.

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Mel Evans / Associated Press file

A passenger dragged from a United Express flight suffered a "significant" concussion and broken nose, and he lost two front teeth, one of his lawyers said Thursday.

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Dr. David Dao has been discharged from a hospital, but he will require reconstructive surgery, said attorney Thomas Demetrio, whose law firm is representing the 69-year-old Kentucky physician.

Dao was removed from the plane Sunday after he refused to give up his seat on the full flight from Chicago to Louisville.

In this Nov. 4, 2016 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Hershey, Pa.
Evan Vucci, File / Associated Press

Laying bare deep and dangerous divisions on Syria and other issues, President Donald Trump declared that U.S. relations with Russia "may be at an all-time low." His top diplomat offered a similarly grim assessment from the other side of the globe after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

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The Georgia Renaissance Festival is an annual spring Atlanta festival.
Georgia Renaissance Festival

It’s time to put the finishing touches on your do-it-yourself Renaissance costume and dust off your Easter basket. Some of the best spring events in Atlanta are happening this weekend, and Atlanta PlanIt is sharing their picks with you.

Saturday is opening day for the Georgia Renaissance Festival, and Cobb County is bringing back its helicopter Easter egg drop. Or if you’re looking for a more traditional night out, there’s a comedy show and a throwback country concert worth checking out.

Gwinnett County Police Department / WABE

The Gwinnett County Police Department has fired an officer who was captured in a widely-shared video of kicking a man in the head during a traffic stop on Wednesday in Lawrenceville.  

The officer, Robert McDonald, was hired by the department in 2013, and graduated from the police academy in 2014, officials said. 

Stephannie Stokes / WABE

The disruption from the Interstate 85 bridge collapse has led many commuters to change their habits. And some say that’s a big opportunity for MARTA.

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On a weekday morning, Pam Porter usually would be sitting in her car.

But on this day, she's sitting on a bench at the Brookhaven MARTA station.

"Since the collapse, I've been taking the MARTA into Midtown," Porter said.

Bathroom Bills And Trans Youth – Asking Allies To Take Action

Apr 13, 2017
courtesy of vox atlanta

As a queer Jewish teenager, I have the uncommon privilege of having relationships with people between 20 and 50 years older than me, with similar intersectionalities.

I have been able to develop these relationships through Congregation Bet Haverim, a synagogue founded by gay and lesbian Jews in Atlanta. I was raised in this community, and as I get older, I am becoming a leader in it.

On a recent Wednesday night, I sat in our small community building eating Indian food with many of these adults. The topic of conversation was privilege.

National Oceanic Atmospheric Association

Endangered North American right whales gave birth last winter to the fewest calves seen off the U.S. coast in 17 years, scientists who say the low births support other evidence that the imperiled species' population may be declining.

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Researchers estimate only about 500 of the rare whales still exist. Each winter they migrate to warm Atlantic waters off Georgia and Florida to give birth.

 

Overhead bins often fill up before all passengers board a plane. Some say that's one reason airlines support newly-proposed guidelines for smaller carry-ons.
Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

With the federal government and a Senate committee looking into the dragging of a man off a United Express flight, airlines are beginning to speak up against any effort to bar them from overselling flights.

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The CEO of Delta Air Lines called overbooking "a valid business process."

 

Al Such

Freight trains are running again after a fire broke out under railroad tracks in Atlanta, not far from where a section of the I-85 bridge collapsed.

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Around 7 a.m. Thursday, Atlanta police officers reported a fire near CSX railroad tracks between Cheshire Bridge Road and Lenox Road, causing traffic to back up in the area. 

Atlanta Police Chief Georgia Turner speaks to media after an attack on police officers in Dallas.
Johnny Kauffman / WABE

Former Atlanta Police Chief George Turner is going back to work.

 

Turner, who retired in December, will become head of security for the Atlanta Hawks on May 1.

 

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the team announced Wednesday that Turner will work with senior executives to safeguard Philips Arena, team members and guests. He will also be the main point of contact for state, local and federal law enforcement officials.

 

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