Amy Kiley | WABE 90.1 FM

Amy Kiley

Host, All Things Considered and Marketplace

Amy fell in love with radio while serving as the news director at her college station, Northwestern University’s WNUR. After working as a host and show reporter at Milwaukee Public Radio, Amy headed south to be the local voice of "All Things Considered" for WMFE in Orlando. Now, she’s excited to serve WABE’s Atlanta-area listeners through that role.

Amy has filed stories for NPR, Marketplace, the BBC and a number of national print publications. She has earned fellowships in legal and immigration reporting as well as awards from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Associated Press in Florida and other organizations.

Along the way, Amy lived in New Zealand and Argentina and picked up graduate degrees in music and liturgy.  

Brenna Beech / WABE

 

On Oct. 3, 1949, the nation's first radio station owned by an African-American was founded right here in Atlanta. WERD became a mouthpiece for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a rallying point for the civil rights movement.

Amy Kiley / WABE

The Appalachia Mountains that run from New York to Mississippi produced sometimes isolated communities with distinct cultures. Today's Appalachia is more connected, but much of northern Georgia is still quite rural. 

For 50 years, high school students in Clayton, Georgia, have interviewed older residents to chronicle the region’s character. They publish what they find in The Foxfire Magazine. It's become so popular Random House has made it into a series of books. 

Ben Rose / benrosephotography.com

The Black Mafia Family was one of the largest drug-running organizations in U.S. history. It formed in the late 80s in Detroit and operated its distribution hub in Atlanta through the 90s and early 2000s. Demetrius "Big Meech" Flenory ran BMF’s distribution here, and his brother, Terry "Southwest T" Flenory, handled supply from Mexico into Los Angeles.

Eight years ago, on Sept. 12, 2008, the brothers were sentenced to 30 years in jail. Though they're behind bars now, the BMF brand survives in music and pop culture.

Courtesy of Morehouse College

  

One of Atlanta's historically black colleges is highlighting historical, black music. Morehouse College will host "How Sweet the Sound: 2nd Ecumenical Celebration of Music in the Black Church" on Friday, Sept. 9, and Saturday, Sept. 10.

  It's partly a conference -- with workshops to help musicians brush up on their skills. It's also part celebration -- since it seeks to connect attendees with the legacy of African-American Christian music.

Courtesy of Zoo Atlanta

From giant pandas to Sumatran tigers, Zoo Atlanta’s large animals can have large appetites. Shuffling at least 20 pounds of plants a day to herbivores like pandas is enough of a chore, but what about large meat eaters? WABE looks into how Zoo Atlanta feeds its large carnivores.

Fossa

A fossa is a weasel-like creature that climbs trees and often eats lemurs in the wild. 

Feeding Zoo Atlanta’s fossa, Logan, starts the way most carnivore feeding begins – with fences. Lead Carnivore Keeper Jenny Elgart says they keep humans and animals safe. 

Courtesy of Fulton County Animal Services

Officials assume the alligator spotted in Lake Lanier in August and another one captured near the Chattahoochee River last spring had been pets originally.  So, how did they get out in the wild?  And, what other exotic pets do people keep?

Fulton County Animal Services enforces county animal ordinances by sending out about 75 officers every day.  WABE's Amy Kiley visited the shelter and asked director Lara Hudson for her oddest tales.  Interview highlights:

The 2011 Decatur Book Festival crowd sifts through boxes of books
Courtesy of The Decatur Book Festival

Labor Day morning starts with a number of marathons, like the Big Peach Sizzler 10K that ends at Buckhead Station Shopping Center.

Dragon Con continues with autograph and reading sessions and film screenings. And, of course, fans can always dress up as their favorite characters. Dragon Con is based at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, though it takes place elsewhere downtown as well.

 The Georgia mascot Uga takes the field before an NCAA football game against the LSU, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, in Athens, Ga.
John Bazemore / Associated Press

College football season is now underway, and Georgia's teams are getting ready to take the field.

Georgia State University will host the Ball State Cardinals on Friday, Sept. 2, at the Georgia Dome. GSU continues to build its program as it kicks off its seventh season.

The next day at the Georgia Dome, the University of Georgia will play North Carolina at 5:30 p.m. In preseason rankings, the Bulldogs are 18th and the Tar Heels are 22nd.

GSU Winter 2015
Alison Guillory / WABE

Monday is the first day of class at Atlanta's largest universities and Georgia State University and Georgia Tech both report a record number of applications this year.

GSU says they're up 29 percent from last year. That's produced the school's largest freshman class ever with more than 3,500 new Panthers.  They also have the best average high school GPA in the school's history.

Chandler Johnston

  

The city of Atlanta is looking for a new agency to enforce parking regulations because many people don’t like how PARKAtlanta has been doing the job. One complaint about the company has been that it "boots" too many vehicles. That means locking the wheel of a car until the driver pays a fine.

What people don't seem to understand is PARKAtlanta doesn’t do it much. Most vehicle immobilization in the city is privately done on private property.

The City Of Atlanta’s Role

Courtesy of the City of Atlanta

Last year, voters approved bond money for infrastructure upgrades, and the largest chunk of those Renew Atlanta funds will help modernize and "optimize" traffic technology. 

Signal Optimization

To see what that means, I go for a drive with Renew Atlanta general manager Faye DiMassimo and GDOT engineer Kathy Zahul. 

Atlanta Police Department
Alison Guillory / WABE

The Atlanta City Council returns from its summer recess Monday. These are some highlights from its meeting agenda.

Council members again will consider a plan to rehire police officers who have recently retired. They could work for their previous salaries for up to three years to fill staff shortages.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Tuesday’s state primary runoff election has likely secured a new congressman for Georgia. It also has assigned some local posts and decided on party nominations for seats in the Georgia Legislature.
 

U.S. House District 3

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

This Tuesday, voters will decide party nominees for U.S. Congress, the Georgia Senate and the Georgia House – as well as the outright winners of some local posts. The July 26 state primary runoff is a follow-up to the May 24 state primary.  For any race in which no candidate got at least 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will be on the ballot.

Tasnim Shamma / WABE

The Atlanta City Council is set to vote Monday on preserving the Atlanta-Fulton Central Library. 

The resolution aims to clarify a previous one.  Last month,  council members passed a nonbinding resolution expressing support for construction of a new Central Library – on the same spot as the existing one.

Embattled DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis is led out of the courtroom after he was sentenced to 5 years to serve 18 months in prison Wednesday July 8, 2015.
Kent D. Johnson / KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM

The Supreme Court of Georgia is set to hear an appeal this Monday from DeKalb County's former chief executive officer.

Lawyers for Burrell Ellis say the justices should reverse his convictions because of errors during his trial. Ellis is convicted of perjury and an attempt to commit theft by extortion for pressuring a county contractor to donate to his campaign.

The justices will hear a long list of cases over the next two weeks.

Jeff Chiu / Associated Press file

Clarkston is reducing penalties for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana. It now brings just a $75 fine.

Mayor Ted Terry said he signed the new ordinance into effect after the city council passed it unanimously Tuesday night.  

Terry said the new instructions for police who encounter people with a small amount of pot are: "Don't imprison someone. Don't arrest them. Don't take them to jail. Give them the $75 citation. They don't have to go to court. They can just pay it online, and then they can, you know, continue about their business."

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 starts Tuesday for Georgia's state and local primary runoff that will take place July 26. The runoff will decide matchups from last month's primary in which no candidate got at least 50 percent of the vote. Here are a few big races on the ballot.

Georgia's Third Congressional District

 

Atlanta and surrounding communities will again mark Independence Day with fireworks and festivities this year:  

Brenna Beech / WABE

As of Friday, July 1, Georgia has hundreds of new laws for everything from weapons on college campuses to the number of people serving on Georgia's Supreme Court. In fact, the vast majority of the bills the state Legislature passed this year and that Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law go into effect that day.

 WABE politics and government reporter Johnny Kauffman reviewed the highlights with WABE's Amy Kiley. He started by answering: Why July 1?  

Interview Highlights

* More than 300 laws take effect July 1.  

Suntrust Park is expected to open in time for the 2017 baseball season.
Alison Guillory / WABE

Season tickets to the Atlanta Braves go on sale to the general public next week.

The baseball team has been in Atlanta since 1966, but next year, it will play in a new stadium in Cobb County.

Atlanta Braves Vice Chairman John Schuerholz said SunTrust Park is a 20 percent downsize from Turner Field.

“You're going to feel closer to the action,” Schuerholz said. “You're going to feel closer to your friends. It's 10,000 seats smaller at 41,500. It’s a more intimate facility and it'll be more enjoyable."

Joe Holloway Jr / Associated Press

This story is part of WABE, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and ArtsATL’s The Shaw 100th series. For more stories, click here.

One of America’s most influential choral musicians is Robert Shaw. The late leader of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus would have turned 100 years old on April 30, and the music world will remember him with a concert at Carnegie Hall on that date.

Norman Mackenzie, director of choruses for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, poses for a portrait on July 9, 2015.
Stephanie M. Lennox / WABE

This story is part of WABE, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and ArtsATL’s The Shaw 100th series. For more stories, click here.

Saturday would have been Atlanta choral conductor Robert Shaw's 100th birthday. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will honor him that day with a performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall. 

Courtesy of the DeKalb School of the Arts

This story is part of WABE and American Graduate's Advancing Atlanta: Education series. For more stories, click here.

If the quality of a song or painting is largely subjective, how does one know if a public arts high school is “working?”  WABE’s series on what works in Atlanta-area education turns to the DeKalb School of the Arts to try for an objective assessment.

Arts and Academics

David Goldman / Associated Press

Almost 200 delegates are on the line today during Georgia's GOP and Democratic primaries.  That's the second-largest chunk of the Super Tuesday pie with only Texas holding a larger slice.

 

Polling Problems

 

Courtesy of Park Cannon

Park Cannon will be the next representative for Georgia's state House District 58.

Cannon, a 24-year-old black community organizer who identifies as queer, won 59 percent of votes in yesterday's special election runoff. She defeated former state Rep. Ralph Long III, who served a similar part of the Atlanta area before redistricting in 2011.

Cannon will take the seat of former Rep. Simone Bell, who resigned last year after taking a position with Lambda Legal. She will be the third openly LGBTQ member of the Georgia House, according to Project Q.

Courtesy of Erica Morris Long/Courtesy of Park Cannon

Atlanta voters will pick a representative for House District 58 Tuesday after no candidate got 50 percent of the vote in January's special election.

The district covers residents from just south of Piedmont Park to around Turner Field to over by Fort McPherson. There, voters will pick a replacement for former Rep. Simone Bell. She was the first African-American lesbian to serve in any state house, and her chosen successor is Park Cannon.

Jon (cropped) / flickr.com/photos/apalapala/

The new leader of the Atlanta City Council’s Transportation Committee says, when it comes to parking enforcement, it’s time for change.

After the final town hall meeting Thursday on PARKatlanta, Chair Yolanda Adrean said: "I think we’ve got it. I think that we all understand that this particular contract wasn’t working for the city or for the citizens it serves."

Adrean says people complain about parking zones that don't make sense and enforcement that needs what she calls “Southern charm.”

Flickr.com/Jason Howie

A high-ranking official with the Georgia Department of Education was fired Tuesday for social media posts that many have labeled racist and otherwise offensive.

Jeremy Spencer was associate state superintendent of virtual instruction. He posted and otherwise displayed controversial images and comments on his Facebook page that prompted a story from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which appeared online Monday afternoon.

Wally Gobetz / flickr.com/wallyg

  Georgia lawmakers hold day six of the 40-day legislative session Wednesday.

To analyze their first full week of progress and predict what's to come, Amy Kiley spoke with Atlanta Journal-Constitution political blogger Jim Galloway.

They started with what lawmakers have on the menu this week: Gov. Nathan Deal's budget. For that, Galloway says he's watching "pay raises, pay raises, pay raises."

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