John Lorinc | WABE 90.1 FM

John Lorinc

Host, Weekend Edition, Producer and Reporter

One week after his 21st birthday, John Lorinc entered the world of radio at WBHV in State College, Pennsylvania.

A few months after graduating from Penn State University’s College of Communications, Lorinc returned to his hometown of Pittsburgh.

That’s the city known for its three rivers and residents who put french fries in their salads.

While in Pittsburgh, John worked at WRRK, doing morning news and traffic for the “Quinn in the Morning Show.”

John also had a classic rock shift at WRRK on Saturday nights, which is why he never needs to ever hear songs like “Hotel California” and “Stairway to Heaven” ever again.

Lorinc also wrote record reviews and interviews with musicians for the now-defunct Rock N Roll Reporter, in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania.

In 2000, Lorinc moved to Atlanta and worked at CNNRadio for a decade as an anchor/reporter.  He also produced a weekly music feature called “Measure to Measure.”  Among the musicians who were on the show included: Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones, Ray Manzarek of the Doors, Jon Bon Jovi, Bonnie Raitt, Big Boi of Outkast, Smokey Robinson, Trace Adkins and Miranda Lambert.

Other career highlights include winning a GABBY Award for a WUGA story on Athens-based singer/songwriter John Keane and writing an excerpt in Larry Kane’s New York Times’ best-selling biography "Lennon Revealed."

Lorinc has been with WABE since 2012.

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.

 In this Sept. 29, 2014 file photo, Secretary of State Brian Kemp announces a March 6, 2012 date, as Georgia's 2012 presidential primary at a news conference in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

On a day when Georgia is taking part in a special election that has national implications, news of voting equipment being stolen is likely the last thing most want to hear.

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But Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp found out about just that two days after equipment was stolen from a car in Cobb County and issued a statement saying that was "unacceptable."

Courtesy of GDOT

Atlanta commuters caught a break Tuesday morning: Repair work on Interstate 20 was completed a few hours ahead of schedule.

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Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Natalie Dale originally expected I-20 to be reopened around noon, but shortly after 6 a.m., all westbound lanes of the roadway were repaired.

All westbound lanes around Candler and Gresham roads were shut down for hours after part of the roadway buckled Monday.

Ali Guillory / WABE

The Georgia Department of Transportation is being sued for the noise its making as it repairs the collapsed I-85 bridge.

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Fulton County Jail via AP

The homeless man accused of setting the fire that caused the Interstate 85 bridge to collapse March 30 has a high-powered legal team.

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According to court records filed last week, at least four private attorneys said they'd represent Basil Eleby pro bono. Those lawyers are Mawuli Davis, Tiffany Roberts, Gary Spencer and Lawrence Zimmerman.

Eleby is facing two felony charges of arson and damage to property.

CEO Mike Thurmond says DeKalb County has held 37,000 water bills since last year.
WABE

DeKalb County officials are meeting with the public today to discuss the area's water-billing problems.

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Representatives from DeKalb County Utility Customer Operations will take questions from customers at the Maloof Auditorium from 4 to 6 p. m.

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

Atlanta's mayor has temporarily suspended non-emergency construction activity during the reconstruction of a collapsed section of Interstate 85.

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Mayor Kasim Reed's office said in a news release Monday that Reed issued an executive order suspending the work between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. from Monday through Friday for parts of the city. Reed says the suspension of construction work is meant to help ease traffic congestion.

David Goldman / Associated Press

A slow parade of red brake lights illuminated the Atlanta highways Monday morning as motorists inched around the city in the wake of a bridge fire and collapse that shut down one of the main highways.

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Atlanta's mayor had warned motorists they'd face longer commutes Monday, as school buses, parents and workers returned to the roads after spring break.

Scott Audette / Associated Press

Otis Nixon, a former Atlanta Braves player who suited up during the team's "worst-to-first" season, is missing.

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Nixon was last seen Saturday morning when the 58-year-old left his house for a golf outing that he never appeared at.

Sunday night, the Woodstock Police Department went to social media asking for help in finding Nixon.

Cassandra Douglas / WABE

Severe storms that tore through the Southeast -- including North Georgia -- caused many travel headaches for people with tickets for Delta Air Lines.

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The Atlanta-based carrier was forced to cancel more than 3,500 flights and delay thousands of others over the past few days after severe storms on Wednesday caused backups at various airports, including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Atlanta Dogwood Festival visitors
Courtesy of the Atlanta Dogwood Festival

One of Atlanta's most enduring events starts today and runs through the weekend.

It's the 81st annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival at Piedmont Park.

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"I don't want to be the one who says, 'Oh, it's got something for people of all ages.' But in this case, it actually does," said Brian Hill, the executive director of the event for the past 10 years.

Jay LaPrete / Associated Press

There's an initiative underway in Columbus, Ga., to become the first city in the world to test all of its senior citizens for Alzheimer's Disease.

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Neurologist Jonathan Liss is leading a three-year study and said about 40,000 people in Columbus are eligible to take part.

Cloudy storm skies over WABE studios in Atlanta.
John Lorinc / WABE News

Cleanup efforts are underway after severe storms tore through the Southeast on Wednesday.  

A long-track tornado was confirmed in Columbus, Georgia, and there are reports of at least three other suspected tornadoes throughout the state.

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John Lorinc / WABE

Severe thunderstorms are moving across the Southeast today, and officials are warning residents to be ready for the worst.

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The storms are expected to bring hail, heavy winds and rain this morning.

"The Storm Prediction Center does have all of North and Central Georgia in a moderate risk.  They have a five-tier system.  This is number 4 of 5.  So this is a significant outbreak that we are expecting today,” said Laura Belanger from the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

Alison Guillory / WABE

This marks the first full week for Atlanta commuters trying to get around town following last week's fiery collapse of a bridge on Interstate 85.

Crews are working non-stop removing debris from the 350-foot section of the bridge that crumbled after a major fire erupted underneath.

That section is closed and some side roads in the area are blocked off, forcing commuters to take detours, clogging surface streets.

GDOT

If you have to work in town today, leave early and expect to wait in traffic.

A massive fire Thursday caused a bridge on Interstate 85, a heavily traveled interstate, to collapse.

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David Tulis / Associated Press

Steen Miles has died at the age of 70. The cause of death was lung cancer, according to various media reports.

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Miles, an Indiana native, was a reporter at 11Alive from 1984 to 1999 in various roles both in front of and behind the camera.  

Jaime Henry-White / Associated Press

Just like the sun, Georgia's solar jobs are rising by the day.

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Georgia now has nearly 4,000 employees working in solar.

That's a 23 percent hike from 2015, according to the Solar Foundation, a nonprofit group that promotes solar energy.

These workers have a variety of jobs ranging from installation of solar panels to design of new products.

Harry Harrris, File / Associated Press

The Atlanta Braves make their debut at SunTrust Park Friday, but a team legend makes his debut a little sooner. 

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A new statue of Hank Aaron will be unveiled Wednesday night at SunTrust Park. It's part of an exclusive fundraiser for Aaron's "Chasing the Dream Foundation."

The 9-foot, bronze sculpture of Aaron was made by Atlanta-based artist Ross Rossin.

Al Such / WABE

Atlanta's annual Resident Satisfaction survey is now taking comments from the public.

Most of the questions on the survey focus on development, infrastructure and safety.

According to a press release on Mayor Kasim Reed's web page, the results are confidential and will be used to help make future decisions on matters like economic development and government efficiency.

Gabrielle Mecca has spent her whole life around the metro, moving inside the city limits two years ago.

David Goldman / Associated Press

More than a dozen candidates are running for the seat previously held by Republican Tom Price, who is now the Trump Administration's Health and Human Services secretary.

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Early voting began Monday and will run through April 14, with Saturday voting on April 8. The actual election will be held on April 18.

The 6th District includes parts of Atlanta, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Dunwoody, Doraville, Tucker, Sandy Springs, Roswell, Alpharetta, Johns Creek and Mountain Park.

Ted Westby / Dad's Garage

On Saturday, Dad's Garage is hosting Baconfest, its annual fundraising event, which raises money for the theater company in Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward.

Check out Atlanta Plannit's Festival Guide

Spokesman Matthew Terrell said the 21-and-up Baconfest allows people to "pig out" for a good cause.

“A literal ton of bacon. We’ve cooked more than 2,000 pounds of bacon. All the bacon you can eat," he said.

But it's not just food and drink.

ALISON GUILLORY / WABE

Georgia's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for February fell to 5.3 percent, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

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That's down two-tenths of a point from January.

"Our job growth is doing better than most of the rest of the nation," Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said.

Georgia gained nearly 12,500 jobs last month and 114,000 jobs over the last year, according to the Labor Department.

David Goldman / Associated Press

In nine days the Atlanta Braves will play their first game in their new Cobb County ballpark.

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Team officials have repeatedly said they've got traffic troubles under control and have assured fans that they will be able to get to the stadium on-time.

Those who live and work nearby are bracing for the traffic boost.

Georgia Power

Thousands of Georgians are starting the day in the dark, after storms passed through Tuesday night. 

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Georgia Power reports at one point last night more than 171,000 customers were without power. Of those, about 38,000 were in the greater Atlanta area.

The strong storm system started to enter North Georgia in the afternoon.

David Barasoain / WABE

The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area recently gained a bunch of land, 55 acres to be exact.

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Pixabay Images

Many blueberry farmers in Georgia are singing the blues.

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The cold weather that blanketed Georgia last week appears to have crippled this year's blueberry crop.

Joe Cornelius has been growing blueberries since 1989 and is the chairman of Georgia's Blueberry Commission.

He said the last catastrophic freeze Georgia blueberry farmers had was during Easter of 2007.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Monday is the deadline for Georgians to register to vote in the April 18 special election.

The biggest race of that day is the contest for the 6th District Congressional seat vacated by former Rep. Tom Price, now the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

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While turnout in special elections as a rule isn't especially strong, this could be an exception.

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.

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.

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