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.

David Goldman / Associated Press

A longtime red state might change its attitude about something green.

State Rep. Allen Peake introduced a bill Thursday that calls for a statewide vote on whether or not to legalize the cultivation and distribution of marijuana for medical purposes.

In 2015, the Republican from Macon led the efforts that produced a state law that permitted cannabis oil for some medical issues.

Peake's new law doesn't specify where the pot could be grown or who could grow it, saying a referendum needed to come first.

Darron Cummings, File / Associated Press

State health officials say there's a spike in flu cases in Georgia.

“People go off and they’re visiting their friends, relatives, traveling on vacation," said Davelle Pursner, a registered nurse with the University of Georgia's Health Center. "Times of travel and stress, then they return home, and they become sick with the flu, it’s very contagious."

Kroger; Greenbriar
Alison Guillory / WABE

Georgians can help in the battle against a potentially fatal disease while picking up groceries.

Atlanta-based Kroger and the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance are once again holding their "Round Up" campaign.

That's when customers round up their grocery bill to the next dollar.

The goal is to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and to raise money for the Alliance. 

Brenna Beech / WABE

Residents and officials in Douglasville will hold a public meeting Thursday night about a proposed rock quarry.

A company called Georgia Stone Products LLC wants to put a new one in Douglasville; it would be the city's second.

Jonathan Lynn is Douglasville's Community and Development Services director. He said arguments in favor of the quarry are pretty clear.

“Job creation, additional tax revenue, you know, just being able to create additional business and growth opportunity for Douglasville,” said Lynn.

Jeff Haynes / Associated Press Images for Panini

The Atlanta Falcons host the Seattle Seahawks at the Georgia Dome Saturday in NFL postseason action.

The winner of the game gets one step closer to Super Bowl LI.

But Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said it's just another day at the office for the team.

"We're into the same routine that we're always in," Ryan said during a press conference on Tuesday.

Ryan also said the past is a plus when it comes to the playoffs.

Matt Rourke, File / Associated Press

There will soon be more "eyes in the sky" for one part of Gwinnett County.

The Duluth Police Department will be able use drones for official police business. This means officers will be able to use drones as they search for suspects, missing people and suspicious devices.

Drone training in Duluth starts Wednesday afternoon and officials say there will be one drone proficient officer on each shift, should one be necessary.

Georgia DNR

There have been more reports of coyote sightings in the metro Atlanta area recently, and state officials say that's not a surprise.  

“It’s not unusual for them to be spotted in a park or along a golf course or even green spaces around subdivisions. You know, they’re looking for the easy prey, easy meals,” said Lee Taylor with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

It's the "Battle of the Birds" part two.

The Atlanta Falcons will host Saturday's playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks.

This is the second time these two teams will face off this season. In October, the Falcons lost to the Seahawks 26 to 24, in a game played in Seattle.

This time, it's in Atlanta.

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn says he's looking forward to playing in front of the team's fans.

Mary Claire Kelly / WABE

Metro Atlanta didn't get much snow from this weekend's winter storm, but temperatures did get frigid, and that caused some problems on the roads.  

The Georgia Department of Transportation says most roadways in Metro Atlanta are in good shape now, but there are still icy patches in sports north of the city.

Meagan Whitehead / KeepGeorgiaBeautiful.org

You can get rid of your Christmas tree in a "green" way.

Keep Georgia Beautiful is holding its 26th annual "Bring One for the Chipper" event.

That's where real Christmas trees are recycled into mulch and other materials for playgrounds, government-based beautification projects, as well as yards throughout the state..

More than 60 million trees have been recycled over the years.

Icy trees and power lines in Decatur on Jan. 7, 2017.
Mary Claire Kelly / WABE

Sleet and snow started to land on the northern half of Georgia Friday and continued for much of the night and early Saturday morning.

Some areas saw between four to five inches of snow.

Metro Atlanta didn’t see nearly as much, although there are reports of black ice throughout the area.

Georgia Power spokeswoman Holly Crawford said roughly 10,000 people were left in the dark Friday night.

"Our damage assessment crews are going to get in, see what the damage is and start restoring power as quickly as possible," Crawford said.

Jonathan Shapiro / WABE

A winter storm warning goes into effect for all of North Georgia – including Metro Atlanta – today at 4 p.m.

Rain and sleet will start to fall shortly after lunch.

"This evening, everything is going to switch over to all snow," said Kent McMullen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City. "The snow will continue tonight, probably the heaviest amounts running between 6 p.m. and about 3 or 4 o'clock tomorrow morning."

McMullen says Metro Atlanta could see between 3 to 5 inches of snow.

Paul Newberry / Associated Press

The Cobb County government has established a committee to help the Atlanta Braves make sure SunTrust Park is ready to play ball this spring.

The new Braves Advisory Board will hold its first meeting Friday.

The main goal: make sure everything is in place when the facility opens for business within the next 14 weeks.

"Take for example, the stadium has to have a certificate of occupancy. There is a date that that has to happen by. Now there are other things that have to happen ... Fire Marshall inspection and things like that," said Cobb County Commissioner Bob Ott.

Michell Eloy / WABE

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for Metro Atlanta.

It goes into effect Friday at 7 p.m. and ends Saturday at 1 p.m.

"In the Atlanta metro area, it will probably start as a rain-snow mix, but we'll later see all that change over to snow," said NWS meteorologist Kent McMullen.

While it’s still unclear how much snow the area could see, NWS cautiously predicts as much as 3 inches could fall in north Georgia, with lighter accumulation in metro Atlanta.

Martha Dalton / WABE

Make sure you know where your winter jacket is.

A blast of bone-chilling temperatures is heading toward Georgia.

Residents in the northern half of the state could see some snow.

"They could see some accumulation of snow going into Friday night and ending during the day on Saturday," said Kent McMullen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, in Peachtree City. "Still it's too early to tell how much."

Metro Atlanta may only get a dusting, or possibly no snow at all, but temperatures are expected to be below freezing.

Dan Raby / WABE

A new state audit says Georgia isn't hitting its target for how much lottery money goes to education.

State law says 35 percent of the proceeds should fund HOPE scholarships and pre-K programs. But the way the law's written is a little open-ended.

It's worded "as nearly as practical" to 35 percent.

The state hasn't hit that goal in almost 20 years. Last fiscal year, it was just under 26 percent.

But it's not as simple as just changing a formula.

David Goldman / Associated Press

The Atlanta Falcons are the second seed in the NFC.

That means they get a bye week and a chance to heal during the first round of the playoffs.

The team will host the second round of the post-season at the Georgia Dome on Jan. 14.

They'll face off against the highest-seeded team that advances from the wild-card round this weekend.

The Falcons ended the regular season with a record of 11-and-5.

They were 5-and-3 on home turf.  

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Ric Feld / Associated Press

Buckets of rain pounded Metro Atlanta on Monday, but central Georgia was hit worse.

"We do have reports of trees down and trees down on cars and trees down on homes, so we do know there was some damage, we're just not sure if it was associated with just straight-line damage or tornado damage as of yet," said Jason Deese, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

Flash flooding was reported in Columbus and severe damage in Cordele, Georgia.

Some areas could see up to three inches of rain.

April Williams / WABE

Georgia's roads are in tough shape.

You won't get much debate on that — not even from the Georgia Department of Transportation. But things have picked up in the last 18 months thanks to the passage of a state transportation funding act in 2015.

G-DOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale says an increased gas tax has brought in more than $2.5 billion so far. And some of the projects that money is paying for are coming to fruition.

An EF-1 tornado touched down in Jefferson, located in Jackson County, early Thursday morning.

"It traveled about 3.4 miles in that 10-minute time period that it was on the ground," said Kent McMullen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

Clean-up efforts are underway.

"It put some trees down on some homes, I've heard that there was anywhere from about 20 to 25 homes that had some type of damage," said McMullen.

There were also downed trees and power lines.

No injuries were reported.  

Jeff Roberson / Associated Press

Keion Carpenter died yesterday, according to a statement from a family spokesperson.

Carpenter played safety for the Atlanta Falcons from 2002 through 2005.

He also suited up for the Buffalo Bills.

During his six-year NFL career, the Baltimore native had 14 interceptions. He also started the Carpenter House, a nonprofit that helped families find a place to live.

Kent Johnson / Atlanta Journal-Constitution

With days left before leaving office, Burrell Ellis is tackling a major concern for residents.

In a letter released Wednesday, the outgoing DeKalb CEO addressed the county's water billing crisis.

Ellis said the county will send out about 50,000 statements that were withheld due to accuracy concerns.

The amount on these bills will be a rough estimate of the average water usage over the past 12 months, with the highest and lowest amounts removed.

Ellis says customers who are unhappy with the billed average should contact county officials.

Courtesy of Lula Lake Land Trust

The new year will bring new trails to hikers, bikers and others in North Georgia and South Tennessee.

Work will being in January on the Chattanooga Connector Trail, which will do exactly as its name suggests.

It will link a network of trails between Georgia's Cloudland Canyon, which is next to Lookout Mountain, and the Tennessee Riverwalk.

Bill Kostroun / Associated Press

Six Atlanta Falcons are heading to the 2017 Pro Bowl.

Quarterback Matt Ryan, receiver Julio Jones, running back Devonta Freeman, center Alex Mack, linebacker Vic Beasley and place kicker Matt Bryant all got the nod this year.

This is the fourth Pro Bowl trip for Ryan, Jones and Mack.

It's the first for Bryant, who's been in the NFL for 16 years.

Wellstar Cobb Hospital
Al Such / WABE

The biggest insurer and the biggest hospital system in Georgia are joining forces.

WellStar Health System and Blue Cross Blue Shield have agreed to take part in a federal insurance exchange product.

“Continuity of physician and hospital is important to consumers and you know, you feel comfortable with somebody you trust. And if a WellStar patient very much likes their doctor, they can keep them if they stay in the Blue Cross network,” said Andy Miller, with Georgia Health News. 

Courtesy of Cobb County

There are less than two weeks before 2017, and that means the Atlanta Braves will soon be playing in their new park.

The 1,100-foot bridge that will help pedestrians get to and from Sun Trust Park is about 40 percent finished, according to the Marietta Daily Journal.

Jim Wilgus, Cobb's transportation director told the newspaper the bridge will be operational by April 14.

Eric Durban / WABE

The new soccer field at MARTA's Five Points station is a hit, so far.  

That's why Soccer in the Streets, the group behind it, wants to build nine more fields.

“This is a great way, we feel, to provide access to Metro Atlanta youths and adults and integrate the city through a sport that is known to bring people together,” said SITS board member Sanjay Patel.

The nine stations where the group wants to expand include College Park and Brookhaven.

The goal — excuse the pun — is to have soccer fields open at 10 MARTA stations by the end of the decade.

Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press

A lot of people will be going over the river and through the woods this week.

More than 103 million Americans are hitting the road for the end-of-the year holiday season, according to AAA.

"It's setting a new travel record, since we've been tracking travel data since 2001," said AAA spokesman Garrett Townsend.

Nearly 5.4 million Georgians are included in that number, that's a 3.1 percent hike from 2015 and, according to Townsend, it's more than double the national average.

AP File

Commuters can now figure out how much it will cost to take the Interstate-75 South Metro Express lanes.

The toll rates for the lanes go from 10 cents to 90 cents per mile. The minimum toll charge for a ride in the lanes is 50 cents.

The State Road and Tollway Authority's board of directors approved the amounts yesterday.

The 12 miles of new lanes will debut in late January and reach from McDonough Road to Stockbridge Highway.

Thiqa News via AP

It's nearly 7,000 miles away, but Syria is on the minds of many here in Atlanta.

That includes Jana Al-Nahhas who has visited family in Syria every year.

She says her Facebook and Twitter feeds have been full of posts from people in Aleppo for a while, but their messages have taken on a new tone.  

“So sometimes you almost, it’s sad to say, but you get numb to it all, and then moments like these really, they just awaken your heart in some ways, and it’s really terrifying,” she said.

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