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.

Ric Feld / Associated Press

Cobb County wants to give you more options when making your commute.

Officials agreed to a contract that will bring new signs designed to warn drivers about traffic problems.

“They’ll know for instance, that Interstate-75 is traveling this fast today, this is what the speed is on 285. So they’ll know if they want to take another route far enough out where they can make that route effective,” said Jim Wilgus, director of Cobb's Department of Transportation.

The signs will go up in places like the Canton Road Connector before I-75 and on Cobb Parkway before Delk Road.

    

The Athens community is mourning the loss of a bicyclist killed in an alleged DUI incident.

Ashley Block was struck by a car and killed while taking part in a group bicycle ride Monday night in Athens.

Athens-Clarke County police say the driver of the vehicle, Whitney Howard, crossed the center line on Athena Drive and hit the bikers.

Authorities say Howard was driving under the influence and on her cell phone at the time of the accident.

One person is dead and another injured in an early morning accident on Peachtree Street at the intersection with Spring Street.

According to the Georgia State Patrol, a car driven by an off-duty police officer hit a stone wall near the Invesco building.

The passenger in the car was pronounced dead at the scene.

The unidentified officer was taken to Grady Hospital.

The accident had parts of Peachtree Street closed for more than four hours this morning.

The Georgia State Patrol is involved with the investigation.  

Former student Nathaniel Simmons operates a crane during a day of training at Georgia College of Construction.
Branden Camp / Associated Press

Many companies in metro Atlanta will have openings to fill between now and New Year's.

A new survey shows the net employment outlook is up by 15 percent.  

“Among the areas seeing a boost in openings are construction and manufacturing, transportation, utilities and all the way to leisure and hospitality,” said Nick Zatezalo, an area manager for the Georgia branch of the Manpower Group.

Jury selection will continue today in Brunswick for the trial of 35-year-old Justin Ross Harris, who is facing murder charges for the 2014 death of his son, Cooper. 

Thirty-four people requested to be dismissed from the trial Monday due to hardships. Superior Court Judge Mary Staley Clark excused 13 of those potential jurors, most of whom have health issues or already-booked vacations that would overlap with the trial.

This is the second attempt to pick a jury. In May, efforts to select an impartial jury in Cobb County ended in a stalemate after roughly three weeks.

Newt Gingrich
Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

Newt Gingrich held a town hall event at Kennesaw State University's Carmichael Student Center Monday afternoon.

The main purpose was to promote Donald Trump's campaign, but Gingrich also benefits from the spotlight.    

“I believe that Gingrich would love to be Secretary of State, for example, or Secretary of Defense or something related to that. And, yeah, I do think if Trump wins, Gingrich is in line for a Cabinet spot, absolutely,” said Dr. Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at KSU.

Gas prices are going back down in metro Atlanta.

The average price for a gallon is $2.17, according to AAA.

That's down about four cents from last week.

A pilot survives an emergency landing overnight in Newton County.

Minutes before midnight on Sept. 11,  Newton County officials said they got a call from a pilot who needed to make an emergency landing.

The pilot was able to touch down safely on Interstate-20 westbound at mile marker 95.

"The pilot did a great job as far as navigating the aircraft to an area without involving any vehicles or anything on the interstate," said Sgt. Cortney Morrison with the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities say the plane apparently ran out of fuel. 

April Williams / WABE

  

Commuters in Cobb County will have to be extra patient Friday. 

Traffic pacing will be in effect on parts of Interstate-75 this afternoon.

It's all part of the Georgia Department of Transportation's $834 million managed lanes project, which will add nearly 30 miles of toll lanes in Cobb and Cherokee counties.

The lanes will head into metro Atlanta during morning rush and they'll be reversed northbound in the afternoon and evening.

DeKalb County Police Department / Associated Press

  

This story was updated at 12:00 p.m.  

A white, former police officer who fatally shot an unarmed, naked black man is scheduled to make a court appearance on Friday.

Former DeKalb police officer Robert Olsen was indicted earlier this year on a number of charges, including felony murder, aggravated assault and making false statements. 

Authorities said he shot and killed 27-year-old Anthony Hill in March 2015.

LM Otero / Associated Press

Tropical Storm Hermine is gone from Georgia, but some pecan farmers in the state are still dealing with its wrath.

“We had some larger trees blown down, but then we also had about 30 percent of the nuts blown out of the tree or shaken out of the tree by the wind,” said Dr. Lenny Wells, a pecan specialist at the University of Georgia.

Hermine struck South Georgia counties from the Florida state line all the way to South Carolina.

The FAA and the NTSB are investigating the fatal collision of two small planes at West Georgia Regional Airport in Carrollton yesterday morning.

The crash claimed three lives.

An eyewitness told authorities that it appeared the pilots in the two planes were attempting to land at the same time.

The crash occurred near the end of the airport's only runway.

The Carroll County Sheriff's Office has identified two of the victims.

William Lindsey, a pilot from College Park, was 79 years old.

Bulkhead Sign Near Path 400
Al Such / WABE

The Buckhead Community Improvement District is seeking public feedback on its idea for a deck park over Georgia 400.

The proposal is for a 7- to 9-acre open area on top of the Buckhead MARTA station and the highway with connections to Lenox and Peachtree Roads.

“The reason that we’re looking at this is because it has emerged as probably the best opportunity to create a gathering place for the community to come together in the heart of Buckhead,” said Jim Durrett, the executive director of the Buckhead CID.

Mayor Kasim Reed has given United Consulting until this upcoming Monday evening to make a decision.
Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

  

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Miguel Southwell have called a truce, according to a joint statement released Tuesday from lawyers representing both men.

Southwell was the general manager of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport until he was fired by Reed in May.

After the dismissal Reed and Southwell verbally blasted each other. Legal threats were also exchanged.

But, that's in the past.

According to the statement, Reed and Southwell say their differences were "more a matter of style than substance."  

A GRTA Xpress commuter bus in Douglasville
Courtesy of GRTA

Many of the 9,000 people who ride the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority X-Press Commuter Coach Service into Atlanta each weekday morning are seeing new commutes.  

GRTA officials have streamlined the routes from 33 to just 25, but they are expanding the hours on some of the busier routes, up to an hour each way.

Gasoline drips from a nozzle at gas station Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012, in Lake Oswego, Ore
Rick Bowmer / Associated Press

Gas prices this Labor Day weekend fell, nationally, to a low not seen in 12 years, according to AAA.

"Despite the increased gasoline demand from holiday travelers, gas prices actually declined a couple of cents throughout the holiday weekend thanks to lower oil prices," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA. "Gas prices in the Fall should get even cheaper, because demand declines as Americans return to school and work." 

As for metro Atlanta, the average price for a gallon is $2.20.

That's down four cents from last week.

  

Agnes Kim, the University of Georgia student who survived a two-vehicle accident in April, issued a statement Monday.    

She was behind the wheel on an Oconee County highway when her vehicle crossed the center line, and struck another car.

Four passengers in Kim's car, all fellow UGA students, died as a result of the accident.

They were Kayla Canedo, Brittany Feldman, Christina Semeria and Halle Scott. Feldman was 20 and the other three were 19 years old.

This GOES East satellite image taken at 9:15 a.m EDT, on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, and release by NOAA shows Tropical Storm Hermine gathering strength in the Gulf of Mexico.
NOAA via AP

South Georgia is getting hit by Tropical Storm Hermine, which made landfall in Florida as a hurricane early Friday morning.

It's weakening as it heads through south Georgia, but still has maximum sustained winds above 70 miles per hour.

"We're getting winds gusting close to 50 knots in south Georgia," said Brian Lynn, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

Lynn says some areas, including Macon, could see nearly half of a foot of rain by the weekend. It won't be nearly as bad in metro Atlanta.

Tracy Robillard / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah, flickr.com/savannahcorps

Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for 56 counties in Georgia Thursday morning, in anticipation of Tropical Storm Hermine.

Among the counties affected: Appling, Bacon, Bryan, Dodge, Lanier, Turner, Wayne and Worth.

"Georgia is expected to receive severe weather related to Tropical Storm Hermine through Saturday," said Deal in a press release. "We are working to ensure counties in south, central and coastal Georgia have access to the state resources necessary to prepare and respond when Tropical Storm Hermine enters Georgia."

Don Ryan / Associated Press

Delta Air Lines is using technology to help make its flights run more smoothly.

It's called the Flight Weather Viewer and it gives pilots current information about areas of rough air that can cause turbulence.

According to Delta officials, sensors placed on hundreds of Delta planes gather weather data and share it with other pilots.

Delta says this app will help cut down on turbulence-related injuries and equipment damage.

The Atlanta-based carrier started testing the app at the start of the year.

Atlanta Police Department

A grand jury hearing for James Burns starts Wednesday morning.

The former Atlanta Police officer is charged with the murder of Deravis Caine Rogers, who was shot in a confrontation with officers in Midtown back in June.

Jane Lamberti is representing the Rogers family in a civil case and she's among the 200 or so people taking part in a rally outside the Fulton County Courthouse. She hopes that Burns is eventually convicted of felony murder. 

Downtown skyline from the top of Grady Hospital parking deck
Alison Guillory / WABE

Traffic will likely be busier than usual in downtown Atlanta this holiday weekend.

More than 500,000 people are expected to be within the city limits with more than a dozen major events taking place between Thursday through Monday.

They include: an Atlanta Falcons game, an Atlanta Braves game, an AC/DC concert and the Black Gay Pride weekend.

And the ever-popular annual Dragon Con is expected to bring about 65,000 people to the city.

The new 30-mile expressway under construction in Cobb County will cost $800 million.

And commuters will be chipping in.    

People who drive on the Northwest Corridor can expect to pay a flat fee of 50 cents to use the Northwest Corridor.

That's the 30-mile reversible toll expressway on I-75 and I-575.

State officials say the cost could rise to 35 cents per mile during heavy traffic times.

The cost of filling up is going up.

Gas prices are on the rise across the nation, including metro Atlanta.

The average cost for a gallon here is $2.23, according to AAA.

That's a 9-cent hike from last week.

On Tuesday, Georgia Power asked the Public Service Commission to lower fuel rates for customers because of lower natural gas prices.
David Tulis / Associated Press

A downed tree and a transformer fire are to blame for a power outage that has left nearly 20,000 people in the Atlanta area without power Friday morning.

Georgia Power officials say a tree fell on power lines on Northside Drive, near Collier Road.

"At this point, we don't even have a cause as for why that tree fell, so we're still trying to investigate everything as we try to put the lights and power back," said Georgia Power spokesman Craig Bell.

Roughly 95 percent of the power was restored within 75 minutes, according to Bell.

Courtesy of Caren West

  

A free, family-friendly event is taking place this weekend and it supports a good cause.

The 14th annual Grant Park Summer Shade Festival is organized by and benefits the Grant Park Conservancy.

The event includes a 5K run, a farmers’ market, local food trucks, craft beer and a Kids Zone.

A woman walks into a Georgia Department of Labor career center, Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Job seekers in the capital of the Peach State are having luck finding a place to pick up a paycheck.

The unemployment rate in metro Atlanta for July was 5.1 percent, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

That's down .2 points from June and nearly a full point from July 2015.

The data shows more than 31,000 people returned to Atlanta's workforce last year.

"Individuals out there are being encouraged by what they're seeing in the job market and they're turning back to the job search," said Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.

Jose Juarez / Associated Press

The capital of the Peach State remains a political piggy bank for both Republican and Democratic candidates.

Bill Clinton will be in Atlanta on Wednesday raising money for the Hillary Clinton campaign.

And next Monday, Republican Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence comes to town to try to raise funds.

Courtesy of The Atlanta Workforce Development Agency

  

Another person has thrown his hat into the race to be Kasim Reed's successor.

Michael Sterling is the latest person to announce he's running to be the mayor of Atlanta.

The 34-year-old who previously led the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency made it official with a Twitter message Tuesday.

This story was updated at 5:48 p.m.  

The U.S. Department of Justice is suing Georgia over the way the state treats disabled students.

According to the suit filed in Atlanta on Tuesday, the DOJ says Georgia violates federal law by placing thousands of students with disabilities into the Georgia Network for Education and Therapeutic Support Program.

The department says these GNETS are unequal to regular class settings.

They also say disabled students should be able to interact with students who are not disabled.    

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