Lisa Hagen | WABE 90.1 FM

Lisa Hagen

Lisa Hagen is a reporter at WABE.

In 2011, Lisa interned and produced videos for the English-language news site for Al-Ahram, in Cairo, Egypt. She’s reported for and from Clinton Hill/Ft. Greene Brooklyn for the NYTimes’ “The Local” blog. She also put in a couple years as a stringer for the New York Post before moving south.

Lisa studied creative writing at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute, but ended up with a much more practical degree in “Militarism and Sexuality” from New York University’s Gallatin School. A master’s degree from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism seemed a next logical step.

She’s originally from Kahalu’u, Hawaii. Lisa does not know how to surf. She can, however, filet a salmon very quickly and is a lover of fly-fishing.

GSU Winter 2015
Alison Guillory / WABE



A Georgia State University student has been temporarily banned from campus. The ban happened after she was removed from a meeting after trying to ask the school's president about the future of Turner Field. The student is one of a group of activists pushing for assurances about GSU's development there.


Asma Elhuni, a senior political science major at GSU, showed up at a public student government meeting with a group of young activists Thursday night to speak with GSU President Mark Becker.

Lisa Hagen / WABE



For the second week, about a hundred protesters showed up to a Gwinnett County Commissioners meeting. They're demanding a commissioner resign after calling U.S. Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis a racist pig.

Tommy Hunter was shouted down as the meeting began, while announcing an event in his district.

Later, for more than an hour during public comment, protestors voiced their anger that hunter was still in office.

Lisa Hagen / WABE

About a hundred Donald Trump supporters gathered at the Cobb County GOP headquarters to watch the inauguration Friday morning.

Fried chicken was served while American flags and plenty of Make America Great Again gear were on vibrant display.

Jerry Ramsey of Cobb County called today a historic moment for the country.

“This past eight years has been horrible, but I believe the young people right now are going to find that in the next four to eight years there’s going to be so much opportunity, so many jobs that, if you have no skill, you can get a job,” he said.

Lisa Hagen / WABE

Gynecologist Lilian Schapiro scooted up to her patient, who was already in stirrups on the exam chair. Her patient was a mother of two in her early 40s. She was seeing Schapiro to get her IUD replaced.

“I-U-D stands for intrauterine device,” Schapiro said.  “A speculum is put in, it [the IUD] goes through the cervix and stays inside the uterus.”   

It’s a form of long-lasting birth control, and depending on the type, can last anywhere from three to 10 years. They can cost up to $1,000 out of pocket.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press



Last week, President Barack Obama announced the sudden end of a decades-old immigration policy which granted special privileges to Cubans entering the United States.


It was called the “wet-foot, dry foot” policy. It meant Cubans who set foot on U.S. soil, could stay and would be fast-tracked to citizenship. It’s termination is the latest step by the Obama administration toward more normal relations with the island nation.


A DeKalb County commissioner has kicked off the new year by proposing another new city.

The city of Prosperity would include Panthersville, Ellenwood, Glenwood and more neighborhoods within DeKalb's 3rd District, in the southern part of the county. Commissioner Larry Johnson represents the area and announced the proposed city at a public meeting Tuesday.

"If people keep taking all of our valuable pieces of land – the cities – they'll be nothing left for us to make sure that we have and then our taxes will go up with nothing to protect us," Johnson said.

State Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, speaks before Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, rear, signs an executive order requiring state agencies to start preparations now for the enactment of the state's medical marijuana bill Friday, March 27, 2015, in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Republican State Representative Allen Peake says he's planning to try to put the question of in-state cannabis cultivation before Georgia voters in the form of a referendum.

Peake is unquestionably the state legislature's biggest proponent of medical marijuana, but so far he has had a hard time convincing lawmakers to come up with ways for Georgians who are qualified for medical cannabis oil treatments to actually get their hands on the stuff in state.

John Bazemore / Associated Press

Why does the United States choose presidents based on the electoral college? That question was raised by Georgia lawmakers on both sides of the aisle well before Donald Trump's victory.

University of Georgia political science chair Charles Bullock said Georgia doesn't get a whole lot of attention during presidential elections.

A sign greets voters before they step up to cast their ballot at a polling site, Tuesday, July 22, 2014, in Atlanta.
Associated Press

Georgia Democrats plan to introduce legislation next year aimed at expanding voter access.

One bill would streamline voter registration, making it an automatic part of getting a driver's license or state ID. People would have to sign a statement saying they're citizens who are eligible to vote.

Another measure would let people vote anywhere within their home county. It's something that already happens with early voting. Rep. Roger Bruce is that bill's sponsor.

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.

There was no sign of newly reinstated DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis Tuesday at the last county commission meeting of the year.

Ellis has less than three weeks remaining before the county transitions to a new CEO. Some commissioners remain unclear about what Ellis can accomplish in that time.

"I don't frankly know at all what he'll do, because he's autonomous in that regard," said Commissioner Jeff Rader outside the meeting.

Commissioner Kathie Gannon said she's not expecting Ellis' return to disrupt the board's work.

Bonfire ATL

Investigators in Oakland, California, are looking for the cause of the fire at an arts and event space that killed more 36 people last week.

Atlanta has its share of underground venues and parties as well. Jaeson Williams, who goes by "Dirty,” runs some of them. He says his events regularly draw crowds of more than 500.

A salesman at Stoddard's Range and Guns shows off a pistol's safety features.
Lisa Hagen / WABE


Are more black people buying guns since the presidential election? At least one story by NBC News says yes, at least anecdotally.

But at Stoddard's Range and Guns in west Midtown, evidence of such a trend is mixed. The owners here estimate the clientele here is about 50-50 black and white, when it comes to demographics.

In this March 25, 2016 photo, an Atlanta Police Rides-For-Hire Enforcement vehicle sits amid taxi cabs outside the departures area of the domestic terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
AP Photo/Jeff Martin


Georgia's Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a suit filed by taxi drivers who say they should be compensated for the state's changes to regulating their industry.

Last year, the state legislature passed a law to begin regulating ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft. A group of five taxi drivers say that destroyed their exclusive right to operate vehicles for hire in Atlanta and the state should pay.  

Peoplestown resident Bertha Darden leads a protest against the city's plans to turn her block into a rainwater retention pond.
Lisa Hagen



The city of Atlanta has taken over five properties in Peoplestown through eminent domain for a flood control project. At least two of those homeowners are still fighting to stay.

"Tell eminent domain! Tell it! Put up your dukes! Put up your dukes!” shouted Bertha Darden. Even standing among protesters gathered in her neighbor’s yard on Nov. 18, the 30-year Peoplestown resident was like a one-woman pep rally. Needless to say, Darden doesn't want to move.

This Sept. 10, 2008 file photo, chickens huddle in their cages at an egg processing plant at the Dwight Bell Farm in Atwater, Calif.
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez,File


The Georgia Department of Agriculture says it's taking steps to address questions about how the poultry industry decides the cost of chicken.

At issue is something called the Georgia Dock. It's a pricing index state agriculture officials put together every week by calling up Georgia poultry producers and asking them how much a chicken is worth.

Atlanta Police Chief George Turner answers questions about immigration enforcement.
Lisa Hagen / WABE

Law enforcement leaders across the country have been weighing in on how they plan to handle immigration enforcement under a coming Trump administration. Some cities have loudly declared they won't assist federal agencies in deporting people in spite of the president-elect's threats to block funding.

"We are not a sanctuary city,” said Atlanta police chief George Turner at a press conference Friday.

Georgia Department of Corrections via AP

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles said late Tuesday that it’s delaying a clemency ruling overnight until the board finishes reviewing documents presented in a day-long hearing.

The board expects to have a decision on Steven Frederick Spears’ case by Wednesday, while his execution is scheduled for later that night.  

Spears was convicted for the 2001 murder of his ex-girlfriend, Sherri Holland, in Dalonegha, Georgia.

Spears has not filed any appeals of his own and his lawyer says Spears has refused to meet with him since a resentencing hearing last year.

A protester carries a sign during a demonstration against the election of President-elect Donald Trump in downtown Atlanta, Friday, Nov. 11, 2016. Spurred by fear and outrage, protesters around the country rallied and marched Friday as they have done dail
AP Photo/David Goldman

As the dust is still settling on what has been a shocking presidential election for many, Georgia’s mental health providers say it’s been a difficult time for some patients.

Dr. Sarah Vinson is an Atlanta-based psychiatrist whose clients range from incarcerated youth to people on Medicaid, immigrants and members of the LGBT community. She said increased stress has been an issue across the board for the populations she serves.

Lisa Hagen / WABE

Poll workers at Therrell High School said one of the location's “Express Poll” machines froze throughout the morning. The machines verify voters’ IDs and pop out yellow ballot cards that people take over to the booths. Fulton County elections officials say the school was one of a handful of polling locations where express poll machines had to be rebooted.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announces a deal to renovate Philips Arena alongside Hawks players and officials.
Lisa Hagen / WABE

The home of the Hawks is getting an upgrade. Today Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced the city will contribute $142.5 million to redesign Philips Arena.

The Hawks will pay $50 million.

"We’re so grateful to the team and Steve Koonin, their CEO, for the exemplary way they’ve been handling the Hawks organization, and it's not too bad that they're undefeated right now. So I wanted to get this announcement out,” said Reed, cracking himself up. “I did the Falcons when they were almost undefeated too.”

Exterior shots of the Georgia Supreme Court
Alison Guillory / WABE


The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that a South Dakota company violated Georgia's ban on payday lenders.

The court has ordered Western Sky Financial to pay more than $15 million. That's the amount prosecutors estimate the company collected from Georgians since the case started.

Liz Coyle heads Georgia Watch. It's a consumer advocacy organization that tipped the attorney general off about Western Sky.

Lisa Hagen / WABE

At the very end of the ballot, Georgia voters are facing a question about how to address what some believe is a serious and growing problem in the state and beyond: child sex trafficking. If approved, Georgia will establish a permanent fund to serve this select group, based on research and statistics some worry can be distorted by extreme emotions this issue raises for many people.

If it’s adopted, the referendum will be the cherry on a legislative sundae that anti-trafficking advocates and lawmakers have been constructing since 2009.

David Goldman / Associated Press

A member of Gov. Nathan Deal's new task force aimed at reviewing and recommending police reforms is getting some criticism for posting news of his appointment to Facebook along with the phrase "All Lives Matter."

State Rep. Alan Powell said he was surprised something he believes is “inconsequential” has drawn attention.

"All Lives Matter" has come to be a divisive statement. A play on “Black Lives Matter,” many activists associated with that movement see the phrase as a deliberate dismissal of oppression and violence they say non-white communities live with.

Lisa Hagen / WABE

Last week in Kansas, federal officials arrested three men they say were plotting to bomb an apartment building that’s home to many Somali-Muslim immigrants. Officials say the men are linked to a loose network of militia groups known as the Three Percenters.

A chapter of that group operates near Atlanta. A windshield decal on Chris Hill’s white truck marks his membership below the words “R.I.P. Johnny Reb.”

“Are we scary? Are we intimidating? I’d say no,” Hill said.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal waits to deliver his State of the State address on the House floor at the Capitol Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Georgia's new attorney general has never tried a case, and he hasn't practiced law in over a decade. The governor says he's qualified; others say they're more skeptical.

Gov. Nathan Deal said Chris Carr's time heading the state's Economic Development Department shows he can handle running a big institution, and that the role of attorney general is primarily about administrating.

Jim Tierney, a former Maine attorney general and head of Harvard's State Attorney General Clinic, agreed that managing attorneys is a big part of the job.

Lisa Hagen / WABE

The Georgia University System Board of Regents is set to vote Wednesday on the controversial appointment of state Attorney General Sam Olens to head Kennesaw State University.

There are vocal opponents to the selection process, but there might not be much they can do about it.

Scott Ritchie, an associate professor at KSU, plans to be at this board meeting. He and other faculty and students will be there to let the board know they're not happy with the process. 

Kathleen Foody / Associated Press

Hurricane Matthew technically didn't make landfall in Georgia this weekend, but it came close enough to do plenty of damage. With downed trees, power lines and standing water still affecting many areas near the coast, officials are urging caution as people return to their homes and businesses.

Emily Timte, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, says as predicted, the coast saw 10-15 inches of rain, with a gust on Tybee Island recorded as high as 95 miles per hour.

Dario Lopez-Mills / Associated Press

A woman is suing a Columbus judge and court officers for fining and jailing her when she refused to testify against a boyfriend who had allegedly abused her. According to the lawsuit, the incident is part of a larger policy of penalizing domestic violence victims in Columbus.

Back in June, Cleopatra Harrison appeared in court a few days after her boyfriend had been arrested for assaulting her.

Courtesy of Fulton County District Attorney

The Fulton County district attorney's office has released dashcam footage of the fatal police shooting of Alexia Christian.

Christian was shot and killed by two Atlanta police officers on April 30, 2015. Police say she stole a truck. When she was arrested, police say she managed to free herself from handcuffs in the back of a squad car. They say Christian shot at the officers with a handgun she'd somehow held onto. The officers fired back.

UGA student Will Dasher said he thinks the guideline about carrrying around certain tailgating areas should have more regulation.
Seth Wenig / Associated Press

Atlanta police believe a recent surge in car break-ins in Midtown is more than random crime. Meanwhile, national reporting has found Atlanta is the country’s leading city when it comes to guns stolen out of cars.

Police are increasingly frustrated that there's only so much they can do to stop these thefts.

Over the last two weeks, 120 cars were broken into during two sprees in Midtown. But Atlanta Police Sgt. Warren Pickard says, in many cases, the thieves are leaving obviously valuable items behind.