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.

Alison Guillory / WABE


It took seven full minutes for the names of the victims to be read out. Five individual speakers took shifts reading them aloud as a Methodist pastor rang a bell for each name.

More than 2,500 people turned out for the Tuesday night vigil to remember the victims of the Orlando nightclub attack. Heavy rain had let up as the interfaith gathering took place at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta.


Alison Guillory / WABE

The corner of Tenth Street and Piedmont Avenue was peppered with rainbow flags Sunday night as hundreds of Atlantans gathered to mourn after the Orlando nightclub attack, where 49 people were killed by a gunman.


People spilled into the streets as mourners lit candles and sang songs outside the club, TEN Atlanta, as the sun set. Matt Garrett had helped organize the event.


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

Lawyers for the former General Manager of Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport are accusing Atlanta's mayor of slander.

Miguel Southwell, the former general manager, and Mayor Kasim Reed have been trading barbs publicly for a week now.

A week after his firing last month, Southwell's attorneys sent the city a list of grievances, saying they intended to file a wrongful termination lawsuit.

That letter included allegations that the mayor and his staff tried to influence airport concession contracts.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

Georgia Democrats are calling out state Republicans for not immediately denouncing presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump's commentary on an Indiana judge.

It's been a particularly tough back and forth week for U.S. Senator David Perdue.

Perdue has by now called on Trump to apologize for his comments accusing a federal judge of bias. Last week he very publicly endorsed the candidate. He's also set to host a Trump fundraiser, along with Gov. Nathan Deal, next week.

Paul Weaver / Weaver (cropped)

A new South Carolina law awaiting Gov. Nikki Haley's signature would help Georgia gun owners travel over the state border more easily.

South Carolina has a stricter process than Georgia for getting a concealed weapons permit. It requires gun training. Because Georgia doesn't, the state's carry permits haven't been valid in South Carolina.

That's been a real pain for some gun owners in Augusta. Gun store and range owner Buddy Lichty lives there, but crosses the border all the time. Often he goes for cheaper gas.

An Uber rider requests a free ride in a Dodge Charger modeled after a Hot Wheels Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper character car, Friday, Sept. 4, 2015 in New York, to celebrate Force Friday.
Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Mattel/AP Images

On Wednesday Atlanta City Council members heard from representatives of Uber and Lyft, and others, about the pros and cons of requiring fingerprinting background checks for drivers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The companies claim their private security measures go above and beyond checking FBI and state fingerprint databases. That's what the Georgia Department of Driver Services requires for taxi and limo drivers working the airport now.

Mark Evans

Ever find yourself in Atlanta traffic zoning out in contemplation of the ebbs and flows of human existence? Shuddering at your cog-like role in the global machine or perhaps taking comfort in the smallness of your daily struggles compared to a great big universe churning ever-onward? Well now someone's manifested that daytime nightmare into cool animation for your Internet viewing pleasure. 

Brenna Beech / WABE

Mayor Kasim Reed says the Atlanta Streetcar is a work in progress, but it will be a permanent transportation feature of the city.

He was responding to an ultimatum from the Georgia Department of Transportation to come up with a plan to address the streetcar's many issues by mid-June.

If the city and MARTA fail to meet the State Safety Oversight requirements, GDOT says it will order the streetcar shut down immediately. Friday, Mayor Reed said he's reasonably confident the city will respond adequately by deadline.

As he gave details Monday of his reasons for firing two high-profile department heads, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said his style is to make adjustments when necessary.

Jo Ann Macrina, former commissioner of Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management, and Miguel Southwell, former Hartsfield-Jackson general manager, are the two latest department heads to be looking for work elsewhere. It's not the first leadership change for either department during Reed's administration.

Reed insists there's no more turnover than under previous mayors.

A Denver Bronco holds the Lombardi Trophy aloft during a victory rally to celebrate the Bronco's win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, in Denver, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016.
Brennan Linsley / Associated Press

NFL team owners are meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina starting Monday to decide, among other things, where the Super Bowls will be held in 2019 and 2020.

Atlanta will probably be selected, according to J.C. Bradbury, who teaches sport management and economics at Kennesaw State University.

David Goldman / Associated Press

The Atlanta mayor's office released a preview of its proposed budget today.

The city is proposing a $605 million budget for fiscal year 2017. That's an increase of more than $12 million. More than 60 percent of the budget goes to public safety, which includes police, fire departments and corrections.

The city's chief financial officer Jim Beard says close to $7 million is proposed to raise pay for police sergeants and lieutenants. But as for rank and file officers?

"Those are not anticipated in this budget," he said.

Investigators are waiting on autopsy results of a man who died after being shot by Clayton County police in Riverdale on Monday.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Clayton County police were called to a domestic dispute between a boyfriend and girlfriend around 5 p.m. By the time police arrived, the reported boyfriend, 23-year-old Jabril Robinson had left.

The GBI said when police found Robinson and gave chase, he tried to enter a nearby home.

David Goldman / Associated Press

The Atlanta Falcons want to feed their fans for less. Today Arthur Blank announced that concessions pricing at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be priced below the average for NFL stadiums.

Two dollars for sodas and water, $3 for snacks like nachos and pizza, and a domestic beer will cost $5.

JC Bradbury, a sports management economist with Kennesaw State University, said the price change isn't just from the goodness of the Falcon management's hearts.

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, without additional emergency funding from Congress, it may have to stop or delay measures to prevent the Zika virus.

Right now the CDC's Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response is throwing everything it's got at trying to understand Zika and prepare for warmer temperatures favorable to mosquitoes that can carry the virus. 

Lisa Hagen / WABE

A Marietta choir director has filed a federal complaint saying he was forced to resign from his job because church members complained about the fact that he is gay.

Alison Guillory / WABE

Editor's Note: This story contains discussion of sexual violence and inflammatory language.

An allegation of rape was posted anonymously on social media last week by someone who says they're a freshman at Spelman College. It has reopened an ongoing conversation about campus sexual violence and the unique challenges historically black colleges and universities may face in addressing them.

The Georgia Department of Education has released its College and Career Ready Performance Index scores, which are score cards for Georgia schools.

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said she's smiling since the scores were released. Of the 27 low performing APS schools, seven have improved enough to be removed from Gov. Nathan Deal's proposed Opportunity School District list. Schools on the list could be at risk of a state takeover after November.

terren in Virginia /

The Atlanta City Council is moving forward with selling Turner Field to Georgia State University.

Dozens of residents came to speak out against the agreement, which the council voted to approve on Monday. Members of the Turner Field Benefits Coalition had pushed for legal language to prevent displacement and secure specific benefits for community members.

Peoplestown resident Charese Brown says without a Community Benefits Agreement laid out before hand, she and her neighbors are at the mercy of developers.

Lisa Hagen / WABE

Kasey Burroughs can still remember sitting in the parking lot at PRC Medical Clinic a few years ago. There was a lot on her mind.

Burroughs says everyone she knew didn’t want her to be pregnant. She was alone, and trying to decide her next move. Keep the baby? Adoption? Abortion? The last option brought up painful memories.

Lisa Hagen / WABE

A protester arrested at Stone Mountain Saturday could face up to 20 years in prison.

He has been charged with aggravated assault for allegedly throwing a smoke bomb at police.

Joshua Taylor Taft, who is 21 years old, was one of nine protesters arrested Saturday as self-described "anti-racist" demonstrators clashed with police near what was billed as a "pro-white" rally.

WABE legal analyst Page Pate said Taft is not likely to face a maximum sentence.

Counter-protestors block traffic at the entrance of Stone Mountain Park.
Alison Guillory / WABE

Security concerns forced Stone Mountain to shut down its amusement park Saturday during a "Rock Stone Mountain" rally self-described as “pro-white." Nine counter-protesters were arrested: one for throwing a smoke bomb, and the others detained on misdemeanors like wearing masks and obstructing justice.

Several hundred “anti-racist” counter-protesters dwarfed the pro-white group’s turnout of roughly two dozen.

Al Such / WABE


Two men and their firearms were vastly outnumbered by media and police presence Monday morning at a demonstration of their anti-Muslim feelings at the Georgia Capitol.

The protesters, James Stachowiak of Augusta and Florida pastor Terry Jones, railed against Islam outside the Georgia Capitol.  


The two had encouraged other supporters, who did not show up, to bring loaded weapons to the demonstration. That call prompted an abundance of security forces, including two helicopters, to monitor the event.

John Horn, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, speaks at a press conference,Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, in Atlanta, after Edgar Valdez Villareal, known as "La Barbie" pleaded guilty to charges.
David Goldman / Associated Press

The Georgia Department of Corrections is under federal investigation in connection with its treatment of LGBT inmates. The U.S. Attorney’s Office confirms it has started a joint investigation with the U.S. Department of Justice.

The investigation is the first of its kind, according to U.S. Attorney John Horn.

“Certainly, we have conducted dozens of investigations into conditions and confinement in jails and prisons around the country, but this is the first time that it’s focusing on LGBT populations in those institutions,” Horn said.  

Mayor Ted Terry of Clarkston, Georgia joins A Closer Look on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 to talk about the possibility of receiving more refugees into Clarkston.
Brenna Beech / WABE

The mayor of the city of Clarkston in DeKalb County wants to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The plan is to make the penalty for holding an ounce or less of marijuana a municipal court fine.

Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry says he has kept an eye on medical cannabis and decriminalization efforts in the legislative session.

The city of Atlanta is taking the next six months to come up with a ten year plan to end chronic homelessness.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced the creation of a fresh committee of government representatives, as well as nonprofit and business leaders, to design a strategy to end homelessness in the city. Reed said policies to guarantee affordable housing in new developments will be key as the city continues to grow at a rate not seen for decades.

"We have to make a demand on this success," Reed said.

Lisa Hagen / WABE

The city of Atlanta is moving forward with plans to build a pond and improve Mims Park in Vine City.

It's an early step in a $50 million plan meant to revitalize an area that's been plagued by crime and blight, but some residents worry the improvements could mean getting priced out, down the line.

On Thursday, the city’s watershed department updated residents on design plans for a pond in Mims Park. They asked residents to pin suggestions to a clothesline they'd set up.

Lisa Hagen / WABE

Dozens of supporters of the vetoed Free Exercise Protection Act still seemed to be in shock Tuesday morning at the state Capitol.

Tanya Ditty, the state director of Concerned Women for America kicked off the program of short speeches saying the decision showed Gov. Nathan Deal is out of touch with Georgians.

“This is why people are angry with the politicians of our nation,” said Ditty. “They are elected to represent the will of the people. They are not elected to represent Hollywood values nor Wall Street values.”

Lisa Hagen / WABE

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

The ninth graders in Bobetta Bailey’s Wednesday health class are milling around the room reviewing facts they’ve learned about sexually transmitted infections.

One wall of the classroom is decorated with bright, colored diagrams of reproductive systems. The fact that Bailey’s class at Cross Keys High School is about more than just those diagrams is a little out of the ordinary.

Josh Edelson / AP Images for Lyft

Lyft is making the latest move in the ongoing competition to corner the Atlanta market. The ride-hailing service has announced a new partnership with Georgia State University.

Both Uber and Lyft tend to be protective about local ridership numbers, so it can be hard to pin down what the market competition really looks like. A Lyft spokesperson said the company is seeing 60 percent more rides in Atlanta than last year.

U.S. Department of State /

Ambassador-at-Large Susan Coppedge is a senior advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State and leads that department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office). She’s a former assistant United States attorney in the Northern District of Georgia, with a 15-year history of prosecuting sex and labor trafficking cases.