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.

One Georgia county has cut ties with a private probation company it had used for more than a decade. The company, Sentinel Offender Services, has been sued more than a dozen times for violations.

The majority of those suits stem from Sentinel jailing people unable to afford the company's fees.

Sarah Geraghty, a lawyer with the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, has sued Sentinel on behalf of clients who were charged money for drug tests no judge ordered them to take.

James A. Finley / associated press file

Georgia's highest court has ruled that the Ku Klux Klan's lawsuit over its bid to "adopt" a highway can continue.

In a unanimous decision announced Tuesday, the Supreme Court of Georgia dismissed the state's appeal of a lower court ruling. Court officials say the Georgia Department of Transportation failed to follow the correct procedures in filing its appeal.

A proposal to allow public drinking in downtown Roswell, Georgia, is gaining resident support.

The idea is to let people carry alcoholic beverages in 16-ounce cups within Park Square and Heart of Roswell Park from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.  

At the heart of the proposal is an effort to spur business. Roswell residents weighed in at public comment session Tuesday night.

Senator Vincent Fort
Al Such / WABE

The Atlanta City Council is set to finish voting on the annexation of tracts of land in unincorporated South Fulton County.

These are areas looking to become part of Atlanta before a vote in November on whether what's left over in the area should become a city.

Georgia Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, is no fan of the South Fulton cityhood idea. He's blocked state bills to allow a vote on the matter in past years.

Lisa Hagen / WABE

Chris Novy is thinking about getting his concealed carry license.


"I am new to a lot of the more free, Second Amendment culture," Novy said. “If I see someone walking with a gun down the street, in California, that’s not a thing. In Georgia, it is.”

He said figuring out what his rights are is important. Novy was one of about a dozen people to show up to the Atlanta chapter of an LGBT gun group, Pink Pistols. They were holding their first meeting since the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando earlier this month.

Robert Ray / Associated Press

A federal appeals court in Atlanta heard arguments Tuesday in a case challenging a Florida law that prevents doctors from discussing or recording information about their patients' gun ownership.

If the law is upheld, the protections could influence firearms debates in Georgia.

The legal battle began with an NRA-backed law meant to stop physicians from harassing patients about the potential dangers of firearms. Medical associations pushed back immediately.

gun control in georgia
Mike Stewart / Associated Press


In the wake of the Orlando shootings, one Georgia lawmaker is renewing her call for a ban on assault weapons.

During this year's legislative session, Georgia House Speaker David Ralston dismissed Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver's bill almost instantly.

Speaking on WABE's "Closer Look" Monday, Oliver said she modeled the bill on legislation that's been upheld in Connecticut.

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.