Tasnim Shamma | WABE 90.1 FM

Tasnim Shamma

Reporter

Tasnim Shamma joined WABE 90.1 FM as a reporter in November 2014. She comes to Atlanta from Charlotte, where she spent more than two years at the NPR member station WFAE. 

Prior to that, she was a Kroc fellow reporting, writing, editing, blogging and producing for NPR’s Digital News Desk, Weekends on All Things Considered, the National Desk in Washington, D.C. and the NPR member station WLRN, based in The Miami Herald newsroom.

She graduated from Princeton's Class of 2011, where she was executive editor for multimedia for The Daily Princetonian. She worked as a video intern, copy editor and reporter at The Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Sports Illustrated and Newsweek in New York City and The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J. She grew up in Queens, New York and now lives in Lilburn with her husband.

Chrissa McFarlane, CEO of the Atlanta healthcare tech startup Patientory, shows off how the website works.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

If you're a recent transplant to Atlanta with medical records from another state, you may have had to deal with filling out lengthy medical history forms at the doctor's office.

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One Atlanta health care technology startup, Patientory, wants to make it easier for patients to access and share their electronic medical records using technology known as blockchain, which is behind the digital currency Bitcoin.

Former Johns Creek City Council member Bob Gray hosted an election night party at Ippolito's Italian Restaurant in Roswell.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

At the end of the night, it’s about keeping the Atlanta suburbs conservative by supporting Republican front-runner Karen Handel in the runoff for Georgia's 6th Congressional District.

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That was candidate Bob Gray’s message in his concession speech Tuesday night to nearly 200 supporters at Ippolito's Italian restaurant in Roswell.

One of Basil Eleby's four attorneys working pro-bono, Lawrence Zimmerman, spoke at a press conference Friday and said Eleby would plead not guilty.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

Attorneys for the homeless man accused of setting the fire that caused the I-85 bridge to collapse last month said he will plead not guilty next week.

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Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

President Donald Trump honored 15 officers from the Georgia State Patrol, Atlanta Police and Atlanta Fire Department at the White House Thursday.

Trump praised them for their “amazing bravery” and quick response after a section of the Interstate 85 Bridge collapsed in Atlanta on March 30.

"On that day, Georgia State police and Atlanta police took fast action to get motorists away from danger,” Trump said. “Then our brave fire fighters battled 40-foot flames, which was incredible."

Trump said he stands with Georgia as it works to repair the I-85 bridge.

Al Such

Freight trains are running again after a fire broke out under railroad tracks in Atlanta, not far from where a section of the I-85 bridge collapsed.

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Around 7 a.m. Thursday, Atlanta police officers reported a fire near CSX railroad tracks between Cheshire Bridge Road and Lenox Road, causing traffic to back up in the area. 

Internet users in Atlanta are wondering what their options are after President Donald Trump recently signed a bill  to repeal Internet privacy rules.

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For companies like ExpressVPN, which sell "virtual private network" or VPN services, it's been a busy time.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s childhood home on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta has been closed for several months for repairs, and on Tuesday visitors were allowed to tour only the first floor.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

On Tuesday, hundreds of visitors took silent tours of the home where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born.

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site is remembering the day King was assassinated 49 years ago in Memphis with silent tours of his childhood home. 

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"It’s going to be a silent open house, so they can reflect and pay homage to this great man," said Rebecca Karcher, the chief of interpretation, education and cultural resource management for the site.  

David Goldman / Associated Press

Commuters are looking for alternate routes after the Interstate 85 bridge collapse and many people are choosing to use MARTA.

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Early data shows ridership jumped Monday morning by more than half and parking lots at several stations in the North corridor were full.

MARTA's chief of staff Rukiya Thomas told "Closer Look" hosts Rose Scott and Jim Burress that more trains and larger buses in service.

At Emory University, several students said they support the University adopting sanctuary policies even if it means losing state funding.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

State lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday that would strip state funding from private colleges in Georgia that adopt "sanctuary policies," meaning the schools limit cooperation with immigration officials. 

So far, no colleges have said they won't cooperate. 

At Emory, students have protested, trying to get the university to declare itself a sanctuary campus.

Migos performs during the Hot 107.9 Birthday Bash 20 at Philips Arena on Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Atlanta.
Katie Darby / Invision/Associated Press

A student group at Emory shared a letter on Facebook Tuesday night that starts off: “It sucks. We're disappointed.”

After promising for weeks that the hip-hop group Migos would be performing on campus, the Student Programming Council learned it was a scam.

Julia Munslow, the editor of The Emory Wheel, said her staff noticed the conflict.

Braves officials advised fans to buy their tickets and parking spots in advance, use its mobile apps to get to SunTrust Park and follow the signs when they arrive.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

If you're worried about traffic near the new Atlanta Braves stadium on game nights, you're not alone.

But stadium officials and business leaders are telling people not to fret: officials say they're ready.

At its final transportation update before the new Atlanta Braves stadium opens to the public on Friday, team officials advised people to buy their tickets and parking spots in advance, use its mobile apps to get to SunTrust Park and follow the signs when they arrive.

Comcast expects to invest $200 million over the next 20 years in startups at its new accelerator opening at its new regional headquarters near SunTrust Park, called The Farm.
Courtesy of Boomtown

Comcast will dedicate part of its new nine-story office tower going up next to the Atlanta Braves stadium to a new start-up accelerator program called “The Farm.”

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Toby Krout, executive director of Boomtown, a startup accelerator in Boulder, Colorado, is launching the program with Comcast early next year.  

A section of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area on Cobb Parkway called the Paces Mill/Palisades facility is about to get major facelift and a new name.
Courtesy of Cumberland CID

Off Cobb Parkway near Paces Mill Road, is a tucked-away section of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area that's about to get major facelift and a new name.

The recreation area currently known as the Paces Mill/Palisades facility has more than a few problems

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At the South by Southwest festival, participants stopped by the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce booth and put on virtual reality headsets to experience Atlanta.
Courtesy of Foundry 45

In Austin, Texas, this week, hundreds of people visited Atlanta virtually.

At the South by Southwest festival, participants stopped by the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce booth and put on virtual reality (VR) headsets to experience Atlanta.

Virtual reality has mostly been associated with gaming or selling a brand, but groups like the Metro Atlanta Chamber are using it to recruit candidates.

Dave Beck is co-founder of an Atlanta-based virtual reality company called Foundry 45.

Courtesy of Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta made history with the selection of Raphael Bostic as its new president and CEO on Monday.

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He will be the first African-American to lead a Federal Reserve Bank in the agency's 104-year history.

In a recorded video statement, Bostic admitted he feels overwhelmed.

Northbound traffic on I75-I85 headed Downtown
Alison Guillory / WABE

Georgia Tech researchers have found it's not just car emissions sending people to emergency rooms in Atlanta, but all that dust coming off brakepads and tires.

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Last year, researchers suspended monitors near I-75 in Atlanta to measure air pollution including the acidity in the air.

Centerview Capital Technology, a venture capital firm focused on cybersecurity, is opening its first office outside of Silicon Valley in Atlanta.
www.flickr.com/departmentofenergy

WikiLeaks just released thousands of pages it says details how the CIA spies on people using their smartphones, smart TVs and other devices.

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In Georgia, a hub for cyber security companies and the U.S. military's cyber command operations, experts say it’s the new normal.

John Rempel, a quality control and training specialist at Georgia Tech's AMAC Accessibility Solutions and Research Center, demonstrates how the screen-reading program JAWS communicates information from a webpage to a user who might not be able to see it.
Al Such / WABE

One in every eight Georgians – more than 12 percent – identifies as having a disability. Whether it’s a physical or learning disability, it can be difficult for those people trying to access the internet.

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Pedestrians enter the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Friday, April 24, 2009 in Atlanta.
AP Photo/Gregory Smith

Georgia banks were having a rough time, even five years after the recession. Hundreds locked their doors and never reopened as customers defaulted on their loans.

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But in 2016, FDIC-insured banks in Georgia made $3 billion dollars in profit, a nearly 5 percent increase from 2015.

John Haas / WABE

Mercedes-Benz USA next week will ask the city of Sandy Springs  to rename Barfield Road, adjacent to its new headquarters, to Mercedes-Benz Drive.

The name change would mean a new address for its neighbor, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Wendy Sharp works at the Mormon church and lives just a mile away. She said she feels sad watching the trees fall down, but swallowing a proposed name change is even more difficult.

Outside metro Atlanta, GDOT launched CHAMP, a new highway assistance program for the major interstates.
Courtesy of GDOT

Drivers in metro Atlanta have come to rely on HERO units, Highway Emergency Response Operators.

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Now Georgia’s Department of Transportation has launched a similar program for the rest of the state’s major highways.

CHAMP, the Coordinated Highway Assistance and Maintenance Program (CHAMP) is similar to HERO. However, HERO, with its signature bright orange trucks are primarily in metro Atlanta. That program's focus is emergency response and traffic control.   

Atlanta Streetcar near Centennial Park
Alison Guillory / WABE

The Atlanta Streetcar is offering other cities a lesson – in what not to do.

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In the District of Columbia, the executive director of the District Department of Transportation said he will keep the streetcar free for the next four years.

''Save My Care'' is a national, two month, cross-country bus tour protesting the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act. It stopped in front of the Georgia Capitol on Feb. 20, 2017.
Al Such / WABE

Keeping the Affordable Care Act was the focus of a rally in Atlanta Monday that drew more than 200 people to Liberty Plaza in front of the state Capitol.

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It was part of “Save My Care," a national, two month, cross-country bus tour protesting the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

At the rally, Georgia residents shared stories of near-death experiences and surviving cancer.

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

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which covers districts in Florida, Georgia and Alabama, ruled Thursday against a Florida law banning doctors from asking patients about guns. 

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In Georgia, doctors can ask if you own a gun and provide safety tips. Jerry Henry, executive director of Georgia Carry, a gun rights advocacy group, said he doesn’t think they should.

The president of Georgia Piedmont Technical College, Jibari Simami and Clark Atlanta University president Ronald Johnson shake hands after a new agreement was signed between schools.
Mario Boone / Clark Atlanta University

Clark Atlanta University students will soon be able to take classes at Georgia Piedmont Technical College and vice versa, thanks to a new public-private partnership announced Wednesday.

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Essence Jones, a 19-year-old freshman at Georgia Piedmont Technical College, is studying business management at the school's main campus in Clarkston.

Harry Lightsey, GM's executive director of public policy on emerging technologies, spoke at the Senate Science and Technology Committee’s hearing on self-driving cars on Thursday.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

There is a lot of fear around self-driving cars, but it's not just the public that is unfamiliar with these cars of the future.

Georgia lawmakers are trying to figure out how to regulate autonomous vehicles and what to regulate.

Minimal Regulations

At the State Capitol, more than 50 people gathered around Heather Maxfield. 

"We want to be able to test autonomous vehicles here in GA in controlled situations,” Maxfield said. “What we would not want to see is regulation that would hamper them from testing or utilizing the autonomous vehicles.”

Al Such / WABE

Claire Sterk was inaugurated as Emory University’s 20th – but first female - president at the Glenn Memorial Auditorium on Wednesday.

At the same time, about 200 students, staff and faculty members were walking out of their classes and offices in protest.

Emory Walkout

At the school’s Quad, they demanded Sterk declare Emory a sanctuary campus.

Emory University junior Clementina Nyarko said she and her friends skipped their Spanish class Wednesday morning.

Five miles from the Port of Savannah, developers will add five million square feet of storage space on 500 acres of land recently sold by the Georgia Ports Authority.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

The Georgia Ports Authority recently sold 500 acres of land for a private developer to build warehousing, distribution and transload facilities.

This is in response to growing demand from businesses for more storage space. The Georgia Ports Authority said it expects this sale will help it get closer to becoming a U.S. gateway port.

In 2015, more than 10.3 percent of all U.S. container exports left from the Port of Savannah.

At the Rivals on Five sports bar in Stone Mountain, fans were loud and pumped during the first three quarters of the game but grew quiet when the New England Patriots made their historic comeback at the end of the game.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

The Atlanta Falcons lost Super Bowl LI to the New England Patriots 34-28 in overtime Sunday night.

Football fans left sports bar and house parties dejected after what's considered the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.

At the Rivals on Five sports bar in Stone Mountain, the crowd was loud and pumped for the first three quarters of the game.

But when the game went into overtime: a first in Super Bowl history, things got quiet, and waiters started handing out free shots.

Mary-Pat Hector held a press conference Thursday about potentially being disqualified a month into her campaign. She is 19 years old and a student at Spelman College.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

Next week, DeKalb County elections officials will decide how you old you have to be to run for office in the new city of Stonecrest.

A 19-year-old Spelman student, Mary-Pat Hector, is running for City Council, but one of her opponents is contesting her candidacy because of her age.

"I'm not fighting this just for myself, but for young people all over the country who believe that they could, but who are not being allowed to run for office," Hector said.

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