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Morning Edition

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Waking up is hard to do, but it's easier with NPR's "Morning Edition": bringing you the day's stories and news to radio listeners on the go. A two-hour mix of news, analysis, interviews, commentaries, arts, features and music, "Morning Edition" is heard Monday through Friday.

Rep. John Lewis Meets Ga. Constituents At Meet-And-Greet

May 16, 2017
Adhiti Bandlamudi / WABE

Nearly 200 people turned out Monday night to meet with Congressman John Lewis.

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The group included Wilhelmina Jenkins, who lives in Atlanta's West End.

"I love that Congressman Lewis is always at town hall meetings, out among the people," Jenkins said. 

Lori Leary, who lives in Decatur, agreed.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Last month, Republican Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed the First Priority Act, his latest plan to improve the performance of chronically-struggling schools in the state.  The measure offers state resources and assistance to those schools — many of which are in the Atlanta area — but it also raises some questions about how it will work, and who will pay for it.

StoryCorps Atlanta

On Sunday families across the country celebrated moms near and far, both present and those that have passed.

In the StoryCorps Atlanta booth, Bill Hagan talks with his middle son, Mark Hagen, about his late wife of 62 years, Mary Ellen Hagen. He lovingly recalls stories about Mark's mother and begins with his fondest memory back from his senior year at Notre Dame in 1951.

This story was recorded in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, which hosts Atlanta's StoryCorps Booth.

Atlanta Aims For 100 Percent Clean Energy

May 16, 2017
Jaime Henry-White / Associated Press

Doubling down on its reputation for promoting sustainability, Atlanta is pledging to convert to 100 percent clean energy in the coming decades.

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According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, under a resolution the city council passed unanimously May 1, all city government operations must completely run on renewable energy by 2025, while the entire city — including the private sector — must convert to renewable power by 2035.

Cops have a decent shot at catching run-of-the-mill online scammers — say, the guy selling a car that's just too good to be true on Craigslist. But catching ransomware attackers is generally much more difficult — unless they slip up.

Joy Reddy said her 20 minute commute to SunTrust Bank from Toco Hills became one hour after the bridge collapse. She works from home at least twice a week. She said not having an assigned desk puts lets pressure on being physically present.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

On the evening of March 30, Thomas Crosson was grabbing a slice of pizza at Amalfi Pizza near SunTrust Bank, and watched as large flames rose from a section of the Interstate 85 in Atlanta, causing it to collapse.

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"It was funny to watch everyone gather around the TV. Even the cooks came out from behind the kitchen and all of them had the same expression on their face," Crosson said.

Voters cast ballots in Georgia's primary election at a polling site in a firehouse Tuesday, March 1, 2016, in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

There’s a small election Tuesday in Atlanta’s suburbs, but it could be a sign of big political changes coming to the Georgia Statehouse. State Senate District 32 in east Cobb County sits inside a political district getting a lot more attention, and money right now: Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.

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Courtesy of aLIVE Coverage

There's a whole lot of shakin' going on in Atlanta this weekend with the Shaky Knees Festival in town.

Here to run down that and still more of the concert calendar, music contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for "Mara's Music Mix."

Susan Walsh / Associated Press file

Even in a world that is now accustomed to big surprises, it was a dizzying week in politics.

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President Donald Trump, who had just visited the Atlanta area to support Karen Handel's 6th Congressional District campaign, abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey. 

That event, in turn, could affect the close battle for the seat left vacant by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price -- at least according to political strategists Brian Robinson and Tharon Johnson.

Georgia Leaders Aim To Improve State's Rural Economy

May 12, 2017
David Goldman / Associated Press

The state’s political and business leaders are responding to what they see as a worsening of the decades-old “two Georgias” syndrome with separate initiatives launching this month.

According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, the Atlanta-based Georgia Chamber of Commerce will open the first regional office in its 102-year history on May 15 in Tifton, a city in the heart of economically distressed South Georgia.

Evan Vucci / Associated Press

The American Health Care Act re-emerged with striking speed to pass the House on May 4. Senior reporter Jim Burress and medical analyst Dr. Ford Vox talk about Vox’s low opinion of the bill, which he contends is seriously worse than the first.

Elly Yu / WABE

A young Georgia immigrant is fighting back after federal authorities revoked her protection from deportation.

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Jessica Colotl, a former Kennesaw State student whose case sparked national debates over immigration in 2010, lost her reprieve from deportation this month under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  

A new Texas law banning sanctuary cities has outraged Democrats, immigrant advocates and police chiefs. Joining the opposition is a tiny, defiant city on the Mexican border.

El Cenizo is a city that fought for its very existence. It's all of half a square mile, located on the twisting Rio Grande just east of Laredo. It has fewer than 4,000 residents and only eight city employees.

Alison Guillory / WABE

The Georgia Department of Transportation is returning roads to the way they were before the March 30  Interstate 85 bridge collapse.

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GDOT is closing the Buford Spring Connector southbound at I-85 tonight. That will allow crews to return the on-ramp to I-85 South back to one lane.

Thursday night, GDOT closed a few roads as parts of Buford Highway, Sidney Marcus and Piedmont Circle were returned to their usual configurations.  

When President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska was one of several Republicans in Washington voicing concern. As details unfolded throughout the week, Sasse, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, continued to call the timing of the firing "troubling," though he maintains there is not yet a need for an independent investigation or special prosecutor to look into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Protests have been steadily building in Caracas, Venezuela — the capital of the once-prosperous, oil-rich nation that's now in economic and political turmoil. Earlier this week, amid the ongoing chaos, a young man named Wuilly Arteaga started playing his violin.

In this photo taken Jan. 17, 2016, a sign is seen at the entrance to a hall for a college test preparation class at Holton Arms School.
Alex Brandon / Associated Press

Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed nine bills this week. Among them was legislation that would've let students opt-out of state tests without consequences. In a statement, the governor said House Bill 425 isn't needed because kids can withdraw from testing under current law.

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But Meg Norris, a teacher and parent, said kids who opt out are often punished.

The president fired FBI Director James Comey Tuesday. NPR's Steve Inskeep talks to NPR's Domenico Montanaro and GOP Rep. Chris Stewart, member of the House Intelligence Committee, about the decision. Stewart tells Inskeep that Comey had lost confidence "frankly on both sides of the aisle. ... It was probably appropriate to make a change."

Alex Sanz / Associated Press

Former President Jimmy Carter says he's in good health -- and writing a new book. On Tuesday, he told participants at a conference on human rights that he plans to include their work and thoughts in the book.

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“I'm not going to concentrate on hope,” he said. “I'm certainly not going to concentrate on despair. I'm not going to concentrate on anything except, I'm going to use the word, faith.”

Alison Guillory / WABE

The city of Atlanta's economic development arm is trying to help small businesses struggling from the I-85 bridge collapse.

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But not everyone agrees about what kind of help is needed.

Invest Atlanta has identified about 200 small business affected by the March 30 collapse. Some have seen drops in sales between 20 to 50 percent.

Dave Martin / associated press file

Today is the deadline for Gov. Nathan Deal to sign or veto bills that state lawmakers passed earlier this year. He signed 58 bills into law on Monday.

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The first one he signed, Senate Bill 85, allows craft breweries to sell up to 3,000 barrels of beer per year directly to consumers.

Kaitlin Kolarik

Former President Jimmy Carter said Monday night, he voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential primary.

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The two were speaking to a group of human rights activists at the Carter Center in Atlanta.

Carter and Sanders both pointed to economic inequality as a major reason President Donald Trump was elected. 

“I’m relieved to know that Sen. Sanders agrees with me,” Carter said.

John Lorinc / WABE

On June 1, 1967, the Beatles released their eighth album: "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."  

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It was an immediate hit, topping the U.S. charts for 15 weeks and 27 weeks in the U.K.

One person who got a copy of "Sgt. Pepper" during the legendary "Summer of Love" was WABE's "Morning Edition" host emeritus Steve Goss.

He was a teenager in Rhode Island at the time and his girlfriend got him a copy.

Russ Bynum / Associated Press

The major wildfire burning along the Georgia-Florida border isn't slowing down, and the weather is helping to fan the flames.  

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The blaze in the Okefenokee Swamp started last month and has scorched more than 210 square miles of swampland.

Now, the fire has stretched across the marsh and is inching toward nearby neighborhoods.

StoryCorps Atlanta

This past weekend marked the start of National Nurses Week, and with that, StoryCorps bring you the story of Brandi Lowe.

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For most of Lowe's career, she’s been both a nurse and a patient. At 22 she was diagnosed with an autoimmune deficiency. Because of the deficiency that last summer she contracted a very rare – and potentially fatal – fungal infection in her lungs and respiratory system.

Atlanta Department of Corrections / Via AP

DeKalb County leaders are reacting cautiously to the weekend arrest of the county's sheriff on public indecency charges. Sheriff Jeffrey Mann was arrested by Atlanta police, who charge he exposed himself to an officer in Piedmont Park Saturday night, then led the officer on a foot chase that lasted a quarter mile.

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Could Atlanta Gas Prices Fall Below $2 By Summer?

May 8, 2017
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

The cost of filling up your car with gas is going down in Metro Atlanta.

That trend is expected to continue as we head toward the summer driving season.

Right now, AAA reports gas prices here have been falling about half-a-cent to one-cent per day.

"So if that trend continues, we're likely to be about $2 a gallon or less by the summer time," AAA spokesman Garrett Townsend said.

Falling crude oil prices are a main factor for the drop, but there are other factors as well, Townsend said.

Courtesy of USDA

More than 2,100 pounds of chicken sausage from Perdue Foods is being recalled.

Officials with the Gainesville-based company say the products might have pieces of plastic inside.

The recall is for 24-ounce packages of Perdue Harvestland Italian Style Organic Chicken Sausage with a sell-by date of June 25, 2017.

There are no reports of injuries or illnesses in connection to the recall.

courtesy of the dekalb county sheriff's office

A DeKalb County law enforcement officer is hoping to clear his name after a weekend arrest.

Sheriff Jeffrey Mann is facing charges of indecency and obstruction.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quotes an Atlanta police report that says Mann exposed himself while walking toward a police officer Saturday night in Piedmont Park.

Michael Kahn

MARTA's considering improving its communication to passengers during emergencies.

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That's after riders caught in Thursday's smoke-filled tunnel say they weren't given much direction.

Michael Kahn, an architect and rider on Thursday's evacuated train, said there was confusion from the time their train encountered the smoke. People didn't know what happened or where to go.