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Alison Guillory / WABE

In September 2015, WABE sent our reporters out to find out one thing: "What defines Atlanta, exactly? Do we have a unique identity?" You can read the rest of the stories here.

Auburn Avenue is one of the most iconic streets in Atlanta.

Atlanta Sweets That Induce Cravings

Oct 14, 2015
Brenna Beech / WABE

From milkshakes swirled with a bit of Sriracha spice to a cupcake so local it's flavored with Coca-Cola, Atlanta's dessert selections could satisfy even the pickiest of sweet tooth. So grab a spoon, fork or just use your hands and get ready to dig in.

Jeni’s Pistachio & Honey Ice Cream

Jeni’s flavors are always changing, but if you spy their version of pistachio ice cream in any of their Atlanta locations it’s a must. Made from roasted pistachios, honey and sweet cream, this scoop is perfect in any of Jeni’s signature trios.

Brenna Beech / WABE

In September 2015, WABE sent our reporters out to find out one thing: "What defines Atlanta, exactly? Do we have a unique identity?" You can read the rest of the stories here.

Many people who say they’re from Atlanta don’t actually live in the city of Atlanta. They’re what you might call … OTP … "outside the perimeter" of I-285 versus ITP ... "inside the perimeter." 

AP Photo

Next Monday is Oct. 19.  If we were to turn Atlanta's clock back 55 years to that date in 1960, we'd witness the arrest of Martin Luther King Jr at an anti-segregation lunch counter sit-in at Rich's department store downtown.

Georgia State University Associate Professor of History Dr. Clifford Kuhn revisited the event in a conversation with Steve Goss.  

David Shankbone; John Shearer; Sandra Alphonse / Wikimedia Commons; Invision/AP; Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to famous high school graduates, metro Atlanta is a gold mine. The number of artists, actors and musicians who went to school in the area and then went on to major recording or movie careers is significant.

They’ve won Oscars, Grammy’s, VMA’s, Golden Globes and more. 

1. Usher

GDOT is adding 10 more miles of toll lanes North and Southbound between Old Peachtree and Hamilton Mill Road on Interstate 85.
Jim Burress / WABE

In September 2015, WABE sent our reporters out to find out one thing: "What defines Atlanta, exactly? Do we have a unique identity?" You can read the rest of the stories here.

Atlanta: Where you go to get somewhere, but can't get anywhere

Michelle Wirth/WABE News

For some people in Georgia, using an oil form of medical marijuana is completely legal because of a new law, which went into effect in Georgia more than four months ago.

But some take great risk to get it to the state. Georgia’s current law does not allow for marijuana to be grown in the state, and federal law prohibits the transport of marijuana across state lines.

For two Georgia families, this predicament is reality. 

Worth the Risk

Ali Guillory / WABE

In September 2015, WABE sent our reporters out to find out one thing: "What defines Atlanta, exactly? Do we have a unique identity?" You can read the rest of the stories here.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

This Saturday is Sept. 19.  If we were to turn Georgia's clock back 147 years to that date in 1868, we'd witness a deadly racial confrontation in southwest Georgia that came to be known as the "Camilla Massacre."  

Georgia State University Associate Professor of History Dr. Clifford Kuhn revisits the event with Steve Goss.

GDOT Transportation Management Center in Atlanta
Alison Guillory / WABE

For some people, the first image that comes to mind when you think of Atlanta is gridlock. 

To deal with the slow-moving traffic, you can even find how-to videos on YouTube:

 

But why is the traffic so bad here? How did our founders design Atlanta that makes it different from other major cities? 

Tom Weyandt, Mayor Kasim Reed's former transportation adviser for the city of Atlanta, said there’s no natural reason for Atlanta to exist. 

Retiree Jean El Guindi took to the Cobb County Senior Center stage to perform her comedy act.
Melissa Terry / WABE

What’s the one thing you always wanted to do but, for whatever reason, just never got around to doing?  Was it learn to play an instrument? Climb Stone Mountain? Learn a foreign language? However, as we get older, we recognize that at some point, it is now or never.

Well, for retiree Jean El Guindi, that thing was stand-up comedy.

Through the Cobb County Senior Center, she signed up for an acting class, and the rest is now a fun part of her storied history, as we hear in this Atlanta Sounds piece when she braved the stage for the very first time.   

georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu

    

Today marks 100 years since Leo Frank was lynched by a mob in Marietta. 

During a conversation, Georgia State University associate professor of history Clifford Kuhn revisits the sensational murder case and subsequent lynching.  

In 1913, Frank was the Jewish superintendent of the National Pencil Co. in Atlanta.  

Mary Phagan was a 13-year-old employee of the factory. When she was found murdered -- and presumably raped -- Frank was accused of the crime.

Removal of liquor during prohibition.
Library of Congress / commons.wikimedia.org

If we were to turn Georgia's clock back 108 years to this date in 1907, we'd witness Gov. Hoke Smith signing into law a statewide prohibition of alcoholic beverages.  

The movement to ban liquor had been gaining momentum in various parts of the country since the 1880s, and, as Georgia State University associate professor of history Dr. Clifford Kuhn explains, by the early 20th century many Progressives had adopted prohibition as part of their reform agenda, including the South.

Shaun Lee, co-founder of Atlanta-based Bohemian Guitars, holds the company's newest product--a ukulele
Jim Burress / WABE

Bohemian Guitars claims an expansive, yet modest industrial loft in Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward as its worldwide headquarters. While small compared to most corporate main offices, it's a far cry from Stephen Lee’s basement. That’s where, about four years ago, his sons Shaun and Adam first started turning old oil cans into distinctive-sounding guitars.

"It became a warehouse,” Lee said. “I was only too happy to have them there because it was where they started to grow.”

A sidewalk and parking lot at one of the GNETS programs in Fayette County. The Department of Justice said some programs are in "poor-quality" buildings, and the programs are illegally segregating children from their peers.
Elly Yu / WABE

Sixth-grader Kellan Powell walks outside in his backyard in Fayetteville, where he gathers pieces of quartz.

His backyard, which is lined with trees, is where he does his own science explorations – listening to cicadas, picking up beetles and finding iron-filled pieces of rock.

He said science is his favorite subject, but at school he doesn’t get do to anything that’s hands-on. He said it’s taught from a computer.

“I also don’t get science labs like where I can do little experiments,” he said.

A group photo of the first Supreme Convention of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association held in Atlanta
Courtesy of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association

If we were to turn Atlanta's clock back 93 years from this past Sunday to 1922, we'd witness the creation of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association by a group of citizens of Greek descent. 

As Georgia State University associate professor of history Dr. Clifford Kuhn explains, AHEPA, as it came to be known, was founded in reaction to the widespread xenophobia sweeping the South and the nation following World War I.

Lonnie johnson stands in his labaratory
Alison Guillory / WABE

Chances are you’ve heard of the Super Soaker – the colorful water gun that lets you power spray just about anyone in your path.

Since it debuted in the early 90s, it’s generated more than $1 billion in global sales.

The man who invented the Super Soaker is Lonnie Johnson. He’s lived in Atlanta for the last few decades and holds over 100 patents for other projects.

When Johnson first came up with the idea for the Super Soaker, he was working as an engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA's Galileo Mission, but that was his day job.

Singers Fred Schneider and Kate Pierson of the music group "The B-52s" perform on NBC's "Today Show" in Rockefeller Plaza May 26, 2008, in New York.
Peter Kramer / Associated Press

It's been nearly 40 years since a band out of Athens, Georgia, called The B52s laid the foundation for a genre of popular music that came to be labeled, "New Wave."  

The original members of the group ─ Ricky and Cindy Wilson, Kate Pierson, Keith Strickland and Fred Schneider ─ combined a campy, off-the-wall stage presence with infectious dance melodies. Cindy Wilson, Pierson and Schneider are still touring together; although each are involved in their own side projects.

Recently, Schneider spoke with WABE's Steve Goss.

The Budgetel Inn on Fulton Industrial Blvd. in Southwest Atlanta is home to many who are one step away from living on the streets. Georgia's new $5 a night hotel tax has an exemption for stays longer than 30 days, but both hotel operators and guests remai
Jim Burress / WABE

Every time someone spends a night in a Georgia hotel, the state collects $5. The charge, which went into effect July 1, is earmarked to pay for state transportation projects.

But the fee is causing confusion, especially for those living in extended stay hotels.

That includes 58-year-old Marshall Rancifer, who fears the tax will fuel a wave of homelessness across Georgia.

Rancifer ended up at the Budgetel Inn off Fulton Industrial Boulevard in January after the house he was renting fell into foreclosure.

William D. Adams
Tom Wolff / courtesy of National Endowment for the Humanities

There's been a debate in recent years about the relevance or practicality of pursuing an education in the humanities -- history, literature and philosophy.  

William D. Adams, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, begs to differ.  

In fact, the NEH has launched an initiative called "The Common Good" to address that debate. In a recent conversation with WABE's Steve Goss, Adams talked about the goals of "The Common Good."  

Large local corporations, like AT&T and Coca-Cola, are looking to invest in start-ups and absorb the companies into their  accelerator programs. Entrepreneurs and investors mingle after a Corporate Shark Attack event at the Atlanta Financial Center in Buc
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

  

Many local startups say their biggest hurdle is cash. 

It’s such a common complaint, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says he’s launching a venture capital fund by the end of the year to help tech companies get off the ground.

But there’s an interesting difference between how investors work in Atlanta versus Silicon Valley.          

On the 18th floor of the Atlanta Financial Center in Buckhead, tech entrepreneurs are pitching to potential investors over wine and brie. 

The door section at the Lifecycle Building Center of Greater Atlanta.
Brenna Beech / WABE

After a home is built or demolished, most building materials end up in landfills.

But at least 25 percent of materials – like tiles and kitchen cabinets – don’t belong there.

A local nonprofit, the Lifecycle Building Center, has been helping to make the construction industry more sustainable.   

At the 100-year-old warehouse on Murphy Avenue in Southwest Atlanta, operations director Adam Deck shows off a set of three high-quality windows.

Ga. Rolls Out New Regulations For Uber, Lyft And Taxis

Jul 1, 2015
Nathan Congleton via flickr

As of Wednesday, Georgia will start to regulate ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft. The new law also gives the state the power to oversee taxi cabs. That’s a big change because inspections and permitting used to be handled by local governments like the city of Atlanta.

On a recent Sunday afternoon, taxis are lined up near the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta. Otis Sales is in the third cab back. He’s been driving a taxi part time for over 40 years. But in the past year or so, he’s noticed a drop in business.

Baton Bob models his wedding dress for the gathering crowd of visitors.
Ryan Nabulsi / WABE

He's celebrated for his colorful costumes, but Friday night, Bob Jamerson, better known as "Baton Bob," was all dressed in white.

Jamerson and his husband Gary Bender were married in a private ceremony, but invited all of Atlanta to their reception at Park Tavern. The event, called “The Conscience Coupling Coronation and Costume Ball,” included a silent auction, live entertainment from 3D the Bomb, and, as the invitation said, "Twirling and gowns galore!"

MARTA East Line
Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center; Martin Stupich, photographer / Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center

Tuesday is June 30. If we were to turn Atlanta's clock back 36 years to that date in 1979, we'd witness the grand opening of MARTA's East side rapid rail line. 

The concept of introducing rapid transit in metro Atlanta had been debated off and on since the 1940s.  

Atlanta's own Jan Smith of Jan Smith Studios.
Jan Smith Studios

In this installment of "Valerie Jackson In Conversation," Valerie talks with Jan Smith – one of the most sought after vocal producers in the music industry.  

"Mama Jan," as she is more affectionately known, is the Grammy nominated producer and Georgia Music Hall of Fame inductee.  Jan Smith Studios is widely credited for voice producing such high profile clients as The Band Perry, India Arie, Drake, Justin Bieber, Sugarland and Usher. 

Ryan Nabulsi/WABE

With its tree canopy and winding trails, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park offers a quiet, serene escape from the city. That is, until the park's volunteer canon crew arrives.

A handful of days each year, the group of men, young and old, assembles on the mountain, dressed in wool uniforms. And they do what their name implies – shoot off cannons. 

As part of WABE's recent expansion of news and information programming, we've added a feature called "The Memory Palace" – that typically can be heard on Morning Edition each week in the 9 a.m. hour.

It's a series that, simply put, brings light to forgotten stories of the past.  

Nate DiMeo is the creator, and in a recent conversation with WABE's Steve Goss, he began by talking about what inspired his fascination with history.  

In this July 24, 2009, file photo, Rachel Dolezal, a leader of the Human Rights Education Institute, stands in front of a mural she painted at the institute's offices in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Dolezal, now president of the Spokane, Wash., chapter of the NA
Nicholas K. Geranios / Associated Press

Two weeks ago, little was know about Rachel Dolezal. 

She's a part-time professor at Eastern Washington University, but now her bio and course description has been omitted.

Earlier it read, "Dolezal holds her Master's degree from Howard University and is a professor in the Africana Studies Program at Eastern Washington University."

Now, Dolezal, the former president of the NAACP’s Spokane Washington chapter has resigned amidst the core of a firestorm.

Author Matthew Vines
Jason Parker / WABE

By the end of the month, the U.S. Supreme Court will determine the legality of same-sex marriage in the United States.

And many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Christians ─ and their supporters ─ are concerned whether the church will accept them.

This week, about 300 Christians will convene at the Sheraton Atlanta for what organizers call a “Bible-based training to advance LGBT inclusion in the church.”

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