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John Bazemore, File / Associated Press

Friday is a key deadline for Georgia Power. The company worked out a deal to keep construction going on its two new nuclear power units at Plant Vogtle near Augusta. That's as Westinghouse, which is the lead contractor, has begun bankruptcy proceedings. That deal was extended at the end of April, and now expires Friday night.

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Stephen Morton / Georgia Ports Authority via Associated Press

The largest cargo ship ever to visit ports on the U.S. East Coast is so long the Statue of Liberty and Washington Monument could fit end to end along its deck and still leave room for Big Ben.

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David Goldman / Associated Press

Weather permitting, the Interstate 85 bridge could reopen this weekend, nearly a month-and-a-half after it collapsed from a fire. However, that doesn't mean it will be smooth sailing throughout the area near that site.

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The Georgia Department of Transportation is resurfacing roads from the Brookwood Split to Clairmont Road.

Some of that work was started during the bridge construction.

courtesy of the dekalb county sheriff's office

Georgia's governor has appointed a panel to investigate the charges pending against a sheriff accused of exposing himself in an Atlanta park.

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DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffrey Mann was arrested Saturday after a police officer said Mann exposed himself to the officer in Piedmont Park and then ran.

Mann faces charges of indecency and obstruction of an officer. He has said it was a misunderstanding.

Shaky Knees Music Festival is one of many Atlanta music festivals this summer.
Pearcey Proper

Summer is a popular time for Atlanta music festivals that cater to fans of jazz, indie, pop and electronica. But attending these large festivals can be overwhelming for both newbies and seasoned pros.

Mark your calendar with your favorite music festivals in the Atlanta Festivals Guide, then check out these tips from Atlanta PlanIt to help you get the most out of your music festival experience:

Courtesy Alon Balsham

One way of dealing with stress is to imagine one's happy place. Alon's Bakery and Market is one of those places for many Atlantans. The shop recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. 

From the sound of Ella Fitzgerald often heard over the store's stereo to the tantalizing food on display, Alon's has become a mainstay in the Morningside neighborhood.

David Goldman / Associated Press

There is a light at the end of the tunnel ... regarding the I-85 bridge.

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Gov. Nathan Deal made it official Wednesday: The part of the interstate that  collapsed in a fire in March will reopen Monday, at the latest.

That's about a month ahead of schedule.

Atlanta resident David Rucker says he's not surprised state and local officials made sure fixing the roadway was done as quick as possible.

John Amis, File / Associated Press

Federal authorities have revoked the protection from deportation granted to a Mexican woman who became a cause celebre in the debate over illegal immigration when she was a Kennesaw State University student seven years ago.

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Immigration authorities last week terminated 29-year-old Jessica Colotl's protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The next day, a government lawyer asked an immigration judge to issue a deportation order.

Alison Guillory / WABE

It looks like the section of Interstate 85 that's been closed since March will reopen in time for the Monday morning commute. That's a repair time of less than two months.

What went in to putting the bridge back together again? More than 85,000 man hours, 13 column replacements, 61 beams, and a bit of good fortune, the Georgia Department of Transportation said.

The following graphic shows how that all came together.

John Bazemore / Associated Press

Ground crews with plows and bulldozers worked Wednesday to box in a vast wildfire threatening small communities at the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp in southeast Georgia.

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Firefighters have battled to keep the blaze away from rural homes near the Georgia-Florida state line since winds last weekend pushed flames outside the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, where lightning sparked the fire April 6.

I-85 Bridge To Reopen Monday, Gov. Deal Announces

May 10, 2017
Alison Guillory / WABE

The area of Interstate 85 that's been closed since a massive fire caused it to collapse in March is expected to reopen as early as Monday, Gov. Nathan Deal announced at a press conference Wednesday. 

Last week the Georgia Department of Transportation announced they were on track to open before Memorial Day weekend. 

"I am pleasantly surprised by the short time frame and we all should be," Deal said at the conference. "It is a testament to the dedication of a lot of people."

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.”

Allison Guillory / WABE

Georgia transportation officials say work to rebuild a section of freeway that collapsed in the heart of Atlanta is nearing completion.

 

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Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry tells WSB-TV that the work to rebuild the collapsed portion of Interstate 85 is about 90 percent complete.

 

Video from WSB-TV showed workers on Tuesday adding lane lines to the rebuilt portion of the freeway.

 

State Rep. Allen Peake speaks on behalf of his bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Georgia for patients with certain illnesses earlier this year.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation Tuesday that would allow more people to be eligible for treatment under Georgia’s medical cannabis program.

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The bill, SB 16, adds six medical conditions to be covered under the program, which allows people with approved conditions to legally possess a certain amount of cannabis oil. Two of the new conditions are autism and Alzheimer's Disease.  

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.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Tuesday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Historic Train Engine Makes Its Return To Atlanta

May 9, 2017
Courtesy of the Atlanta History Center

The 26-ton Texas, the famed engine that took part in the 1862 Great Locomotive Chase, has made its way back to Georgia.

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It was recently carried ceremoniously on the back of a lowboy truck to the semicircular driveway in front of the Atlanta History Center.

Then, saluted by applause from a rain-soaked but hardy audience, it was lifted by a 110-ton crane to a perch on the History Center campus, where it will be displayed inside a glass-fronted building.

Boys Don’t Cry, But Men Do

May 9, 2017
Thalia Butts / courtesy of Vox Atlanta

A reflection on hypermasculinity and mental health in the male community

 

After eating a ravishingly delightful meal at the prestigious Olive Garden at Stonecrest Mall, my older sister and I found ourselves quite full and suffering from an onset of the “itis.” As we made our way out to the car, a family of five — a mother, father, an infant and a toddler boy and toddler girl — entered the restaurant.

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.

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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Ryan Gravel discusses the current state and possible future for the Atlanta Beltline, as well as how it is helping to change and shape the view of the city, locally and abroad.
Charles W. Jones / WABE

Last year Ryan Gravel, the visionary behind the BeltLine, made headlines when he resigned from the board of the BeltLine partnership.

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At the time, Gravel cited concerns over housing costs as a motivation for his resignation. 

Noah Berger / Associated Press file

The alarming video on Facebook Live of a Georgia teenager livestreaming her own suicide attempt stayed up long enough to help sheriff's deputies save her.

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It underscores Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's assertion that keeping such videos online can allow friends and others to intervene in real time - and save lives.

John Bazemore / Associated Press

While involved in a Georgia political battle drawing national attention, a candidate took time out for a marriage proposal.

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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.

How Have I-85 Repairs Happened So Quickly?

May 8, 2017
David Goldman / Associated Press

Interstate 85 near Piedmont Road is scheduled to reopen at the end of May, far before the original deadline of June 15.

According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, the reduction in timeframe is a result of a series of “best-case scenarios” that pushed construction progress further and faster than the department anticipated.

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.

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