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Ben Palm / Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge via AP

Firefighters are battling to prevent a fire in a southern Georgia wildlife refuge from spreading, authorities said.

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The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge said in a statement that "extremely dangerous burning conditions persist" and that 11,000 acres (4,450 hectares) have been consumed by fire in the past two days.

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.

Andy Miller, CEO and editor of the online publication Georgia Health News, talks about the future of health care in metro Atlanta.
Brenna Beech / WABE File

The new health care plan passed by the U.S. House on Thursday is the latest attempt by Republicans to replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.  

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The first GOP plan, which failed to pass the House, raised concerns – even among members of the GOP – about how it would affect Georgia patients, and the state government.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Fewer than 1,000 affordable housing units were created along the BeltLine as of February of this year. That's according to a report released earlier this year which studied home price trends in the area.

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Dan Immergluck, a researcher at Georgia Tech, co-authored the study. While he focused on home prices, rising costs along the BeltLine have also affected renters.

Alison Guillory / WABE

It’s rainy on Georgia Tech's campus the day Rob Montgomery finishes his last final exam. He’s 22 and headed into his fifth year for mechanical engineering.

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“I only recently acquired the license though, and I only also recently got my first pistol,” he says.

Montgomery also owns a shotgun and an AR-15 he bought himself. He says he’s looking forward to carrying concealed more regularly.

Michael Kahn

Hundreds of MARTA passengers were forced to evacuate an underground train Thursday due to a fire near the North Avenue station.

Architect Michael Kahn said smoke filled his car almost as soon as the train left the Midtown station.

After the train stopped, he pried the emergency door open.  

Stephannie Stokes / WABE

In DeKalb County, this past week, a well-known artist found that folk art can be a code violation.

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Kyle Brooks, usually known as Black Cat Tips, has placed his art in prominent places, like the Atlanta Beltline, and also in more obscure ones, like atop telephone poles.

But when he moved to a 2 acre property in southeast DeKalb County last year, he decided to focus on his yard.

The University of Georgia arch in Athens, Georgia on Wednesday, March 18, 2015. (Photo/Brenna Beech)
Brenna Beech / WABE

Georgia's public university presidents and police chiefs were strongly opposed to letting people carry concealed handguns on college campuses. Now that Gov. Nathan Deal has signed the "campus carry" law, it falls on them to figure out how to implement it before the next school year begins.

 

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John Lorinc / WABE

The tornado warning issued by the National Weather Service for parts of metro Atlanta passed late Thursday night, but the mess remains.

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Winds reached about 40 mph in some spots.

"We have reports of trees down, and there was some minor damage at (Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International) airport. Some damage to the cargo buildings and cars on the ramp," said Verona Murrell, a meteorologist with the weather service.

Associated Press

A federal judge on Thursday ordered Georgia officials to reopen voter registration in a suburban Atlanta congressional district ahead of a runoff in a heated special election.

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U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush in 2005, ruled in favor of civil rights advocacy groups who argued that Georgia violated federal law by preventing more new voter registrations before the June 20 runoff.

 

Associated Press via U.S. Army

The U.S. Army has published the final photo of a combat photographer from Georgia who captured on camera the blast that killed her in an accidental mortar explosion in Afghanistan nearly four years ago.

The Army's professional journal says the image illustrates how women are increasingly exposed to dangerous situations in the military.

The photograph of Spc. Hilda Clayton was published Monday in Military Review.

At AT&T's corporate innovation center in Atlanta, employees have desks on wheels so they can easily rearrange themselves based on the projects they're working on.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

Technology startups are all about testing big ideas quickly and efficiently, skipping much of the bureaucracy common at more established corporations.

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But large companies realize they’ve got to keep up to stay relevant and can't wait around to be "disrupted.”

UPS aircraft maintenance workers protest outside a UPS store in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta.
Courtesy of Teamsters 2727

UPS aircraft maintenance workers are threatening to strike over health benefits ahead of the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Delaware today.

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UPS is headquartered in Atlanta, but most of its 1,200 airline maintenance workers and its union, Local Teamsters 2727, are in Kentucky.

If the union goes on strike, it could ground UPS planes worldwide.

Mike Stewart / Associated Press file

Atlanta's airport is ramping up efforts to spot instances of human trafficking.

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Part of the program is teaching more airline and airport workers how to identify victims.

“We want them to know the things they can do,” said Jan Lennon, director of security at the airport, “so they can help us globally to stop human trafficking.”

A survivor, Donna Hubbard, trained employees at a seminar Wednesday.

Atlanta Welcomes Tiny Houses - In A Small Way

May 4, 2017
The Atlanta City Council passed legislation for tiny homes to be built within city limits on Monday.
Courtesy of Tiny House Atlanta / WABE News

 

The city of Atlanta has officially joined cities across the nation in saying yes to tiny homes — but the city's making room for them only in a tiny way.

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The Atlanta City Council passed legislation that allows tiny houses to be built on lots that are already zoned for duplexes. That means in order to build a house smaller than 750 sq. ft., a house larger than 800 sq. ft. must  be built first.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal speaks during a press conference to announce he has vetoed legislation allowing clergy to refuse performing gay marriage and protecting people who refuse to attend the ceremonies Monday, March 28, 2016, in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Georgia is increasing regulation of addiction treatment centers, prompted by complaints from northwest Georgia lawmakers and residents that a cluster of programs there largely treat people traveling from other states.

 

Gov. Nathan Deal signed the legislation today.

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State records obtained by The Associated Press back up residents' complaints.

 

Ivan Sekretarev / associated press file photo

One popular place in Buckhead won't be lighting up the sky this Fourth of July.

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The annual Lenox Square Fourth of July celebration won't have fireworks this year. That's according to the BRAVE public relations firm that represents Lenox Square.

Instead, Lenox officials say they are joining forces with Centennial Olympic Park's Independence Day Celebration to bring what they call the "Best Fireworks Show in Atlanta."

Alison Guillory / WABE

When construction on the BeltLine began, the city of Atlanta mandated that 5,600 affordable housing units be created over the life of the program.

So far, fewer than 1,000 units have been created. That's according to a study published earlier this year which looked at home price trends near the BeltLine from 2011 to 2015.

Emory student Naman Gupta using the Yik Yak app on Emory University's campus in Atlanta. Students protested hate speech on the app and called on the University to block the app on its campus.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

This is the last week in business for Atlanta-based technology startup Yik Yak. Co-founders Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington announced recently that operations for Yik Yak, an anonymous messaging app, would be shutting down.

Yik Yak users used the app to create and view posts – called Yaks – within a five-mile radius.

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Allison Guillory / WABE

When Georgia Department of Transportation officials said this week that the repaired bridge on Interstate 85 in Atlanta would be reopened ahead of schedule, they also released a time-lapse video to show how rapidly the project has taken shape.

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The 58-second video released this week shows the round-the-clock work that is expected to be completed by May 26.

Roswell Police Department

A clinical psychologist says a man accused of killing two 17-year-olds behind a supermarket in an Atlanta suburb is competent to stand trial if he remains on medication for mental illness.

Jeffrey Hazelwood faces charges including murder in the Aug. 1 slayings of Carter Davis and Natalie Henderson behind a supermarket in Roswell.

Jim Burress / WABE File

According to a new five-year study of criminal justice systems in nine states, drivers in Georgia pay much more in traffic fines and fees.

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University of Georgia sociology professor Sarah Shannon and graduate student Brittany Martin worked on the analysis of monetary sanctions by the criminal justice system in Georgia.  

A ticket for driving with a suspended license in Georgia costs anywhere from $500 to $1,000.

kevin D. Liles / Associated Press

In the northwest corner of Georgia, where cows and crops vastly outnumber people, a small cluster of privately owned treatment centers has sprung up in recent years for heroin and prescription painkiller addicts.

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And most of the patients aren't even from the state.

Martha Dalton / WABE

After weeks of silence, former Atlanta U.S. Attorney Sally Yates is expected to talk to members of Congress about contacts between Russia and members of the Trump administration during the presidential transition period.  

Yates will testify before a Senate panel Monday.  

She was acting U.S. attorney general in the final months of the Obama administration and in the early days of Donald Trump's presidency.

DeKalb Ruling Could Affect Metro Atlanta Ethics Boards

May 2, 2017
Many metro-Atlanta cities and counties have a mix of private organizations and county officials appoint the members to their ethics boards.
Al Such / WABE

How metro Atlanta ethics boards operate could change after a judge's ruling in a DeKalb County case.

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Former DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton sued the county Board of Ethics after it began investigating allegations she misspent public funds while in office.

Heather Duren

Georgia schools are serving an increasing number of Latino students. In the Hall County School District, for example, the student population is more than 40 percent Latino. 

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But it's not easy to find Latino teachers to lead those classrooms. Robert Wilson, the principal at Lyman Hall Elementary School in Hall County, said his school’s student body is 98.5 percent Latino. In addition, 99 percent of his students qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

Courtesy of the Atlanta History Center

Last year, the New York Times reminded its readers that Atlanta is a great food town. Of course, Atlantans have been well aware the city’s food prowess for years. And now, the Atlanta History Center diving deeper into Atlanta’s foodie history.

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They are kicking off a series called “Hidden Midtown,” and the first event explores the restaurants, bars and food culture of Atlanta’s past.

Wikimedia Images

When Baron Karl von Drais first introduced his Laufmaschine to the public in 1817, the world was changed. The automobile would be invented 68 years later, but the laufmaschine, what we know now as a bicycle, have stuck around as a means of transport and recreation to this day.

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Georgia State Parks has taken note of this lasting achievement inviting bikers to experience the variety of biking trails the park system has to offer, according to a recent Georgia State Parks press release.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal waits to deliver his State of the State address on the House floor at the Capitol Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Georgia's governor signed a bill this week that reconfigures and expands the state's judicial watchdog agency.

 

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Courtesy of Kennesaw State University / Courtesy of Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University faced pushback late last week when it revealed plans to cancel its African-American studies degree. The university has since said it will continue the program, at least through the 2017-18 academic year.

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In its explanation of the planned discontinuation of the degree, the university said the program consistently failed to meet the minimum number of enrollees and graduates recommended by the Georgia State Board of Regents.

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