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DeKalb Libraries May Be Facing Huge Funding Cuts

Feb 14, 2017
If DeKalb County's library supply funding is cut, it would mean fewer new books.
Alison Guillory / WABE

DeKalb County's library system could lose more than half its funding for new books and supplies.

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Last year, libraries got $1.1 million for supplies. This year, the system is looking at $440,000.

Sara Fountain, chair of DeKalb County Public Library's board of trustees, says the cut would be damaging.

"A lot of people who use the library don't have the financial resources to access certain materials," Fountain says. "And so it's a critical need for our community."

The Supreme Court is seen in the morning in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017.
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Georgia has secured a victory in a decades-long battle with Florida over water.

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Florida says Georgia uses too much water, and not enough makes it down to the Gulf of Mexico, so the state sued. Florida blames Georgia's water use for damages to its oyster industry and the state’s surrounding economy.

The case went all the way to a “special master” appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Courtesy of the city of Chamblee

The city of Chamblee might get a boost in population, if a grass-roots organization from unincorporated DeKalb County gets its wish.

“People want to have better representation, you know, and better governance,” says John Oselette, a member of the Chamblee Study Group.

On Thursday, Oselette and others from the Northlake and North Briarcliff areas will make the pitch to Chamblee officials.

The main goal is to get DeKalb County representatives to sponsor the issue so that it gets on a ballot that residents can vote on.

Bryan Cox / U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via Associated Press

Recent arrests of unauthorized immigrants have sparked fear in some immigrant communities after federal officials arrested hundreds of people last week in several states, including Georgia.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said it arrested 87 people in Georgia, as well as 84 people in North Carolina and 19 in South Carolina.

The Daffodil Project

After an unusually mild winter, Georgia’s own groundhog General Beauregard Lee predicted an early spring. While his prediction has proven correct – so far – a more reliable sign of spring is the sight of daffodils blooming after a months-long hibernation.

If you’ve been downtown in the past couple of weeks, you may have seen thousands of these bright yellow flowers blooming from Woodruff Park to the campus greens of Georgia State University.

Ali Guillory / WABE

Housing prices near the BeltLine are rising faster than in the rest of Atlanta, according to a new study.

That probably comes as little surprise to anyone familiar with the popular path and the businesses and homes that spring up around it. But now, Dan Immergluck, a professor at the School of City and Regional planning at Georgia Tech, has quantified it.

Pixabay Images

Most people enjoy a warmer-than-usual winter.

But, Georgia peach farmers do not.  

Georgia's peach crops need about 1,000 hours of temperatures below 45 degrees...between November and mid-February.

They're called "chill hours." 

"The trees need to lay dormant for a certain period of time and the buds really need that chill accumulation to be able to set a crop and create a peach,” said Lee Dickey, a peach farmer in Crawford County.

Last year Georgia had only about 750 chill hours and the crops were down about 20 percent.

Pixabay Images

People with allergies beware: pollen is back in Metro Atlanta.

Atlanta Allergy and Asthma reports the pollen count in Metro Atlanta reached 513 Monday. That's after being at a pollen count of 62 on Friday.

"We didn't hit values nearly this high until March, so this is very early for us," said Laura Belanger, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.

She said Metro Atlanta will likely see rain later Tuesday, and that might help ease pollen.

Kaitlin Kolarik

There is probably only one way to successfully move a giant painting depicting a famous battle, and that's slowly. 

The Atlanta History Center took that approach last week when moving the city's Cyclorama from Grant Park to their facility. 

To get the painting ready for the move, workers cut it at a seam into two pieces. Both pieces were then rolled onto the two gigantic, custom-built steel spools, each scroll taller than a four-story building.

Conceptual rendering by HDR, Inc. courtesy of The Trust for Public Land

The Atlanta neighborhood of Vine City, just west of the new Falcons stadium, is getting a new park.

It will have fountains, a playground and an open lawn. There will be statues honoring Civil Rights leaders with connections to the neighborhood, including Martin Luther King Jr. and Julian Bond. The park will also help address flooding issues that have plagued the area for years.

Associated Press

Former University of Georgia football star Quentin Moses died in a house fire Sunday morning in Walton County, Georgia.

A woman and a 10-year-old girl also died in the blaze.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

After leaving UGA, Moses played in the NFL for three teams, including the Miami Dolphins, where he suited up as a linebacker from 2007 through 2010.

Moses most recently was an assistant coach at Reinhardt University.

The Atlanta City Hall bribery scandal is bringing new names to the headlines.

E.R. “Elvin” Mitchell Jr. pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges for paying bribes to get city contracts; Charles Richards Jr. is charged with the same offense.

Another new name: Mitzi Bickers.

Bickers has not been charged with a crime, but she is evidently a focus of the federal bribery investigation. Hundreds of boxes of documents released by the city yesterday have her name on them. The documents are those the U.S. Justice Department requested as part of its probe.

Chief Erika Shields outlines her top priorities as the city's new police chief.
Miranda Hawkins / WABE News

The Atlanta Police Department has almost 150 open jobs right now, and filling those spots is a top priority for the city's new police chief.

Chief Erika Shields says she will focus not only on hiring new officers but maintaining them.

On the drawing board right now: a 4-year plan with incremental pay increases.

About Half Of Atlanta's Giant Cyclorama Has Been Moved

Feb 10, 2017
Alex Sanz / Associated Press

About half of an enormous panoramic painting depicting the Civil War Battle of Atlanta has been moved to a new exhibit hall as workers continued to move the rest of the painting Friday.

Historians hailed the delicate, painstaking move as a milestone for the nearly 6-ton Cyclorama — one of the world's largest paintings — which was being moved in two sections from the city's Grant Park to the Atlanta History Center.

From the Suntrust Park press kit.
Courtesy of the Atlanta Braves

Many people have some sort of ballpark near their house. Now, Cobb County residents can have the new Atlanta Braves' stadium in their backyard.

The Battery Atlanta is a mixed-use haven in Cobb County that features retail and office space, hundreds of apartments and, of course, the new home of the Braves.


Georgia is among the Southern states affected by another recall from Ruth's Salads.

Officials say listeria was found in products from a South Carolina plant.

This recall includes all of Ruth's pimento cheese and its cream cheese with pineapple and pecans.

Last week, pimento spread made in Charlotte, North Carolina,was recalled in a number of states, including Georgia, when listeria was discovered at a plant in that state.

Lisa George / WABE

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed released more than 1.4 million pieces of paper to the media and the public Thursday. They are the documents the city gave the U.S. Justice Department as officials investigate bribery for city contracts.

About 425 boxes of paper now fill City Hall's Old City Council Chambers. Reed said in a news conference today that hard copies were the quickest way to respond to media requests for the information.

Courtesy of FBI

John Lewis speaks with passion, resolve and dignity.

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He says things like, "Hate is too heavy a burden to bear" and "Nonviolence is love in action" — not what you expect, or necessarily buy, coming from a U.S. congressman, which Lewis has been for three decades.

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.


One of Atlanta's most famous artifacts on the Civil War is getting a new home.

The legendary Cyclorama – a big, circular wall painting – that depicts the Battle of Atlanta is being moved from its long-time location in Grant Park to a special exhibit at the Atlanta History Center.

About 200 people are involved in the task, which starts Thursday and is expected to take two days.

Seth Wenig / Associated Press

State lawmakers filed a bill Tuesday that would allow licensed gun owners to have concealed weapons on Georgia's public college campuses.

The bill comes from Republican Rep. Mandi Ballinger, of Canton, and has 15 other co-sponsors.

The bill does not allow guns in student housing and sports stadiums.

Last year Ballinger co-sponsored a similar bill, which was passed by lawmakers, but vetoed by Gov. Nathan Deal.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says Georgia is among the 17 states that ban concealed weapons on college campuses.


Clayton County officials want to make sure that their county isn't a "sanctuary county."

A sanctuary county or city is a jurisdiction that limits co-operation with federal immigration officials.

In January, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that would halt federal funding for "sanctuary cities."

And because of a policy change the Clayton County's Sheriff's Office made in 2014, the county meets the requirements to make it a "sanctuary county."

Al Such / WABE

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

John Lorinc / WABE

The last time the Georgia Department of Transportation put forward plans for new lanes on Peachtree Road in Buckhead, there was an outcry over bicycle lanes.

So GDOT took comments from the public and then went back to the drawing board before finalizing the plan.

“You’re going to have two north-bound lanes and three south-bound lanes and a converted lane that will become a two-way left-hand turn lane, that will run the extent of the project limits,” said GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale.

The City of Atlanta is handing over 10 out of 44 property deeds to Atlanta Public Schools.
Stephanie M. Lennox / WABE

The city of Atlanta has released the deeds of 10 school properties to the Atlanta Board of Education.

It’s the latest development in a battle between  Atlanta and the school system, as the city continues to hold deeds to dozens of Atlanta Public Schools properties. 

The city wanted APS to develop an affordable housing policy for the properties. The school system complied last month.

Stephannie Stokes / WABE

The city of Atlanta has created a new historic district on the west side of Atlanta, near Georgia Tech.

The district is centered around a small road called Means Street. It's dotted with brick factories and warehouses dating back about 100 years.

The Atlanta City Council approved a designation Monday that protects about seven of them.

“We wanted to preserve the character of those buildings that really made this district unique,” City Council Member Ivory Young Jr. said.

John Bazemore / Associated Press

The Super Bowl wasn't the only thing the Atlanta Falcons lost this week, the team now has to look for a new assistant coach.

The rumors had been swirling for a while, but now it's official: the Falcons' offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is named the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.


More than 9.2 million Americans are covered by the Affordable Care Act this year, about 500,000 less than in 2016.

Georgia is among the states where enrollment declined.

Nearly 494,000 Georgians signed up for Affordable Care Act in 2017.

That's a 16-percent drop from the previous year, according to Georgia Health News.

Most of the enrollees — about 378,000 people — are from Metro Atlanta.

Fifty refugees have resettled in Georgia since President Donald Trump's immigration ban.
Denis O'Hayer / WABE

Refugee resettlement organizations in Atlanta are finding President Donald Trump's on again-off again immigration ban a challenge. 

New American Pathways is one of several organizations in Georgia that helps refugees get to the United States and rebuild their lives.

Paedia Mixon is the CEO. She said the organization keeps being told different things, which has led to canceled and rescheduled flights.

John Bazemore / Associated Press

So, the Falcons lost the Super Bowl.  But, at least they got there.  Still, did their amazing season give anything more than a psychological lift to folks around here? Perhaps, an economic jolt?  

According to Kennesaw State University sports economist J.C. Bradbury, there are studies that suggest local economies do improve when their sports teams start to do better.  But, on "Morning Edition," Bradbury told Denis O'Hayer the studies didn't find any major jumps.