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David Goldman / Associated Press

In nine days the Atlanta Braves will play their first game in their new Cobb County ballpark.

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Team officials have repeatedly said they've got traffic troubles under control and have assured fans that they will be able to get to the stadium on-time.

Those who live and work nearby are bracing for the traffic boost.

Residents of Metro Atlanta voted for officials and SPLOST measures during the March 21st special election.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Jason Lary has won the mayoral election for the new city of Stonecrest, but South Fulton’s race is headed into a runoff this year, following Tuesday’s election.

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In South Fulton, William B. Edwards will face off against Benny Crane in the April 18 runoff, as no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote.

Alex Brandon / AP Photo

New legislation before the Atlanta City Council would make possession of small amounts of marijuana a citation-only offense.

The ordinance, from Council Member Kwanza Hall, would mean someone caught with less than an ounce of the drug would face a fine of up to $75, not jail time.

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The proposal is similar to a law adopted in the town of Clarkston last July.  

Atlanta City Council president Caesar Mitchell said the council isn’t attempting to greenlight marijuana use.

Georgia Power

Thousands of Georgians are starting the day in the dark, after storms passed through Tuesday night. 

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Georgia Power reports at one point last night more than 171,000 customers were without power. Of those, about 38,000 were in the greater Atlanta area.

The strong storm system started to enter North Georgia in the afternoon.

A New Look For Downtown Atlanta Outlined In Master Plan

Mar 21, 2017
David Goldman / Associated Press

Downtown Atlanta could look a lot different in 15 years.

The City of Atlanta and Central Atlanta Progress are updating the Downtown Atlanta Master Plan for the first time in a decade.

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Jennifer Ball, CAP's vice president of planning and economic development, said some wants are the same, like more bike facilities and walkable streets. She also said parks and green space have now become bigger priorities.

Students at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance.
Alison Guillory / WABE

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

Al Such / WABE

For 10 seconds every five minutes, a group of child engineers stops everything they’re doing.

They rush behind a panel and let their fingers glide over a massive panel of blinking buttons. They’re hard at work, waiting for the final countdown.

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Cheers erupt in the room as the space shuttle the engineers can see through a small window begins to billow smoke. The small room is filled with sound as the engines propel the shuttle toward the heavens.

David Barasoain / WABE

The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area recently gained a bunch of land, 55 acres to be exact.

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Pixabay Images

Many blueberry farmers in Georgia are singing the blues.

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The cold weather that blanketed Georgia last week appears to have crippled this year's blueberry crop.

Joe Cornelius has been growing blueberries since 1989 and is the chairman of Georgia's Blueberry Commission.

He said the last catastrophic freeze Georgia blueberry farmers had was during Easter of 2007.

Doraville Wins Latest Round In Legal Battle With Adult Club

Mar 20, 2017
AP File

Georgia's Supreme Court ruled Monday that Oasis Goodtime Emporium, an adult club in Doraville, can't sell alcohol if it continues to allow nudity. 

The city of Doraville has an ordinance that bans alcohol sales in places considered "sexually oriented businesses" or that feature nude dancing. The ordinance, however, does allow semi-nude dancing. 

Jill Chambers, the director of Oasis, and a former Georgia state representative, said Oasis has become an artistic venue and no longer fits under the "sexually oriented business" ordinance. 

MIRANDA HAWKINS / WABE

One of the people running for mayor of Stonecrest is asking for state and county investigations into a mailer about him sent to voters over the weekend.

The mailer accused Charles Hill of being bipolar and manic depressive and compared him to Anthony Hill, a veteran shot and killed by a police officer two years ago. Anthony Hill's family has said he suffered from mental illness.

Johnny Kauffman / WABE

To make it to work by nine, Chartisia Griffin had to wake up at 4:30 a.m. On public transit, her commute was two-and-a-half hours.

“I'm big pregnant. I'm walking from my house all the way up to the closest bus stop. In the dark, by myself,” she remembered.

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After two trains and another bus, Griffin finally clocked in for what was usually a six-hour shift.

“I'm tired by now because I'm pregnant, I done rode all this far,” she said.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Monday is the deadline for Georgians to register to vote in the April 18 special election.

The biggest race of that day is the contest for the 6th District Congressional seat vacated by former Rep. Tom Price, now the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

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While turnout in special elections as a rule isn't especially strong, this could be an exception.

Stephen B. Morton / Associated Press

The Georgia Ports Authority is reporting another month of record growth, in part because of larger cargo ships arriving in Savannah via the expanded Panama Canal.

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Griff Lynch, the authority's executive director, said Monday the Savannah and Brunswick seaports handled 2.94 million tons of cargo in February — up nearly 10 percent from the same month last year. It was also their second-highest monthly tonnage ever. That record was set in January.

Atlanta Takes Annexation Case To Georgia Supreme Court

Mar 20, 2017
Georgia Supreme Court building
Nick Nesmith / WABE

The city of Atlanta is going to the state Supreme Court to try to get back five neighborhoods it annexed from Fulton County.

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Last year, Georgia's General Assembly passed legislation to create the city of South Fulton. It included all of the last unincorporated areas in the county.

The law allowed areas that didn't want to be part of South Fulton to annex into another city, but it gave a time limit.

 

BRENNA BEECH / WABE

The University of Georgia will hold a public ceremony Monday at 3 p.m. to rebury remains construction crews found while expanding a building on campus. The discovery of the remains has highlighted an emotional conversation in the Athens community.

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In late 2015, workers discovered 105 grave sites at Baldwin Hall, a campus classroom building. Of those grave sites, the remains of 30 individuals were preserved.

Todd Kirkland / associated press

The stands are packed with red-and-black-clad fans who chant incessantly, accompanied by a steady drumbeat and swirling flags.

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"Atlanta!" they shout from one end of Bobby Dodd Stadium.

 

"United!" everyone else responds.

 

There's plenty to cheer about with an expansion team that has already displayed a dynamic style of play, scoring 11 goals in its first three games.

 

charles hill campaign

The weekend before Stonecrest residents vote for their first mayor claims of dirty politics were being made.

On Saturday, a mailer that called Charles Hill mentally ill, bipolar and manic depressive was delivered in parts of DeKalb County.

It showed separate pictures of Hill and Anthony Hill, a veteran who was fatally shot two years ago by a DeKalb police officer who has since been indicted.

atlanta botanical garden
Atlanta Botanical Garden

Is the best botanical garden in the U.S. located right here in Atlanta? USA TODAY's 10BEST series is choosing readers' favorites, and the Atlanta Botanical Garden is in the running.

Nineteen botanical gardens across the U.S. are competing in the 10BEST. The top 10 will be selected through online polls. Voting is open through March 27 at 12 p.m. Winners will be announced March 31.

Help Protect WABE And Public Media

Mar 20, 2017
Al Such / WABE

You probably heard that there are conversations happening around the role of federal funding in public radio. WABE relies on a federal investment to make up 10 percent of our annual budget. Along with your member support, federal funding helps us deliver the programming you hear on WABE every day. 

‘It’s Unimaginable Feeling Unwelcome In The Country That I Was Born In’

Mar 18, 2017
courtesy of vox

With the election of Donald Trump, political divide is at a seemingly all-time high, causing an uprise in social and racial tensions.

With the Trump administration’s revised travel ban that was scheduled to go into effect on March 16 now on hold  (it bans foreign nationals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days and bans all refugees for 120 days but judges in Hawaii and Maryland have ruled against it) heightening this separation, I decided to investigate what it feels like to be Muslim in the heap of this great American divide.

Alison Guillory / WABE

The director of Georgia's state agency for child welfare services said changes to a bill approved by a Senate panel Thursday evening could put millions of dollars in federal funding at risk.  

Republican senators approved a change to a 100-page bill intended to modernize the state’s adoption laws. The change would allow private foster and adoption agencies to refuse services based on their “mission as evidence by its written policy, statement or other document.”  

Patrick Sullivan

 

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

Al Such / WABE

This week, a federal judge in Hawaii temporarily blocked President Donald Trump's revised order on travel and immigration.  The renewed legal battle comes at a time when Atlanta area religious leaders are working out their messages to their congregations, about the president's order--and about immigration in general.

On the day the judge in Hawaii issued the temporary block on the president's order, WABE's Denis O'Hayer spoke with Atlanta Catholic Archbishop Wilton Gregory at the archdiocese office in Smyrna.

The 11-year-old Tara Grinstead case has been solved, police say.
Elliott Minor / Associated Press

More information may soon be available in the Tara Grinstead case.

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Last month authorities charged Ryan Duke with killing Grinstead in 2005. Since then there's been a gag order on the case.

Duke's lawyer said the gag order is necessary to make sure that his client receives a fair trail.

Thursday, a number of news organizations challenged the order. The attorneys representing those outlets said the order restricts free speech and is too broad.

John Bazemore / associated press file

Higher education leaders have approved a major expansion and renovation project involving the west end of Sanford Stadium, the University of Georgia football team's home field.

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The Athens Banner-Herald reports that the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved the project at a meeting this week.

 

Underground Atlanta, Underground Atlanta sale, Underground Atlanta developer
Miranda Hawkins / WABE News

The City of Atlanta is one step closer to closing the sale of Underground Atlanta.

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It was standing room only Thursday morning when the board of directors of Invest Atlanta, the city's economic development authority, approved a master plan of Underground Atlanta by South Carolina developer WRS Inc. This means the city can now close the deal, which is planned by the end of the month.

In this June 22, 2016, photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks in New York.
Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

Thursday on "Closer Look With Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Atlanta St. Patrick's Day, Atlanta PlanIt
Cherish the Ladies

Atlanta celebrates St. Patrick's Day this weekend with a number of related events, but there’s also plenty for kids to do. Atlanta PlanIt shares some of its top picks for things to do this weekend.

David Goldman / Associated Press

People with pollen problems won't be breathing easy over the next month or so. 

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“Today there is definitely a lot of tree pollen, even the pine pollen is starting to come out now as well as juniper pollen," David Redding, an Atlanta-based allergy physician, said.

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