This is a newsmagazine featuring the key stories of the day that are relevant to you.  It’s a community forum for and about metro Atlanta. Host Rose Scott knows the ins and outs of covering news important around Atlanta.

She’ll lead discussions on the issues that impact where we live. WABE’s news team is going into metro Atlanta neighborhoods to provide context, storytelling and a sense of place. You’ll hear not only from the biggest newsmakers, but also from folks who don’t often get a voice.

“Closer Look” features a mix of local national and international stories and interviews. It’s an interactive space to share ideas and dig deeper into issues. It’s not just about Atlanta; it’s a program for Atlanta.

Featured Episode

Closer Look: CHOA Expansion Plans with COO Dr. Patrick Frias; Facebook Data Scandal; And More

Thursday on “Closer Look with Rose Scott”:

  • 8:38: Facebook is still reeling from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, after news broke that millions of Facebook users’ data had been improperly shared with a data analytics firm that worked with the Trump campaign. Last week, Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before a joint session of the Senate commerce and judiciary committees on how Facebook has handled user data. How is this impacting the social media landscape and its users? What happens to Facebook now that there may be added regulations – and how would that work? We’ll speak with David Thomas, CEO and co-founder at Evident ID, an Atlanta-based cybersecurity company, as well as Yalanda Lattimore, founder of and regular social media contributor.
  • 35:11: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is expanding, with plans for a new North Druid Hills Campus and improvements across its healthcare system. Rose visited Egleston Hospital to check in with COO Dr. Patrick Frias about what the new additions will bring to their young patients, and how the nonprofit is planning for the future of pediatric care.

Closer Look is produced by Candace Wheeler, Emilia Brock and Trevor Young.

Closer Look: Mass Transit Expansion Feasibility; Newnan White Supremacist Rally; And More

Wednesday on “Closer Look with Rose Scott”:

  • 0:00: Rose Scott gives a news brief on the parent company for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and Piedmont Healthcare reaching a “handshake agreement” over contract negotiations. The news came first from Governor Nathan Deal via Twitter on Tuesday afternoon — Piedmont Healthcare later confirmed the agreement in a press release. The healthcare provider says the new agreement extends the previous contract until May 31, and that Blue Cross customers who have been seen since April 1 will be treated as in-network. The new, three-year contract, starts June 1st.
    In other news, leaders around the nation, and here in Georgia, share their condolences on the passing of former first lady Barbara Bush who died yesterday at the age of 92.
  • 10:40: A white supremacist rally is planned for this weekend in Newnan, Georgia. The Nationalist Socialist Movement has been permitted to rally on Saturday, April 21. The group, which is classified as a hate group and a neo-Nazi group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, has said they expect 50 to 100 people to show up at Greenville Street Park that day. And now the group Antifa, or “Anti-fascists,” have announced they will appear in Newnan that day to counter protest. We talk with Newnan City Council Member Cynthia Jenkins.
  • 34:55: Closer Look has talked with numerous city leaders about proposed mass transit expansion in the metro Atlanta area. But how feasible are the goals of local counties? What have other major cities done that could serve as a model for Atlanta? We talk with Dr. Catherine Ross, Director of the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development at Georgia Tech, and Kyle Shelton, Director of Strategic Partnerships of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University in Houston.

Closer Look is produced by Candace Wheeler, Emilia Brock and Trevor Young.

Closer Look: Conscious Capitalism Atlanta; Piedmont Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield Dispute; And More

Tuesday on “Closer Look with Rose Scott”:

  • 0:00: Rose Scott gives a news brief on a new appointment to the state’s highest court. Presiding Justice Harold D. Melton has been unanimously elected as the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia. According to a statement from the court, Justice Melton will succeed Chief Justice P. Harris Hines, who plans to retire Aug. 31. Also, the Court unanimously elected Justice David E. Nahmias to become the new Presiding Justice.
  • 2:19: A video went viral earlier this month when a former city commissioner in Griffin, Georgia, used a racial slur during a meeting. The purpose of that meeting was to vote on a measure to make April “Confederate History Month” in Griffin. After the video was picked up by national news, fierce opposition built against the proclamation. The city last week decided to rescind the measure. We talk with Rodney McCord, former mayor and city commissioner for Griffin.
  • 22:32: Conscious Capitalism is a theory that asks business leaders to think beyond making a profit, and into investing in its employees. Its founders argue that with higher ethical and moral standards within a workplace culture, companies will see not only a greater retention of their staff but also more productivity and greater earnings. Last year, “Closer Look” spoke to the co-founder of Conscious Capitalism, Dr. Raj Sisodia. Today, we take a look at efforts here in Atlanta with Chris Hooper, chair of Conscious Capitalism Atlanta, and Shane Jackson, president of Jackson Healthcare and founding sponsor of Conscious Capitalism Atlanta.
  • 41:45: The deadline has expired for a deal between Piedmont Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia. Negotiations between the two have broken down over reimbursement payment for Piedmont doctors and facilities. The lack of a new contract has left an estimated half-million Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia patients who receive services from a Piedmont Health provider paying out-of-network costs. This includes state employees, and has led Gov. Nathan Deal to publicly weigh in on the matter. On Twitter, Deal threatened executive action if Piedmont Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia don’t agree on a contract by the close of business today. We talk with Georgia State University healthcare professor Bill Custer about how we got here, what it means, and what’s next.

Closer Look is produced by Candace Wheeler, Emilia Brock and Trevor Young.

Closer Look: Authors Mathew Knowles and Kwame Alexander; Sandy Springs City Center; And More

Monday on “Closer Look with Rose Scott”:

  • 0:00: Rose Scott gives a news brief about Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s meeting with both Atlanta-based Piedmont Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia to get an update on negotiations in their contract dispute. At the core of the conflict are payments and, according to the governor’s office, nearly 600,000 employees, retirees and their families are affected by the contract disruption. Deal tweeted that he has asked the two companies to resolve the dispute by close of business tomorrow or “the state will be forced to initiate executive action.”
  • 1:54: Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and New York Times bestselling author. He wrote “The Crossover,” which won the 2015 Newbery Medal. His latest book serves as a prequel to that story, called “Rebound.” Alexander joins us in studio.
  • 19:49: Mathew Knowles is known for his role in the music industry, and for being father to Beyoncé and Solange Knowles. But he is also the author of a new book called “Racism: From the Eyes of a Child,” which serves as a personal reflection on racism in America through his childhood in this country. Rose sat down with Knowles, and we’ll hear their discussion about his book, racism he has experienced, and stereotypes he himself has perpetuated.
  • 39:33: Sandy Springs is the sixth largest city in Georgia. But the area is made up almost entirely of suburbs and strip malls. City leaders saw this as a problem: Sandy Springs has nothing unique to distinguish it as its own city. Mayor Rusty Paul has paved the way to build a central city square in Sandy Springs. Called “City Springs,” the $229 million development will have a performing arts center, conference center, four-acre park, residential and retail space, and city offices across 14 acres. We talk with Paul about the changes in Sandy Springs.

Closer Look is produced by Candace Wheeler, Emilia Brock and Trevor Young.

Closer Look: Georgia Farmers Round Table; IRS Criminal Investigation; And More

Friday on “Closer Look with Rose Scott”:

  • 0:00: Rose gives a news brief about how national pro-gun advocates are gearing up for rallies, including here in Georgia. Local organizers say they plan to hold a gun rights rally tomorrow afternoon at the state capitol. It’s part of a nationwide effort under the organization “The National Constitutional Coalition of Patriotic Americans” and, according to the Associated Press, organizers plan to carry unloaded rifles to the rallies. The Georgia State Patrol and Capitol Police will monitor the event, with assistance from the Atlanta Police Department.
  • 3:12: In the last two weeks, talks of trade tariffs between the U.S. and China have been making headlines. President Donald Trump acknowledged that China’s 25 percent retaliatory tariff on imports would be a blow to America’s farmers, but implied that they’ll be better off in the long run. Earlier this week, we spoke with Georgia’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Gary Black, on the back and forth trade threats between the U.S and China. Now, we hear from the farmers themselves. Will their business be impacted – or is it already being impacted? We’ll hear from Brian Ogletree, a Georgia soybean and grain farmer, and R.G. Lamar, partner at Lamar Pecan Company, about the situation.
  • 22:25: To celebrate April’s Exotic Meat Month, Bull City Burger and Brewery in Durham, North Carolina, is serving up a beef burger topped with a special ingredient — a tarantula. Customers who get a chance to try the burger are pulled from a lottery. Closer Look called the restaurant and spoke with Grande Burger Flipper and Beer Tester (and owner) Seth Gross to hear more about the unusual burger.
  • 27:25: Maribeth Simmons, a catheterization laboratory nurse in the cardiac care department of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, is retiring after 41 years with the company. Rose speaks to Simmons during her retirement celebration, which took place Tuesday.
  • 33:39: Tax scams are nothing new. In fact, the Internal Revenue Service, or the IRS, has been investigating crimes related to tax fraud since 1919. One of its most famous cases came in the 1930’s, when the IRS convicted mobster and crime boss Al Capone for income tax evasion. Since that time the unit has renamed itself and is now known as Criminal Investigation, but the core of their mission has largely remained the same. James Dorsey, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Office for the IRS, joins us in studio to tell us more.

Closer Look is produced by Candace Wheeler, Emilia Brock and Trevor Young.

Closer Look: Augusta National Golf Club Engages Women; YouthInFront and Student Activism; And More

Thursday on “Closer Look with Rose Scott”:

  • 0:00: Rose Scott gives a news brief on Gov. Nathan Deal’s announcement that major firearms manufacturer, Taurus USA, is coming to Decatur County. The move is expected to create 300 jobs and invest more than $22.5 million in infrastructure and operations to establish a firearms manufacturing plant in Bainbridge. Taurus USA will build a new 2,000 square-foot facility in Decatur County with 180,000 square feet of space for manufacturing and 20,000 square feet of administrative space.
    In other news, Deal announced, via his Twitter account that he has called a meeting between Piedmont Healthcare and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, which will take place this coming Monday. The two entities failed to come to an agreement earlier this month, which has left an estimated half-million people paying out-of-network costs for healthcare services.
  • 2:46: YouthInFront is a new online learning resource which provides safe and practical strategies for student activists. The program was developed by faculty members from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and MIT, along with experienced youth activists and allies. We discuss the project and the future of student activism with Justin Reich, Executive Director of the MIT Teaching Systems Lab.
  • 26:44: The Augusta National Golf Club has been home to the Master’s tournament since 1934. And up until just six years ago, membership to the club was exclusively male. But last week, Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley announced the club would develop and host the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship next year. We talk about this major development with golf coach Oneda Castillo.
  • 41:36: President Donald Trump says a trade war could be avoided if Beijing opens its market to more American products, according to reporting from Bloomberg News. During a meeting with Republican governors, earlier today, the president was quoted as saying, “Now we’re really negotiating and I think they’re going to treat us really fairly.” We revisit a conversation from earlier this week, Georgia’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Gary Black on the back and forth trade threats between the U.S and China.

Closer Look is produced by Candace Wheeler, Emilia Brock and Trevor Young.

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