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

Neuropsychologist Discusses COVID Brain Fog & New Study; Airbnb Prepares For Summer Travel; Clayton State University Student Discusses Plans After Graduation

Dr. Faith Gunning, a psychologist and the vice-chair of Research in the Department of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine, joins “Closer Look” to discuss why some people experience brain fog after recovering from COVID-19 and a new study she’s conducting to see if a prescription video game could be an effective form of treatment. Plus, Ben Breit, a public affairs representative at Airbnb, discusses Summer of Responsible Travel, an 8-point plan to help hosts and guests stay safe amid the pandemic as travel returns and the demand for short-term home rentals increase during the summer. Lastly, Rose talks with Clayton State University student André Lagoueyte to kick off this year’s “Road To Graduation” series.

Closer Look: Author Jesmyn Ward; Emory, Spelman and Ga. Tech Join American Talent Initiative; And More

Thursday on “Closer Look with Rose Scott”:

  • 0:00: Rose gives a news brief about how Atlanta is among eight cities looking to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention. The other cities are: Birmingham, Alabama; Denver; Houston; Miami; Milwaukee; New York; and San Francisco. In a statement to Closer Look, a spokesperson said, “The DNC sent out RFPs to eight cities that responded to our initial request to gauge their interest to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention. The DNC sent the original letters of interest to a broad list of cities that have traditionally been able to meet the preliminary requirements for serving as a host (event facilities, transportation, hotel accommodations, etc.). We expect the entire selection process to play out over the next year.”
  • 2:14: Emory, Georgia Tech and Spelman have all joined the national American Talent Initiative, which is committed to the collective goal of enrolling 50,000 additional talented, low- and moderate-income students at colleges and universities with strong graduation rates by 2025. What strategies are in development to achieve this goal? We speak with John Leach, assistant vice provost and director of financial aid for Emory University; Rick Clark, director of undergraduate admission for Georgia Tech; and Ingrid Hayes, vice president for enrollment management at Spelman College.
  • 21:32: Gov. Nathan Deal signed landmark legislation last week to overhaul mass transit in the metro Atlanta area. We continue our transit series looking at how counties in the region plan to expand transportation. DeKalb County is the largest County in the Atlanta metro region, and we catch up with DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond about their goals for transit expansion.
  • 39:42: Last year, Jesmyn Ward released her novel “Sing, Unburied, Sing,” a fictional story about a family’s journey in rural Mississippi. The book has received numerous accolades including the National Book Award for Fiction. Ward is in Atlanta this week to give a talk at the Carter Center, but first she joins Rose Scott in-studio to talk about “Sing, Unburied, Sing” and her literary journey.

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

Closer Look: Morehouse Graduate Livingstone Masango; E. coli Outbreak; And More

Wednesday on “Closer Look with Rose Scott”:

  • 0:00: Rose gives a news brief about how former Atlanta Mayor and U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young has been hospitalized. Closer Look received a statement from the Andrew Young Foundation which states: “Ambassador Young was hospitalized for observation at Vanderbilt Hospital after becoming ill before a speaking engagement. He is coming to Atlanta today for observation by his personal team of physicians at Emory Hospital.” The civil rights pioneer was in Nashville to give the key commencement address at Fisk University. Ambassador Young is 86 years old.
  • 2:00: It’s been more than 100 days since Deana Holiday Ingraham was sworn into office as the 34th Mayor for the city of East Point. We check in with Mayor Holiday Ingraham to talk about the first 100 days of her administration and her priorities for the city.
  • 21:20: The message from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is simple: if you don’t know where your romaine lettuce came from, don’t eat it. Public health officials weeks ago discovered that lettuce was the primary source of an E. coli breakout. The general source of the outbreak has been traced to the Yuma, Arizona region. The bacteria has so far spread to 29 states, including Georgia. There are 121 reported cases of E. coli related sickness, and even one death reported. We hear more from Dr. Laura Gieraltowski, an Epidemiologist with the CDC.
  • 38:30: It’s that time of year again: graduation and commencement. And as students get ready to don their cap and gowns, we here at Closer Look are going to talk to a few Atlanta-area graduates. First, we hear from Livingstone Masango. He is from Zimbabwe and moved to Atlanta when he was offered the prestigious Andrew J. Young Higher Life Foundation Scholarship to attend Morehouse College. The scholarship is funded by African billionaire Strive Masiyiwa. Masango, an economics major, recently won an award for having the highest GPA in economics. He joins us in studio to tell us his story, and share his hopes and plans for the future.

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

Closer Look: Sustainable Food Culture with Souper Jenny; Amazon vs. Seattle City Council; And More

Tuesday on “Closer Look with Rose Scott”:

  • 0:00: Rose gives a news brief about how former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is in Atlanta this afternoon, and will be speaking at a town hall meeting. He is set to talk about how redistricting and gerrymandering have led to voter suppression in communities of color. The National Redistricting Foundation, a group led by Holder, sued the State of Georgia last year. Holder called Georgia’s redistricting map “particularly egregious.” He also claimed that Republicans had worked to “silence the state’s approximately three million or so African-American residents.”
  • In other news, today is the deadline for Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to sign any new bills into law. A controversial measure is Senate Bill 262, which would split the City of Stockbridge into two cities. Stockbridge officials have threatened litigation should Deal sign the measure. They claim the move would rip some of the city’s best amenities for the new proposed city, Eagle’s Landing. Bill proponents say Stockbridge has neglected their city features like parks and roads. And Senate Bill 357, which would create a health care council with representatives across the Georgia. The goal is address issues related to the opioid crisis in rural parts of the state.
  • 2:22: Amazon is currently in a battle with Seattle’s City Council over a proposed tax that would be imposed on large employers within the city (those with revenues of at least $20 million per year). It’s estimated the tax will cost companies in Seattle nearly $500 per employee. The money would be used for housing and emergency services for homeless people in the city. City Council members say Amazon’s presence is driving an economic boom in the city, but also rapidly widening the income inequality gap. In response, Amazon has announced its halting construction on a current expansion project. We get the latest from Seattle Times business reporter, Matthew Day, and look at what role Amazon’s search for a second headquarters plays in all of this.
  • 17:00: We talk with Jenny Levison, founder and owner of Souper Jenny, about her mission to create a sustainable food culture. She walks us through her humble beginnings, and how she’s always used only fresh and locally grown ingredients. We also hear about her outreach efforts to teach kids about growing food and composting.
  • 37:30: Amazon recently visited the Atlanta area for the second time. Atlanta is on the shortlist of the now 20 cities vying to become the location for Amazon’s second headquarters. A conversation with our Amazon expert, John Haber, CEO of Atlanta based Spend Management experts about Atlanta’s chances of becoming the destination for Amazon’s HQ2 and what’s next.

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

Closer Look: Zoo Atlanta Pt. 2; Housing Inequality and the Fair Housing Act; And More

Monday on “Closer Look with Rose Scott”:

  • 0:00: Rose gives a news brief about tomorrow’s deadline for Gov. Nathan Deal to sign bills into Georgia law, or veto them, and some of the legislation he must consider in that time.
  • 1:51: Christian Picciolini tells his story of spending eight years as a member of a violent, white power skinhead group – and how he reformed.
  • 27:26: The Fair Housing Act was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968. It was meant to end discrimination when it came to housing in America. The site Trulia recently took a deep dive into the Fair Housing Act, 50 years later. Their report finds housing inequality is still rampant in many U.S. cities, including Atlanta. We talk with Cheryl Young, senior economist at Trulia, and Courtney Anderson, professor of law at Georgia State University.
  • 43:00: In part two of our conversation with Zoo Atlanta President and CEO Raymond B. King, we explore the grounds of the zoo and tour the Scaly Slimy Spectacular exhibit. The conversation continues about the Zoo’s latest project, in which the historic Cyclorama building will be revitalized and reborn as Savanna Hall, an event hall that will overlook an all-new African savanna featuring new and expanded habitats for elephants, giraffes and other African wildlife. You can listen to Part One of the conversation here.

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

Closer Look: Manchester Orchestra To Perform At Shaky Knees; Van Michael Salon; And More

Friday on “Closer Look with Rose Scott”:

  • 0:00: Rose Scott gives a news brief on the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles decision to deny clemency for death row inmate Robert Earl Butts Jr. This comes after the board issued a stay earlier this week citing a need to continue reviewing the case. Butts execution will take place tonight at the state prison in Jackson, Georgia. Butts was sentenced to death for the 1996 murder of Donovan Corey Parks, an off-duty prison guard, in Central Georgia.
  • 1:44: “Closer Look” talked yesterday about plans to renovate and modernize Atlanta’s Central Library. Historic preservation buffs will tell you the building is a sacred piece of architecture. It was the final work of renowned architect Marcel Breuer, and remains a prime example of the Brutalist style. Now, as renovations are planned, some want to make sure the architectural significance of the building is preserved. Jack Pyburn, a local architect and director of the Historic Preservation Studio at Lord Aeck Sargent, joins us to tell us more.
  • 16:48: Van Michael Salon has eight locations in metro Atlanta, with the newest addition being its first salon that services all male clients, located in the Battery at SunTrust Park. We take a tour of the new space and learn more about the idea behind the salon with Van Michael co-founder, Van Council.
  • 36:16: The Shaky Knees Music Festival kicks off the today. One of the bands playing will be Atlanta’s own Manchester Orchestra. The group is on the heels of releasing their fifth studio album “A Black Mile To The Surface.” They also scored the recent film “Swiss Army Man” with Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano. A conversation with Manchester Orchestra singer Andy Hull and guitarist Robert McDowell.
Van Michael co-founder, Van Council, talks to Rose Scott. (Trevor Young/WABE)

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

Closer Look: Central Library Renovation; Harassment Against Spelman Transgender Students; And More

Thursday on “Closer Look with Rose Scott”:

  • 0:00: Rose gives a news brief about the C-130 cargo plane that crashed yesterday just outside of Savannah’s airport. There no survivors after a cargo plane carrying nine members of the Puerto Rican Air National Guard crashed on a highway in coastal Georgia yesterday. The Federal Aviation Administration says the plane was bound for an Air Force Base in Arizona. It was to be retired. Puerto Rico’s National Guard commander says the plane was more than 60 years old. The U.S. military has launched its own investigation into the crash.
  • In other news, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles issued a stay of up to 90 days for death row inmate Robert Earl Butts, Jr. Butts’ execution was scheduled for this evening, but the stay was granted Wednesday evening. The board cited a need to continue reviewing the case. Butts was sentenced to death for the 1996 murder of Donovan Corey Parks in Central Georgia. The Board says it may lift the stay to make its decision at any time.
  • 2:48: University of Georgia has been named the number one school in the country for awarding Ph.D.’s to African-American students. According to the National Science Foundation Survey of Earned Doctorates, UGA awarded 143 doctoral degrees to black students over a five year period. We talk with Graduate School Dean Suzanne Barbour about the story behind that success.
  • 19:16: Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System has announced plans to renovate and modernize the Central Library by adding more technology, a flexible events space, and more. Dr. Gabriel Morley, director of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, says that it’s going to be a “dramatic transformation”. Dr. Morley joins us in studio, along with Construction Manager and Architect Al Collins, to tell us more about their plans.
  • 39:39: Spelman College student Amber Warren talks about threatening notes targeting transgender students – and what she expects Spelman officials to do about it.

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

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