The Varnell police, Dikembe Mutombo, environmentally friendly buildings, and T. Hardy Morris

First, the fate of the police department in the small town of Varnell in Whitfield County is suddenly uncertain. Earlier this month, the city council voted to eliminate the department because of costs, with little warning. The mayor ultimately vetoed that move, but the council could override that veto on Tuesday. We talk with reporter Chris Whitfield, who has been covering this story for The Daily Citizen in Dalton.

Then, Dikembe Mutombo is one of the most recognizable players in Atlanta Hawks history. Now retired, the seven-foot-two-inch center spent five seasons in Atlanta, and was a defensive powerhouse in the NBA for 18 seasons. This month, Mutombo revealed that he’s looking for partners to buy the Houston Rockets. He also wants to make organized sports more affordable for kids. We talk with Dikembe about that effort. We also hear from Haley Hill of the McIntosh County YMCA about the rising cost of organized sports.

Next, new research puts Atlanta at the top of the list for the number of eco-friendly office buildings. The study finds more than half of our office space is green certified through LEED or Energy Star. Georgia Tech is leading by example, creating what it calls the most environmentally friendly building in the Southeast. It collects its own water and solar power, and uses them to satisfy energy needs and irrigate nearby vegetation. This "living building" is on track to break ground in September. We get a preview of this new structure from Howard Wertheimer, the school’s assistant vice president for capital planning and space management.

Finally, all this week we get additions to the essential Georgia Playlist from musicians playing at Bragg Jam this weekend, July 28-29. Today’s picks come from Athens-based singer/songwriter T. Hardy Morris. He brings us music from James Brown and Robert Lester Folsom.