LISTEN: On the Friday Jan. 6 edition of Georgia Today: President Biden honored two Georgians at the White House today, case moving quickly for Savannah man charged in Jan. 6 attack, and Delta's free Wi-Fi.

GA Today Podcast


Peter Biello: Welcome to the new Georgia Today podcast from GPB News. Today is Friday, Jan. 6. I'm Peter Biello. On today's episode: Two Fulton County election workers receive one of the country's highest honors from the president on this two-year anniversary of the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. The case against a Savannah man charged in connection with the attack is moving ahead of schedule. And free Wi-Fi is coming soon for some Delta Air Lines customers. These stories and more are coming up on this edition of Georgia Today.


Story 1

Peter Biello: If you're familiar with the name Ruby Freeman, you may have heard it first from former President Trump, who in a now-infamous call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, falsely accused her of being, quote, "a professional vote scammer and hustler." Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Shay Moss, were Fulton County election workers who faced threats and harassment after Trump's accusations. Today, along with police officers who protected the Capitol from insurrectionists two years ago, they were presented with the Presidential Citizen's Medal at the White House. In emotional testimony to the House committee investigating the attacks on the Capitol, Ruby Freeman described how the former president's words damaged her reputation.

Ruby Freeman: I've lost my sense of security, all because a group of people, starting with No. 45 and his ally Rudy Giuliani, decided to scapegoat me and my daughter Shay.

Peter Biello: Freeman and Moss are among a dozen people the White House is calling heroes who, quote, "demonstrated courage and selflessness during a moment of peril for our nation."


Story 2

Peter Biello: A federal criminal case against a man in Savannah charged in connection with the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol is moving along quickly. GPB's Benjamin Payne reports.

Benjamin Payne: Dominic Box is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 17. That's two months earlier than was originally scheduled. Box faces four charges in connection with the insurrection, including disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building. His attorney did not respond to requests for comment. Box made his first court appearance late last month, where the terms of his released on bond were finalized. The D.C. judge presiding over his case has also overseen other Jan. 6-related cases and has been a vocal critic of guilty defendants. Last November, she compared Jan. 6 to the discord that led up to the Civil War. For GPB News, I'm Benjamin Payne in Savannah.


Story 3

Peter Biello:  Some Georgians are remembering former Pope Benedict XVI, whose coffin was put in its resting place at Saint Peter's Basilica yesterday after a rare requiem Mass presided over by Pope Francis. Father Luke Ballman is a Catholic priest from the Archdiocese of Atlanta. He was ordained to the diaconate by then-Cardinal Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI. He recalls how he felt after Cardinal Ratzinger became the pope.

Luke Ballman: I was proud that — that I could, in a way, through all of his writings and his speaking, share with those whom I knew, the person who ordained me, a deacon.

Peter Biello: Father Luke Ballman told GPB the Mass for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was a chance for the local community to come together to worship God, to grieve the loss of the former pope and to pray for him.


Story 4

The University of Georgia and Georgia Tech have acquired a new weather radar system that could enhance weather forecasting in North Georgia. GPB's Devon Zwald Reports.

Devon Zwald: Marshall Shepherd is the director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program at UGA. He says the new radar, is as capable as existing radar used by the National Weather Service, but with added ability to see into some blind spots. He says it's not meant to replace the existing radar, but can supplement it.

Marshall Shepherd: So we know that there are some gaps in some parts of Northwest Georgia. We know that there's some beam blockage of a particular radar at the airport. And so working in tandem with the existing radar systems, we believe this will help fill gaps. It will actually help us to sort of perhaps see some fine-scale weather phenomena, rotation in storms.

Devon Zwald: Shepherd says while the system is primarily for teaching and research, the data will be shared with the National Weather Service. The radar is in the test phase and will ultimately be housed in Gwinnett County. For GPB News, I'm Devon Zwald.


Story 5

Peter Biello: Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines said yesterday it will start providing free Wi-Fi for all SkyMiles frequent flier customers on most of its U.S. flights starting next month. By the end of the year. Delta plans to offer the service on more than 700 planes. The airline said it would provide the service through a partnership with T-Mobile and will use equipment from satellite broadband provider ViaSat.


Story 6

Peter Biello: When the Georgia Bulldogs defend their national championship title outside of Los Angeles on Monday, they'll have a dedicated fan base joining them. As GPB's Orlando Montoya reports, for many diehard supporters, travel planning started months ago and doesn't come cheap.

Orlando Montoya: Even choosing the cheapest tickets, plane flights and hotel rooms to the game will set an individual back at least $1,000. Macon attorney David Cook says this will be his first national championship.

David Cook: I'm not a huge sports fan, but when it comes to the Dawgs, it's different.

Orlando Montoya: He says his wife gave him the tickets as a Christmas gift, planning the trip weeks ago. Savannah attorney Ansley Threlkeld, on the other hand, decided to go last minute after the team got into the game with a come-from-behind New Year's Eve win.

Ansley Threlkeld: It's really about family and friends. You know, would it have been nice to have planned this out long months ago and saved financially? Absolutely. But I think part of the fun is just in the adventure of it.

Orlando Montoya: She calls it a once-in–a-lifetime trip. For fans who saw the team win the national championship in Indianapolis last year. It'll be a second in a lifetime trip. For GPB News, I'm Orlando Montoya.


Peter Biello: And if you're looking to make a last minute trip to Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, California, for the college football national championship ticket prices on StubHub, as of this recording, range from $360 for the very last row in the top section of the stadium, all the way up to 85 grand for a ticket in the executive suite. And that last-minute flight that is going to run you anywhere between $550 and $1,600. And that is it for today's edition of Georgia Today. We'd love to hear from you. Let us know what you think of the podcast. Send us an email. The address is GeorgiaToday@GPB Sports. And for more news from GPB, go to and sign up for the Georgia Today newsletter. I'm Peter Biello. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you tomorrow.