Georgia Today: New name for Fort Benning; Healthcare for expectant mothers; Georgia theatre benefit
On the Thursday May 11 edition of Georgia Today: Fort Benning has a new name and it's definitely a family affair.. we'll explain; A new pilot program will bring healthcare to the homes of some expectant mothers; and legendary Georgia bands participate in a benefit to preserve Georgia's theaters.
Peter Biello: Welcome to the Georgia Today podcast from GPB News. Today is Thursday, May 11th. I'm Peter Biello. On today's episode, Fort Benning has a new name and it's definitely a family affair. We'll explain. A new pilot program will bring health care to the homes of some expectant mothers. And this weekend, the Fox Theater in Atlanta will host a show in an effort to preserve Georgia's historic theaters. Members of Collective Soul and Drivin N Cryin will join us later in the podcast. These stories and more coming up on this edition of Georgia Today.
Peter Biello: The U.S. Army officially has renamed Georgia's Fort Benning as Fort Moore.
Collin Malley: Welcome again to Fort Moore, Georgia, home of the Maneuver Center of Excellence.
Peter Biello: At a ceremony today, Army officials recognized famed Vietnam commander Lieutenant General Hal Moore and his wife, Julie. The renaming is one of nine the Army is making to comply with the 2020 federal law to remove Confederate names from military installations. Until today, the base was named for Henry Benning, a Confederate general. Garrison Commander Colonel Colin Malley said the Moores operated as a team like other military families.
Collin Malley: We're the only one of the nine installations being renamed for a husband and wife team, and we think that that's just an amazing way to align ourselves with and really elevate the Army family to a new level.
Peter Biello: Hal Moore Spent three decades in the Army. Highlighted by heroism. Highlighted by heroism detailed in the bestselling book We Were Soldiers Once And Young. Julie Moore volunteered in Army hospitals, wished for a better Army day care, and helped change the way the Army notifies families of a soldier's death with a uniformed officer and a chaplain instead of a telegram. Their son, David Moore.
David Moore: We are just so proud that we're able to offer mom and Dad to the army, to the nation, and and their name will be affixed to an installation that was present throughout their lives.
Peter Biello: Hal and Julie Moore are buried at Fort Moore near Columbus.
Peter Biello: Georgia's new budget provides $1.7 million to the state Health Department for a pilot program to bring health care to the homes of some expectant mothers and very young children. GPB's Ellen Eldridge has more.
Ellen Eldridge: In the pilot, a mix of nurses and other workers will provide in-home primary health care to more low income families. This will include promotion of healthy pregnancies in women at risk of complications from chronic health conditions like HIV. The Georgia Department of Public Health says home visiting programs like these can save lives. William Bell is with the State Health Department.
William Bell: The overall goals of the home visiting program are to increase healthy pregnancies, improve parenting skills, improve child health and development, strengthen family connectedness to community supports and reduce childhood abuse and neglect.
Ellen Eldridge: The application window for the Home Visit Pilot program is now open. For GPB News, I'm Ellen Eldridge.
Peter Biello: As the Trump era immigration policy, known as Title 42, is set to expire at midnight tonight. Atlanta is only one of two cities in the southeast to receive new federal funding to support humanitarian needs. The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced last week Atlanta would receive nearly $7 million for a food and shelter program tied to migration. Miami is the only other southeastern city getting funding as cities mostly in the southwest, expect a surge in new migrants.
Peter Biello: The convicted felon who fired a gun at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport a year and a half ago was sentenced today to ten years in federal prison. Kenny Wells Jr. caused panic and chaos for travelers and led police on a three day manhunt before turning himself in.
Peter Biello: TSA agents say they found a gun in his bag and pulled him aside for screening when he lunged into the bag, discharging the gun. No one was injured.
Peter Biello: On the heels of the closure of Atlanta Medical Center, the people who understand Georgia's trauma system best say there's a lot of improvements to make across the state. As GPB's Sofi Gratas reports, rural trauma hospitals are especially susceptible to these vulnerabilities.
Sofi Gratas: Crisp Regional Hospital sits off a strip of I-75 running south of Macon, down to the border with Florida. This area has an unfortunate nickname.
David Edwards Corridor of death.
Sofi Gratas: That's EMS director for Crisp County David Edwards. The nickname refers to a lack of emergency care. But Edwards says Corridor of death can be misleading. There are hospitals and ambulances south of Macon.
David Edwards All that term just implies that there's just not a lot of trauma services readily available through that route.
Sofi Gratas: Patients with critical injuries like from a car crash, firearm or a bad fall. There are only nine designated trauma centers south of Macon, not including the one in town to treat those patients. North of the city, there are 20.
David Edwards The goal, obviously, is to get the right patient to the right place at the right time. And sometimes that's just difficult to do.
Sofi Gratas: In January, the American College of Surgeons heard testimony from nurses, hospital directors and public health administrators who all shared similar stories about limited trauma services in rural Georgia, like this hospital executive from Hazlehurst.
Hospital executive: We had a patient that we really are not positioned to take care of, that we've held for 9 hours in our ED.
Sofi Gratas: And this emergency service provider.
Emergency service provider: Realistically, as a paramedic, an hour away from a level one trauma center, hour and a half away from a level one trauma center, it's like me trying to fly to the moon with a seriously injured patient.
Sofi Gratas: This was the second review of Georgia's trauma system by the American College of Surgeons, which sets most standards for trauma hospitals in the state. A final report from the visit, published in April, points to several problems. And they're all about logistics. Imagine an airport like Hartsfield-Jackson. Now imagine landing all of those planes without a control tower. The Georgia Coordinating Center, hosted by Grady Memorial Hospital, could maybe play that role.
Alicia Register: I'll be honest with you, I didn't even know that existed.
Sofi Gratas: Says trauma director and general surgeon at Crisp Regional Hospital, Alicia Register. The review team found there isn't an agreed on rulebook or leading agency, telling trauma hospitals in the system how to work with each other. There's not even one definition for when a center is at capacity. Known as being on diversion. And the report recognizes that rural hospitals, especially in South Georgia, like Alicia Registers' in Crisp County, are most affected by these flaws in the system.
Alicia Register: We're kind of one of the most, I'd say, desolate. But yeah, we're one of the most desolate regions in Georgia.
Sofi Gratas: There are four levels of trauma hospitals with loved ones being the most specialized. Crisp regional hospital is a level three. Register spends a lot of her time trying to transfer patients who are up against the clock to a better resourced facility.
Alicia Register: It can get frustrating, to say the least, when you feel like I don't have the resources, I know they need something more. But it's taken a really long time for me to get help.
Sofi Gratas: During the system review in January, Register told the panel there's been times when she's spent up to 2 hours just finding a place for a patient to go. A distraction from the other care she has to provide. Liz Atkins is the executive director of the Georgia Trauma Commission. She says there might as well be as many ways for a hospital to manage trauma transfers as there are counties in the state.
Liz Atkins: So if every single 159 county service in Georgia is able to determine their own destination protocols, then we have no standardization.
Sofi Gratas: Atkins says that's why the state needs a new trauma system rulebook. But she says there's hardly any reliable data on how quickly trauma patients are transferred between Georgia hospitals. That makes it nearly impossible to know where to even begin making changes. For GPB News, I'm Sofi Gratas in Macon
Peter Biello: South Korean automaker Hyundai and Savannah Technical College signed an agreement yesterday for a new program aimed at training some of the 8000 workers expected at a new electric vehicle plant. The college's vice president of economic development, Tal Loos, says Savannah Tech has been working behind the scenes for months on a seven week course for students to be trained in electric vehicle manufacturing.
Tal Loos: They also will start at some point during the program, actually do their interviews, and then once they finish that program, they will be made all four go to work at Hyundai.
Peter Biello: Loos expects the program to expand to other technical colleges in South Georgia as hiring begins for the plant in Bryan County next year.
Peter Biello: Federal transportation officials have given the Georgia Ports Authority the green light to build an inland port in Gainesville. GPA plans to build a rail hub that will take containerized cargo by rail from the port of Savannah and transfer the containers to trucks in Gainesville. Officials estimate the project will avoid 36 million truck miles a year when it's complete in 2026. The U.S. Department of Transportation is helping to fund the project with a $6 million grant.
Peter Biello: This weekend, musicians from Georgia and across the country will take to the stage at the Fox Theater in Atlanta with a mission to raise money to preserve Georgia's historic theaters and expand the Fox's education programs. Two of those musicians with Georgia Roots are with me in the studio now to talk about the show. Ed Roland has been a singer and songwriter for a collective soul for going on three decades. And Kevn Kenney, singer and songwriter for Drivin N Cryin. Ed, thanks very much for being here.
Ed Roland: Thank you so much. Anytime I get to hang out with Kevn is a blessing. So thank you.
Peter Biello: I'm about to share in that blessing. Kevn, thank you so much for being here.
Kevn Kinney: All right. Thanks for having me.
Peter Biello: We'll start with you, Kevn, because you're the host of the show. I'd like to ask you first, and I'd love to hear from you on this as well. What made you say yes to hosting a show like this, this fundraiser at the Fox?
Kevn Kinney: You know, for me, in this era where people aren't going to theaters anymore and kids are grown up in theaters, they're streaming constantly in the in the family playroom or whatever, It's a it's a rare thing to get everybody together. And it was as a parent, it was not a lot of fun bringing your kids to theater, but it was it was a great memory for all of us. And so for me, it's the American theater. It's not only a building, but it's it's a place that we can that we all celebrated being one thing together. Like when somebody went to go see Ghostbusters or E.T., it was people from all walks of life, all getting together and laughing or doing whatever came naturally to them, you know?
Peter Biello: And what about you, Ed? What brings you to a fundraiser like this?
Ed Roland: My mom, after my dad passed, became an usher at the fox, and it was an escape for her. And she got to see plays. And I was like, I forgot that there were plays and I can remember it. It jogo my mind that Mom and dad took me to go see all these great plays at the Fox Theater. And it's just it's a beautiful place. It's something that for me, there's a lot of memories. First, I skipped my senior, junior senior prom because my mother's finest was playing two shows the same night. So I went to the second show. So I cannot wait to tell them that. And then this will be my fourth time on that stage. R.E.M. opened for the police. You know, I'll do my best Michael Stipe impersonation. "Everybody that wants to come up here and dance. You can dance with us."
Peter Biello: So you did?
Ed Roland: I did. It was just me and my buddy because we were the only two up there just dancing. And Michael Stipe read it, you know? And then we were fortunate enough to do a show with Lenny Kravitz there. So to me, there's a there's an aura about that place.
Peter Biello: What can people expect when they sit down and go to the show and the curtains open?
Kevn Kinney: Peter Buck is joining us for our show. He's going to play with Collective Soul and Drivin N Cryin. And also Lenny Kaye from the Patti Smith Group, who curated the compilation called Nuggets, which is a psychedelic of a vast array of psychedelic singles that he put together 50 years ago. It's having his 50th anniversary, and he's joining us for a 15 minute Nugget celebration. He's coming down from the Patti Smith Group, and the last time he played the Fox was Patti Smith Group. Was the band opening for the Rolling Stones? In '78 or something like that.
Ed Roland: That surprise thing. Yeah.
Kevn Kinney: He hasn't been back there since. And his first single in 1968 was called Crazy Like a Fox. So he's going to be recreating that song. I think it's going to be a great night of of celebration.
Peter Biello: And but I did want to ask you, Ed, too, because you've got quite a huge catalog over the decades. What can people expect from you most? Mostly new work, some of your classics. What do you think?
Ed Roland: Well, we'd like to play some new stuff. I mean, you know, anytime you hear Drivin N Cryin and you can see them, they do. You sprinkle it in. Yeah, you just dig in. You always start the set with the new songs because they're excited. So you don't you don't give them a bathroom break, Bring the hits in later.
Kevn Kinney: Collective Soul is one of those bands that it's just one of my favorite Georgia, but also American bands. It's really amazing to see them at the Fox. You know, the venue. The venue is always the fifth member of the band. I know it is, but the venue really is. When you go see you know, if we play the Star Bar or if we play the Fox or we play an outdoor venue, the venue is really the fifth member of whatever band it is. And so, you know, if you've seen Collective Soul at the Amphitheaters, that's a groovy scene. If you've seen them at Music Midtown or in a bar or whatever, the Fox is a whole new element to anything that's happening.
Ed Roland: The same thing. It's the energy that drama a crime brings anywhere at any stage they play. The energy is just different at the Fox. It just is. And like you said, it's a it's a fifth member.
Peter Biello: How much are tickets?
Ed Roland: 40 to $75 and what a deal.
Kevn Kinney: And it's 1500 dollars cheaper than some of these stadium shows I've been.
Peter Biello: Well, Kevn Kinney, singer and songwriter for Drivin N Cryin, host of this fundraiser for the fifth member, and also Ed Roland of Collective Soul performing as well. Thank you both very much for being here. Really appreciate it.
Kevn Kinney: Thank you for having us. I appreciate it.
Ed Roland: Thank you so much, Peter.
Peter Biello: And that performance is coming up on Saturday, May 13th. You can find a video of our extended conversation, plus a link to more info at GPB.org/news.
And that's all the news that is fit to broadcast on this edition of Georgia Today. Thank you so much for tuning in. Really do appreciate it. If you want to learn more about any of these stories, check out our website, GPB.org/news. And remember to subscribe to this podcast. It will be there for you and your podcast feed tomorrow afternoon. If you've got feedback or a story idea, we'd love to hear from you. Send us an email. The address is Georgiatoday@gpb.org. I'm Peter Biello. Thanks again for listening. We'll see you tomorrow.