On the Friday, Sept. 22 edition of Georgia Today: A state judge hears arguments on whether to block a prosecuting attorneys oversight commission; a Fulton County investigator accidentally shoots herself inside the County courthouse; and an invasive species is found in the Ogeechee River in southeastern Georgia.

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Peter Biello: Welcome to the Georgia Today podcast from GPB News. Today is Friday, Sept. 22. I'm Peter Biello. On today's episode, a state judge hears arguments on whether to block a prosecuting attorney's oversight commission. A Fulton County investigator accidentally shoots herself inside the county courthouse. And an invasive species is found in the Ogeechee River in Southeast Georgia. These stories and more are coming up on this edition of Georgia Today.


Story 1:

Peter Biello: Lawyers for one of Donald Trump's former attorneys have listed potential witnesses for the racketeering trial in Atlanta's Fulton County over alleged criminal interference in Georgia's 2020 election. GPB Stephen Fowler reports, the list from Kenneth Chesebro's legal team previews next month's trial.

Stephen Fowler: Chesebro is accused of racketeering and other crimes for his role in the plan to send false slates of electors to Congress in states where Democrats won the 2020 election. His filing listed a number of Republican figures he could potentially call during his trial, including the non-indicted list of Georgia's fake electors. GOP officials in other swing states, its all fake electors and other people involved with post 2020 election schemes tied to former President Donald Trump. Just because these names are listed doesn't mean they will be called. It's also likely some of the names listed could be witnesses for prosecutors, too. But it's the latest legal move as the first 2020 RICO trial is set to begin next month. For GPB News, I'm Stephen Fowler.


Story 2:

Peter Biello: A state judge in Atlanta's Fulton County heard arguments today on whether to block a new prosecuting attorney's oversight commission from beginning any investigations. GPB's Sarah Kallis has more.

Sarah Kallis: The commission, created by Senate Bill 92 in the 2023 legislative session, has the power to remove duly elected district attorneys and solicitor general's from office. Reasons for removal include refusal to prosecute certain crimes or physical or mental incapacity. DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston was one of four district attorneys that partnered with the advocacy organization Public Rights Project to file a lawsuit against the state.

DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston

DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston

Credit: Office of Governor Brian Kemp

Sherry Boston: I believe that SB 92 is an assault on democracy. It's assault on prosecutor discretion.

Sarah Kallis: Boston also says that looming investigations, including one threatened against Fulton DA Fani Willis, compromise prosecutors ability to do their jobs. Defenders of the law say it helps keep prosecutors in check. For GPB News, I'm Sarah Kallis.


Story 3:

Peter Biello: The Georgia State Patrol plans to build a new post on the grounds of the governor's mansion in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood. Gov. Brian Kemp announced the new post today. State lawmakers this year approved $1.3 million for a new post in Buckhead after shooting down an attempt by some residents there to secede from the city of Atlanta, in part over concerns about crime. Kemp says the 1,700-square-foot facility will maintain the mansion's historical integrity.


Story 4:

Peter Biello: A Fulton County District attorney's office investigator accidentally shot herself this morning inside the Fulton County Courthouse. She was not critically wounded. The Atlanta Police Department declined to release the name of the person involved or the extent of her injuries. A Fulton County Sheriff's Office deputy responded and administered aid until EMS arrived. Atlanta police say an investigation is ongoing.

Story 5:

Peter Biello: The National Park Service has taken the first step toward having the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge declared a UNESCO's World Heritage site. The NPS announced today it's asking for a draft nomination for the Okefenokee to become the 25th World Heritage site in the United States. A World Heritage site is a place that is listed by UNESCO as having special cultural or physical significance. The Okefenokee is the largest blackwater swamp in North America.


Story 6:

Peter Biello: The State Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division staff recently captured non-native flathead catfish in the Ogeechee River. Flatheads can pose a significant ecological risk when introduced into a new waterbody, primarily through predation on native species. The Ogechi River runs from the Piedmont region of Georgia to the coastal plain south of Savannah. One flathead catfish was first discovered nearly two years ago and wildlife staff thought it might have been a one-off. But the discovery of more flatheads last month confirmed it may be more widespread. Recent captures of the flathead catfish have occurred in a section of river north of I-95. Sampling efforts there continue. The agency is reminding anglers to harvest and report any non-native flatheads through the Wildlife Resources Division website.

Story 7:

Peter Biello: Georgia Power plans to demolish two smokestacks at a decommissioned coal-fired plant near Rome tomorrow. Floyd County officials say roads around Plant Hammond, as well as the Coosa River behind the facility, will be closed around 8 in the morning, while the 675-feet chimneys come down. The company retired the plant in 2019 as part of its plan to move away from generating electricity by burning coal.


Story 8:

Peter Biello: New concessions planned for Hartsfield Jackson International Airport include an autonomous retail shop and baked goods shop from a famous Food Network pastry chef. Autonomous shops allow customers to pay with an app on their way out. The AJC reports Areas USA won a contract to open new concessions on concourses C, E and F at the Atlanta airport. Among them is Duff's Market from Ace of Cakes star Duff Goldman. New concessions will open starting late next year.


Story 9:

Peter Biello: In sports, Matt Olson delivered home run No. 53 to lift Atlanta past the last place Washington Nationals 10 to 3 last night. With each home run, Olson sets a new team record for homers in a single season. Fans still eagerly await Ronald Acuña Jr.'s 40th homer to push him into the "40 Homer 40 Stolen Base" club. There are only four members of this club, and Acuna will have more stolen bases than any of them. He stole his 68th base last night. Acuna went 1 for 6 and scored his 40th run of the year, the most in the majors in 16 years. Ozzie Albies went 4 for 6, including his 32nd homer, and topped 100 RBIs in a season for the second time by driving in four runs. The two teams face off again tonight in Washington.

And that is it for this edition of Georgia Today. If you want to learn more about any of these stories, visit our website, GPB.org/news. If you haven't subscribed to our podcast yet, take a moment and do it now. We'll be back in your podcast feed Monday afternoon with all the latest news from Georgia. And if you've got feedback, we would 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 on Monday.


For more on these stories and more, go to GPB.org/news.

Read the latest updates on the Georgia indictments here.