LISTEN: On the Monday, Sept. 25th edition of Georgia Today: Georgians are struggling with a rising rate of mental illness; a Georgia man sues after facial recognition software causes his wrongful arrest; and Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter pay a visit to the Plains Peanut Festival. 

New Georgia Today Podcast Logo

Peter Biello: Welcome to the Georgia Today podcast from GPB News. Today is Monday, Sept. 25. I'm Peter Biello. On today's episode, Georgians are struggling with a rising rate of mental illness. A Georgia man sues after facial recognition software causes his wrongful arrest. And Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter pay a visit to the Plains Peanut Festival. These stories and more are coming up on this edition of Georgia Today.

Story 1:

Peter Biello: New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show Georgians are struggling more than the rest of the nation when it comes to rising rates of mental illness. GPB's Ellen Eldridge reports.

Ellen Eldridge: The data finds the state ranks third with a 1.5% increase in reported mental health issues from 2022 to 2023. Kevin Tanner is the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. He says they're adding more mental health court judges, attorneys and forensic experts as they look for solutions.

Kevin Tanner: We're also looking at expanding and creating more opportunities for community-based restoration. That's going to be individuals who are nonviolent, who are able to be dealt with in the community-based system versus having to come to a hospital.

Ellen Eldridge: In 2021, it was reported that over 4 million people in Georgia lived in communities that did not have enough mental health care providers. For GPB News, I'm Ellen Eldridge.


Story 2:

Peter Biello: The Art Institute of Atlanta will close its doors permanently at the end of the week. The shutdown is part of the abrupt nationwide closure of the Art Institutes, a private education chain with eight locations, including one in Sandy Springs, north of Atlanta. The school did not give a reason for its demise, although it has struggled for years with bad press over its business practices. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated its problems. The Art Institute said it's working with partners to help students transfer to other schools.


Story 3:

Peter Biello: Federal agencies in Georgia are bracing for a possible government shutdown if Congress doesn't approve needed spending bills by the end of the week. The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could be among the state's hardest hit. The agency says it could furlough more than 8,000 workers.


Story 4:

Peter Biello: A Georgia man falsely accused of theft in a state he never visited has filed a lawsuit claiming he was wrongfully arrested because of faulty facial recognition technology. Randal Quran Reid last year spent six days in a jail in metro Atlanta's DeKalb County before officials corrected their mistake. He filed a lawsuit this month against the Louisiana detective who sought his arrest warrant. Reid is one of five Black plaintiffs who have sued law enforcement agencies in recent years over facial recognition technology. Critics say it misidentifies people of color more often than white people.


Story 5:

Peter Biello: The Georgia General Assembly doesn't convene until early January, but the fight over gun rights legislation is already underway. GPB's Donna Lowry has the story.

Donna Lowry: This month, the GA2A, a Second Amendment advocacy group, launched a campaign called Stand Up for Stand Your Ground. It's to fight state Rep. Marvin Lim's bill to essentially replace Georgia's Stand Your Ground law with "duty to retreat." That requires a person, even in self-defense, to consider retreating instead of harming the person if they can do it safely.

Marvin Lim: We are continuing to protect the right to self-defense so long as someone has a reasonable perception of a deadly threat. The one thing that we are adding is to say that when you are considering what is reasonable, make sure that the ability to walk away, i.e., the duty to retreat, is part of what a person considers.

Donna Lowry: GA 2A lawyer John Monroe:

John Monroe: We've got a going on 300-year history now of being allowed to defend a property and without a duty to retreat.

Donna Lowry: Nearly a dozen states have duty to retreat laws. For GPB News. I'm Donna Lowry.


Story 6:

Peter Biello: The high school football coach in South Georgia's Tift County has resigned. County officials released the resignation letter of the coach, Noel Dean, this morning, days after county school board members indefinitely suspended their superintendent and temporarily suspended their high school principal. A dramatic several weeks of accusations over school administration has roiled the small county of 17,000 people. Ken Dunn of says Coach Dean has been under fire for underperformance on the field.

Ken Dunn: In rural South Georgia — or rural America everywhere — there are kids that depend on their athletic ability to get them to college. We have seniors here that don't have a lot of offers. We have juniors here that have no offers. This is about the parents wanting the best for their kids and they don't think that the coach can do that.

Peter Biello: School officials gave no reasons for the suspensions, and Dean cited family challenges in his resignation. The coach said he hopes his decision would, end quote, "distractions" for the remainder of the season.

Young fans celebrate as Braves players pass by during the teams’ victory parade in Cobb County on Nov. 5.

Young fans celebrate as Braves players pass by during the team's victory parade in Cobb County on Nov. 5.

Credit: Riley Bunch/GPB News

Story 7:

Peter Biello: Atlanta Braves icon Dale Murphy is taking on a leadership role with an Atlanta investment company. Georgia Oak Partners today announced the seven-time National League All-Star will join the firm to coach portfolio companies in leadership, teamwork, resilience and success.


Story 8:

Peter Biello: Also in Braves News, Spencer Strider earned his Major League-leading 19th win, and the Atlanta Braves got their 100th victory of the season last night by defeating the Washington Nationals 8 to 5 for a doubleheader split. The Braves now have 100 games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since '02 and '03. The right hander struck out four to give him 274 strikeouts for the year, two shy of John Smoltz's 1996 single-season modern franchise record. With one more start before the end of the season and his tendency to throw double-digit strikeout games, Strider is on track to blow past Smoltz on the way to the record books. The Braves have the day off today. Bryce Elder is expected to get the start as the Braves come home to face the Chicago Cubs tomorrow. Atlanta United wrapped up a spot in the postseason with 4-1 victory over CF Montreal on Saturday night. Atlanta United travels to play the Philadelphia Union on Oct. 4. Georgia Bulldogs tight end Brock Bowers caught two of Carson Beck's three touchdown passes, including a 41-yarder and help No. 1 Georgia overcome a sluggish start as the Bulldogs beat UAB 49 to 21 on Saturday night. The win gave coach Kirby Smart an 85 to 15 record: the best mark through 100 games for a coach at any SEC school. And in the NFL, the Atlanta Falcons were confident they would be able to move the ball on the Detroit Lions, but that confidence did not match reality. The Falcons lost to the Lions 20 to 6. Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder says the Falcons essentially beat themselves by not living up to their full potential. The Falcons face the Jaguars Sunday, Oct. 1, in London. Kickoff is 9:30 a.m. local time, so be sure to set your alarm.


Story 9:

Peter Biello: Two Georgia restaurants are being recognized among the nation's best by The New York Times. The newspaper's 2023 list of reviewers' 50 favorite restaurants includes the Atlanta biscuit shop, Bomb Biscuits and the Savannah Southern restaurant, Brochu's Family Tradition.


Story 10:

Peter Biello: And finally, former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter took a ride through the Plains Peanut Festival in their Georgia hometown over the weekend. The former president and his wife are seen on social media video riding through the festivities in a black SUV. The former president entered home hospice care in Plains in February. In May, the Carter family announced that the former first lady has dementia. The Carter Center said the former first couple enjoyed their ride on Saturday. Jimmy Carter's 99th birthday is coming up on Oct. 1st.

Peter Biello: And that is it for this edition of Georgia Today. Thanks so much for tuning in. If you want to learn more about any of these stories, visit And if you haven't yet subscribed to this podcast, take a moment and do it now. We will be back with you in your podcast feed tomorrow afternoon. And if you have feedback or a story idea, we would love to hear from you. Send us an email. The address is I'm Peter Biello. Thanks again for listening. We'll see you tomorrow.


For more on these stories and more, visit

Tags: Georgia  Atlanta  podcast  news