On the Wednesday, Oct. 18th edition of Georgia Today: A prominent civil rights attorney joins the family of a wrongfully imprisoned man killed by a Camden County police officer to speak out about his death; a site is selected for a new state of the art prison; and Chick-Fil-A releases a free cookbook and it contains a few surprises. 

New Georgia Today Podcast Logo

Peter Biello: Welcome to the Georgia Today podcast from GPB News. Today is Wednesday, Oct. 18. I'm Peter Biello. On today's episode, a prominent civil rights attorney joins the family of a wrongfully imprisoned man killed by a Camden County police officer to speak out about his death. A site is selected for a new state of the art prison in Georgia aimed at reducing chronic overcrowding and safety issues. And Chick Fil-A releases a free cookbook — and it contains a few surprises. These stories and more are coming up on this edition of Georgia Today.


Story 1:

Peter Biello: The sheriff in Southeast Georgia's Camden County this afternoon plans to release a video of a traffic stop in which a deputy fatally shot a Black man who, three years ago, was released from prison after being wrongfully convicted. Prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump is calling for justice in the case of Leonard Cure. GPB's Benjamin Payne reports.

Benjamin Payne: Joined by Leonard Cure's family, Crump spoke Wednesday afternoon outside the Camden County courthouse. It was nearby that the 53-year-old Cure was killed Monday by a deputy when authorities say he became non-compliant after being put under arrest for speeding. A resident of metro Atlanta, Cure was exonerated in 2020 for armed robbery in Florida after being wrongfully sentenced to 16 years in prison. Attorney Ben Crump:

Ben Crump: If you were in a metal box for those many years knowing you were innocent, how do you trust any officer on the side of the road saying, "Well, I'm just going to put you in jail? But don't worry, you'll be out tomorrow."

Benjamin Payne: Crump says Cure's family might seek an independent autopsy. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the killing. For GPB News, I'm Benjamin Payne.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the top contender in the race to be the next Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, stands inside the House Chamber prior to the first vote for a new Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., October 17, 2023. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Story 2:

Peter Biello: West Georgia congressman Drew Ferguson was the only Georgia Republican not to back Jim Jordan of Ohio in a second ballot for the U.S. House speaker. Earlier today, Ferguson, from The Rock in Upson County, voted for Steve Scalise of Louisiana. Jordan's failure to secure the House speakership once again leaves an uncertain path forward for leadership in the chamber. All nine Georgia Republican U.S. House members voted for Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan during his first failed bid for House speaker yesterday. The House Judiciary chairman is the most conservative option Republicans have put forth this year, and his staunch support for Donald Trump is notable. Jordan has also tangled with Fulton County DA Fani Willis, who indicted Trump and 18 others for a failed attempt to overturn Georgia's 2020 election results. A prominent election denier, Jordan, also played a role in the Jan. 6 insurrection.


Story 3:

Peter Biello: Solar panel manufacturer Qcells says an expansion of its factory in Northwest Georgia's Dalton is now complete. The company announced today that the factory's output is now about 5 gigawatts annually, or about 30,000 solar panels a day. The expansion was the first phase of a $2.5 billion investment in the region that also includes a solar panel manufacturing facility being built in Cartersville. Qcells' Dalton Factory is the largest manufacturing plant of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. It's also the first solar plant expansion in the U.S. since the passage of President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act, which included incentives to spur renewable energy production.


Story 4:

Peter Biello: A medical sterilization company will pay $35 million to settle claims by residents in metro Atlanta's Cobb County. The residents sued Sterigenics, a division of Illinois based Sotera Health over exposure to ethylene oxide gas from the company's plant. The Environmental Protection Agency lists the gas as a cancer-causing agent. Sotera announced the settlement in a statement to investors released on Monday ahead of a trial that was scheduled to begin next week. The company, the county and nearby residents have sparred over the plant's emissions for years.

Out of Gitmo/Forever Prison: asset-mezzanine-16x9

Story 5:

Peter Biello: The Georgia Department of Corrections has chosen a site for a new state-of-the-art prison aimed at addressing recurring safety issues. GPB's Grant Blankenship has more.

Grant Blankenship:The prison is planned to house 3,000 inmates, about twice as many as the largest current GDC facilities. Tatnall County had been considered the likely home for the new facility, but persistent deadly violence at Smith State Prison in Tatnall County and the toll that takes on local emergency responders led to 85% of respondents to a local government survey to say they didn't want the megaprison. That's according to the news site The Georgia Virtue. The state instead says Washington County, between Macon and Augusta and where Georgia Corrections already operates, a facility will be the eventual home for the prison, which is part of $600 million of brick-and-mortar spending the state budgeted for over a year ago. For GPB News, I'm Grant Blankenship in Macon.


Story 6:

Peter Biello: Georgia-based school bus manufacturer Bluebird is moving its warehouse operations from Macon to Perry. The company says the move will put its warehouse closer to its manufacturing facility in Fort Valley. None of the warehouse's 44 employees will be laid off in the move. A company spokesperson told the Macon Telegraph. Those employees will be transferred either to the new facility in Perry or to Fort Valley.


Story 7:

Peter Biello: Attorney General Chris Carr is warning Georgians of an impostor scam targeting faith-based communities. He says fraudsters pose as religious leaders and reach out to congregants via email or text to try to trick them into sending money. Carr's office urges victims to report the fraud to the appropriate law enforcement agency and financial provider as soon as they become aware of the scam.

Story 8:

Peter Biello: Georgia craft brewers have launched a petition urging state lawmakers to support changes to the state's beer distribution laws. The Georgia Craft Brewers Guild announced the petition drive yesterday. The group's director, Joseph Cortez, says the state remains one of the most difficult for breweries to succeed in, despite a 2017 law that helped.

Joseph Cortez: Senate Bill 85 was great in that it allows you to sell beer to consumers that were coming in your doors, but that's still a relatively low ceiling on the potential of our brewery to have a lot of demand and have a lot of support locally.

Peter Biello: The petition calls for brewers to have limited rights to get beer into markets themselves, bypassing distributors, among other changes. The drive comes after several Georgia breweries, including four in the Atlanta area, closed in recent years and ahead of the General Assembly that begins in January.


Story 9:

Peter Biello: Georgia Android users can now put a digital version of their driver's licenses on their smartphones. Georgia iPhone users have had the feature since earlier this year. With Android or iPhone, you can use a digital ID only at TSA security checkpoints, including Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The State Department of Driver Services announced the Android digital ID rollout today, stressing that travelers must continue to always carry a physical ID with them.

Gail O'Neill, an Atlanta-based journalist and former model, died on Oct. 10, 2023 at age 61.

Gail O'Neill, an Atlanta-based journalist and former model, is pictured during an interview at her residence outside Atlanta in 2020. She died Oct. 10, 2023, at age 61.

Credit: Style South / YouTube (Screenshot)


Story 10:

Peter Biello: Atlanta-based journalist and former model Gail O'Neill has died. Vogue, Essence and Vanity Fair are among the magazines remembering O'Neill. Born in New York to Jamaican parents, she was part of a group of women whose faces were some of the most recognizable on the planet in the 1980s and '90s. She modeled in runway shows and photoshoots alongside supermodels of the era like Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford. She also appeared in ads for companies like Revlon and Coca-Cola. Since moving to Atlanta 23 years ago, she contributed to many local and national media outlets and supported many nonprofit organizations. Gail O'Neill died at her Atlanta area home on Oct. 10 at the age of 61. You can read a collection of remembrances of O'Neill that GPB has collected from people who knew her at GPB.org/news.


Story 11:

Peter Biello: And finally, Chick-Fil-A has released a new cookbook. The company says the digital cookbook, titled Extra Helpings, is available at no cost and was released to raise awareness of food insecurity and the importance of reducing food waste. It includes a few classic Chick-Fil-A recipes like coleslaw and chicken salad. And for your day-old waffle fries, there's the waffle potato fry frittata. And then there are some surprises, like nugget fried rice and chicken alfredo. The recipe for the Alfredo sauce, however, is not included.

And that is it for this edition of Georgia Today. If you want to learn more about any of these stories, visit GPB.org/news. And don't forget to subscribe to this podcast. We will be back and your podcast feed tomorrow afternoon with all the latest headlines from Georgia. If you've got feedback or a story idea, send it our way. The address is GeorgiaToday@GPB.org. I'm Peter Biello. Thanks again for listening. We'll see you tomorrow.


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

Read the latest updates on the Georgia indictments here.