Georgia Today: Funding boost for Alzheimers research; Sustainable transatlantic flight; Cat Power
On the Wednesday, Nov. 22 edition of Georgia Today: Georgia is getting a funding boost for Alzheimer's research; Savannah-based aircraft maker, GulfStream, sets a transatlantic flight historic first; and we talk with Georgia-born musician Chan Marshall, better known as Cat Power, about her new Bob Dylan covers album.
Orlando Montoya: Hello and welcome to the Georgia Today podcast from GPB News. Today is Wednesday, Nov. 22. I'm Orlando Montoya. On today's episode, Georgia is getting a funding boost for Alzheimer's research. Savannah based aircraft maker Gulfstream sets a transatlantic flight historic first. And we talk with Georgia-born musician Chan Marshall, better known as Cat Power, about her upcoming Bob Dylan covers album. These stories and more are coming up on this edition of Georgia Today.
Orlando Montoya: A state judge in Atlanta's Fulton County has rejected a request to revoke the bond of one of the 19 people indicted for their roles in attempting to overturn Georgia's 2020 election. GPB's Stephen Fowler has more.
Stephen Fowler: Prosecutors wanted to send Harrison Floyd, who is accused of intimidating and harassing an election worker after 2020, back to jail after a number of inflammatory social media posts he made about that election worker and other witnesses. Judge Scott McAfee said in a hearing Tuesday that some of the posts violated his bond agreement to avoid communicating with witnesses or co-defendants and led to outside threats and harassment.
Scott McAfee: I think the public safety interest raised as a result of today's hearing indicate that his actions have a. consequence.
Stephen Fowler: But McAfee said the proper recourse was modifying Floyd's release conditions to include specific prohibitions on making posts or comments about specific groups of people, like the election worker Ruby Freeman, and others involved with the racketeering case. For GPB News, I'm Stephen Fowler.
Orlando Montoya: State energy regulators will vote next spring on Georgia Power's request to generate more electricity. The Public Service Commission has scheduled hearings starting in January on the company's updated integrated resource plan, with a vote in mid-April. The elected five-member panel approved Georgia Power's most recent three-year plan last year. The company has submitted an updated plan to accommodate what it calls extraordinary economic growth. Georgia Power wants to generate about 6,600 more megawatts of electricity. A megawatt is enough to power about 750 homes. Environmental groups have criticized the plan, focusing on its proposed construction of new gas combustion turbines.
Orlando Montoya: Georgia is getting a funding boost for Alzheimer's research. Some of the funds are going to Emory University, one of the few Alzheimer's disease research centers in the country. GPB's Ellen Eldridge reports.
Ellen Eldridge: Georgia will receive $600,000 as part of a worldwide $100 million investment in research from the Alzheimer's Association. Jill Disney is the senior director of programs and services for the Alzheimer's Association Georgia chapter. She says the state has 19 active and currently funded projects.
Jill Disney: And that equals about $3.5 million of an investment that our researchers that are here in Georgia. We're particularly proud of that Georgia involvement in a discovery that might help people worldwide.
Ellen Eldridge: Current research includes ways to mitigate risk of dementia, early detection and quality care. Disney says research on reducing falls in people with Alzheimer's disease will begin recruiting soon at Georgia State. For GPB News, I'm Ellen Eldridge.
Orlando Montoya: Officials in Southwest Georgia's Sumter County are considering whether to allow a $200 million solar panel project. County commissioners last night delayed a vote on permits for the 1,400-acre site being developed by Samsung. Mark Simmons of the nonprofit Sustainable Sumter says the company and area researchers hope to create a living ecosystem.
Mark Simmons: After you build the solar panels, all that grass and all that vegetation under and around the solar panels, we see opportunity to create a premier small animal and flying animal nature roost.
Orlando Montoya: Some local residents have told commissioners the solar farm would ruin their rural landscape and take land out of agricultural use. The plan could return for a vote next month.
Orlando Montoya: Atlanta City Council this week approved for the third time a moratorium on redevelopment at the former site of Wellstar's Atlanta Medical Center. The hospital closed more than a year ago and GPB's Sofi Gratas reports most council members say they want another hospital there.
Sofi Gratas: Atlanta City Council members voted 11 to 1 to extend the six month moratorium, which puts a hold on any sale or zoning changes and give city leaders time for site evaluations. The land currently owned by Wellstar is zoned as mixed commercial and residential. Council member Liliana Bakhtiari, whose district includes a portion of the site, says a need for health care in the area is driving any decision the city makes on future development.
Liliana Bakhtiari: I know for a fact that there are people that are interested in doing something here. There are still parts of this campus that are fully functional. There are still parts of this campus that can be utilized. Something up to the the speed and standard that Atlanta Medical Center initially was? No. I don't think so.
Sofi Gratis: Bakhtiari says a smaller-scale health care facility is more likely going forward. For GPB News, I'm Sofi Gratas.
Orlando Montoya: Savannah-based aircraft manufacturer Gulfstream says it has flown the world's first transatlantic flight powered entirely by sustainable jet fuel. GPB's Benjamin Payne reports.
Benjamin Payne: The roughly seven-hour test flight took off Sunday from Gulfstream's headquarters in Savannah, traveling some 4,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean before touching down outside London. Experimental flights like these usually test new kinds of aircraft, but in this case, it was a new kind of fuel, known in the industry as sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF. This type of SAF was made with feedstocks rather than fossil fuels. It's not entirely carbon dioxide free, but the fuel reduces CO2 emissions by at least 70%, according to Gulfstream. The company and its partners plan to analyze data from the transatlantic flight to advance the technology for future use. For GPB News, I'm Benjamin Payne in Savannah.
Orlando Montoya: Gov. Brian Kemp is assigning Georgia National Guard troops and other state resources to help with logistical challenges associated with ceremonies next week to honor the late former first lady Rosalynn Carter. Executive orders issued yesterday activated the state operations center and other assets as a motorcade and other public events will stretch over three days from Plains to Atlanta. The governor also ordered flags to be flown at half staff through next week on Wednesday.
Orlando Montoya: Today is one of the busiest days for Thanksgiving travel. I've been keeping my eye on roadways and airport goings-on today, and as of the late afternoon. Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson International Airport was showing security checkpoint wait times at less than 13 minutes and FlightAware was showing 185 flights delayed. On the roads outside of Atlanta and Macon's state 511 GA, we're showing no major slowdowns. But inside the Atlanta area, of course, we have the usual bottlenecks, especially approaching the 75/85 merge southbound and the 75/675 merge southbound. Macon was looking slow on southbound 75 near the I-16 split. And traveling out of Georgia into South Carolina on I-95, you also have a slowdown there as you go from three lanes to two after the savannah river. Safe travels. Drive alert. And happy Thanksgiving.
Orlando Montoya: If you plan on drinking alcohol during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Georgia has a plan to get you home from your gathering safely and without driving. Georgia is one of five states awarded $25,000 in ride credit on Uber by the National Governors Highway Safety Association. The credits are aimed at preventing drunk driving deaths. Individual users can claim a $25 credit by entering a code in the Uber app during a limited number of nighttime hours. You can find the details at GPB.org/news.
Orlando Montoya: Atlanta-born musician Chan Marshall, better known as Cat Power, has toured the world, hit the Billboard Top 10, written film soundtracks and earned a reputation as an unforgettable interpreter of songs. Her 12th album, Cat Power Sings Dylan, out this month, is a live recreation of Bob Dylan's Royal Albert Hall concert, a 1966 bootleg recording. GPB's Kristi York Wooten has more.
Kristi York-Wooten: Chan Marshall's love for Bob Dylan dates back to her childhood in Georgia and the Carolinas. She loved listening to the music of Neil Young, Hank Williams and the Allman Brothers on her stepfather's turntable. That's where she also heard Bob Dylan's "Knockin on Heaven's Door," the first of his songs she learned on guitar.
Chan Marshall: I noticed with Dylan that I should pay attention to his lyrics. And then he just became like one of the — feels like a family member. You know, all those names I just mentioned, You know, being a kid and growing up with all that music. They — as a little child, you know, our parents learned these musics when they were teenagers. But as a little kid, as a little girl, I felt like they were like, "oh, yeah, I know them."
Kristi York-Wooten: Marshall moved to New York to pursue music in 1992, along with fellow Atlantan Glenn Thrasher. But an 1988 Dylan performance from the $11 lawn seats at Atlanta's Chastain Park Amphitheater had already changed her life. She later sang about it on her own 2008 song, "To Bobby."
Since then, Marshall has become known for her raw and revealing covers of other artists' work. When asked if she would perform a concert at the Royal Albert Hall last year, she said she'd only do it if she could sing the 15 songs Bob Dylan performed at his 1966 show.
Chan Marshall: With what's going on in America presently and been going on since before the pandemic, I think a song like "Ballad of a Thin Man" exercises his point of going electric, that, you know, things aren't always going to stay the way, you know, the status quo needs them to be. Because if you're on the side of status quo, Mr. Jones, you know you're going to go down with the — you're going to go down with revolution. You know, the revolutionary mind has to come because things are so dark.
Kristi York-Wooten: Marshall says she arrived at the performance with the wisdom of single motherhood and the weariness of a woman in a world where human rights are failing, but also with the energy of sharing what she calls the 20th century's community of songs.
Chan Marshall: Every covers record was always an ask. I always had to approach the label, you know, out of contract, out of just knowing that if I didn't record them, they wouldn't be — I wouldn't remember them. So it was like a document for me. You know, for this, you know, story of music that I love.
Kristi York-Wooten: For GPB, I'm Kristi York Wooten.
Orlando Montoya: And that's it for today's edition of Georgia Today. If you'd like to learn more about these stories, visit gpb.org/news. And as always, we'd like you to hit subscribe on this podcast so you'll always stay current with us in your feed. If you have feedback for us, send that to us at GeorgiaToday@GPB.org. I'm Orlando Montoya. We'll take a break for Thanksgiving tomorrow and be back with you again on Friday.
For more on these stories and more, go to GPB.org/news