On the Monday, March 25 edition of Georgia Today: Atlanta plans to build new MARTA stations; Sen. Jon Ossoff wants answers to the USPS delays; Emory and Georgia Tech are teaming up to help prevent heat-related injuries.

GA Today Podcast


Peter Biello: Welcome to the Georgia Today podcast from GPB News. Today is Monday, March 25. I'm Peter Biello. On today's episode, Atlanta's mayor announces plans for expanded rail service. Sen. Jon Ossoff demands answers from the U.S. Postal Service about reported delays. And researchers from Emory and Georgia Tech collaborate on a device to help prevent heat-related injuries. These stories and more are coming up on this edition of Georgia Today.

A photo of a MARTA train at College Park station.

Story 1

Peter Biello: Atlanta mayor Andre Dickens has announced an expansion of MATRA. During his State of the City address this morning, he said the city would build four new Marta stations, including one connecting riders to the Westside BeltLine. It's part of his plan to revitalize neighborhoods facing generations of disinvestment. Dickens says investing in transportation is the key to a successful redevelopment project.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens: To create healthy, thriving neighborhoods, we must build a transportation system that is accessible to residents across the entire city. Our current MARTA rail system is underutilized, in part because we don't have enough stations located where residents need it the most.

Peter Biello: One of the new MARTA stations will be in Murphy Crossing, a 20-acre redevelopment project in southwest Atlanta modeled after the success of Ponce City Market. The new stations would be the first new MARTA rail stops in two decades.


Story 2

Peter Biello: Georgia U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff is demanding answers from the U.S. Postal Service about reported delays at a new processing and distribution center in Palmetto, southwest of Atlanta. The facility serves U.S. mail that previously would have been processed in Macon, Augusta, Atlanta and Duluth, but since it opened on Feb. 24, many customers have experienced frustrating delays, some affecting needed medication, checks and bills.

Sen. Jon Ossoff: The USPS has one core job, and that's getting things from point A to point B on time. And when folks faced these kinds of weeks or monthslong delays, that's not just an inconvenience. That can be existential.

Peter Biello: He's launched an inquiry with the Postmaster General. The Georgia delays are mirrored elsewhere across the country, as the Postal Service implements a massive restructuring and modernization plan.


Story 3

Peter Biello: The government spending bill signed into law on Saturday that prevents a government shutdown includes millions of dollars in earmarks for Georgia projects. Much of the congressionally directed spending will go to hospitals, including $5 million to renovate and reopen Southwest Georgia Regional Hospital in Cuthbert. Hospitals in Ringgold and Toccoa each will get more than $1 million. Other entities getting at least $1 million in federal spending include Atlanta's Agnes Scott College for mental health care worker training program, and Augusta Richmond County for its emergency operations center.


Story 4

Peter Biello: A new report from the Alzheimer's Association estimates 70% of family caregivers are stressed by coordinating care for someone with dementia. In Georgia, that's about 374,000 family caregivers. GPB's Ellen Eldridge has more.

Ellen Eldridge: The annual report highlights how people are impacted by diseases of dementia and how quickly the population is aging. Linda Davidson is the executive director of the Georgia chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. She says it's not just families, but business owners and policymakers who are seeing the need to better support caregivers because we're all aging.

Linda Davidson: To me, it's staggering to think that 1 in 3 senior — seniors die with Alzheimer's or another dementia. To me, that is huge. That's a large number, when you consider that 1 in 3, they die with some sort of dementia.

Ellen Eldridge: Davidson says 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. For GPB News, I'm Ellen Eldridge.


Atlanta's Own Chick-fil-A is growing and hiring across the U.S.

Story 5

Peter Biello: Chick-fil-A says it is shifting away from its decade-old "no antibiotics ever" in its chicken to a standard known as no antibiotics important to human medicine. The new standard avoids medicines commonly used to treat people, and limits the use of animal antibiotics to cases of animal illness. The Atlanta-based fast food chain says it will begin the shift in the spring. A company spokesperson says the move reflects concerns over the company's ability to get enough antibiotic-free chicken.


Story 6

Peter Biello: Researchers from Emory and Georgia Tech are working together on a device to help prevent heat-related injuries, GPB's Amanda Andrews reports.

Amanda Andrews: Over the last two years, researchers have been studying health data from outdoor workers in the farm, food and construction industries using a skin patch. The goal of the wearable device is to get early detection to prevent heat exposure issues like kidney failure. Georgia Tech Associate Professor Hong Yeo is working on the study. He says the device measures several body signals.

Professor Hong Yeo: It's called electrocardiogram and heart rate. And also in addition to that, we measure skin temperature, respiration, skin hydration, blood oxygen saturation together.

Amanda Andrews: The project will continue to collect data through 2026. For GPB News, I'm Amanda Andrews.


Story 7

Peter Biello: State wildlife officials say trucks are delivering trout to all five of Georgia's stocked trout streams. The state Department of Natural Resources seasonally stocks trout in north Georgia streams to support the state's fishing industry. The agency's trout stocking coordinator says this year's trout are among the largest ever put in Georgia's stocked streams. They average 9 to 10 inches, with the largest measuring up to 12 to 14 inches. Georgia's stocked streams are Rock Creek in Fannin County and Dick's Creek in Lumpkin County, Holly Creek in Murray County, Johns Creek in Floyd County, and the Tallulah River in Rabun County are all also popular locations in the program. The agency says trout fishing has a $172 million annual impact in Georgia.


Florida running back Trevor Etienne, right, tries to get past McNeese State defensive back Jadden Matthews (9) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Gainesville, Fla. Georgia running back Trevor Etienne was arrested early Sunday, March 24, 2024, on drunken driving, reckless driving and other charges, jail records show.

Then-Florida running back Trevor Etienne, right, tries to get past McNeese State defensive back Jadden Matthews (9) during a Sept. 9 n NCAA college football game in Gainesville, Fla., in 2023. Georgia running back Trevor Etienne was arrested early Sunday, March 24, 2024, on drunken driving, reckless driving and other charges, jail records show. Etienne is a midyear transfer from Florida, where he led the Gators with nine touchdowns in 2023 and emerged as one of the team’s most dynamic playmakers.

Credit: AP Photo/John Raoux, File

Story 8

Peter Biello: Georgia running back Trevor Etienne was arrested early Sunday on drunken driving, reckless driving and other charges, jail records show. Etienne, the Bulldogs' projected started running back, was booked into the Athens-Clarke County Jail after 4 a.m. and was released less than an hour later on bonds totaling about $1,800. The university said in a statement it was aware of the arrest but would not have further comment. Etienne, who's 19, is a midyear transfer from Florida, where he led the Gators with nine touchdowns last year and emerged as one of the team's most dynamic playmakers. He is the younger brother of former Clemson star and Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne. There were at least 15 traffic stops involving members of the Bulldogs football program driving excessive speeds last year, including three instances of driving under the influence. That's according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.


Story 9

Peter Biello: And fan favorite Charlie Culbertson's attempt to reinvent himself as a pitcher at age 34 took a blow on Saturday, and he was released by the Atlanta Braves. Longtime utility man went to spring training this season with the Braves on a minor league deal as a right handed pitcher. Reports indicate that Culbertson is not considering retirement and is looking for his next opportunity. In happier Braves news, another fan favorite is returning to the bullpen. The team announced today that they have signed veteran reliever Jesse Chavez to a minor league deal. Chavez opted out of his contract with the White Sox over the weekend. Chavez, who will turn 41 in August, has been added to the spring roster but likely won't make the Opening Day roster.

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. If you haven't yet subscribed to this podcast, I highly recommend you do it now. That way, we'll be back automatically in your podcast feed tomorrow afternoon with all the latest news from Georgia. And if you've got feedback or a story idea, something we should know about, send us an email. The address is GeorgiaToday@GPB.org.

I'm Peter Biello. Thank you again for listening. We'll see you tomorrow.