On the Monday April 15th edition of Georgia Today: Georgia's Public Service Commission votes tomorrow on Georgia Power's request to generate more electricity; The city of Savannah is requiring locks for guns left inside motor vehicles; And we'll give you the scoop on businesses offering discounts to help offset your Tax Day Blues. 

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Orlando Montoya: Hello and welcome to the Georgia Today podcast from GPB News. Today is Monday, April 15. I'm Orlando Montoya. On today's episode, Georgia's Public Service Commission votes tomorrow on Georgia Power's request to generate more electricity. The city of Savannah is requiring locks for guns left inside motor vehicles, and we'll give you the scoop on businesses offering discounts to help offset your Tax Day blues. These stories and more are coming up on this edition of Georgia Today.


Story 1:

Orlando Montoya: A Habitat For Humanity project in South Atlanta, is receiving federal funding to help increase affordable housing cheap. GPB's Sarah Kallis reports.

Sarah Kallis: $2 million will go to creating 20 new units at Brown's Mill Village in Atlanta's Orchard Knob neighborhood. It's the first mixed-income Habitat For Humanity project in the Atlanta area. Federal funding for the project received bipartisan support. Atlanta City Council President Doug Shipman says he welcomes the additional money for the project, as families are struggling to find affordable housing.

Doug Shipman: The last thing that our family should worry about is where their kids lay their heads at night.

Sarah Kallis: Construction in Brown's Mill Village started in 2021, and Phase 1 is set to be completed in 2025. For GPB News, I'm Sarah Kallis in Atlanta.


Story 2:

Orlando Montoya: Albany police say a man who died in police custody on Saturday showed no signs of aggression toward officers, and officers used no force against him. 41-year-old Robert Carver died after being arrested on criminal trespassing charges. Albany Police Chief Michael Presley said this morning Carver appeared to be behaving erratically and didn't quite know where he was. He says the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been notified of the death, and an autopsy will be performed on Wednesday.


Story 3:

Orlando Montoya: The Atlanta Police Department has issued a public safety alert because of the ongoing conflict between Iran and Israel. A social media post over the weekend says officers know of no credible threats to the city, but are working with religious institutions and community leaders to remain steadfast to ensure safety. The move comes after Iran attacked Israel with hundreds of drones and missiles. Israel's military chief today vowed to retaliate.


Story 4:

Orlando Montoya: Two Northwest Georgia health systems have finalized a long-anticipated merger. Atrium Health Floyd and the Harbin Clinic are combining to form an integrated health system after months of uncertainty. The merger had been delayed by a Federal Trade Commission antitrust review, but the review period recently passed without agency comment and both companies announced their merger today. Atrium Health is part of Charlotte-based Advocate Health, the nation's third-largest nonprofit health system, and Harbin Clinic serves Northwest Georgia and Northeast Alabama with more than 250 providers and 19 locations.

Story 5:

Orlando Montoya: Georgia's Public Service Commission is set to vote tomorrow on Georgia Power's request to add new electricity generation. GPB's Grant Blankenship reports the plan comes amid rapidly mounting demand from green economy manufacturing and data centers.

Doug Shipman: The plan adds carbon-emitting generation and has drawn criticism from both environmentalists and tech and green industry titans hungry for electricity. But now, industry advocates have signed on following an agreement that, going forward, the Googles and Hyundais of the world will be free to obtain carbon-neutral electricity from sources other than Georgia Power. Meanwhile, Southern Environmental Law Center attorney Jennifer Whitfield says residential customers have no guarantee the new deal won't raise their bills again.

Jennifer Whitfield: What we were looking for is some commitment that it would impact decreased rates for residential and small business customers, and we didn't see it.

Doug Shipman: Whitfield says that means residential customers could subsidize the data centers that do buy energy from Georgia Power. For GPB News, I'm Grant Blankenship in Macon.


Story 6:

Orlando Montoya: Savannah soon will require guns left in vehicles to be stored securely, in an effort to cut down on gun thefts from unlocked cars. The city's council passed an ordinance last week to require people to keep unoccupied vehicles locked when there's a gun inside. The measure also requires people to report gun thefts to police within 24 hours. Violators could face a $1,000 fine and 30 days in jail. City officials plan to enforce the measure after a 90-day educational campaign.


Story 7:

Orlando Montoya: Atlanta hip hop and rap pioneer Rico Wade has died. Atlanta rapper and activist Killer Mike posted about Wade's death on social media, calling Wade a mentor and a friend. Wade was one-third of the Grammy Award-winning production team Organized Noize, credited with shaping the sound of Southern hip hop in the 1990s. His studio in Southwest Atlanta helped launch OutKast, Goodie Mob and others onto the national scene. His family has not released a cause of death. Rico Wade was 52 years old.

Story 8:

Orlando Montoya: Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is once again the world's busiest airport. Airport Council International today released its annual rankings based on airport traffic. It says in 2023, ATL welcomed 104 million passengers, an 11% increase from the previous year, and 17 million more than No. 2: International Airport. Worldwide, passenger traffic increased 27% from 2022, but remains 6% below pre-pandemic levels.


Story 9:

Orlando Montoya: The Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation is looking for public input on how to expand the city's trail network. GPB's Amanda Andrews explains how residents can participate.

Amanda Andews: Trails ATL recently opened its online survey to the public. It's part of the first of three rounds of public outreach to determine what trails people want and where they want to see them. The city is focused on equity, with the goal of all residents living within a 10-minute walk of a trail. Deputy Commissioner Rachel Mayor says they want to hear from as many people as possible.

Rachel Mayor: If you live in a household, we want to know what your 8-year-old thinks. Where do they want to go? You know, we're talking about all ages. We want to know where, you know, our senior citizens are trying to get to.

Amanda Andews: The initial survey will be available on trails atl.com until April 29. For GPB News, I'm Amanda Andrews.

Tax day :(

Tax day :(

Story 10:

Orlando Montoya: And today is Tax Day, the dreaded annual deadline for tax filing that some companies are hoping to de-stress with discounts and freebies. Several national restaurant chains are offering deals and rewards. They include Krispy Kreme, for customers buying a dozen original glazed or assorted donuts can get a second dozen for the price of state sales taxes. Arby's, Fazoli's and Great American Cookies are among other companies with similar Tax Day-related deductions.

Orlando Montoya: I don't know about you, but I'm an early filer. I get that stuff done in February. I'll procrastinate on a lot of other things, but not on taxes. 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 if you haven't yet, hit subscribe on this podcast. We'd love for you to do that. That helps you as well to keep us current in your feed. If you have feedback for us, send that along to us in an email to GeorgiaToday@GPB.org. I'm Orlando Montoya. We'll be back again tomorrow.


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

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