On the Monday, May 13 edition of Georgia Today: New research shows Black women are more likely to get cancer; The state's Republican Party removes its vice chairman after a judge finds he voted illegally; And we'll take a look at how an infusion of federal money helps expand broadband access in Georgia.

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Peter Biello: Welcome to the Georgia Today podcast from GPB News. Today is Monday, May 13. I'm Peter Biello. On today's episode: New research shows Black women are more likely to get cancer. The state's Republican Party removes its vice chairman after a judge finds he voted illegally. And we'll take a look at how an infusion of federal money helps expand broadband access in Georgia. These stories and more are coming up on this edition of Georgia Today.



Story 1:

Peter Biello: Emory University held its graduation today in Duluth after moving it from Emory's Atlanta campus following recent protests. GPB's Sarah Kallis reports.

Sarah Kallis: Emory officials say they held graduation 20 miles north of campus due to safety concerns, following weeks of pro-Palestine demonstrations on campus. Allison DeVoe graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology and English.

Allison DeVoe: I'm a little sad and a little disappointed, but I understand the safety concerns, so I'm okay with it being here. I'm glad I at least got a graduation ceremony.

Sarah Kallis: Some demonstrators held Palestinian flags or wore keffiyahs, a traditional Palestinian scarf as they walked across the stage. A few people booed Emory President Gregory Fenves when he spoke, but otherwise there were no major disruptions to the ceremonies. For GPB News, I'm Sarah Kallis in Duluth.


Story 2:

Peter Biello: Research shows Black women are more likely to get cancer and live fewer years than those in other racial or ethnic groups. A new study from the American Cancer Society seeks to understand why. GPB's Ellen Eldridge has more.

Ellen Eldridge: Georgia is one of 20 states enrolling participants in the Voices for Black Women study. It will track 100,000 women nationwide over 30 years  to examine what causes cancer, determine its mortality, and affects resilience among Black women. Dr Alpa Patel is a Georgia researcher with the American Cancer Society. She says the survey will ask questions about possible health impacts that have not been studied.

Dr. Alpa Patel: We're going to ask about things like personal care products, chemical straighteners for hair. We're going to ask about things like caregiving and social support.

Ellen Eldridge: Participants from diverse backgrounds between the ages of 25 and 55 are eligible to enroll if they have never had a cancer diagnosis. For GPB News, I'm Ellen Eldridge.


Story 3:

Peter Biello: More than two decades after a University of Georgia law student was found dead in her burning home, authorities have arrested a man and charged him with murder in her slaying. 48-year-old Edrick Lamont Faust was arrested on Thursday for the January 2001 killing of Tara Louise Baker. Her mother, Virginia Baker, spoke at a news conference in Athens today.

Louise Baker: I want people to know that prayers work. Don't ever stop praying. Don't ever stop having a hope in your heart because it can happen.

Peter Biello: Officials haven't said what led investigators to Faust. The arrest comes a year after a new Georgia law went into effect establishing a new cold case unit within the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.


Story 4:

Peter Biello: Georgia's Republican Party has removed its vice chairman after a judge found he voted illegally nine times while on probation for check forging. The party's chairman said the vote on Friday by the party's committee was 146 to 24. Vice chairman Brian Pritchard was removed after many Republican activists felt he embarrassed the party in light of its focus on election integrity. The vote comes ahead of the state GOP's annual convention starting on Friday in Columbus.


Story 5:

Peter Biello: Georgia tax collections fell 5.4% last month compared to April a year ago. That's according to the state Department of Revenue. The decline follows a trend for tax collections in the first 10 months of fiscal year 2024. Compared to April of last year, individual income taxes fell last month 8%, and net sales tax receipts declined 3%, while corporate income tax collections increased half a percent.


Story 6:

Peter Biello: Georgia peach growers are getting their 2024 harvest underway with expectations of a bumper crop after a dismal 2023. Last year, a warmer-than-normal winter and a late spring freeze wiped out nearly all the state's overall production. University of Georgia extension agent Jeff Cook says a normal season sees about 2.5 million bushel boxes of peaches. And this year —

Jeff Cook: We had a cooler February. Plants bloomed a little more normally. We're looking to possibly push up there closer to 3 million.

Peter Biello: The Peach State is behind South Carolina and California in peach production. It was an $80 million crop, with Middle Georgia's Peach, Taylor and Macon counties leading production in the 2022 Georgia Farm Gate Report. Cook says peaches should start to arrive at roadside stands and markets in the coming weeks.



Credit: Pexels

Story 7:

Peter Biello: U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and U-S Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo visited a fiber optic manufacturing facility in Gwinnett County Friday that could help expand broadband access in Georgia. Warnock says fiber optic manufacturer OFS in Norcross will be adding 100 new jobs as it keeps up with demand created in part by the $1.3 billion in federal money meant to expand broadband. Broadband can be a lifeline for Georgians like Clayton County resident Ernestine Roger-Lyford. She says she didn't have internet until last year when her husband was diagnosed with cancer.

Ernestine Roger-Lyford: We have been able to consult specialists, receiving treatment plans and maintain critical followup appointments, all from the safety of our home. The ACP internet connection have been amazing for our family and dark times.

Peter Biello: Warnock says hundreds of thousands of people could gain access to broadband internet thanks to this federal investment.


Story 8:

Peter Biello: Southern Co. has announced a leadership change at its southern nuclear division. The Atlanta-based energy giant said today the division's chairman and CEO, Stephen Kozinski, will retire at the end of June. He'll be succeeded by Southern Nuclear's president, Pete Sena. The change comes weeks after the company put two new nuclear reactors into commercial operation at its Plant Vogtle, near Augusta. The retiring Kozinski has overseen the massive project since 2011.

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Story 9:

Peter Biello: A rare raven's nest has been spotted on a canyon cliff in Northeast Georgia's Tallulah Gorge State Park. Ravens are uncommon in Georgia, and most years we don't have any sightings. Bob Sargent of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, says they used to be more abundant in the eastern U.S., but by the 1930s, their numbers had declined, likely from a loss of habitat. He says the nest in Tallulah Gorge is encouraging.

Bob Sargent: We primarily see them in just a handful of very northeastern counties, up in the Blue Ridge area. So seeing them a little bit further south down at Tallulah Gorge is — is a good sign. 

Peter Biello: He says, with strong binoculars or a spotting scope. You can see roughly two 6-week-old raven chicks in the nest. He expects them to leave the nest within a week.


Story 10:

Peter Biello: In sports. The Atlanta Hawks won the NBA draft lottery and landed the No. 1 pick in next month's draft. This after finishing 10th in the Eastern Conference at 36 and 46. The Hawks haven't won a postseason series since a surprising run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021. The draft is scheduled for June 26 and 27 in Brooklyn. And in baseball, over the weekend, the Braves won two out of three games against the Mets in New York. On Saturday night, the Braves almost pulled off a combined no-hitter, with starter Max Freed pitching seven innings without giving up a hit. Raisel Iglesias gave up two hits in the ninth. Also over the weekend, Iglesias earned the 200th save of his career on Friday night, becoming the 54th player in baseball history to reach the milestone. His 200 saves rank fifth among all active pitchers. And starter Charlie Morton also surpassed a milestone: 2,000 career innings. The Braves open a three-game series at home tonight against the Chicago Cubs.

Peter Biello: Thank you so much for listening to Georgia Today. If you want to learn more about any of these stories, we've got more at our website, GPB.org/news. And remember to subscribe to this podcast. We've got a lot of news coming your way this week, and you won't want to miss any of it. And if you have feedback or a story we should know about, send us an email. 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

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