On the Tuesday, May 14 edition of Georgia Today: Delta Air Lines sues over a rule meant to fight so-called "hidden junk fees;" a transgender sheriff's deputy scores a big win in court; and the Braves beat the Cubs last night in part because of stellar pitching from starter Reynaldo Lopez.

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Peter Biello: Welcome to the Georgia Today podcast from GPB News. Today is Tuesday, May 14. I'm Peter Biello. On today's episode, Delta Air Lines sues over a rule meant to fight so-called hidden junk fees. A transgender sheriff's deputy scores a big win in court, and the Braves beat the Cubs last night, in part because of stellar pitching from starter Reynaldo Lopez. These stories and more are coming up on this edition of Georgia Today.

Anna Lange, a sheriff's sergeant in Houston County, Ga., poses for a picture, Nov. 14, 2023. A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court’s ruling that a Georgia county illegally discriminated against the sheriff’s deputy by failing to pay for her gender-affirming surgery.

Anna Lange, a sheriff's sergeant in Houston County, Ga., poses for a picture, Nov. 14, 2023. A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court’s ruling that a Georgia county illegally discriminated against the sheriff’s deputy by failing to pay for her gender-affirming surgery. In its ruling Monday, May 13, 2024 the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it was tasked with determining whether a health insurance provider can be held liable under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for denying coverage for a procedure because an employee is transgender.

Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Amy, file

Story 1:

Peter Biello: It's being called a victory for transgender Southerners: Middle Georgia's Houston County and the county sheriff have lost their appeal of a ruling that required the county's health insurance to pay for a deputy's gender-affirming surgery. Sgt. Anna Lange's case has tested whether the county's denial of such coverage amounted to illegal discrimination. The Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said yesterday that it does. A jury had awarded Lange $60,000 in damages two years ago. Lange says it has been painful to have the county, quote, "fight tooth and nail to deny her this health care." The sheriff's office has not responded to a request for comment.


Story 2:

Peter Biello: Former President Jimmy Carter's grandson, Jason Carter, says his grandfather is, quote, "doing OK" but is "near the end." He spoke at the Georgia Mental Health Forum at the Carter Center in Atlanta today. Jason Carter is the center's board chairman. He said he and his grandfather watched a Braves game together a few weeks ago.

Jason Carter: There's a part of this faith journey that is so important to him. And there's a part of that faith journey that you only can live at the very end. And I think he has been there in that space.

Peter Biello: Former President Carter has been under hospice care at his home in Plains for nearly a year and a half.


Story 3:

Peter Biello: Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is suing to block a new rule that requires more transparency around fees. Delta was joined by five major airlines and their industry trade group in filing the suit against the Biden administration's new rule. The U.S. Transportation Department says it will defend the rule against so-called hidden junk fees. The rule would require airlines and travel agents to disclose upfront any charges for baggage and canceling or changing a reservation. The agency estimated that the rule will save consumers more than half a billion dollars a year. Opponents of the rule say it will confuse consumers by giving them too much information during the ticket buying process, adding that airlines go to great lengths to make sure customers know about these fees.

Story 4:

Peter Biello: SAT and ACT test score requirements are coming back for admission is for Georgia universities. The University System Board of Regents today approved returning admissions testing at Augusta, Georgia State, Kennesaw State and Georgia Southern universities, starting with incoming freshmen in the fall of 2026. The University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and Georgia College and State University did not get the pandemic-era waiver of the test score requirements. They remain optional at 19 other state colleges and universities. Georgia Southern President Kyle Marrero called the change an important step, saying his university was, quote, "ready to move forward."


Story 5:

Peter Biello: If you're going to be flying out of ATL this Memorial Day weekend, you're going to be in good company. Officials at Hartsfield-Jackson say about 2.5 million passengers will travel through ATL during the weeklong travel period beginning Wednesday of next week. They say traffic will return to pre-pandemic summer travel activity. Last week on Friday, a near-record number of people pass through the airport security checks, where wait times topped 40 minutes. If you're traveling through ATL, officials are advising you to get there early. That means at least two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights.


Story 6:

Peter Biello: Student newsrooms at Savannah State University and Atlanta's Morehouse College are among the recipients of a new grant program. GPB's Benjamin Payne reports Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones is behind the awards.

Benjamin Payne: The two schools will together receive more than $25,000 through the Center for Journalism and Democracy. It's an institute at Howard University led by Nikole Hannah-Jones, who rose to national prominence as the creator of the 1619 Project through The New York Times. She says the new grant program will help boost HBCU journalism programs by upgrading their technology and funding stipends for student reporters.

Nikole Hannah-Jones: A multiracial nation has to be served by a multiracial press. It is not about being politically correct. If we want to cover our nation accurately, you have to have people who are representative of our entire nation and all the various communities in the newsroom shaping the news.

Benjamin Payne: In addition to Savannah State and Morehouse, eight other HBCU newsrooms outside Georgia will be awarded grants. For GPB News, I'm Benjamin Payne in Savannah.


Story 7:

Peter Biello: About 30 child care workers gathered at the state Capitol yesterday as part of a national day of action for child care workers. GPB's Amanda Andrews has that story.

Amanda Andrews: Child care providers are working with the nonprofit Childcare Changemakers to demand higher wages, affordable care for families and more government funding on all levels. The average wage for a child care worker in 2023 was just over $13 an hour. A living wage in Georgia is around $23 an hour. Candace Nicholas works at a day care in Atlanta. She says the biggest misconception is that early childhood educators are like babysitters.

Candace Nicholas: They came in; nine months later, when I played the ABC song, they're running to the ABCs. They're pointing at what letters they know, what sounds animals make like. We are teaching these children day by day, before they can even put down their bottle to pick up a cup to drink it.

Amanda Andrews: The 2021 American Rescue Plan offered significant funding for child care, but the funds will expire this year if Congress doesn't vote to extend it. For GPB News, I'm Amanda Andrews.

Home Depot

Home Depot

Story 8:

Peter Biello: Home Depot sales slipped 2.3% in the first quarter. The Atlanta-based retail giant said today it took in over $36 billion. It was Home Depot's third consecutive quarter of declining sales, as consumers have been constrained by high mortgage rates and inflation.


Story 9:

Peter Biello: In sports, the Braves face the Cubs at Truist Park tonight after shutting them out last night. It was a pitcher's duel last night until the bottom of the sixth, when the Braves scored two runs, the only two of the game. Braves starter Reynaldo Lopez threw five innings and gave up only two hits. Speaking through an interpreter, he was anticipating a tough matchup between himself and Cubs starter Shota Imanaga. Neither Lopez nor Imanaga got a decision last night. The win went to Ray Kerr, a new Braves reliever who threw a pair of 1-2-3 innings before yielding the mound to A.J. Minter, who got the save. Braves fans now turn their attention to the well-being of third baseman Austin Riley, who manager Brian Snitker describes as day-to-day after being taken out of the lineup as a precaution. Riley had complained of some tightness on his left side on Sunday. An MRI yesterday revealed inflammation. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Braves have not indicated when exactly Riley will return. Chris Sale is expected to make the start for the Braves tonight.

Peter Biello: And that is it for this edition of Georgia Today. If you want to learn more about any of these stories, visit our website GPB.org/news. And if you haven't yet subscribed to the podcast, do It now. We'll pop up automatically in your podcast feed tomorrow, and you will stay informed about what's going on in the Peach State. And if you've got feedback or something we should know about, email us. 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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