LISTEN: On the Thursday, June 6 edition of Georgia Today: The Georgia Court of Appeals put a pause on the election interference case against Donald Trump; the state capitol gets a $400 million face lift; and a student organization at Georgia Tech helps rehabilitate the school's feral cat population.

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Peter Biello: Welcome to the Georgia Today podcast from GPB news. Today is Thursday, June 6. I'm Peter Biello. On today's episode, the Georgia Court of Appeals put a pause on the election interference case against Donald Trump. The state capital gets a $400 million facelift, and a student organization at Georgia Tech helps rehabilitate the school's feral cat population. These stories and more are coming up on this edition of Georgia Today.


Story 1:

Peter Biello: The Georgia Court of Appeals has halted the state's election interference case against former President Donald Trump and others. The move prevents Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee from hearing motions in the case, while the appeals court reviews his ruling allowing District Attorney Fani Willis to remain on the case. Georgia State University law professor Anthony Michael Kreiss told NPR's Here and Now, the decision was expected.

Anthony Michael Kreiss: While judge McAfee was trying, I think, his level best to continue to hear pretrial motions and to keep things moving along as this bigger question was being decided at the Georgia Court of Appeals, the Georgia Court of Appeals yesterday stepped in and said "no, regular order should prevail." Things should be on pause until they can finally make a decision in this case.

Peter Biello: Former Atlanta state senator, Democrat Jen Jordan, says the decision is about protecting the process.

Jenn Jordan: Which is, at the end of the day, what everybody wants. What everybody wants is to make sure that anybody who is facing criminal charges, that their constitutional rights are being protected and that they are receiving due process. And at this point in time, it really is just kind of putting things on hold.

Peter Biello: The pause makes it even more unlikely the case would go to trial before November's presidential election.


Story 2:

Peter Biello: Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens says he will support a plan to spend $5 million reimbursing businesses for losses during the city's recent water outages. He's also promising a commission to examine the city's infrastructure needs and to deploy monitors to detect leaking pipes. Dickens his announcement yesterday came a day after workers finished repairs on a ruptured water main, ending five days of water trouble. A boil water advisory was lifted this morning.

Contaception is healthcare.

Contaception is healthcare.

Story 3:

Peter Biello: Republicans in the U.S. Senate have blocked legislation designed to protect women's access to contraception. They argue the bill was a political stunt, as Democrats mount an election year effort to put GOP senators on the record on reproductive rights issues. GPB's Sarah Kallis has reactions from Georgia. 

Sarah Kallis: Democrats say President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are the "only candidates that will protect the right to abortion and contraception." State Rep. Karen Lupton says she is concerned about reproductive rights.

Karen Lupton: Our rights have been eroded and they're eroding quickly. I have to remind myself, many days, that myself, my 19-year-old daughter, have fewer rights now than they did in 2016, and I never thought we would live to see that day in America: to actually watch us regress.

Sarah Kallis: Biden has focused much of his reelection campaign messaging around his pro-abortion stances, in contrast to Trump's anti-abortion stance. For GPB News, I'm Sarah Kallis in Atlanta.


Story 4:

Peter Biello: A recent audit of the May 21 primary election confirmed the outcome of the state Supreme Court race. That's according to Georgia's secretary of state. Incumbent Georgia Supreme Court Justice Andrew Pinson defeated former U.S. Representative John Barrow in a nonpartisan race, where Barrow sought to make abortion rights the central issue. The secretary of state is required by law to conduct an audit of the top statewide race, which was this state Supreme Court contest.

A view of the back of the Georgia State Capitol in Downtown Atlanta in an undated photo.

A view of the back of the Georgia Capitol in downtown Atlanta in an undated photo.

Credit: GPB News

Story 5:

Peter Biello: Scaffolding is going up this week around the state Capitol as part of a nearly $400 million renovation project. Regilding of Georgia's iconic Gold Dome is already underway. But some preservationists are more concerned about a proposed skybridge that will connect the Capitol with a proposed new legislative office building across the street. David Mitchell with the Atlanta Preservation Center, says the bridge plan is frustrating because it would, quote, "forever alter the historic structure."

David Mitchell: I do not wish to see the symbol of our legislative process being altered by something that looks like a paper towel roll sticking out of the side.

Peter Biello: The state agency overseeing the project, the Georgia Building Authority, is expected to choose between a bridge, a tunnel or a crosswalk to connect the buildings. Its deputy director says he's aware of the opposition and promises that whatever is done will be in keeping with the historical integrity of the Capitol, completed in 1889.


Story 6:

Peter Biello: Federal aviation officials have given California-based aircraft manufacturer Archer Air a certification to begin operating electric air taxis. The company is building its vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, called Midnight, at a new facility in Newton County, east of Atlanta. Archer Air is partnering with United Airlines and others to build air taxis designed to take passengers to and from airports in large cities. The certification from the Federal Aviation Administration announced yesterday, brings Midnight one step closer to flying passengers.


Story 7:

Peter Biello: Georgia is one of 14 states where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recalling cucumbers contaminated with salmonella bacteria. The agency says the outbreak has sickened 162 people nationwide, including eight people in Georgia.


Story 8:

Peter Biello: An Augusta University administrator is poised to become the school's next president. The University System Board of Regents voted today to name Russell Keene as the sole finalist for the presidency of the 10,000-student public university that includes the Medical College of Georgia. Keene is currently executive vice president for administration and chief of staff to the current president, Brooks Keil, who in September announced his retirement at the end of June.


Story 9:

Peter Biello: The president of Augusta's Payne College is stepping down. The private, historically Black school announced the departure of President Cheryl Evans Jones on Tuesday. Jones has led Payne for the last five years, including through what she called one of the most difficult times in the 141-year-old college's history. That was when it lost its accreditation in 2016. The college has 344 students.

Momo is one of the many cats being fed and cared for on the Georgia Tech campus.

Momo is one of the many cats being fed and cared for on the Georgia Tech campus.

Credit: Campus Cats / Instagram

Story 10:

Peter Biello: Students at Georgia Tech have brought back a student organization that takes care of the university's population of feral cats. GPB's Amanda Andrews explains.

Amanda Andrews: Campus Cats is a club that provides food, water and medical services to the homeless cats living on campus at Georgia Tech. The club went dormant during the pandemic, but has returned with support and positive reception from students and faculty. Club treasurer Kandi Henry says the cold weather is what pushed students to reregister the club this semester.

Kandi Henry: Because everybody was so worried about how these cats were going to stay warm, and we actually ended up coming together as a group and building cat shelters and buying these self-heating pads to put in them to keep the cats warm over the winter.

Amanda Andrews: The group is currently working on a trap, neuter and release program to prevent the campus population from getting out of control. For GPB News, I'm Amanda Andrews.


Story 11:

Peter Biello: A former protege of Atlanta songwriter and producer The Dream is accusing him of sexual assault and abuse. Chanaaz Mangroe alleges in a lawsuit that The Dream lured her into what she calls an abusive, violent and manipulative relationship after she left her native Netherlands for the U.S. with hopes of making it big as a singer. The Dream, whose legal name is Terius Gesteelde-Diamant, has worked on huge hits including Beyonce's "Single Ladies," Justin Bieber's "Baby" and Rihanna's "Umbrella." Mangroe says The Dream was violently controlling, forcing her to diet and exercise, and allowed her little contact with others. He has denied the allegations.


Story 12:

Peter Biello: In sports, the Braves take on the Washington Nationals tonight in D.C. for the first of a four-game series. The Nationals are currently on a three-game losing streak. Renaldo Lopez is scheduled to get the start for the Braves tonight. And the Atlanta-based, plant-derived period and personal care brand, The Honeypot, is partnering with the Atlanta Dream to become the basketball team's exclusive body care partner. The partnership will give the team access to the brand's latest and greatest products, and Atlanta Dream fans will be given samples of the Honeypot's products at select home games.

And that is it for this edition of Georgia Today. If you want to learn more about any of these stories, visit And remember to subscribe to this podcast. We're going to be back tomorrow with all the latest news in Georgia, and you won't want to miss it. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. And if you've got feedback, we would love to hear from you. Email us. The address is I'm Peter Biello. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you tomorrow.


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