LISTEN: On the Monday, July 8 edition of Georgia Today: Georgia Tech engineers and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta team up to help get kids off ventilators using a new technology; Georgia creates a new subcommittee for funding improvements to the state's deadly prison system; and yellow-legged hornets are a big problem on Georgia's coast. Now a state agency is asking the public for help fighting them. 

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Orlando Montoya: Hello and welcome to the Georgia Today podcast from GPB News. Today is Monday, July 8. I'm Orlando Montoya. Coming up on today's episode, Georgia Tech Engineers and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta team up to help get kids off ventilators using a new technology. Georgia creates a new subcommittee for funding improvements to the state's deadly prison system. And yellow legged hornets are a big problem on Georgia's coast. Now, a state agency is asking the public for help fighting them. These stories and more coming up on this edition of Georgia Today.


Story 1:

Orlando Montoya: A team of engineers at Georgia Tech and doctors with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta have developed a 3D-printed device to get kids off ventilators. GPB's Ellen Eldridge has more.

Ellen Eldridge: The 3D-printed splint supports the soft tissue and cartilage of a child's trachea. It's designed to dissolve over time as the child grows and the airway strengthens. Dr. Kevin Maher is a pediatric cardiologist with Children's.

Dr. Kevin Maher: You know, we've had these kids that can spend, you know, their entire life with a breathing tube. And the moment you would take out those breathing tube, those airways would collapse and they would go immediately go into respiratory arrest. And so you have to get the, the, you know, the breathing tube back in immediately.

Ellen Eldridge: Maher says the Food and Drug Administration allows the innovative technology under its expanded access program, pending full approval. For GPB News, I'm Ellen Eldridge.


Story 2:

Orlando Montoya: Georgia House Speaker Jon Burns today announced the creation of a special subcommittee to consider funding requests aimed at improving safety in the state's prison system. The panel will function under the House Appropriations Committee, and its announcement comes weeks after Gov. Brian Kemp said the state would hire a consultant to assess Georgia prisons. Burns says he wants to ensure the House is ready to take immediate action when those recommendations make their way to lawmakers. State prison data show more than 3,000 assaults between inmates occurred in state prisons between 2021 and last year, while 98 people living in state prisons were killed during that time.

Raphael Warnock

Raphael Warnock

Credit: (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

Story 3:

Orlando Montoya: Georgia U.S. senator, the Reverend Raphael Warnock, used his sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Sunday to warn of the dangers of kings. Following a US Supreme Court ruling in a historic ruling, the court determined last week that presidents have absolute immunity for their official acts but are not immune for unofficial acts. During his sermon, Warnock said the court is, quote, "mired in corruption" and encouraged his congregation to vote.

Rev. Raphael Warnock: If ever we needed to pray, we need to pray right now. If ever we needed to organize, we need to organize right now. If ever we need it to vote, we need to vote right now, with all of our might.

Orlando Montoya: Warnock also spoke against new changes to voting laws in Georgia.


Story 4:

Orlando Montoya: The Georgia Department of Agriculture is asking for the public's help to eradicate the yellow-legged hornet from Georgia's coast. The invasive species that preys on bees was first found near Savannah last August. Since then, 11 nests have been found and eliminated. The agency's director of plant protection, Mike Evans, says all of the hornets have been found in and around Savannah.

Mike Evans: We're still seeing it primarily in that same area that we were last year. Yeah, there's there's certainly optimism on my part, my folks' part. We talk, regularly with our USDA counterparts. And there's certainly, you know, positive views there. So yeah, we certainly think eradication is ... is possible with the information we have right now.

Orlando Montoya: He says, out of an abundance of caution, the agency has put up hornet traps as far south as Brunswick, but no hornets have been found there. He says they've also hired part-time workers to help with trapping, and they're also asking the public to report any sightings. The yellow-legged hornet can be identified by its black and yellow legs.


Story 5:

Orlando Montoya: Atlanta Public School board members voted unanimously this morning to make Bryan Johnson the district's next superintendent. Johnson, a former University of Tennessee administrator and a former school superintendent in Chattanooga, already has been meeting with school employees and the public in a series of town halls.


Story 6:

Orlando Montoya: Jill Biden plans to rally veterans and military families in Columbus tonight, as Joe Biden's campaign seeks to rebound after the president's poor debate performance against Donald Trump. It's one of three swing state appearances for the first lady today. Jill Biden is announcing the formation of Veterans and Military Families for Biden-Harris at stops in North Carolina, Florida and Columbus, Ga. She is expected to arrive at Columbus Metropolitan Airport around 5:30.



Story 7:

Orlando Montoya: Atlanta United has transferred midfielder Thiago Almada to Botafogo of Eagle Football Holdings for what the team says is an MLS-record transfer fee. The team didn't disclose the fee's amount. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the fee is $21 million and could reach $30 million if incentives are reached. That would pass the previous MLS record fee of $19 million received by Atlanta United for its transfer of forward Miguel Amarone to Newcastle before the 2019 season. The move opens a Designated Player spot on Atlanta United's 2024 roster, and continues a team reshuffling as it sits in ninth place in the MLS Eastern Conference.


Story 8:

Orlando Montoya: Three Atlanta Braves have made the Major League Baseball All-Star game. Pitcher Reynaldo Lopez, pitcher Chris Sale, and designated hitter Marcell Ozuna will represent the Braves in Arlington, Texas, next week. Atlanta manager Brian Snitker spoke about the selections yesterday.

Brian Snitker: So it's just a testament to the players and the organization. When you — when you have multiple All-Stars, you don't need one representative. You got a few guys that qualify and are very deserving.

Orlando Montoya: The Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6 to nothing at home yesterday, winning two out of three games over the holiday weekend.


Orlando Montoya: And that's it for today's edition of Georgia Today. If you'd like to learn more about these stories, visit Hit subscribe on this podcast to help you keep us current in your podcast feed. If you have feedback, we'd like to hear that as well. Email us at I'm Orlando Montoya. I'll talk to you again tomorrow.


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