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WUGA-MP3

Public radio for Athens and Northeast Georgia with NPR and local news
http://wuga.org
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  • Ex-Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores accuses NFL of racial discrimination in lawsuit

    wuga.org Wednesday, 2 February 2022 08:35:00

    Brian Flores, who was fired as head coach of the Miami Dolphins earlier this month, filed a class-action lawsuit Tuesday against the NFL and three of its teams for alleged racial discrimination. Flores, who has more than a decade of coaching experience in the NFL, was fired as the Dolphins' head coach after three years in early January, despite having signed a five-year contract with the team, according to the Pro Football Network . During Flores' tenure, the Dolphins went 5-11, 10-6 and 9-8. The team, however, failed to make the playoffs during those three years. Now, Flores is alleging that race was at the center of his removal from the position, a problem that he says is endemic in the NFL. The suit, filed on the first day of Black History Month, is intended to "shine a light on the racial injustices that take place inside the NFL," according to a brief statement released by Wigdor LLP, the law firm representing Flores. "We fully expect coaches and players of all races to support

  • Jury begins deliberations in Roy Moore defamation case

    wuga.org Wednesday, 2 February 2022 06:53:00

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Jurors began deliberating Tuesday on dueling defamation claims filed by former U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore and a woman who accused him of sexually molesting her decades ago when she was 14. An attorney for Leigh Corfman, whose account was first published by The Washington Post in 2017, told jurors in closing arguments that the case is ultimately about who they believe is telling the truth. "Who do you believe? Do you believe Leigh Corfman or do you believe Roy Moore?" attorney Jeff Doss asked. Corfman maintains that Moore sexually touched her in 1979 when she was a teen and he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. Corfman filed suit alleging Moore defamed her by branding her a liar when he denied the accusations. Moore countersued, claiming Corfman injured his reputation with false allegations meant to hurt him politically. Jurors will decide both claims at the trial. After meeting for about an hour, the jury asked to break for the day and view videos in

  • Former Clarke County School District Employee Announces Campaign for Mayor

    wuga.org Wednesday, 2 February 2022 06:40:28

    A former Clarke County School District employee has announced her campaign for mayor. Lifelong Athens resident and former Clarke County School District employee Pearl Hall announced her campaign for mayor last month. The Athens Banner-Herald reported that Hall retired in 2015 from the school district, where she worked as a secretary in the main office and as a coach for Athens Inc. at Clarke Central High School. She held a campaign kickoff event on Jan. 1 at Sheats Barber and Beauty Shop on West Hancock. Incumbent Mayor Kelly Girtz launched his re-election campaign last month. The election for mayor, odd-numbered district commissioners, and statewide primary races will take place on May 24.

  • A small island nation has cooked up not 1, not 2 but 5 COVID vaccines. It's Cuba!

    wuga.org Wednesday, 2 February 2022 06:22:00

    In the early days of the COVID pandemic, Cuba decided it was going to make its own vaccine – even though vaccine development historically takes years, even decades, to bear fruit. Why did the Communist island nation decide to go it alone? It didn't want to rely on the whims of foreign governments or international pharmaceutical companies to immunize its people. Cuba didn't even sign up for the COVAX program, backed by the World Health Organization, that was promising to purchase vaccines in bulk and distribute them equitably around the globe. Cuba was taking a gamble that it could develop a vaccine before the coronavirus swept across on the island. "I don't like the word 'gamble'," says Cuban virologist Amilcar Pérez Riverol about his nation's strategy. "I prefer the word 'risky'." Pérez Riverol left Cuba in 2013 and now works as researcher at the São Paulo Research Foundation at São Paulo State University in Brazil. But he writes regularly about the COVID situation in Cuba on his

  • Political Rewind: McMichael plea deal denied; Fulton DA seeks FBI help; HBCU bomb threats

    wuga.org Wednesday, 2 February 2022 05:09:00

    Caption Spelman College and two other Georgia-based HBCUs received bomb threats this week — among others across the nation. The Panel  Emma Hurt— Reporter, Axios Atlanta Steve Fennessy — Host, Georgia Today  podcast for Georgia Public Broadcasting Tamar Hallerman — Senior reporter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Tia Mitchell — Washington correspondent,  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution   The Breakdown  1.  Federal judge rejects plea agreement for man convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery In February 2020, three white men, Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor William "Rodie" Bryant, chased Ahmaud Arbery down, shot and killed him.  All three were  convicted  of Arbery's murder in a state court in November 2021. The McMichaels were sentenced to life in prison without parole.  The shooter, Travis McMichael, wanted to enter a plea deal on federal hate crime charges, in hopes of being transferred to federal prison.  Monday,  Judge Lisa Godbey Wood denied that plea, siding with Arbery

  • Feds' contract with Pfizer for Paxlovid has some surprises

    wuga.org Wednesday, 2 February 2022 04:22:00

    The United States is spending about $530 for each 5-day course of Pfizer's COVID-19 pill, Paxlovid. But the contract for the first 10 million doses would allow the government to get a lower price if one of a handful of other wealthy countries gets a better deal on the drug. It's part of a purchase agreement that seems to be more favorable to the federal government overall compared to the COVID-19 vaccine contracts, says Robin Feldman , a professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, who focuses on the pharmaceutical industry and drug policy. "I think this contract reflects a change in the national mood across time," she says. "So with vaccines and some treatments on the shelves, the nation is less panicked. U.S. government officials feel less backed into a corner, more able to negotiate. " The contract includes a buyback clause, meaning that in the event that Paxlovid's emergency use authorization needs to be withdrawn, Pfizer would buy back unexpired treatment

  • Native American tribes reach a tentative opioid settlement with J&J and distributors

    wuga.org Wednesday, 2 February 2022 04:15:00

  • Tom Brady has announced his retirement from the NFL after 22 seasons

    wuga.org Wednesday, 2 February 2022 04:13:00

    Tom Brady has announced his retirement from the National Football League after 22 seasons and seven Super Bowl titles.

  • Turkey and Armenia discuss opening borders to more trade and travel

    wuga.org Wednesday, 2 February 2022 04:13:00

    Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

  • Schools scramble to feed kids as supply chain issues persist

    wuga.org Wednesday, 2 February 2022 03:53:00

    Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

  • COVID vaccines for young children could be ready by this spring

    wuga.org Wednesday, 2 February 2022 03:53:00

    Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

  • Volunteer fire departments that the U.S. relies on are stretched dangerously thin

    wuga.org Wednesday, 2 February 2022 03:53:00

    Most of the U.S. is served by volunteer firefighters, but staffing and operating these departments has never been harder. Many are stretched increasingly thin, sometimes with near fatal consequences.

  • Clarke County School District gives update on Oglethorpe Ave Elementary Nazi slur

    wuga.org Wednesday, 2 February 2022 03:51:55

    The Clarke County School District is providing more information about an incident at Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School, in which a school administrator invoked Nazi symbolism in reference to a piece of student artwork depicting a rainbow and the words "Gay is okay." In a letter released to the public on Tuesday, Acting Superintendent Brannon Gaskins provided some additional background on the incident: A parent raised a concern regarding a student’s artwork displayed in a classroom. This concern was not based on a lack of support for the subject matter but rather on its potential to become a source of bullying of her child. [Emphasis in original] Recognizing the challenges of navigating age-appropriate conversations in an elementary classroom, district administrators advised the school to have the teacher relocate the artwork in the classroom. While discussing the situation with the teacher and explaining the rationale for moving the artwork, a school staff member made a reference to

  • First African American picked for key Southern Baptist Convention position

    wuga.org Wednesday, 2 February 2022 03:48:00

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee pastor Willie McLaurin has been named interim president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee, becoming the first African American to lead one of the denomination's ministry entities in its more than 175-year history. McLaurin's appointment as one of the top administrators for the largest Protestant church body in the United States was announced Tuesday in Baptist Press , an official SBC news outlet. He will lead the day-to-day business of the committee, which acts on behalf of the convention when it is not holding its annual two-day national gathering in June. "Our EC staff is committed to serving our Convention well. ... My prayer is that we will continue to put a laser-sharp focus on cooperation and collaboration," McLaurin told Baptist Press. McLaurin, 48, will temporarily fill the post vacated by Ronnie Floyd in October. Floyd resigned amid turmoil over the Executive Committee's handling of a third-party investigation into

  • 'Hadestown' creator Anaïs Mitchell's new solo album reaches forward in looking back

    wuga.org Wednesday, 2 February 2022 03:09:00

    Anaïs Mitchell spent more than a decade developing her hit musical Hadestown , a retelling of a Greek myth set in hell. Now, after eight Tony Awards and a Grammy, she has changed the scenery. "We left New York in a rush," Mitchell tells All Things Considered 's Ailsa Chang. "I was nine months pregnant when the pandemic really started to heat up ... and I just didn't want to give birth in the city. And so, we packed all of our things in a van and drove to Vermont and had the baby one week later." Mitchell says she grew up in and out of that house, which was her grandparents', and that her time there began to reveal her own history back to her. "I felt like I had access to that again." Mitchell began to spin those memories into songs, and now she's out with a new self-titled album, her first collection of solo music since 2012. She spoke to NPR from Vermont. Ailsa Chang, All Things Considered: Did writing this album in your grandparents' old house, in the place where you grew up, help

  • A celebrity groundhog dies shortly before his big day

    wuga.org Wednesday, 2 February 2022 02:51:00

    Milltown Mel, a groundhog who has for years offered his weather predictions on Groundhog Day, has died, his handlers say. They say Mel "recently crossed over the rainbow bridge" — and their scramble for a replacement rodent before Feb. 2 was fruitless. Mel rose to celebrity status in Milltown, N.J., giving residents of the Garden State an idea of when to plant their springtime seeds. But he died at "a tough time of year, when most of his fellow groundhogs are hibernating," according to his handlers , who are known as the Milltown Wranglers. "We will work hard on getting us a new weather prognosticator for next year," the Wranglers said, adding that New Jersey residents should "check out what all of Mel's cousins have to say" about the end of winter. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Milltown Mel 2.0 (@milltown_mel) If it seems like you're heard this story of a New Jersey groundhog dying before, that's not just a Groundhog Day effect: in 2016, Sussex County's prognosticator,

  • FBI advises athletes to leave their personal phones at home for the Beijing Olympics

    wuga.org Wednesday, 2 February 2022 02:21:00

    Athletes on their way to the 2022 Winter Olympics have a new item to add to their packing list: a burner phone. In a warning issued Monday, the FBI advised athletes traveling to Beijing this month, as well as those competing in the Paralympics in March, to bring a temporary cellphone with them in lieu of their regular device in preparation for the risk of cyberattacks. Such attacks could include ransomware and malware, data theft, and distributed denial of service attacks, among others, according to the bureau. The magnitude and popularity of the Olympic Games make the event an expected target for those with malicious intent. The 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games were the targets of more than 450 million cyberattacks that were ultimately unsuccessful, according to the FBI. However, the agency's missive was not precipitated by any specific threats. "The FBI to date is not aware of any specific cyber threat against the Olympics, but encourages partners to remain vigilant and

  • Transportation proposals are on the agenda for ACC Commissioners tonight

    wuga.org Wednesday, 2 February 2022 01:54:08

    Transportation measures are expected to take center stage at a busy meeting of the Athens-Clarke County Mayor and Commission tonight. Commissioners are expected to vote on a final list of projects for TSPLOST 2023 , which, if passed, will be in front of ACC voters in May. The TSPLOST proposal includes some $9.7 million to transition much of the county’s fleet of vehicles, including buses, to electric vehicles. Another proposed project would earmark $25 million to Athens Transit to maintain fare-free service. But, the $144.5 million TSPLOST package isn’t the only transportation item on the agenda. Commissioners will also get a chance to approve a repaving program , with about 192 miles of county roads up for resurfacing and a price tag of $8.8 million. The heavily-trafficked Prince Avenue corridor will also get some attention from Commissioners, with a list of priority improvements up for a vote. Funding for those improvements will come from TSPLOST 2018 funding. The list, which started

  • Two male penguins welcome hatchling as New York zoo's 1st same-sex foster parents

    wuga.org Wednesday, 2 February 2022 01:39:00

    The Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, N.Y., has at times used foster parents to incubate penguin eggs — but those couples have always been made up of one male and one female. Last year, after testing their fostering capabilities, zoo staff decided to entrust one of those eggs to two males: Elmer and Lima. The pair welcomed a healthy chick on Jan. 1, making them first-time dads and the zoo's first same-sex foster parents to successfully hatch an egg. "Elmer and Lima's success at fostering is one more story that our zoo can share to help people of all ages and backgrounds relate to animals," said zoo director Ted Fox. Elmer and Lima hatched at the zoo in 2016 and 2019, respectively, and formed a pair bond for the current breeding season, the zoo said in a release . They are both Humboldt penguins, which hail from South America and are classified as "vulnerable" because of climate change and habitat loss. As part of the Species Survival Plan for Humboldt penguins, the zoo has its own

  • 'Free Love' puts a '60s spin on a Jane Austen-style novel of manners

    wuga.org Wednesday, 2 February 2022 01:19:00

    You need only watch a YouTube clip of any Ed Sullivan show from the mid-1960s to see confirmation of Einstein's theory that past, present and future co-exist simultaneously. Take Ed's infamous "really big show" from September 1967, featuring comic Rodney Dangerfield , Great American Songbook singers Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé , and The Doors . That night, the so-called "Silent Era" of the 1950s shared the stage with the Psychedelic '60s. Tessa Hadley's sharp new novel, Free Love , is about just such a moment. When we first meet our main character, Phyllis Fischer, she's sitting at her dressing table, primping for a rather fussy dinner she's hosting that night for the son of some friends, who's recently arrived in London. It's a summer evening in 1967 and Phyllis, a pretty, upper-middle-class woman on the cusp of 40, is applying pale lipstick, backcombing her hair, and slipping on an empire-waisted mini-dress in keeping with the fashions of the day. But, otherwise, Phyllis is a

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