myAJC Voices


No. 3 takes checkered flag at Daytona 500 once more

What if they held a race and the car was the star? It’s just inanimate sheet metal and unholy power, after all. But slap the right number on it, place it in the perfect context of place and time, humanize it just short of making it talk, and you have a different kind of headliner for Sunday’s big car fight. Spell it out in big type:  “No. 3 Wins Daytona 500. Again.” It...


Cartersville driver, 66, throws off the curve at Daytona 500

Cartersville driver, 66, throws off the curve at Daytona 500

The theme for Sunday’s Daytona 500, clearly, is how NASCAR pushed its desperate search for the next new star to the front of the Great American Race. Five of the eight drivers starting in the first four rows are 24 or younger. What is this, a stock-car race or a homecoming parade? Then there’s the fellow starting 40th in the 40-car field, Mark Thompson. As well as being from Cartersville...
March Sadness? The reckoning for college hoops draws nearer

March Sadness? The reckoning for college hoops draws nearer

On Sunday, the NCAA tournament committee revealed its top 16 seeds. These were merely to stir conversation. Selection Sunday isn’t until March 11, and much will change over the next month. Here, in descending order, were the February Sweet 16: Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, Purdue, Auburn, Kansas, Duke, Cincinnati, Clemson, Texas Tech, Michigan State, North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio State...
Mo’Nique now owes the U.S. government $560K in unpaid taxes

Mo’Nique now owes the U.S. government $560K in unpaid taxes

Mo’Nique is having issues with federal taxes. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) Posted Friday, February 16, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog Since I was checking on Keshia Knight Pulliam’s tax issues earlier this week, I decided to get an update on Mo’Nique’s situation for the first...
Atlanta Concert Tickets on sale this week: Steve Miller Band with Peter Frampton, Brian McKnight

Atlanta Concert Tickets on sale this week: Steve Miller Band with Peter Frampton, Brian McKnight

The Steve Miller Band, (left to right) Kenny Lee Lewis, Gordy Knudtson, Steve Miller, Joseph Wooten and Jacob Petersen, performs at Verizon Amphitheatre in July. BY LEA HOLLAND/AJC Features Editorial Assistant  If you find a mistake in Hot Tickets, please let us know. Contact Lea Holland at lea.holland@ajc.com. Events are subject to change, so it’s a good idea...
Atlanta Concerts this week: St. Vincent, Howard Jones

Atlanta Concerts this week: St. Vincent, Howard Jones

St. Vincent shown performing Jan. 23, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images ) FRIDAY Tommy Emmanuel On his latest release, the esteemed guitarist went collaborative. “Accomplice One” features guest appearances from, among others, Mark Knopfler, Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas, Amanda Shires, Jason Isbell and tour mate Rodney Crowell. The songs they ...
Torpy at Large: Propping up the boonies, Atlanta’s thankless burden

Torpy at Large: Propping up the boonies, Atlanta’s thankless burden

A bill proposed in the state House would require city dwellers like myself to pony up extra when watching movies on Netflix so they can run high-speed internet out to the boonies. It turns out that it’s not worth it for companies to deliver broadband out to these far-flung localities. The free market system, the cornerstone of conservative thought on business, is working against them. You...
‘American Idol’ notes: David Cook, Danny Gokey, Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard

‘American Idol’ notes: David Cook, Danny Gokey, Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 07: Recording artist David Cook performs onstage during FOX’s “American Idol” Finale For The Farewell Season at Dolby Theatre on April 7, 2016 in Hollywood, California. at Dolby Theatre on April 7, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) Posted Friday, February 16, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc...
Mini Bert Show reunion on Star 94.1: Melissa Carter visits Jeff Dauler, Jenn Hobby

Mini Bert Show reunion on Star 94.1: Melissa Carter visits Jeff Dauler, Jenn Hobby

Posted Friday, February 16, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog For nearly a decade, core members of Q100’s Bert Show featured Jenn Hobby, Jeff Dauler and Melissa Carter. For the first time since 2011, the trio were together on air this morning on Star 94.1, where Dauler and Hobby have had a morning show for...

Marvel’s “Black Panther,” filmed in Atlanta, opens today

Welcome to Wakanda. After generating enormous buzz, celebrity-packed early screenings and universal early praise, the Atlanta-filmed Marvel blockbuster “Black Panther” is in theaters everywhere today. FULL COVERAGE: myAJC: “ “Black Panther” brings unexpected boost to makers of African inspired clothing “Black Panther&rdquo...
Acuna’s hopeful message to Braves: The future is now

Acuna’s hopeful message to Braves: The future is now

The Future got a locker all to himself in the Braves’ major league spring clubhouse (there are prospects older than he who are doubling up). After all, isn’t that what this spring training is all about, making room for The Future?  It is a prime spot that Ronald Acuna occupies, directly next to the doorway that leads from the clubhouse to the coaches’ offices – his bosses...
Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth celebrates 15th anniversary

Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth celebrates 15th anniversary

Infinite Energy Arena celebrates 15 years in Duluth. BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene It’s been 15 years since Infinite Energy Arena opened its doors with an arena football game showcasing the Georgia Force. The 13,000-capacity venue in Duluth, which was known as The Arena at Gwinnett Center until the Infinite Energy naming rights agreement in 2015, celebrates that anniversary...
Run the Jewels tapped as ambassadors of Record Store Day 2018

Run the Jewels tapped as ambassadors of Record Store Day 2018

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene This year’s Record Store Day will have a hometown ambassador: Run the Jewels. The rap duo of Atlanta’s Killer Mike and Brooklyn’s El-P have been chosen to promote the April 21 music holiday dedicated to celebrating independent record stores. During the past decade, Record Store Day ambassadors have included Metallica, Dave Grohl, Iggy...
How they really stand, from Georgia to Falcons to Braves to ... ugh

How they really stand, from Georgia to Falcons to Braves to ... ugh

Several years ago, I created a new set of rankings called, “How They Really Stand,” an arbitrary -- but, obviously, incredibly accurate -- ranking of metro Atlanta (and Athens) major pro and college sports teams. This list isn’t just about won-loss records, but also stability, direction, player development, fan appeal and, in case of a tiebreaker, quality of media meal. I figured...

Marvel director owns and shoots guns, calls for reform

Director James Gunn owns guns for safety and sporting purposes, but is among the many prominent voices demanding reform following Wednesday’s mass shooting at a Florida high school. “I, like many Americans, enjoy guns for sporting purposes and feel safer having one in my home to protect myself and my family,” Gunn said in a Twitter thread....
Brian Moote joins Edgar, Chelsea in LA on ‘New Guys’ morning show on AMP 97.1

Brian Moote joins Edgar, Chelsea in LA on ‘New Guys’ morning show on AMP 97.1

Brian Moote is using this shot on the new AMP 97.1 “New Guys” morning show. CREDIT: Twitter Posted Thursday, February 15, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog Brian Moote, who left Q100’s Bert Show last month after two years, debuted today on a new Los Angeles morning show The New Guys. ( You can hear it on the Radio app.)...
Smashing Pumpkins reunite for tour coming to Infinite Energy Arena this summer

Smashing Pumpkins reunite for tour coming to Infinite Energy Arena this summer

The Smashing Pumpkins return! Photo: Olivia Bee BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene The Smashing Pumpkins will return to the stage this summer with their first tour in nearly 20 years to feature founding members Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin and James Iha. The “Shiny and Oh So Bright” tour will visit Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth on July 22. Tickets...
Broadway in Atlanta 2018-19 season lineup dazzles with ‘Dear Evan Hansen,’ ‘Aladdin,’ ‘Come From Away’ and more

Broadway in Atlanta 2018-19 season lineup dazzles with ‘Dear Evan Hansen,’ ‘Aladdin,’ ‘Come From Away’ and more

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene As Evan Hansen might say, words fail to describe the impressive lineup set for the 2018-19 Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Atlanta season. Topped by last year’s best musical Tony winner, the sensitive “Dear Evan Hansen,” the rundown also features Disney’s “Aladdin,” “Come From Away,” “Waitress...

A Florida shooting victim has Marietta ties

One of the victims of the Wednesday shooting spree at a Florida high school has Marietta ties, and the community is rallying to her aid. An online fundraiser has netted nearly $5,000 for Maddy Wilford. THE LATEST: At least 17 were killed when a lone gunman opened fire What we know about suspect Nikolas de Jesus Cruz “I have to...
This Life: Counselor’s compassion to family helps anchor student’s future

This Life: Counselor’s compassion to family helps anchor student’s future

So often we get so caught up in our differences that we forget, whether we admit it or not, that at our core we’re all the same. We all bleed red. We all want to be loved and accepted. We’re all human. Keep that in mind as you read the story of 15-year-old Jemariya Patterson and her mom La Toya, who at just 34 years of age has been battling heart disease now for nearly a decade. Keep in...
Young Braves might want to work on their history this spring, too

Young Braves might want to work on their history this spring, too

On Tuesday night, the MLB Network televised the debut of its documentary: “Atlanta Rules, The Story of the ’90s Braves.” A fine stroll through good times and glory, from two stadiums ago.   Wednesday morning, on the Disney network of green fields, where all who enter pass beneath an arch that reads, “Where Dreams Come True,” was the debut of the 2018 Braves...
The savviest local team? Atlanta United, and it’s not even close

The savviest local team? Atlanta United, and it’s not even close

The nice thing about being asked to participate in MLB Network’s “Atlanta Rules” – the documentary premiered Tuesday night – was that, for once, this correspondent wasn’t being asked about Atlanta Flops. (Although it’s true that those regal Braves of the ’90s won only one World Series. Maybe you’ve heard.) Much of this job, sad to say, has become...
Keshia Knight Pulliam owes $102K in state taxes

Keshia Knight Pulliam owes $102K in state taxes

Keshia Knight Pulliam, Houseguest on the CBS series BIG BROTHER: CELEBRITY EDITION, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved Posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog Keshia Knight Pulliam, the local actress...
Kempner: What if ‘the-customer-is-always-right’ is wrong?

Kempner: What if ‘the-customer-is-always-right’ is wrong?

Just how much abuse do employers expect their workers to take from customers? I’ve seen recent accounts of people supposedly being pretty awful to fellow humans on the job. Like the male business customer who allegedly went on a racist rant against a female employee at an AutoZone store in South Georgia. Supposedly a manager later told the employee to suck it up, then put her out of...
Martin Lawrence headlines Philips Arena April 13

Martin Lawrence headlines Philips Arena April 13

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – JULY 20: Actor Martin Lawrence attends the Fox Summer TCA All-Star party held at the SOHO house on July 20, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images) Posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog A massive comedy package tour is coming to Philips Arena led by legendary...
‘Black Panther’ screening draws Nick Chubb & (accidentally) T.I.

‘Black Panther’ screening draws Nick Chubb & (accidentally) T.I.

Posted Tuesday, February 13, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog “Black Panther,” partially shot in Atlanta, is hardly a film that even needs screenings. Advance buzz and demand is already at a boiling point. But more than 150 folks were lucky enough to see a 3D screening tonight at Regal Atlantic Station three days before its official...
Know how Matt Kemp seemed to expand as a Brave? Turns out he did

Know how Matt Kemp seemed to expand as a Brave? Turns out he did

It was Sept. 6, a lightly attended afternoon makeup game from the previous night’s rainout. It was Luiz Gohara’s big-league debut. It also was the day that the Texas Rangers kept hitting the ball to left field and running long distances. There were moments when I wondered if Matt Kemp would collapse from exertion. The Rangers hit four doubles and a triple Kemp’s way. Twice they...
Anita Baker announces Mother’s Day weekend concerts at Fox Theatre

Anita Baker announces Mother’s Day weekend concerts at Fox Theatre

BY SHEILA POOLE/AJC Features Reporter Your search may be over for the perfect Mother’s Day gift. Tickets to Anita Baker. The Grammy-winning “Sweet Love” songstress will bring her tour to Atlanta’s Fox Theatre  – as part of her series of “farewell concerts” – for two shows over Mother&rsquo...
The FX ‘Atlanta Robbin’ Season’ trailer is here

The FX ‘Atlanta Robbin’ Season’ trailer is here

ATLANTA — “Sportin’ Waves” — Season Two, Episode 2 (Airs Wednesday, March 8, 10:00 p.m. e/p) Pictured: Donald Glover as Earnest Marks. CR: Guy D’Alema/FX Posted Tuesday, February 13, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog With just two weeks until the second season of FX’s “Atlanta” &ndash...

Apply now to volunteer at next year’s Super Bowl in Atlanta

The Super Bowl comes back to Atlanta next year and organizers will needs lots of hands on deck. Civic-minded sports fans can apply now to secure a volunteer spot. Note: this does not in any way guarantee you’ll be watching the game or taking selfies with whoever the halftime show headliner is. MORE: Justin Timberlake surprises Super Bowl “selfie...
New Tug and Hutson Mason show on 1230/106.3 Sports X starting in March

New Tug and Hutson Mason show on 1230/106.3 Sports X starting in March

Hutson Mason and Tug Cowart team up for a new talk show from noon to 3 p.m. on The Sports X 1230/106.3 CREDIT: (left) AJC (right) Twitter profile photo Posted Tuesday, February 13, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog The spruced up, hipper version of what used to be The Fan 2, now called The Sports X, will launch a new talk show  featuring...

Jennifer Garner turns heads while selling Girl Scout cookies

Jennifer Garner, who appears in the upcoming Atlanta-filmed “Love, Simon,” posted a cute photo of a guy who took notice of her Girl Scout cookie enterprise outside a grocery store. Clearly, he was agape at the prospect of a Thin Mint. MORE: Jennifer Garner, Queen Latifah film in downtown Atlanta When Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck were both in...
This Life: What hurting teens in school may need most: A listener who cares

This Life: What hurting teens in school may need most: A listener who cares

In any given school week, Kara Thompson sees as many as 38 students who need her help. Sometimes the need is as simple as a word of encouragement and other times as complicated as finding them a place to stay. As often as she can, she does whatever it takes to fulfill those needs. However and whenever she can. At just 29, Thompson, a site coordinator for Communities In Schools, is little more than...
Did Keshia Knight Pulliam get booted from ‘Celebrity Big Brother’?

Did Keshia Knight Pulliam get booted from ‘Celebrity Big Brother’?

Keshia pleads to go home. Posted Monday, February 12, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog Well, that came out of nowhere! Saving Omarosa from probably eviction, Atlanta actress  Keshia Knight Pulliam asked her castmates to vote her out because she was having trouble creating enough breast milk for her year-old daughter Grace...
Why did it go wrong for Mark Fox? Where might UGA turn next?

Why did it go wrong for Mark Fox? Where might UGA turn next?

For the record, Mark Fox is still Georgia’s coach. He might indeed be Georgia’s coach for the next decade, though it would be a major surprise if he makes it to the Ides of March. (His Bulldogs have lost their past three games by 15, 15 and 17 points. They haven’t led in February.) That in mind, we ask: What went wrong? And, as the obvious follow-up, what could the Bulldogs do to...
A Winter Olympics guide for the indifferent

A Winter Olympics guide for the indifferent

  As citizens of an Olympic City – it was 1996, have your parents tell you about it – we also are citizens of the Olympic movement. And it is the duty of all such good citizens to watch at least three minutes’ worth of pairs figure skating from PyeongChang. It’s just something you should do, like eating kale. Admittedly, the Winter Games don’t resonate around Atlanta...
The year that transit became a potent election-year issue in metro Atlanta

The year that transit became a potent election-year issue in metro Atlanta

There are times when it’s right and proper to stop, look back at where we’ve been, and acknowledge the new territory before us. This is one of them. For the first time, in the spring, summer and fall of 2018, commuter rail will be a legitimate campaign and policy issue in suburban Atlanta — not just the racial wedge it has been for the last half-century. Yes, some Republicans are...
PolitiFact roundup

PolitiFact roundup

PolitiFact recently checked a Georgia gubernatorial candidate’s claim about high-speed availability for rural residents; a TV commentator’s statement on the number of immigrants in the country; and a senator’s comment about the nation’s rising national debt. Here are summaries of our findings. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. In Georgia, “25 percent of...
Georgia school legislation could cost millions

Georgia school legislation could cost millions

Two school bills that could channel more than $30 million in state tax dollars to private schools and charter schools next year are moving through the Georgia House of Representatives. House Bill 482 allows parents to opt their children out of public schools and take state money with them. The state funding, typically half the amount it costs to educate a student, could be used instead to offset private...
Bill blocks Georgia cities from outlawing puppy sales at stores

Bill blocks Georgia cities from outlawing puppy sales at stores

The Georgia Senate is considering legislation that would prohibit local governments from regulating the sale of pets. Animal-rights lobbyists say the measure would strip local control from cities that want to crack down on pet sales and encourage adoption instead. Canton became the first city to enact a local ban last year shortly after a puppy mill was discovered in Cherokee County. Senate Agriculture...
Sheriff behind ‘Lucifer’ comment looks to heat up Georgia statehouse

Sheriff behind ‘Lucifer’ comment looks to heat up Georgia statehouse

Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills, who compared Gov. Nathan Deal to Lucifer earlier this week, is now marveling at the state Capitol stir he’s caused. On Thursday, Sills said the volatile reaction he’s received for criticizing the governor’s new bid to reform the use of cash bail requirements for minor crimes was a sign that other law enforcement officers should &ldquo...
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