ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-night
50°
Sunny
H 64° L 39°
  • clear-night
    50°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 64° L 39°
  • clear-day
    64°
    Today
    Sunny. H 64° L 39°
  • clear-day
    68°
    Tomorrow
    Sunny. H 68° L 42°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Opinion
One Man’s Opinion: The REAL Deal Legacy
Close

One Man’s Opinion: The REAL Deal Legacy

One Man’s Opinion: The REAL Deal Legacy

One Man’s Opinion: The REAL Deal Legacy

“Georgia and our people have been very kind to Sandra and me. I'm glad that together we were able to accomplish some things that hopefully make life a bit better here for all Georgians," said Georgia's outgoing Governor Nathan Deal.

Close

One Man’s Opinion: The REAL Deal Legacy

Governor Nathan Deal modestly completes his second term with a high and enviable approval rating from voters in both political parties, with some even suggesting a re-visitation to the topic of term limits for Georgia’s chief executive in our state Constitution. I’m among those who’ve become an out-spoken fan of this quiet, servant leader who understands the importance of building consensus, listens well and often to inside and outside counsel, and who has led Georgia to many of our greatest and most lasting successes. 

But surveying and summarizing the Deal legacy is no easy task. Not since Governor Zell Miller has any Georgia governor, in either political party, left so many lasting marks and benefits to our state. Miller created the HOPE scholarship, and sold Georgia on the lottery to finance that as well as an ever expanding Pre-K early education program. Additionally helming the state through its Olympic years, and cap-stoning his public service with a term in the U.S. Senate, Miller set the gold standard for his successors in the Governor's Mansion. I’d say Deal has grabbed that brass ring. 

Deal’s economic development track record is unmatched. And thankfully this job growth was not only felt north of Macon and in metro Atlanta, but across the state. Strengthening an initiative started by his predecessor, Governor Sonny Perdue, Deal made Georgia not only the “Hollywood of the South,” but the most popular television and film production market on the planet, second only to the entire nation of Canada. 

Deal’s election brought an introduction during a deep recession to nearly empty fiscal cabinets (with less than two day’s state payroll on hand), and while assisted by a broad and strong recovery, Deal leaves office with more than $2.5 billion in reserves and Georgia with the highest possible bond ratings by all three major ratings agencies. 

And yet, it may be the education and criminal justice arenas where the Deal touch will leave the most lasting marks. 

Seeking to become Georgia’s ‘Education Governor,’ Deal added $167-million additional dollars during the most recent Fiscal Year budget for Georgia, fully funding the Quality Basic Education Act. Though his attempted amendment to the Georgia Constitution to create Opportunity School Districts did not pass, he has continued to make resources and state expertise available to challenged schools and school systems who are willing to accept the help, regardless of zip code, school demographics or local politics. Rapid expansion and creation of charter schools as well as a series of opportunities for vouchers into private education have also expanded options for students and parents across the state, especially intended to assist families with children in failing schools. 

Deal is the son of educators, as well as married to one. Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal has made literacy and visiting with and reading to elementary school children her passion. Despite facing down some not insignificant health challenges over the past few years, our First Lady made visits to 1000 schools across each Georgia county and all 181 public school systems. 

Though happy to see Georgia remain under GOP leadership and control, Deal is reluctant to offer much in the way of direct advice for his successor, Governor-elect Brian Kemp, other than to suggest we find more ways to embrace our commonalities and that his party focus a bit less on social issues or wedge concerns which may divide us. 

Deal began his public life as a prosecutor, and ends nearing four decades of public service more as a healer, delivering criminal justice reforms which also are resulting in the lowest incarceration rates in modern history for non-violent offenders, including a double-digit reduction in the incarceration rates of black men. Deal’s creation of Accountability, DUI and Drug Courts are also regularly producing amazing success stories of recovery and rehabilitation as well as returns to productive, working and tax-paying lives of citizenry, which on occasion move this Governor to near tears. This shared celebration and sense of accomplishment are also part of the Real Deal legacy. 

Nathan Deal is not a man of great stature, but these gains and his shadow are casting long marks for others to attempt to emulate and follow, and it may be decades before we see anything quite like him again here in the Peach State. God speed to you sir, as well as to Mrs. Deal. Mission accomplished, and well done.

Read More

News

  • A paraprofessional in a Texas school district was fired from a high school after she was accused of sending sexually explicit photos and videos of herself by Snapchat to a 15-year-old student, the Houston Chronicle reported. >> Read more trending news  According to court records, Kelsie Rochelle Koepke, 25, of Katy, allegedly sent nude photos of herself to the student at Paetow High School, where she worked, through the Snapchat application, the newspaper reported. Koepke was charged with improper relationship with a student, a second-degree felony, and solicitation of a minor, according to the Chronicle. She was released on a $15,000 bond, the newspaper reported. According to court documents, Koepke exchanged Snapchat information with the student around October 2017, and began a chat relationship with him, KTRK reported. Koepke used the nicknames 'kelsie_koepke' and 'Momma K,' the television station reported, citing court documents. The conversations allegedly turned sexual in nature, and “she instructed him not to save any of their chats,' according to court documents. Koepke then allegedly sent the first set of nude photos and videos of herself on homecoming night, KTRK reported. Koepke told investigators she thought she was sending the nude photos to someone else, the Chronicle reported. When she found out she was sending the photos to a student, she said she did not delete him from Snapchat because she wanted to “keep the peace,” the newspaper reported, citing court records. The student allegedly receiving the photos and videos reported what happened to school officials on Feb. 28, KTRK reported. Paetow High School Principal Mindy Dickerson sent a letter out to parents advising them of the situation, the Chronicle reported.
  • If you enjoy viral posts, a “Little Mermaid”-themed hairdo of a girl who attends a Houston preschool is part of your world.  >> Read more trending news  Atlantis Castillo sported braided hair to resemble the ponytail of Ariel, the main character in the Disney movie classic, “The Little Mermaid,” KTRK reported. It was part of a crazy hair day theme at Clear Lake United Methodist Church’s preschool, the television station reported. Ariel Romero posted photos of her younger sister’s hairstyle on Twitter, and they created a wave of positive reaction on social media. “My sister had crazy hair day at school today and my mom was not playing games and really wanted her to win,” Romero tweeted Tuesday. The hairstyle featured a bright green-colored braid that looked like a mermaid tail, topped by an Ariel doll on Atlantis’ head that resembled a hair pick. The hairstyle was created by Atlantis’ mother, KHOU reported. “My mom did the mermaid because my name is Ariel and my sister is Atlantis which is where Ariel lives under the sea,” Romero tweeted. “We’ve grown up loving mermaids thanks to my parents.” 
  • City Council members in San Antonio approved a concession agreement at the city’s airport that will exclude Chick-fil-A, KSAT reported. >> Read more trending news  By a 6-4 vote, the council approved the Food, Beverage and Retail Prime Concession Agreement with Paradies Lagardère at the San Antonio International Airport. The motion to exclude the Atlanta-based chicken chain from the airport was brought to the floor by council member Roberto Treviño, WOAI reported. Chick-fil-A has a history of donating to anti-LGBTQ organizations, and the city’s vote was applauded by the Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio, a local LGBTQ political action committee, KSAT reported. “The LGBTQ community is excited that the City Council has decided to look for restaurants that support all Americans in our airport,” Chris Forbrich, a co-chairman of the organization, told the television station. Treviño released a statement Friday, saying the decision “reaffirmed the work our city has done to become a champion of equality and inclusion.” “San Antonio is a city full of compassion, and we do not have room in our public facilities for a business with a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior,” Treviño said. 'Everyone has a place here, and everyone should feel welcome when they walk through our airport. I look forward to the announcement of a suitable replacement by Paradies.” Chick-fil-A released a statement, calling the action “disappointing.” “This is the first we’ve heard of this. It’s disappointing. We would have liked to have had a dialogue with the city council before this decision was made,” the company said in its statement. “We agree with Council member Treviño that everyone is and should feel welcome at Chick-fil-A. We plan to reach out to the city council to gain a better understanding of this decision.”
  • The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded more than 27,000 pounds of cocaine in Miami Beach that was seized in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. >> Read more trending news  'It will all be offloaded by the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa today in Miami Beach Florida and sent for destruction,' the Coast Guard said in a Facebook post.  The Coast Guard said in a news release that the drugs are worth an estimated $360 million. The cocaine was seized in 12 separate operations off the coasts of Mexico, Central America and South America during a three-month period.  Using #notonourstreets, the Coast Guard posted video on Facebook of the seizure, saying, “Here’s what 27,000 lbs. of cocaine looks like.”  'It takes a collaborative and sophisticated network to defeat a criminal network,' Deputy Commandant for Operations VADM Daniel Abel said in a news conference. The news release also stated: 'The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement along with allied and international partner agencies play a role in counter-drug operations.  The cutter Tampa even participated in the first joint boarding in recent memory between the United States and Ecuador. The fight against transnational organized crime networks in the Eastern Pacific and the Caribbean Basin requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring, and interdictions, to prosecutions by U.S. Attorneys in Florida, California, New York, the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere.
  • The Georgia mother of a teen who recently overdosed after vaping THC wax is speaking out, hoping other kids and parents become aware of the danger. THC is the active ingredient in cannabis. >> Read more trending news Lacey Turner, of Butts County, wants to spare other parents the anguish that she and her son Bailey went through. Turner told WSB-TV her son could barely keep his eyes open and his blood pressure was dangerously low at the time of the incident. “When I pulled up to the school, they were loading Bailey on the ambulance,' Turner said. Turner described the harrowing day in January when paramedics rushed her 16-year-old son to the hospital. She said he collapsed after taking a single hit of THC vaping wax, provided by a friend, in the high school cafeteria. 'He continued to vomit in the bathroom and passed out until someone came in and found him,” Turner said. After arriving at the hospital emergency room, the teen was still unconscious and had an extremely fast heartbeat and low blood pressure. 'Cognitively, he was completely disassociated. You pretty much had to slap him and get him to open his eyes,' Turner said. Turner, a nurse, first thought her son had overdosed on opioids, and so did the emergency room doctors. They administered an overdose reversing drug. “They gave him a shot of Narcan -- absolutely no change,' Turner said. Urine and blood tests told another story. “He was negative for anything in his system, except THC,' Turner said. Schools in metro Atlanta have reported students falling ill after vaping THC or synthetic THC. Turner believes the high potency is the problem. “This form of marijuana can be 85 to 90 percent concentrated with THC,” Turner said. The mother is thankful her son has fully recovered, but thoughts of what could have happened still haunt her. “My son could have passed out there in the bathroom, hit his head on the toilet on the way down and died of blunt force trauma,” Turner said. Turner said that when she posted her son's story on Facebook, she got responses from kids and parents across the country who had had the same experience.
  • A Florida man is facing child sex abuse charges after officials said he paid over $800 on an Uber to bring a teenage girl to Apopka. >> Read more trending news Police said 25-year-old Richard Brown raped the 17-year-old girl in his parents' home over the course of several days. The two met over Instagram after he told the victim that he was a 19-year-old Instagram celebrity and that he would 'take care of her.' The victim told Apopka police that Brown paid for an Uber to drive her from San Antonio, Texas, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In Louisiana, she got into another Uber that dropped her off in Apopka on Sunday. Brown would later show police receipts showing the second part of the trip that amounted to over $800. According to arrest documents, Brown told police he was 'only friends' with the victim and thought that she was of age and 'in need of a place to stay.' One neighbor couldn't believe the accusations. 'You might never know about it and now the cops are here,' said Amanda Trail. 'That's crazy for the parents.' The victim said once she realized Brown wasn't 19 or 'Instagram famous' that she wanted to go home. Brown then allegedly told her, 'no you owe me now for bringing you all the way here.' She later told officials that she escaped on Wednesday when Brown fell asleep and while she was on Snapchat with her mother. Police would locate her near Ustler and Wekiwa Preserve Drive, but said she wasn't able to point out which home belonged to the victim or what his name was on social media.  Brown's attorney took issue with the story, citing 'several inconsistencies.' Brown faces six felony counts of child sex abuse.