Molly Samuel | WABE 90.1 FM

Molly Samuel


Molly Samuel joined WABE as a reporter in November 2014. Before coming on board, she was a science producer and reporter at KQED in San Francisco, where she won awards for her reporting on hydropower and on crude oil.

Molly was a fellow with the Middlebury Fellowships in Environmental Journalism and a journalist-in-residence at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center.

She’s from Atlanta, has a degree in Ancient Greek from Oberlin College and is a co-founder of the record label True Panther Sounds.

Cedar waxwings like this one flock to Georgia in the winter.
Linda Tanner/Flickr

On a gray, early morning in Roswell, Nikki Belmonte and two other birders are piling into her car to go count all the birds they can find in a single day, as part of the 115th annual Christmas Bird Count.

Thousands of birders around the country participate in the Christmas Bird Count. Each team gets a fifteen-mile circle, and tallies every bird in it.

Jason Ward took the day off work to be here. He said he was originally infatuated with dinosaurs, which evolved into an interest in birds.

“I’ve been birding for about a year and a half now,” he said.

Kaena Appling is volunteering at Hosea Feed the Hungry for the first time this year.
Molly Samuel/WABE

It’s an Atlanta tradition: Hosea Feed the Hungry’s Christmas dinner for thousands of hungry and homeless people. But donations came up short this year.

During the economic downturn, donations started to go down, too, said Awodele Omilami, the director of logistics for Hosea. Not enough food was donated this year, which meant the organization had to spend more money.

The Ebola virus, captured by an electron microscope.

A CDC technician may have been exposed to the Ebola virus in a lab earlier this week. The possible exposure happened on Monday, when a sample of the virus may have been mislabeled.

Vials are color-coded, to tell technicians what they’re working with, CDC spokesman Tom Skinner explained. In this case, live samples of the virus, rather than inactive samples.

“The vials that were used in these experiments were wrongly color-coded, which resulted in the technician thinking they were working on one thing, when they were actually working on another,” Skinner said.

'The Interview's' stars James Franco and Seth Rogen pose for pictures at the movie's premiere.
Eric Charbonneau / Invision/AP

The Plaza Theater in Atlanta says it will be screening The Interview on Christmas. That's the movie that Sony Pictures pulled after threats of terrorism. The theater, located in Poncey-Highland, announced on Twitter that it will show the movie on two screens Christmas Day, and will continue playing it through the New Year.

“We have never given up on releasing The Interview and we’re excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day,” Sony CEO Michael Lynton said in a statement.

Bellwood Quarry sits west of Midtown Atlanta.
City of Atlanta

Eventually Bellwood Quarry will be big. Right now, it’s 300 acres of woods and trash, plus the quarry itself. But the plan is for it to be a huge new park on Atlanta’s Westside, and the committee dedicated to redeveloping the site will start meeting next year.

City councilman Michael Julian Bond formed the committee. He said the park will be a place to hold big concerts and festivals. There’s a creek running through it, forests and great views.

“I run into people every day that ask me what’s going on at that site,” Bond said. “They’re ready for a new park.”