Molly Samuel | WABE 90.1 FM

Molly Samuel

Reporter

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.

Plant Scherer in operation at Juliette, Ga.
Gene Blythe / Associated Press

The Environmental Protection Agency has released its first-ever regulations on coal ash, a byproduct from burning coal that can contain arsenic, lead, mercury and cadmium.

“This is a huge step forward,” said EPA administrator Gina McCarthy. “For the first time in our history we have clear, concise standards for these facilities moving forward.”

FedEx truck wreck spills packages on I-75 in Monroe County, courtesy Laura Corley, Macon Telegraph
Laura Corley, reporter for The Telegraph / macon.com

When a FedEx truck wrecked south of Atlanta yesterday, two tractor trailers split open. The crash flung packages all over I-75.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s office responded to the accident. Lieutenant Brad Freeman says there were packages everywhere.

“I saw a few that said, you know ‘To Mom, To Dad, open ASAP,’” he said. “And you kind of wonder what’s in the Christmas package, and it’s kind of sad to see it just laying there on the side of the interstate.”

He says most of the boxes looked damaged, and crews used a Bobcat to push them into a pile.

MARTA North Avenue station in Atlanta
Scott Ehardt / Wikipedia

MARTA officials are trying to court what they call “choice” riders: People who could choose to ride MARTA, but don’t.

One plan is to bring in concessions.

“They have stores in Union Station,” said MARTA spokeswoman Rhonda Briggins Ridley. Union Station in Washington D.C. is like a half-train station, half-mall. You can buy clothes and cosmetics there. You can get a burger or a bagel or a burrito.

The only thing to do at a MARTA station is get on a train.

Grady Hospital stopped accepting Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance more than two weeks ago. The hospital says the insurance company doesn’t pay enough. Blue Cross Blue Shield disagrees. Now Grady has released numbers it says back up its claims.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia pays Grady a quarter of what it pays other hospitals for outpatient surgery. That’s according to numbers released by Grady. For emergencies, Grady says, it gets just over $800, while other hospitals, on average, get a little over $1000.  

Song birds' brains can give insight into human's brains, too.
Tim Ellis / flickr.com/tim_ellis

To learn about human speech, scientists often turn to song birds’ brains. A group of researchers at Emory University just published a paper that gives insights into how birds sing, and that may lead to a better understanding of how humans move.

“The question that we were pursuing here was, how exactly do single brain cells control behavior?” said Sam Sober, an assistant biology professor at Emory.  

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