Sarah Rose

Sarah Rose is a reporter for GPB News. They previously worked for several national nonprofits and as a legislative assistant for U.S. Congress. They have also written guest editorials for The Advocate and Virgin. They are a 2012 graduate of Kennesaw State University. 

As Georgia and the nation mourn the death of baseball legend Hank Aaron, presidents, community leaders, and those benefiting from his philanthropy honored his memory at a funeral service Wednesday at Friendship Baptist Church in downtown Atlanta.

Dr. Richard W. Wills Sr., the pastor of Friendship Baptist, said Aaron's absence was immediately felt.

"In the passion of Harry Louis Aaron, something vast and noble has passed from among us," he said. "It’s as if a mighty oak has fallen, leaving a gaping hole on the horizon where its gallant place once stood."

The Washington Redskins on Monday announced the NFL franchise was retiring the team's controversial nickname following a review process that started several weeks ago.

"As part of this process, we want to keep our sponsors, fans and community apprised of our thinking as we go forward," the football team said in a statement. "Today, we are announcing we will be retiring the Redskins name and logo upon completion of this review."

At least 11 Georgia Tech students living in Greek life housing near campus have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks, the university told GPB News Thursday.

The University of Georgia said Tuesday 154 people on campus, comprised of students and faculty, have tested positive for COVID-19. The news comes as both the state of Georgia and the U.S. have experienced a spike in confirmed cases.

Shannon Stevens, an Entertainment and Media Studies senior, found the news frightening, but not surprising.

"I would see frat house lawns filled with people — none wearing masks or social distancing," she said. "I also drove through downtown and saw the same thing."

When GPB talked to Marietta theater owner Carolyn Choe at the onset of the pandemic, she spoke of the uncertainties ahead. Now months later, there are still far more questions than answers.

Two tech giants are hoping the phone in your pocket may be the key to fighting back against COVID-19. However, some argue it raises new questions about privacy and data. 

Several weeks ago, Apple and Google announced they were partnering to develop a contact tracing platform. In theory, this development would allow public health officials, and potentially governments, to track the spread of COVID-19 through phone data.

Local restaurants and bowling alleys in Georgia are either celebrating a reopening Monday or letting customers know why they've chosen to stay temporarily closed now that Gov. Brian Kemp has allowed these businesses to move forward.

Before Monday, customers could support local food establishments via take-out only. That scared people like Ashley Mackay, a longtime bartender at Guston's Bar and Grille in Woodstock. At 3 p.m., she and fellow staff members propped open the front doors and welcomed regulars back to the bar.

Although the Georgia Aquarium may be closed to visitors during the coronavirus outbreak, its fish and wildlife can still be observed online.

The world's largest aquarium, based in Atlanta, closed last Saturday to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but people may stream live webcams of their exhibits, including their piranhas, sea lions, beluga whales, penguins, and jellyfish.

Online visitors suffering from social distancing claustrophobia can tune into the fish feeds around the clock.

The "Student Athlete Protection Act" was recently filed in the Georgia legislature by state Rep. Philip Singleton (R-Sharpsburg). His first filed bill, HR 747, would among other things give athletic organizations the authority to prevent transgender athletes from competing in sporting events that don't match the gender assigned at birth.