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Athens News Matters: 10/02/2020

This week on Athens News Matters:


  • Dr. Grace Bagwell Adams (Associate Professor in the UGA College of Public Health) gives insight into how the pandemic has been developing in Athens.
  • Researcher Dr. Erin Lipp (Professor in the UGA College of Public Health) explains how waste water can be used to test for the Coronavirus.
  • Our panel discusses this week in news and politics including mail-in voting and the possible return to in-person learning.
  • Blake Herring (Epidemiologist and Contact Tracer Supervisor) joins us to talk about his experience as a contact tracer and the process behind it. 
  • We hear about the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission’s public art recommendations presented to UGA’s Presidential Task Force on Race, Ethnicity, and Community.
  • The Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection celebrates 25 years with a virtual Home Move Day.
  • Local music venue owners join us and explain how the pandemic has impacted their businesses and the Athens music scene.
  • Over the next two weeks, Athens News Matters will host candidates for state house, district attorney, and sheriff – and we remind you to submit your questions for the candidates.


Chris Shupe began work at WUGA as a part time weekend announcer in 2010. At the time Shupe was focused on maintaining a thriving career in Real Estate, as well as balancing his time as a local entertainer. Shupe may be best known as The Athens King, a tribute to Elvis Presley, which often included an 8 piece show band! In 2012, Shupe joined WUGA full time as the station’s Morning Edition Host and Assistant Operations Director, and after 2 years of serving in that role Shupe was hired as Program Director for the station. As PD, Shupe spearheaded a return to more involvement in national conferences and continuing education opportunities through industry professional organizations like the Public Radio Program Director's Association, Public Media Development and Marketing Association, Morning Edition Grad School, the NAB, and the Public Media Journalists Association. This involvement led Shupe to undertake a comprehensive market study in 2015, the first such examination of local audience trends in more than 15 years.
Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!
Martin Matheny is WUGA's Program Director and a host and producer of our local news program 'Athens News Matters.' He started at WUGA in 2012 as a part-time classical music host and still hosts WUGA's longest-running local program 'Night Music' which is heard on WUGA and GPB Classical. He lives in Normaltown with his wife, Shaye and dog, Murphy.
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