Atlanta-based journalist

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Writing

 

More than 40 different national, regional, and local publications have published my stories during my career as a journalist. I'm most proud of the ones below.

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The Fire and Everything After

The I-85 fire could have destroyed Basil Eleby’s life. Instead, it may have saved it.

Read the full story at Atlanta Magazine.

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The Redemptive Love of Chiliquila Ogletree 

At the top of Atlanta’s Sunset Avenue, the street once home to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., you’ll find the home of U.S. Army veteran Chiliquila Ogletree. English Avenue, her neighborhood as a child, seemed full of unprecedented possibility. But the forces of poverty, crime, and drugs slowly eroded the hopes she had for her four children. She's now raising six grandchildren aged 10 and under. This is the story of her second act of parenthood.

 

Read the full story at the Bitter Southerner.

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A 41-day fight to get treatment ends in a daughter's overdose

Taylor Wilson was the first to overdose when spiked heroin ravaged her town. Her parents tried for 41 days to get her treatment. Then she overdosed again.

Read the full story at STAT.

In America's drug death capital, heroin is scarring the next generation

Heroin's shattering force hit Huntington, West Virginia, causing 28 overdoses and two deaths over five hours. Here's the story of the day when all hell broke loose.

Read the full story at CNN.

 

Inside GM’s deadly ignition switch scandal

Marietta attorney Lance Cooper was looking for answers behind a single crash. What he found led to a recall of 30 million vehicles.

Read the full story at Atlanta magazine.

Jason Molina’s Long Dark Blues

The Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. front man produced a prodigious catalog of stark and heartbreaking music. Then he disappeared.

Read the full story at the Chicago Reader.

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Legal Pot Is Notoriously White. Oakland Is Changing That.

A groundbreaking nonprofit is helping minorities targeted by the war on drugs get a piece of the booming weed industry.

Read the full story at Politico Magazine.

 

Unanswered

Metro Atlanta police officers have fatally shot at least 75 people between 2010 and 2015. In some cases, the use of deadly force has been questionable. Local leaders could make reforms to prevent future shootings now. Will they?

Read the full story at Creative Loafing.

 

The sad and beautiful world of Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous

Five years after the death of Sparklehorse leader Mark Linkous, I talked with many of the idiosyncratic songwriter's closest friends and collaborators, shedding light on an artist who compelled listeners to heed the beauty of darkness.

Read the full story at Pitchfork.

The fight for Wilcox County’s first integrated prom

In April 2013, black and white students from a tiny south Georgia county attended prom together for first time. Was this a big step away from the past or a small aberration in a community doomed to repeat it?

Read the full story at Buzzfeed.

Doug Seegers’ Nashville Skyline

His dreams of the big time had all but faded after four decades of hard luck, homelessness, and substance abuse. Then the 63-year-old songwriter found stardom in an unlikely place: Sweden.

Read the full story at the Bitter Southerner.

Knockout

The fast rise and slow fade of boxer O’Neil ‘Supernova’ Bell, a world champion boxer slain just weeks after he won the fight of his life against mental illness.

Read the full story at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

 

The story of how lean became hip-hop’s heroin

Codeine syrup influences the sound of hip-hop like heroin did punk, jazz, and rock. But it's taking a toll. 

Read the full story at Fusion.