Local News


Atlanta mayoral hopefuls call for transparency. How do they measure up?

The federal bribery investigation hanging over Atlanta City Hall has extracted pledges for a more transparent and open government from candidates still in the race to succeed Kasim Reed and become the city’s 60th mayor. With less than two weeks until the Dec. 5 runoff election, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution dissected spending reports from Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood to see how transparently...


Fulton County police chief retiring before Renaissance transition

Fulton County police chief retiring before Renaissance transition

Fulton County Police Chief Gary Stiles will retire next month, three months before the department transitions to the new city of Renaissance — formerly South Fulton. County and city leaders are planning to shift most if not all of Fulton’s police department employees to the new city. Over the years, as more unincorporated areas in Fulton have become municipalities, the county...
Atlanta mayor calls rivals ‘losers’ as Mitchell backs Norwood

Atlanta mayor calls rivals ‘losers’ as Mitchell backs Norwood

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed unleashed another volley of insulting rhetoric in the race to succeed him, Tuesday, calling two political rivals “losers” at a City Hall press conference.  Asked about City Council President Ceasar Mitchell’s expected endorsement of Councilwoman Mary Norwood over Reed’s hand-picked candidate, Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms, Reed unloaded. The...
DeKalb official sanctioned for private work on county time

DeKalb official sanctioned for private work on county time

A DeKalb County department director who collected government pay for the same day that he received a $500 fee from a private organization is being sanctioned by the county. DeKalb Beautification Director Marcus Kellum, whose government salary was $104,676 last year, was charged for one day of annual leave time, according to a Nov. 15 memo from DeKalb Chief Operating Officer Zach Williams...
‘Not like the movies’: Inside the search for a missing Gwinnett man

‘Not like the movies’: Inside the search for a missing Gwinnett man

On this day, Tracy Sargent and her K-9s are searching for a Lawrenceville man who disappeared more than a year ago in a drug-induced rage. Over the last quarter-century — across the country and around the world — Sargent’s Georgia-based investigation team has helped track good guys and bad, missing persons and escaped convicts. They looked into the international Natalee...
Atlanta mayoral candidates feel the heat at Spelman debate

Atlanta mayoral candidates feel the heat at Spelman debate

The AJC’s Stephen Deere keeps you updated on the latest in the Atlanta mayoral race and everything else going on at City Hall. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:  Atlanta mayoral candidates battle for city's progressive vote Atlanta mayoral runoff candidates seek support of former opponents Bottoms, Norwood in runoff to become Atlanta's next mayor
Recount shows Michael Julian Bond might retain Atlanta Council seat

Recount shows Michael Julian Bond might retain Atlanta Council seat

Michael Julian Bond will apparently retain his at-large council seat, but just barely, according to the unofficial results of a Fulton County vote recount on Friday. For the past couple of weeks, the outcome of the race wasn’t clear. First, there was supposed to be a recount, then a runoff, then a recount again. Earlier this week, election officials in DeKalb and Fulton counties indicated they...
Ex-Gwinnett firefighter uses billboard to protest ‘mandatory overtime’

Ex-Gwinnett firefighter uses billboard to protest ‘mandatory overtime’

The signs, two panels of a rotating digital billboard that loom over one of Gwinnett County’s most traveled intersections, cut straight to the chase. “Firefighters have families,” one says in all caps. “Over $15 million tax dollars spent on mandatory overtime in 34 months.” “Stop Mandatory Overtime in the Fire Dept!” the other declares. The Gwinnett County...
Hope and trepidation in Marietta as Congress seeks to open up Dobbins 

Hope and trepidation in Marietta as Congress seeks to open up Dobbins 

Marietta’s Dobbins Air Reserve Base could be getting more air traffic due to a provision tucked into Congress’ new defense policy bill. Language added to the bill by Georgia lawmakers would remove a 28-year-old provision that’s limited usage of the base’s runway and air control tower to the Defense Department and Lockheed Martin. The effect would be to open up the base to non-passenger...
Runoff, recount or winner? Atlanta city council race not settled

Runoff, recount or winner? Atlanta city council race not settled

At first, the Atlanta City Council race between Courtney English and incumbent Michael Julian Bond was headed to a recount. But late Thursday, the outcome was still unclear: Bond claimed victory while English dropped his recount request and contended instead that a runoff election is required. An incredibly close race is to blame for the confusion. Results indicate Bond received 49.97 percent of the...
Atlanta mayoral candidates weigh in on homelessness, race, corruption

Atlanta mayoral candidates weigh in on homelessness, race, corruption

Over the last few months, Atlanta’s mayoral candidates have appeared at numerous forums and debates. The dozen or so contenders heard their opponents stump speeches and narratives so often that they could recite one another’s buzzwords and slogans – at times in a mocking cadence. But now only two remain: City Councilwomen Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood. And with a runoff election...
First head-to-head Atlanta mayoral runoff debate is light on policy

First head-to-head Atlanta mayoral runoff debate is light on policy

The first head-to-head debate on Thursday between the two women who topped a crowded field of candidates to make the runoff to be the next mayor of Atlanta was short on policy and long on accusations. Mary Norwood even implored her opponent, Keisha Lance Bottoms, to take the high road for the remainder of the runoff, after the latter brought up Norwood’s delay in answering a question...
AJC Watchdog: Little sunlight on local campaign donations

AJC Watchdog: Little sunlight on local campaign donations

Four years ago, the Georgia General Assembly passed a little-noticed change in state law that has resulted in dramatically less sunlight on who is paying to elect candidates in local races. The legislation — House Bill 143 — said candidates for county or city offices no longer had to file their campaign contribution and financial disclosure forms with the state ethics commission....
Atlanta bribery probe costs taxpayers $1.4 million — and counting

Atlanta bribery probe costs taxpayers $1.4 million — and counting

The federal bribery investigation into city of Atlanta contracting has done more than shake officials at City Hall — it has clobbered taxpayers in the pocketbook. The city spent more than $1.4 million on outside legal counsel from November 2016 to September 2017, for help providing documents subpoenaed by federal investigators and then releasing them to the public, according to invoices submitted...
Fulton County approves new contract for jail health care after 5 die

Fulton County approves new contract for jail health care after 5 die

Fulton County commissioners agreed Wednesday to a new contract to provide health care at the Fulton County jail, after five inmates died there in 75 days. The new, $20.7 million contract with Alabama-based NaphCare will go into effect Jan. 1. It replaces a contract with Tennessee-based Correct Care Solutions, in conjunction with the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. Commissioners...
Ga. students subjected to invasive body searches to share $3M payout

Ga. students subjected to invasive body searches to share $3M payout

A southwest Georgia sheriff’s order to conduct an invasive drug search of hundreds of students at Worth County High School will cost $3 million under a proposed settlement announced Tuesday in a federal civil rights lawsuit. The settlement will go to approximately 850 students who were at the school on April 14 and subjected to the search ordered by Worth County Sheriff Jeff Hobby. The...
Newly elected Forest Park politician denies trading alcohol for votes

Newly elected Forest Park politician denies trading alcohol for votes

A newly elected member of the Forest Park City Council is pushing back against allegations she and other candidates traded alcohol for votes in last week’s elections.  Kimberly James told Channel 2 Action News reporter Nicole Carr said charges made by her opponent, former Forest Park Councilman Tommy Smith, that she and the city’s mayor-elect provided alcohol to voters were outrageous...
City of South Fulton changes its name to Renaissance, Ga.

City of South Fulton changes its name to Renaissance, Ga.

There’s a renewal happening in South Fulton. Seeking a rebirth, residents in its newest city decided Monday to make their planned revival part of their nomenclature. The city will henceforth be known as Renaissance — and not after the nearby festival. “It’s a name we can make something of,” said Sam Bowen, a Renaissance resident who said he was one of two people...
Cobb approves new and increased fees for senior centers, parks and businesses

Cobb approves new and increased fees for senior centers, parks and businesses

Cobb seniors who wish to use one of the county’s six senior centers will have to pay a $60 annual membership fee starting next year. The fee was one of dozens approved by the Board of Commissioners at its regular meeting Tuesday, affecting senior services, parks, libraries, zoning and businesses. Some cost hikes, such as that for library cards, will only affect non-residents. The fees, which...
Bottoms picks up endorsement from opponent in Atlanta mayor’s race

Bottoms picks up endorsement from opponent in Atlanta mayor’s race

Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall on Tuesday endorsed Keisha Lance Bottoms over Mary Norwood in the mayor’s race. Hall, so far, is the only mayoral candidate who lost this month’s election to publicly support one of the two city councilwomen in the Dec. 5 runoff. Hall made the announcement standing in the John Wesley Dobbs Plaza with his wife Natilie — who’s also in...
$3 million settlement in Ga. school search lawsuit

$3 million settlement in Ga. school search lawsuit

A southwest Georgia sheriff’s order to conduct a massive, invasive drug search of hundreds of students at Worth County High School will cost the county $3 million under a proposed settlement announced Tuesday in a federal civil rights lawsuit. “The students’ voices have been heard,” said Crystal Redd, an attorney with the Southern Center for Human Rights, which represented...
Gwinnett will pony up $5.8M to build a new state patrol facility

Gwinnett will pony up $5.8M to build a new state patrol facility

Gwinnett County will pay to build a new $5.8 million facility that it hopes will keep the Georgia State Patrol in town for the next half-century. The Gwinnett Board of Commissioners recently approved a resolution and intergovernmental agreement that will allow it to build the new home of GSP Post 51 on the site of an abandoned rest stop near the I-85/I-985 split in Suwanee. The property will remain...
Judicial employees sue Fulton County for back pay

Judicial employees sue Fulton County for back pay

Fulton County government is facing another lawsuit related to how much it pays employees, two years after officials agreed to pay more than $20 million to workers who were shortchanged on their paychecks. In the latest suit, employees of five Fulton County courts claim that they were unfairly kept out of the county’s new pay and classification system when it debuted in 2015. There are about...
Suburban Atlanta mayors’ group eyes transit on I-285 top end 

Suburban Atlanta mayors’ group eyes transit on I-285 top end 

Elected officials in several suburban cities have begun discussions that some hope will lead to a mass transit line along the top end of the Perimeter. Mayors and other officials from communities stretching from Smyrna in Cobb County to Doraville in DeKalb met last week for a first conversation about the need for transit options along I-285. Officials from Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Chamblee...
Fired Fulton Finance Director Patrick O’Connor hired in College Park

Fired Fulton Finance Director Patrick O’Connor hired in College Park

Patrick O’Connor, the Fulton County finance director who was fired after recordings surfaced of him disparaging county leaders, was hired by the city of College Park. When O’Connor was fired in 2015, he had been the finance director for nearly two decades, but had been asked to serve as an interim county manager. He was fourth in a line of six interim and permanent county managers...
Atlanta mayoral candidates battle for city’s progressive vote

Atlanta mayoral candidates battle for city’s progressive vote

The two Atlanta mayoral candidates still standing after Tuesday’s election share a similar route to victory in December’s runoff. The women can likely capture the city’s top office with a message that captures progressives – an energized, liberal, anti-establishment, racially diverse coalition of voters focused on social justice issues. In last week’s eight-way showdown...
This Georgia mayor has served for 47 years. Meet the man who beat him.

This Georgia mayor has served for 47 years. Meet the man who beat him.

Troy Brumbalow is 46, an accomplished middle-aged man with a wife and kids, several businesses and a dream of breathing new life into his hometown. And he wasn’t even born when H. Ford Gravitt — the man he just beat to become the next mayor of that hometown, Cumming — first took office. “When you’re running against a candidate that’s been in office for 51 years...
The role of Fulton County chair changes as cities take on more

The role of Fulton County chair changes as cities take on more

When Robb Pitts or Keisha Waites is sworn in as the next Fulton County commission chair in December, he or she will hold a different job from the one John Eaves filled for the past decade. It will be different, too, than the leader of any other county government in the state. Over the next year, as the new city of South Fulton takes on the last of Fulton County’s municipal responsibilities...
Will election of Gwinnett’s first minority mayors start a trend?

Will election of Gwinnett’s first minority mayors start a trend?

It’s not anything new, and it’s not a secret. It’s been a point of contention — and sometimes litigation — for years. Despite being one of the most diverse communities in Georgia and the southeastern United States, Gwinnett County is still a place governed almost exclusively by white people. The county with a greater combined population of black, Latino and Asian...
Fulton County tax bills have been mailed

Fulton County tax bills have been mailed

After months of delay, Fulton County tax bills were mailed Thursday. The bills will be due Dec. 31 in Atlanta and Jan. 15 in the rest of Fulton County. Last week, the county received a temporary collection order allowing them to send the bills even though the state Department of Revenue rejected the county’s tax digest. School systems and local governments said any further delay in collecting...
Fulton County elections results again come in late

Fulton County elections results again come in late

The polls in Fulton County closed at 8 p.m., but it was nearly 2 o’clock in the morning before the final results were posted in the closely watched Atlanta mayor’s race and other local contests. It’s not the first time Fulton’s election tallying has kept voters up late. In April, when people nationally were watching the 6th District race that Karen Handel...
Robb Pitts, Keisha Waites face off to lead Fulton County commission

Robb Pitts, Keisha Waites face off to lead Fulton County commission

Two Democrats vying for the top job in Fulton County’s government will meet in a Dec. 5 runoff. Robb Pitts, a former member of the Fulton County commission, received 38 percent of the vote in his quest to lead the body as chairman. Keisha Waites, a former state representative, captured 34 percent. Pitts, who was president of the Atlanta City Council before he was elected to the Board of...
DeKalb voters approve sales tax hike for roads and infrastructure

DeKalb voters approve sales tax hike for roads and infrastructure

A decisive vote approving a new sales tax increase in DeKalb should be seen as a “transformative moment” for a county government trying to recover from years of crisis and controversy, county CEO Mike Thurmond said Wednesday. The sales tax hike, from 7 percent to 8 percent, won with 70 percent of the vote, sending the government a clear message that residents are willing to pay for long-overdue...
Atlanta mayoral runoff candidates seek support of former opponents

Atlanta mayoral runoff candidates seek support of former opponents

As soon as the top two finishers in Tuesday’s Atlanta mayoral election became apparent, so did their strategies for the next stage of the campaign: find a message that resonates with the 52,000 people who voted for someone else.  Early Wednesday morning, election workers were still tallying votes in a contest with eight credible candidates, but the incomplete returns left no doubt that...
Election 2017: DeKalb passes sales tax hike and property tax break

Election 2017: DeKalb passes sales tax hike and property tax break

DeKalb voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved raising the county’s sales tax rate to 8 percent, which will bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to fix crumbling roads and make infrastructure improvements. The special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) was part of a broad tax referendum that will also lower property taxes countywide. The tax overhaul will generate more...
Gwinnett cities elect county’s first black, Latino mayors

Gwinnett cities elect county’s first black, Latino mayors

Gwinnett County, one of the most diverse communities in Georgia and the entire Southeast, will soon have its first-ever non-white mayors.  The city of Norcross made longtime councilman Craig Newton Gwinnett’s first-ever black mayor during Tuesday’s election. Newton was not challenged.  And in Loganville — which is in both Gwinnett and Walton counties — former councilman...
Election 2017: DeKalb sales tax increase approved

Election 2017: DeKalb sales tax increase approved

DeKalb County voters overwhelmingly approved a sales tax increase and property tax reduction, according to final ballot counts. The sales tax hike, from 7 percent to 8 percent, will bring in more than $100 million annually for road repaving, fire station repairs, police vehicles and other infrastructure through a special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST). DeKalb CEO Mike Thurmond said...
Ethics expert: Atlanta mayor’s press release didn’t cross the line

Ethics expert: Atlanta mayor’s press release didn’t cross the line

Mayor Kasim Reed’s office on the eve of Atlanta’s mayoral election issued a press release attacking candidate Peter Aman, the city’s former chief operating officer.  Then, this morning, Reed posted a picture of a graphic depicting city councilwomen Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood at the top of the polls.  “ATLANTA DON’T WASTE YOUR VOTE,” it says...
Polls are now open for Gwinnett’s mayoral and city council elections

Polls are now open for Gwinnett’s mayoral and city council elections

Gwinnett has no countywide elections today — but polls are now open in several cities holding local contests.  Polls opened at 7 a.m. and will be open until 7 p.m. Several Gwinnett cities will elect mayors today. Most mayoral candidates are running unopposed, however, including those Braselton, Dacula, Grayson, Sugar Hill and Norcross — where unopposed candidate Craig Newton...
Lawsuit: Dispute over land led Reed officials to threaten developer

Lawsuit: Dispute over land led Reed officials to threaten developer

Senior members of Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration allegedly threatened a prominent developer that he would never again do business with the city unless he relinquished a claim to property the city wanted for a new recreation center, according to court papers filed Monday. The filings allege the threat was made during a meeting between Reed’s former chief operating officer, his parks...
State revenue head said she never gave Fulton County OK on tax plan

State revenue head said she never gave Fulton County OK on tax plan

The state revenue commissioner said Monday that it wasn’t up to her to give Fulton County leaders permission to freeze property assessments at 2016 levels when residents complained their new values were too high. “The state has no authority to intervene in the development of the tax digest until it’s presented to us,” said Lynne Riley, the commissioner of the state...
Gwinnett candidate drops out after inflammatory tweets about Jews

Gwinnett candidate drops out after inflammatory tweets about Jews

The Suwanee city council candidate who drew ire last week for a series of inflammatory tweets about Jews and Israel has ended his candidacy. Joe Briggs, a 59-year-old engineer, will no longer challenge incumbent Suwanee Councilwoman Beth Hilscher in the election held Tuesday. “Neither the community nor my family deserved this,” Briggs, who has said he’s anti-Israel but not...
Indicted Snellville mayor enters plea, changes attorneys

Indicted Snellville mayor enters plea, changes attorneys

Tom Witts — the Snellville mayor that’s been both indicted and suspended from office — has entered a not guilty plea in the wide-ranging criminal case against him. In a document filed late last week, Witts waived the arraignment originally scheduled for Monday morning and entered his plea of not guilty. Witts also hired a new attorney to defend him in a case that includes allegations...
Watch: North Korean guard makes dramatic defection

Watch: North Korean guard makes dramatic defection

South Korea announced on Nov. 13 that an unnamed soldier defecting from the North was rescued and taken to a hospital after he was found shot in the shoulder and elbow in the border village of Panmunjom. A dramatic video of the 24-year-old, identified only by his last name, Oh, escaping North Korea, is fascinating to watch. Officials in South Korea said that the escape took place after the North Korean...
Floridians twerk for Trump during traffic jam he caused

Floridians twerk for Trump during traffic jam he caused

It’s never the wrong time to get your twerk on, according to a few Floridians. President Donald Trump and his family traveled to his Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach for the Thanksgiving holiday. As with any official trip made by the First Family, the Trumps traveled from Palm Beach International Airport to the property via a motorcade. While motorcades are usually uneventful, and attention...
Health care provider fires 50 employees who refused to get flu shots

Health care provider fires 50 employees who refused to get flu shots

A health care provider in Minnesota fired 50 employees because they refused to get flu shots, KBJR reported. Essentia Health had imposed a Monday deadline for employees to get flu shots or receive an exemption for medical or religious reasons. Since September, Essentia employees, volunteers, students and vendors had three choices: get a flu shot, show an approved religious or medical exemption...
'Vapor Wake' dogs to provide extra security at Macy's Thanksgiving parade

'Vapor Wake' dogs to provide extra security at Macy's Thanksgiving parade

The 91st annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade will have an added layer of security to protect the 1 million spectators expected to attend: a team of 14 Labrador retrievers trained to detect explosives on moving targets in large crowds, Fox News reported. The dogs completed an 18-month Vapor Wake program that was developed at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. They...
Deputies: Florida man had pickup repainted to avoid hit-and-run death charge

Deputies: Florida man had pickup repainted to avoid hit-and-run death charge

A Florida man accused of hitting a pedestrian while driving a pickup truck allegedly attempted to have the vehicle repainted to avoid prosecution, authorities said. Henry Earl Riner, 71, of Seffner, was arrested Monday and charged with leaving the scene of a crash with death, tampering with physical evidence and driving while his license was permanently revoked, The Tampa Bay Times reported...
Ohio dealer ordered to pay funeral expenses for drug user who overdosed

Ohio dealer ordered to pay funeral expenses for drug user who overdosed

As part of his sentence, an Ohio drug dealer was ordered to cover the funeral expenses for a user who overdosed, WLWT reported. Michael Chandler, 29, of Cincinnati, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 200 months in prison for distributing fentanyl. Chandler also was ordered to pay more than $9,000 to cover the costs of a user’s death that was a result of his distributing the drug, WLWT...
103-year-old woman's secret to long life: 'Lots and lots of chocolate'

103-year-old woman's secret to long life: 'Lots and lots of chocolate'

The fictional film character Forrest Gump famously noted that “My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.” In the case of a Washington State resident, it was longevity. Mable Smith of Yakima turned 103 on Nov. 13 and credited her long life to chocolate, KIMA reported. Smith celebrated her birthday with her three children, 11 grandchildren...
Georgia high school girls basketball coach charged with sexual assault

Georgia high school girls basketball coach charged with sexual assault

Investigators said an alleged sexual assault that resulted in the arrest of a Georgia high school coach happened before a basketball game on campus. “It's very disturbing. We're talking about an adult and a child. It's not only illegal, it's inappropriate. It's wrong,” said Lt. Scott Ware of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office. Webster Daniel, 52, a middle school teacher and Chestatee...
David Cassidy’s younger brother Shaun offers touching tribute on Twitter

David Cassidy’s younger brother Shaun offers touching tribute on Twitter

Teenage heartthrobs run in the Cassidy family. David Cassidy’s younger brother, Shaun Cassidy, who was also a teen idol and singer in the 1970s, remembered his late brother with a touching tribute on Twitter after the pop culture icon’s death Tuesday from organ failure. “When I was a little boy and my big brother would come to visit, the first call of business would be a punishing...
Woman pulled over by man impersonating law enforcement officer

Woman pulled over by man impersonating law enforcement officer

A man impersonating a law enforcement officer pulled over a woman in Arkansas, according to the St. Francis County Sheriff’s Office. The incident happened Saturday on Highway 38 near Hughes. Investigators said a man impersonating a game and fish officer stopped a woman and asked to check her vehicle for guns. He had a blue light on his dash and was in a dark-colored pickup truck. The man...
Mother accused of using kids to steal from Macy’s, police say

Mother accused of using kids to steal from Macy’s, police say

Police in Austin, Texas, are looking for a woman who they say stole merchandise from a Macy’s department store with the help of another woman and four children no older than 10 years old. Investigators are looking for 27-year-old Martha Monique Lopez, who is charged with robbery by assault, according to an arrest affidavit filed this week. On Nov. 12, police received a call around 2 p.m. from...
’Property Brothers'’ Drew Scott, Linda Phan finally set  date for Italian wedding

’Property Brothers'’ Drew Scott, Linda Phan finally set  date for Italian wedding

Drew Scott and Linda Phan will be taking their love to Italy when they celebrate their upcoming nuptials in May! The couple opened up about their upcoming wedding plans in a new interview with PEOPLE after they finally set the date. “We’re looking at somewhere where we can chow down on pizza, pasta and gelato. Those are the requirements,” the bride-to-be told the publication...
How to resolve conflict in cactus, succulent gardens

How to resolve conflict in cactus, succulent gardens

Ordinary plants yield their space while cacti and succulents resort to violence to keep competitors at bay. Drought-resistant species take no prisoners and use their armor to claim earth and its treasure: water. Unless you control the proximity of this botanical weaponry, you will sustain casualties out there as plants you love and paid dearly for rot, melt down or become scarred beyond recognition...

Quick home maintenance tasks now can prevent crises later

Although October can still be flip-flops-and-shorts weather, there are a number of fall maintenance tasks to undertake, no matter what the temperature gauge says. We asked Lucinda Hoe, field services director of the West region for Associa OnCall, for some tips to keep a home as functional as possible. The company offers maintenance services, as well as management, for homeowner and community associations...
Bolivian Sunset is dazzling shady groundcover

Bolivian Sunset is dazzling shady groundcover

Shady groundcovers that bloom are much sought after in the gardening world, and Bolivian Sunset holds one of the most beautiful opportunities. The name itself conjures up visions of exotic colors. Bolivian Sunset is known botanically as Seemannia sylvatica and indeed is native to Bolivia and Peru. It also has another common name and that is hardy gloxinia. It is cold hardy from zones 8 and higher...
Filling a nest that was a little too empty

Filling a nest that was a little too empty

NORMANDY PARK, Wash. — There was just one problem with the brand-new, wide-open layout of Kay and Bob Comiskey’s Normandy Park home: It was really open. “We remodeled and didn’t have money for furniture,” says Kay. “We lived for three years with almost nothing. We had one sectional we’d move from room to room. The UPS driver asked if we ballroom-danced.&rdquo...
Most of tumbler set is from Victorian era

Most of tumbler set is from Victorian era

Dear Helaine and Joe: The enclosed photographs show some of the tumblers in my collection. I would appreciate anything you can tell me about them. Thank you, C. A. Dear C. A.: The first thing we wonder is if this is your entire collection or just a selection of examples within the collection. The next question we have is the intent behind your inquiry — do you want to insure these? Or do you...

10 ways your décor can appeal to the senses

Homes can have a scent. Sometimes the scent is intentional. In other instances, scents can attract or repel. Appealing to the senses can be something easily achieved, especially for those looking to do so in a natural or organic way. Looking for ways to infuse scents into your home? Here are some top Design Recipes tips. 1. Consider herbs. From sage to lavender, herbs can provide a fragrant and appealing...

Don’t have a nightstand? 7 alternatives that work just as well

Nothing is worse than having to get out of bed when you’re finally about to fall asleep. But without a bedside table, where are you supposed to put that glass of water, alarm clock and nightlight? Well, we’re all about thinking outside the box when it comes to decorating and utilizing unexpected items in your decor, and it doesn’t hurt if they also prevent groggy, disruptive trips...
The heart of the home, where real living takes place

The heart of the home, where real living takes place

We may travel to the far corners of the globe on adventures … or put in long days at work … but most of our real living is done within a few square feet in our own homes. This special spot is both our launching pad and our safe harbor. It’s where we turn up the music and dance while tossing together Tuesday night dinner. Relax over a well-deserved glass of wine with our best friends...
Single mother, actress Jennifer Garner says she

Single mother, actress Jennifer Garner says she "would not have chosen this life"

Actress Jennifer Garner ended her relationship with husband Ben Affleck in 2015, but the actress said she’s still “not interested in dating” other men. “I would not have chosen this life for myself or for my kids,” Garner told Australia’s News.com.au.  “I would not choose to be single or be in this position. It’s something that we are...
The Eagles announce 2018 tour with Jimmy Buffett, James Taylor, Chris Stapleton

The Eagles announce 2018 tour with Jimmy Buffett, James Taylor, Chris Stapleton

The Eagles are going on tour two years after the death of co-founder Glenn Frey. The Los Angeles Times reported that the band has announced stadium tour dates for 2018, beginning with a Chicago stop March 14. Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band will join The Eagles for four of the eight announced dates so far, Rolling Stone reported. Chris Stapleton will open the band’s June 23...
Beyonce leads Adele, Taylor Swift as richest woman in music

Beyonce leads Adele, Taylor Swift as richest woman in music

Beyonce has replaced Taylor Swift on Forbes’ annual list of the world’s richest women in music. Despite Swift’s record-breaking year, Beyonce is still reaping the benefits of a wildly successful 2016, according to figures pulled by Forbes for its World's Highest-Paid Women In Music list. The publication looked at pretax income for musicians from June 1, 2016 to June 1, 2017...
Charlie Rose fired from CBS amid sexual harassment allegations; PBS cuts ties with newsman

Charlie Rose fired from CBS amid sexual harassment allegations; PBS cuts ties with newsman

Update 1:45 p.m. Nov. 21: PBS announced Tuesday that it is ending its relationship with award-winning journalist Charlie Rose in the wake of allegations that he sexually harassed women working on, or aspiring to work on, his self-titled PBS show. "In light of yesterday's revelations, PBS has terminated its relationship with Charlie Rose and cancelled distribution of his programs," network...
Tennessee State football player arrested after video shows him punching coach, police say

Tennessee State football player arrested after video shows him punching coach, police say

A Tennessee State University football player who was kicked off the team and expelled after he was caught on video punching his assistant coach earlier this month has been arrested in connection with the attack, according to police. Jail records show Latrelle Lee, 22, was arrested Monday night. He was charged with one count of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury and released on a $7,500...
For King & Country releases intense ‘Little Drummer Boy’ cover

For King & Country releases intense ‘Little Drummer Boy’ cover

There’s no simple pa rum pum pum pum in a new version of the Christmas carol staple “Little Drummer Boy.” For King & Country, a Christian pop duo, have released their take on the holiday song that spotlights the drummer of the “Little Drummer Boy.” It’s much louder and percussion-heavy than the famous Bing Crosby and David Bowie version that’s heard ad nauseam...
Air Force pilot killed, 1 injured in crash near Texas’ Laughlin Air Force Base

Air Force pilot killed, 1 injured in crash near Texas’ Laughlin Air Force Base

One pilot died and another was injured Monday when an Air Force T-38 Talon crashed in Del Rio, Texas, according to officials. The T-38 crashed around 4 p.m. about 14 miles northwest of Laughlin Air Force Base, where the jet was assigned, base officials said. Authorities did not immediately identify the pilots, citing the need to notify their families. According to Air Force officials, “the T-38...
Judge Jeanine Pirro caught driving 119 in a 65 mph zone

Judge Jeanine Pirro caught driving 119 in a 65 mph zone

Fox News host Jeanine Pirro received a speeding ticket for driving 119 mph in a 65 mph zone in upstate New York Sunday. The former Westchester County district attorney was stopped by a trooper on Sunday afternoon in Tioga County driving more than 50 mph over the speed limit, The Hill reported. A state police spokesman says he doesn’t know what type of car Pirro was driving or whether...
Music legend and 'Touched by an Angel' star Della Reese dead at 86

Music legend and 'Touched by an Angel' star Della Reese dead at 86

“Touched By An Angel” actress and music legend Della Reese passed away on Sunday, friends said in a statement to PEOPLE. She was 86. “On behalf of her husband, Franklin Lett, and all her friends and family, I share with you the news that our beloved Della Reese has passed away peacefully at her California home last evening surrounded by love. She was an incredible wife, mother...
It’s not all about the turkey: 9 things you probably didn't know about Thanksgiving

It’s not all about the turkey: 9 things you probably didn't know about Thanksgiving

Each year, Thanksgiving comes around with with the giddy anticipation of devoruing comfort food and spending some QT with loved ones, which reminds you just what what you are thankful for the most. The rich, deep history of this centuries-old tradition is woven into the United States' cultural fabric, yet, there are still many aspects of the holiday that most Americans don’t know. The holiday...
Debate settled: This is the right time to put up your Christmas tree

Debate settled: This is the right time to put up your Christmas tree

While it may never reach the level of controversy of how to hang the toilet paper roll or which way to load the dishwasher, the right time to put up the Christmas tree is a heavily-debated household topic. There are answers to this question that depend on everything from Prince Albert to the opinion of tree growers to something called Adelaide Pageant Day. The ultimate etiquette authority...
Police: Florida woman kills husband, hides his duct taped body in closet

Police: Florida woman kills husband, hides his duct taped body in closet

A 65-year-old Florida woman was arrested and accused of murdering her husband and then hiding his duct-taped body behind a brick wall she built inside a closet.  Barbara Wozniak, of Shalimar, was charged with second-degree murder Friday night while she was already in the Okaloosa County jail on another charge of tampering with evidence. Deputies made the discovery on Nov. 15 when they...
‘Cosby Show’ actor Earle Hyman dead at 91

‘Cosby Show’ actor Earle Hyman dead at 91

Earle Hyman, the actor best known for playing Russell Huxtable, Bill Cosby’s wise father on “The Cosby Show,” died Friday. He was 91. Hyman died at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, N.J., his nephew, Rick Ferguson, told The Hollywood Reporter. Hyman played Othello on stage, was a regular on Broadway and received a Tony nomination for his performance as Oscar in the...
Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses pay tribute to AC/DC’s Malcolm Young

Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses pay tribute to AC/DC’s Malcolm Young

The Foo Fighters and Guns N’ Roses paid tribute to Malcolm Young, the AC/DC rhythm guitarist who died Saturday at age 64. Both bands dedicated songs during their respective concerts to Young, who died three years after being diagnosed with dementia. The Foo Fighters opened its concert in Mexico City’s Corona Capital Festival with a blistering version of the 1977 A/C song, “Let There...
LaToya Cantrell elected first female mayor of New Orleans

LaToya Cantrell elected first female mayor of New Orleans

LaToya Cantrell made history Saturday night as she was elected New Orleans’ first female mayor, the Times-Picayune reported. Cantrell defeated fellow Democrat and former Judge Desiree Charbonnet to become the 51st mayor in a city that will celebrate the 300th anniversary of its founding 2018. Cantrell, a city councilwoman, got 60 percent of the votes over Charbonnet, according...
Country music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis dead at 85

Country music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis dead at 85

Country Music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis died early Sunday morning in Ocala, Florida, according to his publicist, Don Murry Grubbs. He was 85. In his six-decade career, the singer recorded more than 60 albums, had three dozen Top 10 singles and wrote several hit songs that are now regarded as classics, the Tennessean reported. During the 1960s, Tillis’ songs charted for several artists, with...
Watch: Chance The Rapper spoofs NHL in ‘SNL’ skit

Watch: Chance The Rapper spoofs NHL in ‘SNL’ skit

Chance The Rapper does not like hockey. In a word, he was “cold.” In a hilarious skit on “Saturday Night Live,” the rapper plays an NBA sideline reporter, Laslo Holmes, pressed into duty as a rinkside reporter for a game between the New York Rangers and the Edmonton Oilers. “It’s very cold all around here,” Chance The Rapper said during Saturday night&rsquo...
Bill Murray resurrects 'Caddyshack' character in Facebook series about baseball

Bill Murray resurrects 'Caddyshack' character in Facebook series about baseball

Carl Spackler is back. Bill Murray played the hilarious golf course groundskeeper in “Caddyshack,” determined to keep a pesky gopher from ruining his lush fairways. He will play a similar role in “Bill Murray and Brian Doyle Murray’s Extra Innings,” an unscripted series that debuts Monday on Facebook, Entertainment Weekly reported. The show will stream on Mondays...
Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe addresses nation, defies resignation expectations

Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe addresses nation, defies resignation expectations

In an address on state television Sunday, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe  defied expectations he would resign, Reuters reported. The 93-year-old, who has led the country since it gained independence in 1980 from Great Britain, pledged to preside over a ZANU-PF congress next month even though the ruling party had removed him as its leader hours earlier. ZANU-PF had given Mugabe less...
Documents: Montana congressman misled investigators after assaulting reporter

Documents: Montana congressman misled investigators after assaulting reporter

A Montana congressman misled investigators about his assault on a reporter the day before he was elected in May, claiming that “liberal media” were “trying to make a story,” the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported Saturday, citing audio and documents. U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte, a Republican, told an officer in an audio interview after the attack that reporter Ben Jacobs of The...
AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young dead at 64

AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young dead at 64

Rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, the co-founder of the rock ’n’ roll group AC/DC, died Saturday, Rolling Stone reported and the band announced on its website. He was 64. Young had been suffering from dementia for the past three years, which forced his retirement from the band that he founded with his brother Angus Young in 1973. "Today it is with deep heartfelt sadness that...
Texas residents find mail dumped near sewer drain

Texas residents find mail dumped near sewer drain

Residents in a Texas neighborhood are angry that their mail apparently has been going down the drain. Brenda Tisdale was walking her dogs in a southwest neighborhood in Mesquite when she noticed a few clean, white pieces of paper in a sewer drain, KTVT reported. “I was thinking, ‘that’s where all of our mail has gone,’” Tisdale told KTVT. She said she found...
Mugabe refuses to step down as Zimbabwe’s president

Mugabe refuses to step down as Zimbabwe’s president

Thousands of Zimbabwe residents marched in the streets of Harare on Saturday, demanding the resignation of President Robert Mugabe, CNN reported. The protests in the capital city occurred days after the 93-year-old president was put under house arrest by the army, which also detained some of his key political allies. Mugabe has been Zimbabwe’s president since 1987. People waved Zimbabwean...
Happy birthday: Co-workers buy car for fellow employee 

Happy birthday: Co-workers buy car for fellow employee 

A Michigan man will never forget his 19th birthday, thanks to the generosity of his co-workers, WJRT reported. Noah Robinson had been riding his bicycle to work from Saginaw to Kochville Township, pedaling the 6 ½ miles in 45 minutes regardless of the weather conditions. He works in the shipping department at Glastender and lives with his grandmother after growing up in the care of a guardian...
Indiana boy carves wooden toys for needy children

Indiana boy carves wooden toys for needy children

A 10-year-old Indiana boy is building toys from scratch to help children in need enjoy the holiday season, WISH reported. Zander Hite of Greenwood took the advice of his grandfather, Darl Hite, who gave the boy a $20 bill last winter and told him to make a difference this holiday season. Zander bought two slabs of wood to build toy cars, WISH reported. “I played with them when I was little...
Former Washington State high school employee accused of rape

Former Washington State high school employee accused of rape

A former employee at a Washington State high school was charged Thursday afternoon with allegedly raping a 15-year-old student. Kristal M. Gamble, 33, was employed as an office assistant at Kent Meridian High School when she allegedly initiated an illegal sexual relationship with a boy last spring. According to Detective Melanie Robinson, the boy’s parents allegedly found sexual photos...
Drug-filled drone crashes at Arizona prison

Drug-filled drone crashes at Arizona prison

A drone crashed at an Arizona prison in September, and officials found drugs and cellphones aboard the vehicle, The Arizona Republic reported.  The drone crashed in a yard accessible only to corrections officers. The Arizona Department of Corrections said Thursday it is still trying to determine who was behind the delivery Sept. 24 delivery. It was the first known incident involving a drone...
Cleveland zoo shows off new otter pups

Cleveland zoo shows off new otter pups

Three male otter pups made their public debut at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on Friday, WKYC reported. Zoo officials said the pups were born on Sept. 24 to Bitzy and Kibble. Baby otters are born with their eyes closed and need a few weeks to learn how to swim, meaning they'll be ready to join their parents, Bitzy and Kibble, on exhibit in The RainForest in the coming weeks. The zoo now has seven...
Pennsylvania man accused of urinating on toys on store shelf

Pennsylvania man accused of urinating on toys on store shelf

A Pennsylvania man is accused of urinating on toys and other items in a store.  Police said David Pacoe, 74, was captured on surveillance video urinating on a shelf inside Playthings, Etc. in Butler on Nov. 2.  “It's not very nice at all and it's a toy store. You shouldn't have to worry about having security and guards or anything of that nature,” shopper Donna Bush...
Ohio woman burned by coffee in break room spat

Ohio woman burned by coffee in break room spat

An Ohio woman suffered “significant burns” when another woman threw a cup of hot coffee on her in a break room at the YWCA, according to a Dayton Police report.  Officers and a medic were dispatched to the YWCA in Dayton at 5:25 p.m. Thursday on a report of an aggravated assault.  The two women involved in the altercation are residents at the YWCA, police said. The injured...
Louisiana veteran entertains motorists with saxophone

Louisiana veteran entertains motorists with saxophone

A Vietnam War veteran has become a fixture for music lovers in his Louisiana town. Donald Givens plays saxophone for several hours daily in his gazebo at his Monroe residence. His yard is located near the corner of two overpasses and commuters can listen to his daily jam sessions, the News-Star reported. Strangers pull up to his home and ask Givens to play, sometimes handing the 67-year-old money...
Stolen Van Halen guitar returned to Hard Rock Cafe in Texas

Stolen Van Halen guitar returned to Hard Rock Cafe in Texas

A guitar owned by rock ’n’ roll legend Eddie Van Halen worth more than $100,000 was recovered Friday, hours after it was stolen from a Hard Rock Cafe in San Antonio, Texas, KSAT reported. The guitar, nicknamed “Frankenstrat,” had been reported stolen around 1 a.m. Friday. It was returned later in the day, but it is unclear how the restaurant was able to retrieve the instrument...
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