Local News


Invest Atlanta to review $40k check for ex-mayor Reed’s So. Africa trip

After an hour behind closed doors in an executive session, the Invest Atlanta board voted unanimously to create an ad hoc committee to perform an independent review of a $40,000 transaction between the city and its nonprofit fundraising arm, Partners For Prosperity. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported that Atlanta City Council in December approved $40,000 of unclaimed salary from...


DeKalb moving forward with SPLOST implementation

DeKalb moving forward with SPLOST implementation

DeKalb County is in the process of evaluating proposals from three companies that are interested in serving as program manager of the $388 million SPLOST program. Proceeds from the one-percent special purpose local options sales tax will go toward improving roads and public safety throughout the county. Voters approved the tax increase in November. The SPLOST Citizens Advisory Committee...
Union cancels MARTA paratransit strike set for today

Union cancels MARTA paratransit strike set for today

MARTA paratransit workers have called off a one-day strike scheduled for today, citing progress in contract negotiations. The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 732 had planned to stage a walkout to protest what it said are unsafe buses and dangerous working conditions. The strike would have affected MARTA’s paratransit service for seniors and the disabled, but not regular bus or rail service....
Atlanta corruption probe seeks former Mayor Kasim Reed’s records

Atlanta corruption probe seeks former Mayor Kasim Reed’s records

The sprawling federal investigation into Atlanta City Hall corruption has now reached the office of former Mayor Kasim Reed. An April 6 subpoena from a federal grand jury demands information about charges made to Reed’s city-issued credit card, along with information about Reed’s brother, Tracy; political consultant Rev. Mitzi Bickers, who was indicted on bribery charges last week; and...
Gwinnett candidate explains federal tax liens claiming he owes $200K

Gwinnett candidate explains federal tax liens claiming he owes $200K

The Internal Revenue Service filed tax liens four years ago against a local attorney who is running for state court judge in Gwinnett County, accusing him of owing more than $200,000 to the government. The attorney, Lance Tyler, says the actual number is much, much less — and that the liens filed against him and his wife were a mistake to begin with, the result of an accountant’s clerical...
Former Mayor Kasim Reed named in Atlanta City Hall corruption subpoena

Former Mayor Kasim Reed named in Atlanta City Hall corruption subpoena

For the first time, federal prosecutors are seeking records of former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in the sprawling federal investigation of City Hall corruption. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday received a copy of an April 6 subpoena from a federal grand jury seeking, among other things, Reed’s city-issued credit card statements and other information related to reimbursements made to...
Atlanta purchasing chief Adam Smith ordered to report to N.C. prison

Atlanta purchasing chief Adam Smith ordered to report to N.C. prison

Adam Smith, who for 14 years was Atlanta’s top purchasing officer, has been ordered to report to a North Carolina federal prison to begin serving a 27-month sentence for his role in a City Hall bribery scheme. Smith, a graduate of Yale, Morehouse and Georgetown Law School, must report to the Federal Medical Center Butner on Wednesday. The facility, for inmates with special medical needs...
Looking to hire 155 officers, DeKalb Police tries new strategies

Looking to hire 155 officers, DeKalb Police tries new strategies

Detective Lesa Robinson needs a tissue and a few seconds to compose herself. She is in the middle of an exhibit hall at the Georgia International Convention Center and someone has asked her what it was like being a female officer patrolling the busy streets of DeKalb County. The memory of her first day riding alone gets her emotional, but telling the story of the first time she called for backup brings...
Atlanta Municipal Court back in business (but using paper)

Atlanta Municipal Court back in business (but using paper)

Atlanta’s municipal court held regular proceedings Monday for the first time since cyberattackers brought the city’s digital infrastructure to its knees last month, and those with dates in traffic court and elsewhere this week are expected to report as scheduled. But the underlying issues don’t exactly appear to be resolved.  A city of Atlanta spokesperson said the...
Saving Main Street: Powder Springs latest town seeking reinvention

Saving Main Street: Powder Springs latest town seeking reinvention

Once a Victorian resort town known for its restorative waters, Powder Springs is struggling.  A bookstore, consignment shop and florist anchor the downtown, while many of the red brick storefronts stand empty. New restaurants come and go. The Country Store of Seven Springs, housed in a white clapboard building believed to date back to the presidency of Andrew Jackson, has been closed since 2012...
Atlanta Central Library seeks space for the future to meet new needs

Atlanta Central Library seeks space for the future to meet new needs

What is the future of the library? Whatever it is, the director of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System wants the city’s Central Library to be able to adapt to it. A plan to renovate the Central Library, unveiled Wednesday, seeks to modernize the downtown library by adding more technology, a flexible events space including a demonstration kitchen and leasable space inside...
Metro Syrians: U.S. should have targeted Assad

Metro Syrians: U.S. should have targeted Assad

U.S.-led military attacks in Syria were focused on the wrong target, some metro Atlanta Syrians said Saturday. Some said they don’t believe Syrian President Bashar Assad will be dissuaded from continuing to attack and kill his own people by the coordinated strikes that the United States, France and Britian carried out against three chemical-related sites in Syria. The airstrikes were in...
FDA to block bulk sales of pure caffeine, citing Georgia, Ohio deaths

FDA to block bulk sales of pure caffeine, citing Georgia, Ohio deaths

The morning that James Wade Sweatt first tried a powdered caffeine supplement, his heart went into cardiac arrest. For the next 11 days, he was in a coma. Despite efforts to save him, the 24-year-old Alpharetta engineer died. Now, nearly four years after his death, the federal Food and Drug Administration has announced a crackdown on highly concentrated caffeine products, saying they pose a significant...
Gwinnett transit plan now includes rail. Here’s how you can weigh in.

Gwinnett transit plan now includes rail. Here’s how you can weigh in.

The folks from Gwinnett County are wrapping up the creation of their comprehensive transit plan — a more-than-year-long study that, among many other things, includes a proposal to extend heavy rail from the Doraville MARTA station to the Norcross area.  Before the plan is completed, the county will be collecting one more round of public input. Below is a list of formal public meetings regarding...
Atlanta hires pricey outside lawyers for public records case

Atlanta hires pricey outside lawyers for public records case

At rates of up to $855 an hour, Atlanta has retained two attorneys from an international law firm to manage its response to a GBI investigation into open records violations, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News have learned. Legal experts endorsed the city’s need to retain an outside law firm to handle the case, since the city itself is the subject of the investigation...
Gwinnett’s transit plans now include running heavy rail into county

Gwinnett’s transit plans now include running heavy rail into county

Gwinnett County’s long-range plans for transit expansion include a bit of heavy rail after all. Officials said Thursday afternoon that the county’s comprehensive transit plan — the near-finished version of which will be revealed in a new round of public meetings that begins Saturday — will include the recommendation that rail be extended from the existing Doraville MARTA station...
Burglar alarm calls in Sandy Springs will go unanswered for some

Burglar alarm calls in Sandy Springs will go unanswered for some

Sandy Springs will no longer respond to burglar alarms from five companies that either failed to register with the city or failed to pay fines for false alarms. Three of those companies — Patterson Security Services, RTA Security and Security Sales & Service — have a total of 52 customers in Sandy Springs. The other two companies, Banner Security Systems, Inc. and Safe Home...
AJC, Ch. 2 ask AG to mediate open records complaint against Atlanta

AJC, Ch. 2 ask AG to mediate open records complaint against Atlanta

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News filed a complaint Wednesday with Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr alleging “a culture of political interference” with open records requests at Atlanta City Hall, and requesting mediation to implement reforms for repeated violations of state law. The complaint outlines 10 examples of alleged violations of the Georgia Open Records...
Food, exercise boutiques set to open in new City Springs development

Food, exercise boutiques set to open in new City Springs development

Sandy Springs’ new downtown development, which is scheduled to begin to open in the coming weeks, has three businesses focused on fitness and four restaurants. Those businesses will join an arts center and Sandy Springs’ new city hall near the intersection of Johnson Ferry Road and Mount Vernon Highway. “This is an exciting day for us,” Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul said...
Midtown residents still aren’t sold on development near Piedmont Park

Midtown residents still aren’t sold on development near Piedmont Park

In the four months since a proposed development at 10th Street and Monroe Drive drew the ire of Atlanta residents concerned about adding more density to a busy corner near Piedmont Park and the Beltline, residents say there have been no updates to the plans that would assuage their concerns. The project, by Fuqua Development and 10th & Monroe LLC, would put a hotel, a grocery store...
Feds: Georgia DOT partly responsible for I-85 bridge collapse

Feds: Georgia DOT partly responsible for I-85 bridge collapse

Federal investigators have concluded the Georgia Department of Transportation is partly to blame for the fire that destroyed part of I-85 in Atlanta and crippled the region’s traffic for weeks. Wednesday, the National Transportation Safety Board released a report that found the department’s decision to stockpile construction materials under I-85 contributed to the inferno that...
Ex-Gwinnett cops charged in traffic stop beating waive arraignment

Ex-Gwinnett cops charged in traffic stop beating waive arraignment

The ex-Gwinnett police officers charged in connection with a 2017 traffic stop beating have waived their arraignments, court officials confirmed Wednesday.  Former Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni and former Master Officer Robert McDonald had been scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning, almost exactly a year after the controversial traffic stop near Lawrenceville. During an arraignment, defendants...
Atlanta City Hall shakeup: Who was on Mayor Bottoms’ resignation letter list?

Atlanta City Hall shakeup: Who was on Mayor Bottoms’ resignation letter list?

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms asked for the resignation letters of 26 high-level city officials on April 9. In an April 10 press conference, Bottoms said that not all of the resignations will be accepted. Ria Aiken – Director of Emergency Preparedness Randall Slaughter - Interim Fire Chief  John Gaffney – Chief Financial Officer Stephanie Stuckey Benfield – Director of...
New portal will allow citizens to track Atlanta government spending

New portal will allow citizens to track Atlanta government spending

Standing in front of hundreds of City of Atlanta employees on Tuesday, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms delivered messages to citizens concerned about City Hall corruption and to critics who say her administration is too closely tied to former Mayor Kasim Reed. “This week,” Bottoms said, “is about speaking softly and carrying a big stick.” The stick came out Monday, when Bottoms...
Atlanta launches portal allowing citizens to track city spending

Atlanta launches portal allowing citizens to track city spending

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Tuesday unveiled her plan to create an online portal through which citizens can track city spending. Called Atlanta’s Open Checkbook, Bottoms said the system has largely been built out and should be operational within two months. She said it will allow residents to review spending on vendors, by departments, or by individual city officials who charge expenses...
DeKalb CEO says sewer spills down 31 percent

DeKalb CEO says sewer spills down 31 percent

DeKalb CEO Mike Thurmond said there were 44 reported sewage spills in the first quarter of 2018 compared to 64 in 2017, a 31 percent drop. It is too soon to say whether the number reflects a trend that will carry out for the whole year, Thurmond said. This statistic was part of an update the CEO provided to the Board of Commissioners about the county’s effort to comply with a consent decree...
As 100-day mark nears, Atlanta mayor asks cabinet to resign

As 100-day mark nears, Atlanta mayor asks cabinet to resign

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told all of her cabinet members on Monday to hand in their resignations by the end of the day.The group includes about 35 top city officials. Once she’s made further assessments, Bottoms said in a statement, she’ll determine which resignations to accept. The statement did not provide a time-frame for the assessment.
Shandarrick Barnes gets prison for threatening Atlanta bribery figure

Shandarrick Barnes gets prison for threatening Atlanta bribery figure

In the pre-dawn hours of Sept. 11, 2015, Shandarrick Barnes had a message to deliver to a longtime Atlanta contractor who was talking to the feds, and Barnes chose to send it with brick. Printed with red ink was an unmistakable threat to Elvin “E.R.” Mitchell Jr.: “Shut up ER, keep your mouth shut!!!” Mitchell awoke that morning to the sound of shattered glass and found...
Atlanta City Hall shakeup: Mayor asks entire cabinet to resign

Atlanta City Hall shakeup: Mayor asks entire cabinet to resign

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Monday told her cabinet members that she wants their resignations by the end of the day. A city official said that Bottoms has also told her cabinet — a group that includes 35 top city officials — that she will decide by the end of the week whose resignations she will accept and whose she will decline. That official, who is not being identified because...
DeKalb to provide updates on sewer system clean up, cybersecurity

DeKalb to provide updates on sewer system clean up, cybersecurity

DeKalb CEO Mike Thurmond will update the public about the county’s ongoing efforts to comply with a federal consent decree to clean up its water and sewer systems. Thurmond’s update, the second of his tenure as CEO, will be provided at Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners’ meeting at 9 a.m. He is expected to talk about progress made since he took office in January 2017, such as...
Atlanta bribery figure gets 37 months in brick and rat intimidation case

Atlanta bribery figure gets 37 months in brick and rat intimidation case

UPDATE at 3:45 p.m.: Shandarrick Barnes, a former city of Atlanta employee who admitted last year to trying to intimidate a key witness in the City Hall bribery investigation, was sentenced Monday to 37 months in federal prison.  Barnes, 41, admitted to attempting to intimidate longtime Atlanta construction contractor Elvin “E.R.” Mitchell Jr., a key witness in the federal probe who...
Bribery charges expose depth of corruption facing Atlanta’s new mayor

Bribery charges expose depth of corruption facing Atlanta’s new mayor

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has said the city won’t know how deeply the city’s procurement process has been exploited until federal prosecutors complete their bribery investigation at City Hall. An indictment unsealed Thursday indicates Bottoms could be waiting a while. The indictment against The Rev. Mitzi Bickers suggests the new mayor will have to tackle pervasive vulnerabilities...
Sandy Springs beginning to collect alarm company fines ahead of ban

Sandy Springs beginning to collect alarm company fines ahead of ban

Eight alarm companies that operate in Sandy Springs have paid the city more than $8,000 in fines following a threat that police there would stop responding to those companies’ calls if the money was not paid. But there are still 31 other businesses whose customers may find their contracts worthless if fines are not paid by the close of business Tuesday. Even in refusing to respond...
Fulton County has a court date to defend freezing property values

Fulton County has a court date to defend freezing property values

Fulton County will go to court May 30 to defend county commissioners’ decision to freeze 2017 residential property values at 2016 levels. Alan C. Harvey, the DeKalb County judge who granted the county’s request for a temporary collection order to allow governments to collect taxes last year after the county’s tax digest was rejected, will hear the matter, filed in...
Cobb faces tricky negotiation over MARTA

Cobb faces tricky negotiation over MARTA

Will all or part of Cobb join MARTA, and who gets to decide?  That will depend on whether county commissioners and lawmakers can agree on a map for a proposed special service district, a major sticking point in the negotiations over the regional transit bill currently awaiting Governor Nathan Deal’s signature. The version of the bill that passed includes a complicated compromise that...
Several Fulton, Atlanta tax relief bills will go to voters in November

Several Fulton, Atlanta tax relief bills will go to voters in November

In the final minutes of this year’s legislative session, Georgia lawmakers passed a measure that could lower the property taxes Atlanta homeowners pay to support schools. But another proposal that would have further exempted seniors from paying school taxes didn’t make it to a vote before the midnight deadline. Sen. Jen Jordan, D-Atlanta, sponsored SB 485 and SB 486, the two measures...
Heads up, Gwinnett: Your property assessments are in the mail

Heads up, Gwinnett: Your property assessments are in the mail

Your 2018 property assessments are in the mail, Gwinnett, so monitor those mailboxes. But remember: assessments are not tax bills. Gwinnett officials said the county’s board of assessors mailed about 280,000 assessments to local home and business owners on Friday. The notices include the estimated value of residents’ taxable property and provides an explanation of any change in value...
DeKalb NAACP backs removing Confederate symbols at Stone Mountain but not the sculpture

DeKalb NAACP backs removing Confederate symbols at Stone Mountain but not the sculpture

The NAACP DeKalb County Branch is out with a list of recommendations for Stone Mountain Park, but removing the massive relief sculpture of Confederate generals is not among them. Getting rid of the carving would be too controversial and costly now but could be revisited later, the NAACP said. Instead, its members are pushing other changes they say carry a manageable price tag.  The NAACP&rsquo...
Fulton County Commission Chair Robb Pitts in car hit by drunk driver

Fulton County Commission Chair Robb Pitts in car hit by drunk driver

Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts was a passenger in a car hit by a drunk driver Thursday morning. In a statement, Pitts said that neither he nor the driver of his car sustained “serious injuries” in the two-vehicle accident in Sandy Springs. Pitts was on his way to a meeting around 10 a.m. when the accident occurred, he said. The driver of the other car was charged...
Mitzi Bickers, politico and pastor, indicted in Atlanta bribery case

Mitzi Bickers, politico and pastor, indicted in Atlanta bribery case

For most of her adult life, Mitzi Bickers’ public persona has been with a white clerical collar around her neck while she ministered to people in her church, in jails or at funerals. On Thursday, Rev. Bickers wore handcuffs and leg irons under a gray pantsuit to a first appearance in federal court, after an 11-count indictment was unsealed that charged her with conspiracy to commit bribery,...
Massive, gleaming new downtown marks Sandy Springs’ evolution as a city

Massive, gleaming new downtown marks Sandy Springs’ evolution as a city

Every few months, Rusty Paul visits the Arlington Memorial Park cemetery. He places a stone on the grave of Eva Galambos, the founding mother of Sandy Springs. And he tells her about the progress of its new downtown. In the 1970s, when Galambos first dreamed of a city of Sandy Springs, she could not have imagined what it is today. Now 13 years old, the North Fulton municipality of 105,000 people is...
After mold discovery, fixes coming to DeKalb jail

After mold discovery, fixes coming to DeKalb jail

An overhaul of the DeKalb County Jail to fix issues with leaky plumbing and mold was announced by Sheriff Jeffrey Mann today. The renovation will cost $1.5 million and is expected to take three months. Mann said that a study concluded the mold is likely caused by leaks in the showers where inmates are housed but poses no immediate health threats. The 1 million-square-foot detention center is located...
Arraignment set for ex-Gwinnett cops charged in traffic stop beating

Arraignment set for ex-Gwinnett cops charged in traffic stop beating

The now-former Gwinnett County police officers charged with assaulting a motorist during a 2017 traffic stop are scheduled to be in court next week.  Former Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni and former Master Officer Robert McDonald are scheduled to be arraigned in front of Superior Court Judge Warren Davis on Friday, April 13. During an arraignment, defendants are given the opportunity to enter...
Tammy Duckworth makes Senate history, votes with infant daughter in her arms 

Tammy Duckworth makes Senate history, votes with infant daughter in her arms 

Maile Pearl Bowlsbey doesn’t know it, but the 10-day-old infant made history Thursday at the U.S. Senate. Her mother, Tammy Duckworth, became the first person to cast a vote on the Senate floor with her newborn in her arms, The New York Times reported. The Democrat from Illinois participated in Thursday’s vote on the confirmation of Republican Rep. James Bridenstine as NASA&rsquo...
Bake off star recounts being detained for taking baggies of powder through airport security

Bake off star recounts being detained for taking baggies of powder through airport security

She looks like the grandma who has to cook for everyone, but Mary Berry, star of “The Great British Bake Off,” has a dark past. Berry recently recounted the time that airport security detained her for taking bags of powder through airport security, Metro reported. >> Read more trending news  Berry told Graham Norton, “I was arrested 25 years ago. I was going...
Oh, boy! Michigan couple with 13 sons adds No. 14

Oh, boy! Michigan couple with 13 sons adds No. 14

A Michigan couple with 13 sons just added another child into the family -- and yes, it was another boy. Jay and Kateri Schwandt of Rockford welcomed an 8-pound, 4-ounce boy Wednesday night, WOOD-TV reported. The boy was born at 5:56 p.m. and measured 21 inches long. He also was five days early, the Grand Rapids Press reported. The Schwandts’ other boys range in age from 2 to 25. ...
’Break out the Kleenex': Family shares cartoon of Barbara Bush, late daughter

’Break out the Kleenex': Family shares cartoon of Barbara Bush, late daughter

Family members of Barbara Bush were touched by a cartoon that shows the former first lady greeting her late daughter in heaven. Marshall Ramsey of the Clarion Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, drew the cartoon of Bush, who died Tuesday at 92, reuniting with daughter Pauline Robinson Bush -- known as Robin -- who died of leukemia in October 1953 when she was 3. “I came at it from a different angle...
LA Fitness apologizes for racial profiling incident at New Jersey club

LA Fitness apologizes for racial profiling incident at New Jersey club

LA Fitness issued an apology after two black patrons were wrongly accused of not paying at a New Jersey club and were asked to leave, CNN reported. Tshyrad Oates posted videos of the encounter, which occurred Sunday in Secaucus, New Jersey, on Facebook. Oates said he had a guest pass and his friend was a current member. Oates said in his Facebook post that a manager told them they were banned...
Parents file $750,000 lawsuit against Tennessee trampoline park

Parents file $750,000 lawsuit against Tennessee trampoline park

A Tennessee family filed a $750,000 lawsuit against Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park in Cordova.  Two parents filed the lawsuit in Shelby County Circuit Court last week on behalf of their son, who was injured on a rope course at the park in September 2017.  “He was given a harness by an employee, and after he had the harness on he was told he was ready to go,&rdquo...
Texas schoolwork asking for 'positive aspects' of slave life 'unacceptable'

Texas schoolwork asking for 'positive aspects' of slave life 'unacceptable'

U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro, D-San Antonio, took to Twitter on Thursday to call out a San Antonio school assignment about slavery that he called “unacceptable.”  Castro tweeted an image of the assignment, which asked students to list both positive and negative aspects to living as a slave.  The charter school where the assignment came from, Great Hearts, has since responded...
Southwest Airlines reportedly gives $5,000 checks to passengers from Flight 1380

Southwest Airlines reportedly gives $5,000 checks to passengers from Flight 1380

At least three passengers who were aboard Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 received a $5,000 check in a letter from the airline, CNN reported Friday. One passenger, 43-year-old Jennifer Riordan of Albuquerque, New Mexico, died after debris from the plane’s engine blew out a window. The plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia on Tuesday, where Riordan died at...
Police: Man stays at bar for 30 minutes after being stabbed

Police: Man stays at bar for 30 minutes after being stabbed

A man who was stabbed early Thursday morning while at a Pittsburgh bar remained at the establishment for 30 minutes before leaving, investigators said. Police were called about 2 a.m. to a residential area near Pollock’s Cafe. Investigators said the 40-year-old victim was stabbed in the shoulder after he apparently got into a fight with another person. The man did not seek medical attention...
Arizona teachers approve strike, will walk out next Thursday

Arizona teachers approve strike, will walk out next Thursday

Arizona teachers voted in favor of a strike Thursday night as the educators demanded higher wages and better classroom conditions, KTAR reported. The walkout is scheduled for next Thursday. “Seventy-eight percent of the school employees in this state said yes,” Joe Thomas, president of the Arizona Education Association said during a news conference. Next week, Monday, Tuesday and...
2 Florida deputies shot, killed at restaurant

2 Florida deputies shot, killed at restaurant

Two Florida sheriff’s deputies were killed Thursday, shot through the window of a Chinese restaurant as they shared a meal, The Gainesville Sun reported. The man who allegedly shot the Gilchrist County deputies was found dead in a car outside the restaurant, authorities said. Deputy Taylor Lindsey, 25, and Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 29, were eating at the Ace China restaurant in Trenton at...
What would Prince want? Two years later, his estate is a mess and his legacy unclear

What would Prince want? Two years later, his estate is a mess and his legacy unclear

CHANHASSEN, Minnesota — Near Influence Hallway, past Paisley Park's platinum album-lined entry, our tour group is led to Prince's inner sanctum, a two-story atrium painted sky blue with clouds — his take on heaven. A trio of doves flutter in an ornate cage. They don't cry. They coo. The late artist's residence and recording complex sprawls alongside a well-traveled highway, 20 miles from...
Cruiser camera catches house explosion in Texas

Cruiser camera catches house explosion in Texas

A police cruiser camera caught footage of a house explosion in Texas after the driver of a car lost control and hit the house and struck a gas line on April 7. The newly released dash-cam footage from the Hurst Police Department captured the exact moment when the house burst into flames, sending police officers scrambling for their lives. Officer Travis Hiser was walking toward the scene of the crash...
Human Rights Campaign: Pence ‘one of the greatest threats to equality’

Human Rights Campaign: Pence ‘one of the greatest threats to equality’

WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign on Thursday called Vice President Mike Pence “one of the greatest threats to equality in the history of our movement,” highlighting his record on issues important to the LGBTQ community. The gay rights organization argues Pence has taken advantage of the chaos of the Trump administration to amass “enormous power” ...
Investigators: Florida police officer met women in parks while on duty

Investigators: Florida police officer met women in parks while on duty

Investigators in northeast Florida said an officer with the New Smyrna Beach Police Department was meeting women in public parks while he was on duty. Officer Beau Estrada resigned in January while the internal investigation into his activities was going on. Investigators got a tip from a citizen who claimed he saw the officer having sex on the job, so they began following Estrada to different parks...
Woman chasing dog in parking lot killed by armored truck on 22nd birthday

Woman chasing dog in parking lot killed by armored truck on 22nd birthday

A California woman chasing her dog in a San Diego shopping center was killed Tuesday after she was hit by an armored truck, KNSD reported.  Mikaela Jones was chasing her dog, who had gotten away from her, at the La Jolla Village Shopping Center when she was hit, according to the San Diego Police Department. Tuesday was Jones’ 22nd birthday, according to the San Diego County Medical...
'Dance Moms' star Abby Lee Miller diagnosed with cancer, doctors say

'Dance Moms' star Abby Lee Miller diagnosed with cancer, doctors say

Former “Dance Moms” reality TV star and Pittsburgh native Abby Lee Miller has been diagnosed with cancer. People Magazine is reporting Miller has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma a day after undergoing emergency spinal surgery. >> Read more trending news  Doctor’s originally thought she had a severe infection. Miller is not out of the woods from the surgery...
Michigan mother puts children in suitcase, leaves them at curb with garbage 

Michigan mother puts children in suitcase, leaves them at curb with garbage 

A Michigan woman put some of her children in a suitcase and placed them next to the garbage at the road, then fled before Child Protective Services personnel arrived, WEYI reported. The incident took place in Flint shortly after 6 p.m. Wednesday, Flint Police said. Police came to the residence to assist CPS officials, who were coming to take custody of the children. It was not clear whether four...
Amazon warehouse culture like 'prison,' undercover author writes 

Amazon warehouse culture like 'prison,' undercover author writes 

An undercover author said working in an Amazon fulfillment center is like "a prison," where workers were urinating in bottles because they did not have enough time to go to the bathroom.  James Bloodworth, as part of his book "Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain," spent almost a month in 2016 working as a "picker" at a fulfillment center in Rugeley,...
Man racks up $8,000 bill at Florida resort with fake credit card, police say

Man racks up $8,000 bill at Florida resort with fake credit card, police say

A New York man is accused of charging more than $8,000 at a Florida resort hotel with a counterfeit credit card, The Tampa Bay Times reported. Gavroch Muller Cadet, 27, of Brooklyn, was arrested Monday and charged with multiple counts of forgery of a credit card and a count of possession of marijuana, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said. He was released after posting $30,150 bail...
Queen Elizabeth's last corgi dog put down

Queen Elizabeth's last corgi dog put down

The last of Queen Elizabeth’s corgis was put to sleep after a long struggle with cancer, The Daily Mail reported. The dog, Willow, was nearly 15. That means that for the first time since World War II, the Queen, 91, does not have a corgi in her household. Monty Roberts told Vanity Fair she didn’t want to have any more young dogs after 2012 because she didn’t want to...
Cincinnati councilman apologizes to family of Kyle Plush

Cincinnati councilman apologizes to family of Kyle Plush

A Cincinnati councilman apologized for comments he made to Kyle Plush’s family, and the county’s Republican Party chairman has called for his resignation. During Tuesday’s special meeting, Councilman Wendell Young implied Plush’s family may seek financial compensation in the 16-year-old teen’s death in a 2004 Honda Odyssey van, saying, “There&rsquo...
Texas high school senior takes his mom to the prom

Texas high school senior takes his mom to the prom

Taking your mom to your high school prom would raise eyebrows around school, but for a Texas high school senior it was a no-brainer. Joe Moreno said his mother, Vanessa Moreno, missed her prom because she dropped out of high school to give birth to him. When this year’s prom was scheduled at Collegiate High School in Corpus Christi, Joe made good on a promise he made years ago, KIII reported...
Unauthorized field trip could cost Ohio high school teacher her job

Unauthorized field trip could cost Ohio high school teacher her job

An Ohio high school teacher is facing possible termination for taking 50 students on a college visit in March that was not approved by the school. The future employment of Trotwood High School teacher Khalilah Forte will be considered by the Trotwood City School Board in a special meeting Thursday. According to documents from last week’s meeting, the board plans to vote on whether...
Driver strips naked, dances in street after causing 5-car pileup, police say

Driver strips naked, dances in street after causing 5-car pileup, police say

A man who allegedly created a five-car crash in suburban Detroit ended with him getting out of his car, taking off his clothes and dancing in the street, police said. One person was injured in the pileup, which occurred Tuesday in Westland, Michigan. Police said a pickup truck hit the other vehicles, and the man driving it got out and began dancing in the street, WDIV reported. "He stands...
Uber-style service delivers hot meals to inmates at Georgia county jail

Uber-style service delivers hot meals to inmates at Georgia county jail

A Georgia sheriff says that he runs the toughest jail in the area, but some residents question how tough Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill’s jail really is. A company called Outside Inside Connection allows families to send inmates hot, gourmet meals to the jail. Items on the menu include jalapeno burgers, beefy nachos and Philly cheesesteaks. "They're still human. Why do they have to...
Southwest passengers shown wearing oxygen masks incorrectly

Southwest passengers shown wearing oxygen masks incorrectly

It’s a ritual most passengers on an airline flight either ignore or take for granted. Pre-flight demonstrations by attendants show the proper way to cover their noses and mouths with drop-down masks in the event the cabin loses pressure. Southwest Airlines’ attendants are particularly adept at making the presentations humorous so passengers pay attention, but the safety warnings are clear...
Charlotte city councilwoman won't resign after Facebook post questioning 9/11

Charlotte city councilwoman won't resign after Facebook post questioning 9/11

A Charlotte, North Carolina, city councilwoman is under fire after a Facebook post that questioned the validity of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center. On her personal Facebook page, LaWana Mayfield publicly shared a fake news article claiming a scientific journal determined the collapse of the Twin Towers was a controlled demolition. Mayfield wrote on Facebook, &ldquo...
Starbucks founder Howard Schultz speaks for first time since arrest of 2 black men

Starbucks founder Howard Schultz speaks for first time since arrest of 2 black men

Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz publicly apologized on television Wednesday morning for the arrest of two black men at one their stores. The arrest caused an uproar that led to the company’s decision to close its more than 8,000 U.S. stores for an afternoon of racial bias training for employees. "I'm embarrassed, ashamed. I think what occurred is reprehensible at every...
Charges could be announced in Prince opioid investigation two years after his death

Charges could be announced in Prince opioid investigation two years after his death

Authorities in Carver County, Minnesota, could announce charges Thursday in the investigation into the opioid-related death of legendary entertainer Prince two years after he died, according to news outlets. >> Read more trending news  Prince was found unresponsive at his Paisley Park home in Chanhassen on April 21, 2016, and was later pronounced dead. An autopsy report by the Midwest Medical...
Southwest plane hits bird, forced to return to Nashville 

Southwest plane hits bird, forced to return to Nashville 

A Southwest Airlines plane bound for Phoenix was forced to turn around and return to Nashville International Airport after it hit a bird Wednesday morning, the Tennessean reported. The incident happened shortly after Flight 577 took off at 5:13 a.m., Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Michelle Agnew said. "The captain in command safely returned the flight” to the Nashville terminal, Agnew...
Indiana woman asks firefighters to treat stoned raccoon 

Indiana woman asks firefighters to treat stoned raccoon 

Since it is located near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, residents in Wayne Township, Indiana, are used to high speeds. But the town’s firefighters had to deal with a different kind of high -- a stoned raccoon, WTHR reported. Wayne Township firefighters said they were awakened at 2 a.m. last week by a woman frantically ringing the doorbell.  "As many times as the doorbell...
Who was Jennifer Riordan, the passenger killed on a Southwest Airlines flight?

Who was Jennifer Riordan, the passenger killed on a Southwest Airlines flight?

Jennifer Riordan was the passenger killed after a Southwest Airlines plane with a damaged engine and a broken window made an emergency landing in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Riordan, 43, was a Wells Fargo bank executive and a mother of two from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was taken to a hospital after the plane landed but died from her injuries. Her death was the first fatal U.S. airline incident in...
Barbara Bush 'brought out the best in America,' Georgia policymaker says

Barbara Bush 'brought out the best in America,' Georgia policymaker says

In 1987, when then-Vice President George H.W. Bush was eyeing the White House, Eric Tanenblatt was manning an Atlanta phone bank when Barbara Bush walked in -- and got to work. “She actually got on the phone,” he said. “She started calling people in Georgia to thank them for their support. She was actively involved in the campaigns.” Tanenblatt served in the...
Family of Kyle Plush storms out of Cincinnati council meeting

Family of Kyle Plush storms out of Cincinnati council meeting

The family of Kyle Jacob Plush, the Cincinnati teen who suffocated in a van last week after calling 911 twice, stormed out of a council meeting Tuesday evening. Plush, 16, was found dead by his father on April 10, about six hours after he made the first 911 call, according to WCPO in Cincinnati. A preliminary autopsy report indicated that he died of asphyxia due to compression of his chest. ...
Alabama storm shelter remained locked while keyholder watched movies

Alabama storm shelter remained locked while keyholder watched movies

Residents in a northwest Alabama community said the town’s storm shelter remained locked during severe weather last weekend while the man who held the key was watching movies at home, ABC 33/40 reported. Nauvoo Mayor Dwight Byram said there are two people besides himself who have keys to the storm shelter. As severe weather moved into the area Saturday, one keyholder was out of town and...
Donkey basketball fundraiser criticized as cruel

Donkey basketball fundraiser criticized as cruel

Donkeys and basketball. It's a fundraising tradition to some, but cruel to others.  Deborah White shelters rescued animals at Winslow Farm in Norton. She criticized a Facebook discussion on the Norfolk Agricultural High School Alumni Association's page about a fundraising event called Donkey Basketball, in which players shoot for baskets while riding donkeys. "It's just very unnatural. I...
Indiana police find 78 pounds of marijuana in SUV

Indiana police find 78 pounds of marijuana in SUV

Indiana state troopers decided to spoil the party. “Somebody’s 4/20 celebration is canceled,” the Indiana State Police tweeted after seizing 78 pounds of marijuana Monday, WXIN reported. A trooper pulled over a 2017 Ford Expedition SUV for a traffic violation on I-70 near Greenfield around 11 a.m., the television station reported. The trooper then found 78 pounds of marijuana...
Tennessee man who dressed as Spider-Man sentenced to 105 years for child porn

Tennessee man who dressed as Spider-Man sentenced to 105 years for child porn

A Tennessee man who dressed as Spider-Man when washing windows at a Nashville hospital was sentenced to 105 years in prison Monday for producing and distributing child pornography, WKRN reported. Jarratt A. Turner, 36, was sentenced in the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee, U.S. State Attorney Don Cochran said. Turner befriended families and then offered to babysit their children...
Florida high school teacher killed in car accident after trip to Disney World

Florida high school teacher killed in car accident after trip to Disney World

Florida students were mourning a high school teacher who was killed in an automobile accident Saturday while returning from Walt Disney World with her husband. Melanie Blodgett was killed and her husband, Les Blodgett, was seriously injured when their car was hit by another driver. “She’s crazy about Disney. Her favorite place to go, her favorite place to be,” said Ashley Morin,...
Publishing heir Peter Pulitzer dies in Palm Beach at 88

Publishing heir Peter Pulitzer dies in Palm Beach at 88

Palm Beach publishing heir Peter Pulitzer, scion of two prominent American families, died Saturday at home, surrounded by his children. He was 88 and had been in excellent health until recently. “We always thought he would be eaten by a shark or killed by a bear in the woods or fall out of a seaplane,” said his daughter, Liza Calhoun, of the sportsman and adventurer. “We were all...
Florida woman claims Southwest Airlines lost her mother's prosthetic foot

Florida woman claims Southwest Airlines lost her mother's prosthetic foot

A Florida woman is angry that she had to do some sole searching when she flew to visit her elderly mother. Margaret Crawford is claiming that Southwest Airlines lost luggage containing her 97-year-old mother’s new prosthetic foot for almost two weeks, WFLA reported Tuesday. Margaret Crawford flew from Tampa International Airport to Belize on March 30. After discovering that the luggage...

Oven cleaning tricks that work

Part of spring-cleaning is that you’re cleaning all the nooks and crannies you don’t get a chance to reach all year round — and your oven should not be forgotten. I’ve been searching high and low for some oven cleaning hacks lately. It all started because I live in an old apartment and realized I have no idea the last time it was cleaned. (Yes, that’s a bit scary). Not...
Couple spends 17 years updating their 1939 home

Couple spends 17 years updating their 1939 home

It didn’t take long for the welcome wagon of well-meaning questions to wheel its way to Greg Crick and Kip White’s new home. “When we moved in, so many neighbors came to us and said, ‘You’re not tearing it down, are you?’ ” says Greg. “So many houses in the neighborhood are being changed.” What the neighbors didn’t know, before they knew...
Standing disks in your garden creates a universal sculpture

Standing disks in your garden creates a universal sculpture

The tradition of carved jade disks called a bi began in China before the invention of writing. Dating back to Neolithic times, it’s believed they represent the heavens. Later as the culture changed, so did the meaning and the value of the more contemporary jade bi. There are similar shapes in the local design vernacular of other cultures too. Old world and New, East and West, these flat circular...
Using warm colors can help transform a space

Using warm colors can help transform a space

Warm colors help to add a sense of coziness to your space. From warm oranges, to reds and yellows, warmer tones can help to transform a space that may be cold and cavernous to one that is warm and inviting. Here are some of our top tips if looking for ways to infuse warm colors into your space. DO 1. Do use black. Black is not only a warm color, but one that is neutral as well and can instantly add...
The essentials for modern farmhouse design

The essentials for modern farmhouse design

Modern Farmhouse design is one of this year’s hottest trends — and for good reason. The style combines the warmth of a traditional farm home with a streamlined, minimal aesthetic. And the result is not only stunning; it’s timeless. There are lots of ways to achieve the look, but incorporating a few essentials will help you capture the core of the design and create the space you&rsquo...
Bathrooms get cottage charm makeover

Bathrooms get cottage charm makeover

Sometimes, I look at photos of homes with large, lovely, almost palatial bathroom spaces, and sigh wistfully. As a lover of historic homes, big bathrooms are not a reality for me, unless I knock out a lot of walls. But I have found that just because your home has little bathrooms doesn’t mean they can’t be beautiful. All you need to do is add some touches here and there to give them charm...
Some viewers irked when ‘Jeopardy!’ is preempted to announce Barbara Bush’s death

Some viewers irked when ‘Jeopardy!’ is preempted to announce Barbara Bush’s death

And the Final Jeopardy answer is … Viewers in the Eastern time zone watching “Jeopardy! 2018 College Championship” semifinals Tuesday had to go to Google and Twitter to find out, as the syndicated program was interrupted by CBS, ABC and NBC to report the death of former first lady Barbara Bush. Some viewers of the quiz show were not amused. “@CBS really interrupted Jeopardy...
Longtime NPR broadcaster Carl Kasell has died from Alzheimer’s disease at 84

Longtime NPR broadcaster Carl Kasell has died from Alzheimer’s disease at 84

Longtime NPR broadcaster Carl Kasell has died at the age of 84 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease, NPR announced Tuesday. >> Read more trending news  The unflappable Kasell with his reassuring baritone voice, delivered the news at the top of the hour for both for the network’s flagship news magazines “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered,&rdquo...
Billboard Music Awards: Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar top nomination list

Billboard Music Awards: Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar top nomination list

The nominations for the 2018 Billboard Music Awards were announced Tuesday, and Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars and Kendrick Lamar lead the nominations with 15 each. In the top artist award category the three are up against Drake, with nine nominations, and Taylor Swift, who snagged five BBMA nods. >> Read more trending news  Here’s a list of the nominees in the top categories: Top Artist...
Barbara Bush, former first lady and matriarch of Bush family, dies at 92

Barbara Bush, former first lady and matriarch of Bush family, dies at 92

Barbara Pierce Bush, the former first lady whose cloud of white hair and strands of fake pearls became her signature, died at her Houston home Tuesday after a long struggle with congestive heart failure and pulmonary disease. The down-to-earth matriarch, who could trace her ancestry to the Mayflower and saw both her husband and son win the White House, was 92.  ...
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