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Latest from Bill Rankin

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Drug dealers face stiffer penalties if buyers fatally overdose
 One died after overdosing on heroin while on her way to board a flight at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The other died from a fentanyl overdose while partying with friends. The two deaths have resulted in criminal cases being pursued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta, where prosecutors are seeking tougher sentences...

Posted: 16 hours ago

One died after overdosing on heroin while on her way to board a flight at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The other died from a fentanyl overdose while partying with friends. The two deaths have resulted in criminal cases being pursued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta, where prosecutors are seeking tougher sentences...
Prominent Atlanta lawyer convicted of embezzling millions
 The consummate salesman, Nat Hardwick aggressively grew Atlanta’s Morris Hardwick Schneider into one of the top real estate law firms in the country. And he had even grander plans: put offices in all 50 states and then make a bundle through a public stock offering. On Friday, however, a federal jury found that Hardwick was already making...

Posted: 5 days ago

The consummate salesman, Nat Hardwick aggressively grew Atlanta’s Morris Hardwick Schneider into one of the top real estate law firms in the country. And he had even grander plans: put offices in all 50 states and then make a bundle through a public stock offering. On Friday, however, a federal jury found that Hardwick was already making...
Mother sues to learn how her son died at Fulton jail
 The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office is facing an Open Records Act lawsuit filed on behalf of a woman who wants to know how her son died at the county jail more than 10 months ago. The suit, filed this week by The Merchant Law Firm, says the county has refused requests first filed in January for records explaining how 29-year-old Clark...

Posted: 5 days ago

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office is facing an Open Records Act lawsuit filed on behalf of a woman who wants to know how her son died at the county jail more than 10 months ago. The suit, filed this week by The Merchant Law Firm, says the county has refused requests first filed in January for records explaining how 29-year-old Clark...
Senate confirms former Gwinnett judge Ray for federal bench
 Billy Ray, a former state legislator and Gwinnett County judge, is the latest of President Donald Trump’s nominees to win confirmation to the federal bench in Atlanta. Late Thursday, Ray was approved by the U.S. Senate for a seat on the U.S. District Court in Atlanta. Since 2012, Ray has served as a judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals...

Posted: 5 days ago

Billy Ray, a former state legislator and Gwinnett County judge, is the latest of President Donald Trump’s nominees to win confirmation to the federal bench in Atlanta. Late Thursday, Ray was approved by the U.S. Senate for a seat on the U.S. District Court in Atlanta. Since 2012, Ray has served as a judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals...
Prosecutors notify 30 doctors about excessive opioid prescriptions
 Federal prosecutors in Atlanta have put about 30 doctors on notice that they’ve been identified for prescribing opioids in significantly greater quantities or doses than their peers. The doctors, who were not publicly identified but work in the metro and North Georgia area, were notified by letter. Some also were found to have prescribed...

Posted: 12 days ago

Federal prosecutors in Atlanta have put about 30 doctors on notice that they’ve been identified for prescribing opioids in significantly greater quantities or doses than their peers. The doctors, who were not publicly identified but work in the metro and North Georgia area, were notified by letter. Some also were found to have prescribed...
Jackson cop in prison after falsely alleging black man shot her
 Officer Sherry Hall’s call over the police radio that she’d been shot had fellow cops swarming a dark, wooded cul-de-sac in Jackson. Then they fanned out across Butts County in search of a suspect. Hall described her assailant as a 6-foot, 230-pound African-American man wearing a green shirt and black jogging pants. Unprovoked...

Posted: 14 days ago

Officer Sherry Hall’s call over the police radio that she’d been shot had fellow cops swarming a dark, wooded cul-de-sac in Jackson. Then they fanned out across Butts County in search of a suspect. Hall described her assailant as a 6-foot, 230-pound African-American man wearing a green shirt and black jogging pants. Unprovoked...
Georgia cop who lied about being shot by black man sentenced to 15 years in prison
 Officer Sherry Hall’s call over the police radio that she’d been shot had fellow cops swarming a dark, wooded cul-de-sac in Jackson. Then they fanned out across Butts County in search of a suspect. >> Read more trending news  Hall described her assailant as a 6-foot, 230-pound African-American man wearing a green shirt...

Posted: 15 days ago

Officer Sherry Hall’s call over the police radio that she’d been shot had fellow cops swarming a dark, wooded cul-de-sac in Jackson. Then they fanned out across Butts County in search of a suspect. >> Read more trending news  Hall described her assailant as a 6-foot, 230-pound African-American man wearing a green shirt...
Racist talk at home health care agency will be subject of trial
 The federal appeals court in Atlanta has refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an African-American woman who says she endured racist comments from her coworkers on an almost daily basis, including one who allegedly called her “a dumb black (racial slur).” The ruling, issued Monday by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, allows...

Posted: 22 days ago

The federal appeals court in Atlanta has refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an African-American woman who says she endured racist comments from her coworkers on an almost daily basis, including one who allegedly called her “a dumb black (racial slur).” The ruling, issued Monday by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, allows...
Was Atlanta lawyer a mastermind embezzler or duped by ‘habitual thief’?
 At the end of 2010, Atlanta attorney Nathan “Nat” Hardwick’s bank accounts were $38,000 in the red. Even so, Hardwick somehow found a way to continue his life of luxury, buying lavish homes and flitting across the country in private jets, U.S. Attorney Russell Phillips told jurors Monday during opening statements of...

Posted: 23 days ago

At the end of 2010, Atlanta attorney Nathan “Nat” Hardwick’s bank accounts were $38,000 in the red. Even so, Hardwick somehow found a way to continue his life of luxury, buying lavish homes and flitting across the country in private jets, U.S. Attorney Russell Phillips told jurors Monday during opening statements of...
Georgia high court throws out Fulton County murder conviction
 The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday threw out a Fulton County murder conviction and criticized both prosecutors and police officers for pursuing a case against a suspect who had clearly and repeatedly invoked his right to remain silent. Officers from the Milton Police Department should have known to stop questioning murder suspect Michael...

Posted: 23 days ago

The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday threw out a Fulton County murder conviction and criticized both prosecutors and police officers for pursuing a case against a suspect who had clearly and repeatedly invoked his right to remain silent. Officers from the Milton Police Department should have known to stop questioning murder suspect Michael...
Fulton taking steps to improve ‘barbaric’ conditions at jail
 Court and jail officials are taking steps to improve what have been described as “barbaric” conditions for mentally ill women inmates held at a south Fulton County jail, one of the county’s top judges said. The Sheriff’s Office is providing extra correctional officers to work with the women prisoners, and the...

Posted: 29 days ago

Court and jail officials are taking steps to improve what have been described as “barbaric” conditions for mentally ill women inmates held at a south Fulton County jail, one of the county’s top judges said. The Sheriff’s Office is providing extra correctional officers to work with the women prisoners, and the...
In filling another Supreme Court vacancy, Gov. Deal achieves milestone
 Gov. Nathan Deal on Friday filled yet another vacancy on the Georgia Supreme Court, giving him the rare distinction of having appointed a majority of justices on the state’s highest court. Court of Appeals Judge Charlie Bethel, a former Republican state senator from Dalton and a Deal ally, will replace Harris Hines, who recently...

9:00 PM Friday, Sep. 14, 2018

Gov. Nathan Deal on Friday filled yet another vacancy on the Georgia Supreme Court, giving him the rare distinction of having appointed a majority of justices on the state’s highest court. Court of Appeals Judge Charlie Bethel, a former Republican state senator from Dalton and a Deal ally, will replace Harris Hines, who recently...
Deal gets three new names for Supreme Court vacancy
 The state’s Judicial Nominating Commission has submitted three new candidates to Gov. Nathan Deal to fill a vacancy on the state’s highest court. The nominees are House Majority Whip Christian Coomer, R-Cartersville, and Appeals Court judges Charlie Bethel and Sara Doyle. They bring to 10 the number of people Deal could choose...

8:49 PM Wednesday, Sep. 12, 2018

The state’s Judicial Nominating Commission has submitted three new candidates to Gov. Nathan Deal to fill a vacancy on the state’s highest court. The nominees are House Majority Whip Christian Coomer, R-Cartersville, and Appeals Court judges Charlie Bethel and Sara Doyle. They bring to 10 the number of people Deal could choose...
Appeals court asked to reconsider Pensacola cross removal
 The federal appeals court in Atlanta is being asked to overturn a 35-year-old precedent that ordered a 70-foot-tall cross be removed from Black Rock Mountain State Park in Rabun County because it violated the establishment clause. The First Amendment of the Constitution prohibits laws “respecting an establishment of religion,&rdquo...

11:22 PM Monday, Sep. 10, 2018

The federal appeals court in Atlanta is being asked to overturn a 35-year-old precedent that ordered a 70-foot-tall cross be removed from Black Rock Mountain State Park in Rabun County because it violated the establishment clause. The First Amendment of the Constitution prohibits laws “respecting an establishment of religion,&rdquo...
Court says bar office needs to try again in military spouse case
 The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday ordered the state Board of Bar Examiners to give specific reasons why it declined to allow the wife of a U.S. Army infantry captain stationed in Columbus to practice law in Georgia. The case has attracted the attention of national legal groups, including the American Bar Association, which asked the state...

6:26 PM Monday, Sep. 10, 2018

The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday ordered the state Board of Bar Examiners to give specific reasons why it declined to allow the wife of a U.S. Army infantry captain stationed in Columbus to practice law in Georgia. The case has attracted the attention of national legal groups, including the American Bar Association, which asked the state...
Trump gets to fill new vacancy on federal bench in Atlanta
 U.S. District Judge Richard Story has informed the White House he will take senior status, giving President Donald Trump another vacancy to fill on the federal bench in Atlanta. Story, who has presided over numerous sensational cases during his time on the bench, will become a senior judge with a reduced caseload on Dec. 1. “I...

8:30 PM Tuesday, Sep. 04, 2018

U.S. District Judge Richard Story has informed the White House he will take senior status, giving President Donald Trump another vacancy to fill on the federal bench in Atlanta. Story, who has presided over numerous sensational cases during his time on the bench, will become a senior judge with a reduced caseload on Dec. 1. “I...
Melton sworn in as new state Supreme Court chief justice
 While serving as Georgia’s governor, Sonny Perdue said he was fortunate to have an executive counsel who had the fortitude to sometimes say, “Governor, you can’t do that.” That executive counsel was Harold Melton, and Perdue valued Melton’s advice so much he later appointed him to fill a vacancy on the Supreme...

7:05 PM Tuesday, Sep. 04, 2018

While serving as Georgia’s governor, Sonny Perdue said he was fortunate to have an executive counsel who had the fortitude to sometimes say, “Governor, you can’t do that.” That executive counsel was Harold Melton, and Perdue valued Melton’s advice so much he later appointed him to fill a vacancy on the Supreme...
EXCLUSIVE: Buford’s top leader — ‘My voice is on the tape’
 Buford’s longtime top elected official acknowledged on Friday that his voice is on an audio recording that captured a racist rant by a second man identified as the city’s then-schools superintendent.  But Phillip Beard, the chairman of the City Commission and the school board, said he does not remember hearing the racist...

6:30 PM Friday, Aug. 31, 2018

Buford’s longtime top elected official acknowledged on Friday that his voice is on an audio recording that captured a racist rant by a second man identified as the city’s then-schools superintendent.  But Phillip Beard, the chairman of the City Commission and the school board, said he does not remember hearing the racist...
Conditions for mentally ill women at Fulton jail called ‘barbaric’
 Mentally ill women are being detained in isolation for weeks at a time at a south Fulton County jail inside filthy cells that reek of feces, a civil rights attorney has told county officials in a letter that calls for change. Many of the women, held in chaotic and unsanitary conditions, are not receiving proper medical treatment and are deteriorating...

11:45 PM Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018

Mentally ill women are being detained in isolation for weeks at a time at a south Fulton County jail inside filthy cells that reek of feces, a civil rights attorney has told county officials in a letter that calls for change. Many of the women, held in chaotic and unsanitary conditions, are not receiving proper medical treatment and are deteriorating...
Doctor who exchanged drugs for sex gets 8 years in prison
 As metro Atlanta’s top medical examiner for decades, Joe Burton helped solve thousands of homicides, bringing closure to grieving families and justice to those criminally responsible. On Wednesday, a contrite and gaunt Burton received his own justice in an 8-year prison sentence handed down by a judge who couldn’t fathom how far...

10:16 PM Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018

As metro Atlanta’s top medical examiner for decades, Joe Burton helped solve thousands of homicides, bringing closure to grieving families and justice to those criminally responsible. On Wednesday, a contrite and gaunt Burton received his own justice in an 8-year prison sentence handed down by a judge who couldn’t fathom how far...
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