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Latest from Condace Pressley

    A Cobb attorney may soon appear before a jury for an entirely different reason. Romin Alavi faces charges of stealing from one of his clients. Mike Bagan tells Channel 2 Action News Alavi represented him after an accident that left him with $38,000 in medical bills. Recently Bagan learned that Alavi settled his case and apparently cashed his $25,000 settlement check. 'The insurance company sent me a check of the $25,000 settlement that was taken by Mr. Alavi without my approval and was actually forged signatures of me and my wife deposited into his account,' Bagan said. Sheriff's investigators confirmed the money had been deposited into Alavi's account and arrested him. Since then, Alavi has apologized to Bagan via email. 'I know you probably hate me,' Alavi wrote, 'and don't really care what my personal problems may be, but I'm working hard on finding a new career and source of income so that I can pay you everything that you deserve.' Bagan said since the email, Alavi has not returned his calls. 'I still can't believe hos this whole thing happened,' Bagan said.  Who do you go to? What do you do?
  • As many as 10-thousand people may be at risk of identity theft - victimized by a man DeKalb Police have charged with fraud.   Investigators say an alert neighbor tipped them off to Clyde Chavo. The man noticed large stacks of mail that did not belong to him. Police allege Chavo ran a tax return racket out of a home in an upscale Druid Hills neighborhood.  They say he created false businesses using the identities of real people and filed thousands of fraudulent income tax returns. 'I'm surprised that [Chavo chose] this neighborhood because it's just a good neighborhood, Aaron Linzer told Channel 2 Action News. Chavo, 39, allegedly netted thousands of dollars from the scheme.  He faces five counts of fraud, and investigators say they expect the charges against him to grow.
  • Forget Thursday night poker with the guys.  For these Duluth women it was 'ladies night' with a one-armed bandit. Gwinnett Police now confirm to News/Talk WSB that at least six women have been arrested and charged in what appears to be an all female gambling ring. Investigators carried out raids on two houses in Duluth seizing ten slot machines and nearly $20,000 in cash. The first raid Monday on Michael Circle led to the arrest of Mi Hui Yi, 55.  She's charged with keeping a gambling place, commercial gambling, and possession of gambling devices. A second raid at 3927 Old Norcross Road led to the arrests of five other women.   Police identified them as:  Mi Hyang Huh, Shirly Kim, Chung Suk Han, Young Suk Han and Sung Hee Choi. Investigators say house rules were strict.  While men could attend, they could not participate.  Neighbor Cindy Murray tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish she suspected something illegal was going on, but not gambling.  “For about two years there’s been a lot of traffic in and out, in and out and it was mainly always just women,” she said.  Often the women traveled in limousines or town cars.  Murray says at one point this spring she noticed two slot machines in the cul de sac in front of the home but thought the residents were delivering them somewhere else. She said she realized during the raid what was actually going on.  “We saw all the police come down and we saw the slot machines come out,” says Murray.
  • DeKalb County's tax assessor says their budget problems should have been no surprise to school board members. Members have complained they did not know their budget deficit was greater than first reported because of declining home values. 'No that's not the case,' said tax assessor Calvin Hicks. In fact, Hicks shared with Channel 2 Action News documents as recent as May 30 to board members detailing the declines in revenue. 'They're on the distribution list,' he said, 'and we're submitting that data to them.” School board spokesman Walter Woods now says surprised was perhaps not the word to use to describe the board's reaction.  Frustrated is more appropriate. Woods said the board wanted to be certain that the numbers were indeed accurate. 'Because we didn't have a hard number,' he said.  'We want to make sure that we're telling people what they need to hear and what the real numbers are.' The board considers the budget again June 20.
  • Budget problems for the DeKalb County Schools have gone from bad to worse leaving school board members a week to figure out how to erase an $85 million budget deficit.Parents wonder aloud what more could go wrong.'It's pretty scary,' said Kanicka Romero.  'It's sad for the kids because they are the ones who are going to be hurting,' she said.Romero's daughter Isabella will be a second grader next year at Rockbridge Elementary.Monday, just as the board was about to vote on a revised budget came word from the tax assessor that declining property values put the county another $12 million in the hole.'Everything is on the table,' said school district spokesman Walter Woods.'If you look at class size, furlough days, millage rate, everything.' The school district had planned for a six percent decrease in property value.  The deficit is closer to nine percent and may lead to additional furlough days, more layoffs, and possibly higher taxes.'The board will have to make a determination about what's the least impact on student success, the best way to fund the district and get us back to a balanced budget,' said Woods. The school board meets again June 20 to vote on a revised budget plan.
  • DeKalb County lawmakers put up a rare united front against the CEO over one of his pet projects.  On Tuesday, the DeKalb County Commission stopped all work being done to clear land for a soapbox derby track.     The resolution also urges the CEO to detail any money that's already been spent on his pet project. Commissioners have already approved some $700,000 toward the soapbox track north of Lithonia, but they haven't yet approved a contract to start construction for what's expected to be a million-dollar derby track.  Upset that CEO Burrell Ellis has signed off on the clearing of the land, Commissioner Elaine Boyer introduced a resolution to stop the work immediately.  It passed unanimously among the six lawmakers there. 'The commission is the only authority to prioritize capital projects and spending,' said Boyer.Commissioner Jeff Rader was absent from Tuesday's vote. Last week the Atlanta Journal-Constitution discovered CEO Ellis signed off on nearly $100,000 work on his boyhood passion, even though the board had not approved a contract for the work.That contract, $1 million to build the 900-foot track and parking area off Rock Chapel Road, was pulled from Tuesday's board agenda.
  • The president of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce faces weapons charges after trying to board a flight with a handgun in his bag.  TSA agents stopped David Connell and police arrested him when they found a gun and 2 clips in his luggage.  Connell was being held in the Clayton County jail.  As a first offender, he may be eligible to have his record expunged.  'If an individual doesn't have a previous criminal history, and they are caught at the airport with a gun, we give them the opportunity to participate in our pre-trial intervention program,' said Clayton County Solicitor General Tasha Mosley.  'Part of the condition of going in there is that they voluntarily consent to hand over their gun.'  According to the Cobb Chamber's website, Connell joined them in 2010 from Georgia Power.  Connell had more than 40 years of service with the Southern Company.  The Cobb Chamber is among the 10 largest in the Southeast with 5400 individual and 2500 business members.
  • Another group of teens find themselves in trouble with the law after a neighborhood park was vandalized.  This time the target was the Brook Run Community Garden in Dunwoody and five teens have been charged.  'It looked like a tornado hit the garden,' said Amanda Harris.  'Lettuce everywhere. Plants destroyed.'  Harris tends a plot at the Dunwoody garden where the produce is later donated to a local food pantry.  'We had all kinds of food ready to go for that Tuesday over there.  Completely destroyed,' she said.  Dunwoody Police have charged five 16-year-olds with felony damage to property.  Four of the teens are from Dunwoody, while the fifth is from Roswell.  'We're not sure what the motive was,' said Sgt. Mike Carlson, 'probably more mischief - doing something in the middle of the night that they were not supposed to do.   Harris, who once worked in the Juvenile Justice system, thinks the teens should be ordered to do community service for the people who run the park.  Last month a group of teens from East Paulding County High were caught vandalizing the school.  Among them the valedictorian and senior class president Jason Zimmerman who was expelled and banned from graduation.  Zimmerman's scholarship to Georgia Tech is also in jeopardy. 
  • It's time for Dr. Hall to cry.'  So says Georgia State Senator Ralph Long about former Atlanta School Superintendent Beverly Hall who has been implicated but not charged in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal.  Now that tribunals have begun for teachers caught in the scandal, Long, whose district includes Capitol View Elementary School, is ready for District Attorney Paul Howard to declare his plans.  Long said seven months is more than enough time to determine the facts of the case.  He wants Hall prosecuted.  'How many teachers have you seen crying on TV?' he asks.  'How many principals have you seen?  It's time for Dr. Hall to cry.”  Long notes Capitol View was caught in the scandal and now as part of the redistricting plan is scheduled to close.  'Our schools have been decimated,' he said.  'Our property values have been decimated.  It won't be on my watch that we're not going to demand justice for our children.' In a statement to Channel 2 Action News, Howard called the investigation complex, but active saying 'it would be unfair to offer premature public comment on the matter.'  Last year a state investigation found 71-percent of the classrooms at Capitol View were flagged for cheating.
  • Brace yourself for some sticker shock next time you order pine straw for your landscape.  And it's not because there's a shortage of pine straw falling on Georgia's more than 20-million acres of forest land. Landscapers blame their price increases on a shortage of immigrant workers to rake and bale their product.  'I'm having to get some of my stock from Florida because there's not enough labor in south Georgia,' said Jim Satterfield of Four Seasons Pine Straw.  He believes Georgia's new immigration law has scared the workers away.  It's the same complaint heard from vegetable farmers during their harvest.  'We probably have 5,000 bales on order that we cannot fill right now,' he said.  Cobb homeowner Julie Lovell found out about the worker shortage and the price increase the hard way.  'I was taken by surprise,' she said, 'and I know last year we paid significantly less than we did.'  Georgia's immigration law changed in July 2011, requiring employers to check immigrant status before hiring anyone.
  • Condace Pressley

    Condace Pressley is an accomplished, award-winning broadcaster. She anchors news mornings on KISS 104.1 and on B-98.5 in addition to her leadership responsibilities with News 95-5 and AM 750 WSB.  She is WSB’s Manager of Programming Operations and leads Community Affairs for all five CMG Atlanta radio stations.  This UGA alum and Marietta native began her career as weekend anchor.  She is also producer and host of the Sunday show Perspectives.  Profiled in 2014 by The HistoryMakers, Condace is a former President of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Atlanta chapter’s 2012 Pioneer Black Journalist.

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  • The body of a 32-year-old man was found Friday morning in south DeKalb County with multiple gunshot wounds, according to police. Detectives, who learned about the body about 9:25 a.m., are working the scene in the 4500 block of Golf Vista Circle, spokesman Lt. Lonzy Robertson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The vehicle he is next to may have also been struck by gunfire,” Robertson said. Police have not released the victim’s name, and no one has been arrested in connection with the deadly shooting. “We don’t believe he lives in this area,” Robertson said, “but we won’t release that until we notify next of kin.” Robertson said police are waiting on the medical examiner’s office to determine how long the body had been at that location. This is the second time this week authorities have been called to the scene of a dead body in DeKalb County.  A man was found dead early Tuesday outside an apartment in the 2000 block of Gladeview Parkway near Stone Mountain, police said. The man, believed to be in his late 20s, was dressed for a “construction or industrial” type of job, according to police. He was wearing work boots, work pants and a hard hat. Channel 2 Action News reported that he was shot in the head, and was shot multiple times. MORE: Man wearing work clothes found fatally shot outside DeKalb apartment We’re working to learn more about both shootings. — Please return to AJC.com for updates. In other news:
  • Black ice is to blame for a crash that sent a Fulton County police officer and another driver to the hospital, authorities said. The crash happened about 1 a.m. Friday on Old National Highway and Pleasant Hill Road, according to Fulton police Cpl. Partrena Smith. RELATED: Roads refreeze, travel still dangerous The officer may have a broken arm and the other driver may have a head injury, Smith said. The names and conditions of both drivers have not yet been released. —Please return to AJC.com for updates. In other news:
  • Researchers with the American Meteor Society found two meteorites just days after a meteor lit up the sky across part of Michigan, according to a tweet from AMS. >> Read more trending news “We are happy and excited to report, two meteorites from the Jan. 16th fall have been found in Michigan,” the Thursday tweet said. “Congratulations to Robert Ward and Larry Atkins on the first two reported finds.” A group from Longway Planetarium and the Farmington Community Stargazer also recovered a meteorite and planned to share more details about its discovery, according to WDIV. The meteorites were found near Charlotte, Michigan and near Whitmore Lake, according to WDIV. The AMS received more than 650 reports of a fireball from people in Michigan, Ohio and Canada.
  • His name means 'king of the tyrant lizards,' but sometimes Tyrannosaurus rex just wants to party.Make that many T. rexes. Hundreds of curious people descended on Portland's Monument Square on Saturday to observe a gathering of dinosaur lovers dressed as the science museum staple.There were dozens of T. rexes, and they danced, growled and milled around. One who struggled to navigate his costume walked around with his head protruding awkwardly from the dinosaur's gaping mouth.Valerie Sanborn and Alison Cyr set up the Cretaceous Period party through Facebook. A non-participant was summoned to snap a group photo because of T. rex's 'little arm probz.'There didn't appear to be any participants who arrived dressed as Marc Bolan, late singer of English rock band T. Rex.
  • The Latest on the government shutdown (all times local):2:55 p.m.Republicans and Democrats appear to be no closer to ending a government shutdown, and the White House is indicating it's waiting for Democrats to drop their demand that a funding bill include protections for younger immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.Budget director Mick Mulvaney and legislative affairs director Marc Short are lobbing verbal attacks at Democrats for blocking a spending bill over the unrelated legislation.Short told reporters Saturday that 'it's like a 2-year-old temper tantrum.'Mulvaney says the administration is trying to mitigate the impact of the funding lapse, noting many national parks and government offices will be open during the duration. But he says the effects will still be significant.Democrats are blaming the shutdown on Republicans, who control the White House and Congress.___2:40 p.m.The White House says President Donald Trump will not attend a fundraiser at his Florida estate because of the ongoing government shutdown in Washington.Budget director Mick Mulvaney says Trump will not appear at the high-dollar fundraiser Saturday night at his Palm Beach estate.Mulvaney also told reporters during a press briefing Saturday that Trump's participation in the World Economic Forum is up in the air. He says the White House is taking Trump's visit, as well as the planned attendance of much of the Cabinet at the Davos, Switzerland, event, 'on a day by day basis.'Trump is scheduled to depart Washington for the Swiss Alps on Wednesday evening. A number of White House staffers and agency advance teams are already on the ground awaiting his arrival.___12:40 p.m.A Florida fundraiser celebrating President Donald Trump's first year in office will go on with or without him.That's according to a Trump campaign official who was not authorized to publicly discuss planning and spoke on condition of anonymity.Trump had hoped to spend the anniversary of his inauguration in Florida attending a high-dollar fundraiser taking place Saturday night at his Palm Beach estate. Instead, the president is reckoning with a federal government shutdown brought on by disagreement with lawmakers over what should be included in a government funding bill.Trump scrapped plans to depart Washington on Friday. It remains unclear whether he still plans to attend.Tickets start at $100,000 per couple and $250,000 to attend a round-table. The proceeds benefit a joint committee between Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee.— By Associated Press writer Jill Colvin___12:35 p.m.House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is rejecting a fallback plan by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass a short-term spending plan through Feb. 8.Pelosi says 'there's no point' in approving a short-term bill unless both sides agree on how to move forward.She and other Democrats said Saturday that they want 'parity' on spending increases for defense and domestic programs such as opioid addiction and community health centers.Pelosi says that even without a dispute over immigration, Democrats would not agree to a GOP spending plan unless it pays for domestic programs Democrats consider crucial.Democrats have blamed the shutdown on Republicans, who control Congress and the White House. Republicans say Democrats are 'holding our government hostage' to win protections for young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.___12:25 p.m.Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan says the partial government shutdown is 'utter madness' and he is blaming it all on Senate Democrats.Ryan said Saturday that the Democrats are 'deliberately holding our government hostage' to win protections for younger immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.He blasted Democrats for a filibuster on a House-passed stopgap funding bill that would keep the government open through Feb. 16 and reauthorize a health care program for 9 million children from low-income families. He accused them of 'opposing a bill they don't even oppose.'Ryan says, 'We do some crazy things in Washington, but this is utter madness.'Democrats are blaming the shutdown on Republicans, who control Congress and the White House.___11:10 a.m.The White House says President Donald Trump phoned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to discuss strategies to reopen the government.Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley says Trump called the Republican Senate leader on Saturday morning. Gidley says chief of staff John Kelly is speaking with lawmakers and congressional leadership, while legislative affairs director Marc Short and budget director Mick Mulvaney are on Capitol Hill.The shutdown is marring the anniversary of Trump's inauguration. For a businessman who made his career selling himself as a deal-maker, he is struggling to find consensus with Congress on a funding agreement.The White House says Trump will not negotiate with Democrats over their demands to provide legal protections for roughly 700,000 young immigrants known as 'Dreamers' until the government is reopened.___11 a.m.Junior White House aides are using their out-of-office messages to assign blame to Democrats for the government shutdown.The automatic replies from White House assistant press secretaries Ninio Fetalvo and Natalie Strom say, 'Unfortunately, I am out of the office today because congressional Democrats are holding government funding_including funding for our troops and other national security priorities_hostage to an unrelated immigration debate.'Hundreds of nonessential White House staffers are barred by law from working during the shutdown. The three deputy press secretaries are still working, however, as is press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.President Donald Trump had been set to leave Friday for a fundraiser Saturday at his Florida estate marking the anniversary of his inauguration but delayed the trip over the shutdown. It's unclear if he will attend.___10:25 a.m.House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is giving President Donald Trump an F for 'failure in leadership' on the anniversary of his inauguration.Pelosi also slammed congressional Republicans on Saturday as the government shutdown began.In a speech on the House floor, Pelosi said Republicans who control the White House and hold majorities in the House and Senate are 'so incompetent and negligent that they couldn't get it together to keep the government open.'Pelosi urged Republicans to 'get down to business for everyday people in America.'She says Trump has tweeted that the country 'needs a good shutdown.' She says: 'Your wish has come true for your one-year anniversary.'Republicans have blamed Democrats for the shutdown.___9:50 a.m.The White House says President Donald Trump will not negotiate immigration policy with Congress until the government reopens.Spokesman Hogan Gidley says it's 'disgusting' that Senate Democrats 'decided to just throw our military under the bus.'Some government functions shut down at midnight Friday after the Senate failed to pass a short-term extension of government funding. Some Democrats voted against the bill because it did not include measures to shield from deportation immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.Democrats demanded that immigration be included in the funding bill. The White House insists the issues be deal with separately.Trump in a tweet Saturday accused Democrats of being more concerned about immigrants in the country illegally than about the military.___7:35 a.m.President Donald Trump is blaming Democrats for the government shutdown — tweeting that they wanted to give him 'a nice present' to mark the one-year anniversary of his inauguration.He says Democrats 'could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead.'And as part of a series of tweets hours after the shutdown began, the president is trying to make the case for Americans to elect more Republicans in the November elections 'in order to power through this mess.'Trump is accusing Democrats of being more concerned with 'Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous' border with Mexico.He's also noting there are 51 Republicans in the Senate, and it takes 60 votes to move ahead on legislation to keep the government running — so some Democratic support is needed now.In Trump's view, 'that is why we need to win more Republicans' in the midterm elections.___2:36 a.m.The federal government has shut down.That means a halt to all but the most essential operations. And the shutdown is marring the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump's inauguration.It's a striking display of Washington dysfunction.Last-minute negotiations crumbled when Senate Democrats blocked a four-week extension. And that's led to the fourth government shutdown in a quarter-century.Leading Republicans and Democrats are now trying to work out a compromise to avert a lengthy shutdown.Congress has scheduled an unusual Saturday session to begin considering a three-week version of the short-term spending measure.
  • Police arrested a man at a Walmart in Florida Thursday night after he allegedly left a 7-year-old child in his car while he went inside the store and shoplifted. Around 8 p.m., a loss prevention officer spotted Derek Kingsland, 29, in the Jupiter store “looking around suspiciously,” the arrest report stated. Kingsland attempted to purchase $48 worth of items at the self-checkout line, but when his card was declined he walked to the women’s section of the store, placed the items in his pocket and attempted to walk out, the Palm Beach Post reported. >> Read more trending news  Among the items listed as stolen on the police report were cordless phone batteries, a knife, an air compressor, a ratchet and a Starbucks coffee drink. Jupiter police officers met with Kingsland, who admitted that he did not have enough money to purchase the items and tried to take them without paying. He then said to officers that he would go to his car to get money and that he left a sleeping child in his car. Officers found the child awake inside the car with the engine running. A relative picked up the child and officers arrested Kingsland on charges of shoplifting, child abuse, and use of an anti-theft device. Kingsland remains at the Palm Beach County Jail on a $18,000 bond, the Palm Beach Post reported.