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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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News

  • The organ transplant of a 2-year-old boy who was born without a kidney will likely be stalled for months. The reason? His father’s latest arrest. Anthony Dickerson, 26, is no stranger to the criminal justice system. He has been in and out of jail on misdemeanor theft charges and a first-degree forgery charge since 2011, according to Gwinnett County jail records. Just this month, he was released on a $2,600 bond on charges of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer and possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of attempted felonies. But Dickerson promised that his son would be the one thing he did right in his life, the child’s mother, Carmellia Burgess, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. So when he found out he was a match to donate his kidney to Anthony Jr., he jumped at the chance to help. The family was “hysterical” when they found out the day of the planned surgery Oct. 3 that Emory University Hospital had changed the plan. “They’re making this about dad,” Burgess said. “It’s not about dad. It’s about our son.” In a letter The AJC obtained from Burgess, a hospital official said the surgery would be pushed back until Dickerson could provide evidence he has complied with his parole officer for three months. “We will re-evaluate Mr. Dickerson in January 2018 after receipt of this completed documentation,” the hospital representative said in the letter. Emory officials refused to answer The AJC’s questions about the decision or its policies, and Gwinnett law enforcement agencies have not responded to requests for comment. Janet Christenbury, an Emory spokeswoman, said in a statement the hospital is committed to the highest quality of care for its patients.  “Guidelines for organ transplantation are designed to maximize the chance of success for organ recipients and minimize risk for living donors,” Christenbury said. “Because of privacy regulations and respect for patient confidentiality, we cannot share specific information about our patients.” Burgess said news of the hospital’s decision caught her by surprise because Emory had earlier been supportive of the dad being the donor. The hospital even requested Dickerson’s temporary release from jail, according to a letter from Emory’s Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program to the Gwinnett County jail where Dickerson was being held. “If Mr. Dickerson could be escorted to Emory for blood work and a pre-operative appointment tomorrow, September 29, we will be able to continue with the scheduled surgery,” an Emory official said in the letter dated Sept. 28. Even though jail records show Dickerson was released Oct. 2, the child’s surgery has not been rescheduled for this year. Burgess created a web petition to urge the hospital to allow the surgery sooner. It has garnered more than 18,400 signatures, but Burgess said she doubts the petition will make a difference. A GoFundMe page also was set up with a $1,000 goal. “I’m just taking it day by day,” she said. “That’s all we can do.” In other news:
  • British police are investigating three new allegations of sexual assault against film producer Harvey Weinstein, all made by the same woman. In another blow to the Hollywood titan after he was ejected from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, France's president said Sunday he was working to rescind Weinstein's prestigious Legion of Honor award. In the new British allegations, London's Metropolitan Police force said Sunday that the woman reported being assaulted in London in 2010, 2011 and 2015. The force said officers from its Child Abuse and Sexual Offenses Command are investigating. The woman's name has not been made public. The force also did not name Weinstein, in keeping with its policy of not identifying suspects who have not been charged. But it said the allegations involve a man against whom another accusation was made Wednesday. That alleged assault — reported to have taken place in west London during the late 1980s — also is being investigated. British actress Lysette Anthony says she reported to police on Wednesday that Weinstein raped her in her west London home in the late 1980s. Anthony, 54, who appears on the British soap opera 'Hollyoaks,' told the Sunday Times newspaper that Weinstein raped her in the late 1980s after showing up at her London home. She said she was left feeling 'disgusted and embarrassed' after the attack. 'It was pathetic, revolting,' she was quoted as saying in a Thursday interview. 'I remember lying in the bath later and crying.' Dozens of women have made allegations of sexual harassment and assault against the movie mogul in recent days, some dating back decades. Weinstein denies non-consensual sexual activity. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences took the almost unprecedented step Saturday of revoking Weinstein's membership. It said it did so 'to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.' Weinstein, who backed many British movies including 'Shakespeare in Love' and 'The King's Speech,' also has been suspended by the British film academy. The fallout from the multiplying accusations against Weinstein also reverberated in France on Sunday. French President Emmanuel Macron said he had 'started the procedures' to revoke Weinstein's Legion of Honor award. Rescinding the honor is rare, although it also happened to another American: disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. Weinstein was given the prestigious French award in 2012 by then-President Nicolas Sarkozy after the French film 'The Artist' won multiple Oscars. Weinstein's company produced the film, and he predicted in an interview with The Associated Press at the time that it would augur a new 'golden age' of French cinema. French actresses are among those who have accused Weinstein of sexual wrongdoing, notably during his multiple appearances at the Cannes Film Festival. Macron said he wants to speed up procedures for investigating and prosecuting sexual harassment in France to encourage more women to come forward. ___ Angela Charlton in Paris contributed.
  • The Latest on the explosion in Somalia's capital (all times local): 7:30 a.m. Qatar's foreign minister says his country's diplomatic mission in Somalia was hit by the massive truck bombing in Mogadishu. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said on Twitter early Monday morning: 'The attack on (hashtag)Qatar diplomatic mission in Mogadishu will not deter our support for (hashtag)Somalia's democracy, security and stability.' He did not elaborate. It was unclear if any Qataris were hurt in the blast. Officials in Doha did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Somalia has found itself torn by the boycott by four Arab nations of Qatar. Saudi Arabia is the Somali government's biggest benefactor, while the United Arab Emirates has trained the country's military and launched a high-profile aid appeal this year. Somalia has meanwhile allowed Qatari aircraft to increasingly fly through its airspace as Arab nations have closed theirs off. A Somali state in September broke with Somalia's central government in Mogadishu, saying it backed the boycotting nations. ___ Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. ___ 12:45 a.m. Somalia's information minister Abdirahman Osman says the death toll from Saturday's truck bombing in Mogadishu has risen to 276, with about 300 people injured. It is the deadliest single attack in Somalia's history. The toll is expected to rise. Somalia's government has blamed the al-Shabab extremist group, which has not yet commented. ___ 12:40 a.m. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he is 'sickened' by the deadliest single attack in Somalia's history. Guterres in a tweet Sunday night urged 'unity in the face of terrorism.' Saturday's truck bombing in Mogadishu killed at least 231 people. Another 275 are hurt. Somalia's government has blamed the al-Shabab extremist group, which has not yet commented. Officials fear the death toll will rise. ___ 10:05 p.m. The United States is condemning 'in the strongest terms' the deadliest single attack in Somalia's history. The State Department statement expresses condolences to victims and wishes a quick recovery for the injured. Saturday's truck bombing in Mogadishu killed at least 231 people. Another 275 are hurt. The U.S. calls the attack 'senseless and cowardly' and says it will stand with Somalia in its fight against extremism. ___ 6:35 p.m. Qatar says its embassy was 'severely damaged' in the deadly truck bombing in Somalia's capital. A foreign ministry statement Sunday says the embassy's charge d'affaires was 'slightly injured in the explosion but he is now in a good health, and the rest of staff are fine.' Saturday's blast killed at least 231 people. It is the deadliest ever attack in the Horn of Africa nation. ___ 5:50 p.m. The United Nations special envoy to Somalia calls the deadly truck bombing in the capital 'revolting' and says an unprecedented number of civilians have been killed. A statement from Michael Keating says: 'I am shocked and appalled by the number of lives that were lost in the bombings and the scale of destruction they caused.' Saturday's blast struck a densely populated neighborhood of Mogadishu. The death toll has risen to 231. It is the deadliest ever attack in the Horn of Africa nation. Keating says the U.N. and African Union are supporting the Somali government's response with 'logistical support, medical supplies and expertise.' ___ 5:45 p.m. The U.S. Africa Command says U.S. forces have not been asked to provide aid following Saturday's deadly attack in Somalia's capital. A U.S. Africa Command spokesman tells The Associated Press that first responders and local enforcement would handle the response and 'the U.S. would offer assistance if and when a request was made.' A Somali senator says the death toll from the massive truck bomb blast in Mogadishu has risen to 231, with 275 people injured. It is the deadliest ever attack in the Horn of Africa nation. ___ 5:35 p.m. Angry protesters have taken to the streets in Somalia's capital a day after a massive truck bomb killed at least 231 people. The protesters who gathered at the scene of the blast are chanting against the attack, the deadliest ever in the Horn of Africa nation. The government has blamed the Somalia-based al-Shabab extremist group for what it calls a 'national disaster.' Al-Shabab has not commented but often targets Mogadishu with bombings. ___ 5:20 p.m. A senator says the death toll from a massive truck bomb blast in Somalia's capital has risen to 231. Abshir Abdi Ahmed says 275 others were injured. He cites doctors at hospitals he has visited in Mogadishu. Saturday's blast is the single deadliest attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation. Many of the bodies in hospital mortuaries are yet to be identified. ___ 3:05 p.m. Local journalists say one freelance journalist was killed in Saturday's massive bombing in Somalia's capital and several were injured. Voice of America says one of its reporters, Abdulkaidr Mohamed Abdulle, is among the injured. Police and hospital sources say the death toll from the truck bomb in Mogadishu has risen to 189 in what is the single deadliest attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation. — Abdi Guled in Mogadishu. ___ 2:35 p.m. The death toll from a massive explosion in Somalia's capital has risen to 189 with over 200 others injured, police and hospital sources say, making it the single deadliest attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation. Doctors are struggling to assist hundreds of horrifically wounded victims, with many burnt beyond recognition. Somalia's government has blamed Saturday's truck bombing in Mogadishu on the al-Shabab extremist group, which has not commented. — Abdi Guled in Mogadishu. ___ 1:25 p.m. The United States is joining the condemnation of Saturday's massive truck bombing in Somalia's capital that left scores dead. A statement by the U.S. mission to Somalia says that 'such cowardly attacks reinvigorate the commitment of the United States to assist our Somali and African Union partners to combat the scourge of terrorism.' The U.S. military this year has stepped up drone strikes and other efforts this year against the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab, which is based in Somalia and often targets Mogadishu. ___ 1:20 p.m. The International Committee of the Red Cross says four volunteers with the Somali Red Crescent Society are among the dead after a huge truck bombing in Somalia's capital. A statement Sunday says 'this figure may rise as there are a number of volunteers still missing.' Security and medical sources say at least 53 people are dead after what Mogadishu residents call the largest explosion they've ever witnessed. Officials have pleaded for blood donations. More than 60 people are injured. Somalia's government has blamed the al-Shabab extremist group, which has not commented. ___ 10:45 a.m. Security and medical sources say the death toll from Saturday's truck bomb blast in Somalia's capital has risen to 53 as hospitals struggle to cope with the high number of casualties. More than 60 others are injured. Police Capt. Mohamed Hussein says many victims died at hospitals from their wounds. Somalia's government has yet to release the exact death toll from an explosion many called the most powerful they had ever witnessed in Mogadishu. Ambulance sirens still echo across the city as bewildered families wander in the rubble of buildings. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has joined thousands of people who responded to a desperate plea by hospitals to donate blood for the wounded victims. The al-Shabab extremist group often targets high-profile areas in the capital with bombings.
  • The Latest on President Donald Trump's speech to the conservative Heritage Foundation (all times EDT): 7:40 p.m. President Donald Trump is using his appearance in front of a conservative think tank to argue the U.S. should celebrate and preserve its history, 'not tear it down.' Trump is pointing to a movement to take down Confederate status as well as other symbols of the country's difficult past. He says, 'Now they're even trying' to take down statues of Christopher Columbus. He asks, 'What's next?' Trump also says young Americans should be taught to honor the flag and national anthem and proudly recite the Pledge of Allegiance. He tells the group, 'You understand that our glorious heritage is the foundation of everything we hope to achieve.' __ 7:25 p.m. President Donald Trump is taking his tax plan sales pitch to the conservative Heritage Foundation. Trump is expected to tell the group's President's Club on Tuesday evening that his plan will be a boon to the economy, resulting in a $4,000 pay raise for the average American. That claim has been met with skepticism from tax experts and Democratic lawmakers who say the administration's math is flawed. Trump is also expected to talk about other issues important to the group, including the Constitution, his appointment of conservative judges, border security and his 'peace through strength' foreign policy approach. That's according to a senior administration official who previewed the speech earlier Tuesday on condition that he not be named.
  • A 19-year-old man from Kerrville, Texas, who is a relative of the boy and was visiting family in Lynnwood, Washington, has been booked into the Snohomish County Jail for first-degree murder of 6-year-old Dayvid Pakko. >> Read more trending news A police statement alleges the 19-year-old admitted to filling a bathtub with water with the intention of drowning Dayvid, then called the boy to the bathroom, picked him up and placed him face-down in the water, and held his head underneath for approximately 30 seconds before Dayvid became still. The statement from police then alleges the 19-year-old left the boy face down in the water for approximately six minutes before he wrapped the boy's body in a blanket and placed him in a cardboard box, which he used to dispose of the body in the nearest garbage dumpster.  'It's a tragic ending to a long search operation,' said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Shari Ireton. Authorities said the body was found about 2 a.m. Tuesday in a dumpster at the Bristol Square Apartment complex on 44th Avenue West. The body was found by officers with the Violent Offenders Task Force. In cases of missing children, the officers, who represent several law enforcement agencies, are deployed to check on registered sex offenders in the area. That's when they found the child's body. Detectives are working on getting a search warrant and are processing the crime scene, where they're expected to be working for several hours.  Once a search warrant is obtained, detectives will go through the apartment building and dumpster for evidence. The boy was reported missing about 5 p.m. Monday. Crews, including 100 volunteers, searched the area of 44th Avenue West between 156th Street and State Route 99, just outside the Lynnwood city limits. According to the Sheriff’s Office and relatives, Dayvid stayed home sick from school Monday.  The boy lives with his mother, who was at work when he disappeared. He was last seen about 2:30 p.m. The Sheriff's Office said Dayvid was under adult supervision while he was at home, but did not say who he was with. The Snohomish County medical examiner will determine the boy's cause of death.
  • Northern California homeowners allege in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. failed to adequately protect its power lines before the region's deadly wildfires, a theory that state investigators are considering as they try to determine the cause. The lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court on behalf of Santa Rosa homeowners Wayne and Jennifer Harvell says drought-like conditions over the summer put fire dangers 'at an extraordinarily high level,' particularly after heavy winter rains increased vegetation. It says PG&E failed to trim and remove vegetation as it should have. PG&E Corp., the utility's parent company, said Friday that the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection was investigating its power lines and equipment as a possible cause of the fires that have killed at least 41 people and destroyed 6,000 homes. The California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates PG&E, would investigate only if state fire investigators determine that that the utility's equipment is suspected as a cause. That could lead to significant fines and penalties. The San Francisco-based utility said it would not speculate on causes of the fire and that it was cooperating with investigators. PG&E says it has told state regulators of seven incidents of damage to its equipment, including downed power lines and broken poles. It did not say whether they may have caused or contributed to the fire. Gerald Singleton, an attorney representing other homeowners and renters, said winds were strong but PG&E should have anticipated them. 'We can't get rid of all possible risks,' he said. 'It really is based on reasonableness — and that is what their duty is.' PG&E shares jumped 7.5 percent, or $4.01, to close at $57.44 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. Still, the shares are down 17 percent since Wednesday. Earlier this year, the utility commission fined PG&E $8.3 million for failing to maintain a power line that sparked a massive blaze in Northern California that destroyed 549 homes and killed two people. A state fire investigation found the utility and its contractors failed to maintain a gray pine tree that slumped into a power line igniting the September 2015 fire in Amador County. Previously, California regulators fined PG&E $1.6 billion for 2010 natural gas explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area city of San Bruno that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes. Also Tuesday, U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris of California wrote the Federal Communications Commission to express concern that the federal government has yet to adopt rules that would require wireless carriers to more precisely target neighborhoods with orders to evacuate. As fires rapidly spread Oct. 8, authorities sought to avoid alarming unaffected residents. 'These emergency services are caught in a bind between notifying individuals in imminent danger and risking mass panic. As a result, these services are compelled to rely on emergency messaging systems with far less reach and far less capacity,' they wrote.