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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

  • Timothy Jerrell Cunningham called out of work sick at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 10 days ago and hasn’t been heard from since, police say. >> Read more trending news His father, Terrell Cunningham, said something must be wrong.  When the 35-year-old’s parents arrived in Atlanta from Maryland, they used a spare key to enter the house and found Timothy’s car, keys, wallet and phone, WSB-TV reported.  'It's not the type of news you want to hear,” Terrell Cunningham said. “Your child is missing. Thirty-five years old, but always your child.' The father said his son is an accomplished man who graduated from Morehouse and earned a master’s degree and doctorate from Harvard University. As an epidemic intelligence officer, Timothy Cunningham has been deployed for public health emergencies, including superstorm Sandy, Ebola and Zika.  It’s unusual for him not to contact family, his father said. 'This is not normal,” Terrell Cunningham said. “This is definitely out of the ordinary.' Family and friends hope the missing man will be found safe.  Timothy Cunningham is 6 feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call 911.
  • Latest updates, results, photo galleries and stories from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
  • Officials in a school district in Pennsylvania decided to cancel classes for Friday after an alleged threat was found at a high school. >> Read more trending news The Greater Latrobe School District announced that a note was found in a bathroom at Greater Latrobe Senior High School, school officials said. The note was scribbled on a bathroom wall and mentioned Friday's date.  >> Teen’s warning thwarts possible school shooting in Vermont School leaders do not think it's credible, but are canceling classes at all five schools in the district as a precaution.
  • A bipartisan group of governors working to strike compromise on hot-button policy issues will take on the health care question at an event Friday. Republican Gov. John Kasich, of Ohio, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, of Colorado, and Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, an independent, are among governors scheduled to headline a briefing at the National Press Club in Washington to discuss their latest ideas for improving the nation's health care system. Their blueprint, a copy of which was provided to The Associated Press, lays out a host of ideas for improving affordability, restoring stability, promoting flexibility so that states can innovate and eliminating duplicative and burdensome insurance regulations. The governors urge the federal government to restore insurer subsidies that were stopped by Republican President Donald Trump, triggering sharp increases in premiums this year. They also seek more outreach to help sign people up for coverage. Last year, the Trump administration slashed the ad budget for the Affordable Care Act's 2018 sign-up season. The governors also recommend action to shield insurers from the full cost of treatment for patients with very expensive conditions. That's called 're-insurance' in industry jargon. Alaska has already implemented such a program, with the blessing of the federal government, and it helped control premiums in that state. The idea has bipartisan support in Congress, but the outlook is uncertain. Their proposal doesn't merely call for federal government action, it also provides examples of effective state efforts that can be used as examples at both the federal and state levels, said Greg Moody, who leads Kasich's Office of Health Transformation. The blueprint incorporates agreeable solutions that states have found, for example, to streamlining regulations and cutting Medicaid costs, he said. Kasich, Hickenlooper and Walker are joined in the effort by Nevada's Brian Sandoval, a Republican, and Pennsylvania's Tom Wolf, a Democrat. A guiding principle of the group's work, according to the document, is to 'reject false choices' — items that are leading to some of the biggest disagreements around the nation over health care. For instance, it's not necessary to choose between ensuring high quality care and reducing costs, or between being fiscally responsible and being generous and humane, the group argues. They say a quality health care system can foster individual accountability and at the same time support people in need. ___ Associated Press Health Care Reporter Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar in Washington contributed to this report.
  • A man was followed after a Buckhead bar fight and shot as he was driving, police said. Investigators are not sure where the shooting took place early Friday, but say the man managed to drive himself to a Hampton Inn on Piedmont Road and ask for help. According to Channel 2 Action News, the fight originally took place at the Whisky Mistress bar on Maple Drive. After the scuffle, the victim left the bar, got into his Audi and drove off, the news station reported. At some point, the shooter opened fire. “Somewhere between the Whisky Mistress and the Hampton Inn, the suspect fired one shot toward the victim’s vehicle,' Capt. Andrew Senzer told Channel 2. 'That round penetrated the vehicle and struck the victim.' The injured man had a gun, too. However, there is no evidence he returned fire, police said. He was taken to Atlanta Medical Center in stable condition and is expected to survive, Senzer said. The gunman is still on the loose. “We’re trying to locate an actual crime scene where the shooting occurred,” Senzer said. This is the fourth time this week someone has been shot while driving. The others occurred early Thursday. Someone in an SUV drove around the city and randomly shot two people, police said. Two people were arrested in connection with those shootings. RELATED: 2 arrested in connection with series of random shootings A father was killed hours later in front of his children after someone opened fire on their car as they pulled into their DeKalb County subdivision, police said. No arrests have been made in that case, but authorities are investigating if the incident is related to the two shootings in Atlanta. RELATED: Man shot, killed in front of wife and children We’re working to learn more. —Please return to AJC.com for updates. VIEW: Map of crime in metro Atlanta NEW: Join the discussion at the AJC's Crime & Safety Facebook group Know what’s really going on with crime and public safety in your metro Atlanta community, including breaking news, trial coverage, trends and the latest on unsolved cases. Sign up for the AJC’s crime and safety newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox. In other news:
  • Before his death, Rev. Billy Graham chose one of his favorite Scripture verses from the Bible to be placed on his grave marker. >> Read more trending news Graham selected John 14:6 and the following inscription to be on his marker: BILLY GRAHAM NOVEMBER 7, 1918 – FEBRUARY 21, 2018 PREACHER OF THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST JOHN 14:16 John 14:6 reads, “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'” >> Evangelist Billy Graham dies at 99 The verse was central in Graham’s preaching ministry, and he often referred to it throughout his life. Graham will be buried next to his late wife, Ruth Bell Graham, who died June 14, 2007. The couple’s caskets were designed and built by inmates at the nation’s largest maximum security prison, Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana. >> Photos: Billy Graham through the years While touring the correctional facility after preaching there in 2005, Graham’s son, Franklin, saw caskets being built. Inmates at Angola make caskets for other inmates who cannot afford to buy one. Franklin was moved by this and requested that inmates make caskets for his mother and father. The caskets are made of plywood and lined with a mattress pad. A wooden cross is nailed to the top of the casket. The Graham family requested no upgrades to the plywood casket, only a few modifications to allow the casket to be transported easily.