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Latest from Veronica Waters

    The video of a Tennessee SUV driver plowing into a bicyclist on the Natchez Trace, never stopping, was shocking to many. What may be more shocking is that the action in the video is so common, it has its own name.  Decatur attorney Bruce Hagen of bikelaw.com says it's called a 'punishment pass.'  'Certain drivers feel that they're going to take it upon themselves to punish somebody simply for being on a bike by buzzing them and coming very close or in this case, just taking them out,' Hagen tells WSB.  Hagen, who is also a frequent rider himself, says there is a lot of misplaced anger that some drivers have against bike riders--who are, he notes, legally allowed to share the road with motor vehicles. 'They'll throw things out the window at them. I've heard from a lot of friends and clients about having beer bottles, cans, and food and other things thrown out of cars at them by folks who were passing by, as well as shout all kinds of obscenities to them.  'But using your car as a weapon is the worst offense, and certainly the most dangerous thing that we see--and sadly, we see it all too often.' The Tennessee incident was shot by a camera on another cyclist's helmet. It shows one truck pass the riders easily, giving them a wide berth, before the second one veers to the right and hits the cyclist. That rider bounced to his feet and his injuries are reportedly non-life-threatening. The video helped lead to the arrest of the SUV's driver, 58-year-old Marshall Neely, III, who initially told police that someone had thrown a bicycle at him.  Hagen says he was 'furious' the first time he saw the video.  'He's intentionally trying to hit this guy and knock him down, which he does. 'This guy is a menace,' he says.  To listen to more of Veronica Waters’ interview with Hagen, click HERE. Mary Carol Harsch can't bring herself to watch the video. Her husband of 17 years, John Harsch, was a popular Henry County physician and avid cyclist. He was killed by a driver in April 2016. Dr. Harsch was out with a group of riders on Lower Woolsey Road and had stopped to help a cyclist who had fallen off of her bike, and they were slightly behind their group. Mrs. Harsch says John liked to ride around the Atlanta Motor Speedway because it is light on traffic, and safer. 'A driver came up behind him and never saw him. Never even put on his brakes. And my husband's head went through his windshield,' says Mrs. Harsch. He survived for a while. Weather was windy, she says, so flying him to Grady Memorial Hospital was not possible. He was transported by ambulance, and later died.  Harsch says it was proven that the driver was talking on the telephone at the time. He stopped and cooperated with police. This past March, Cleven Ingram pleaded guilty in Henry County to misdemeanor homicide by vehicle and improper passing of a bicycle. His sentence included two years' probation with 60 days to serve.  Mary Carol says John was serious about cycling and about safety, and that they had many discussions about the best times of day and places for him to ride. If it would be dark, he made sure he was well-lit. He tried early morning rides on country roads. He kept changes of clothes at work so he could travel by bike often. He helped teach biker safety in a training group. The irony, she says, is that he was doing everything right, and was still killed. 'I'll never let go of the idea that cell phones are so, so dangerous to have in your car, and that no one needs to be on their phone as long as they're behind the wheel. Not even hands-free,' Harsh says. 'Hands-free would be a good start, but just...it can wait.' Harsch says she believes the judge was fair in Ingram's sentencing. 'I also feel like the man that hit my husband has his own life sentence that I don't want to believe that any human being would ever get over that,' she says. Harsch says she could not fathom the idea that the Tennessee hit-and-run appeared to be deliberate--although the driver, Neely, has denied that. She says she would tell him, 'You need some help to understand what got you to that point that you would feel compelled to deliberately put someone's life at risk. Not just to maim them. I mean, that cyclist could have died instantly and that would have been the end of his life, and guess what? Probably yours, too.' To listen to more of Veronica Waters’ interview with Harsch, click HERE. Hagen contends that here in Georgia, the laws are not adequate when it comes to punishing people who injure people on bikes. He's advocating for a Vulnerable Road User Law, which would enhance the penalties for a negligent or reckless driver who harms someone who is not in a vehicle. 'Now, they're pretty weak, and it's treated like any other traffic offense,' Hagen says. 'In the absence of an aggravating factor like DUI, drugs, or a hit and run, somebody could kill a person on a bike and serve no more than a year in jail--and rarely do they even get sentenced to that. It's taking members of our society and saying that your lives don't matter...because you choose to be on a bike. It's a real dehumanizing thing.'  Hagen and Harsch urge drivers to take heed of the advice, 'Pass them like you love them.' It's an effort to encourage empathy among drivers by encouraging them to imagine that the bicyclist sharing the road with them is someone they care about--and then driving around them that way. 'If you understand that the person on that bike is a member of your community,' says Hagen, 'they are a father, a mother, a brother, a daughter, they're human beings who have lives and families, and you treat them as such, hopefully that just gives you the compassion and the patience to just say, 'Alright. I will take my time and safely pass them.''  'First and foremost, it is their legal right to be on the road,' says Harsch. 'Pass them like you love them because there are people that do love them. That could be your sister, brother, husband, uncle, child, whomever, on the bicycle. Just pass them delicately like it's a person that you care about. They're just going about their business.'  Georgia law says drivers in a motor vehicle have to leave at least three feet of distance when passing someone on a bike. Hagen urges leaving five or 10 feet, if possible--or just waiting patiently.  'Really, that 15 seconds that you might be delayed, how awful really is that for you, compared with the idea that you're going to allow somebody to safely get to work, get to school, or ride for recreation.' Watching the video from Tennessee, Hagen pointed out that it is also legal to pass a bike rider over a double yellow line, as long as it can be done safely. Bike safety is in the spotlight even more now in Atlanta, as the city launched a bike share program in the summer of 2016. Relay Bike Share gives users the ability to pick up a cruiser at one of more than five dozen locations. MARTA has also partnered with Relay Bike Share, installing bike racks and repair stands at 37 train stations, except for the airport. Each repair stand has bike maintenance tools and tire pumps, and of the new bike racks are located within the fare gates, protected from the elements and under surveillance.  Mary Carol Harsch's grief is still raw, but she says it's important for her to use any opportunity she can to speak up for cyclist safety for her late husband and for other riders out there. 'I will say to one of my sisters, 'John's not coming back, right? He's really not coming back.' So it's still hard for me to believe,' she says, her voice breaking, 'but I would never be able to do this had he not given me the strength and made me the person that I am prior to my losing him.' 
  • A top surgeon in metro Atlanta says he sees an uptick in calls after the Fourth of July – not just because of runners from the Peachtree Road Race, but because of firecrackers.  “I’ve seen several people who’ve lost multiple fingers,” Orthopedic hand surgeon Dr. Craig Weil tells WSB.  When it comes to who is getting hurt by fireworks, you could probably guess a chunk of the demographic.   “About 25 percent of injuries, at least, are boys under 15,” Dr. Weil says.   To listen to a clip from Veronica Waters’ interview with Dr. Weil, click HERE. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says males ages 10-19 accounted for 61 percent of the fireworks-related hospitalizations in 2016. The year before, men and boys made up 76 percent of those hospitalizations.  Weil adds that both minor and devastating injuries are often prompted by bravado, and he is surprised at what some ‘wannabe’ daredevils think is all in good fun.  “You’re always shocked when someone says, ‘Yeah, I thought I would see what it was like to hold a firecracker between my fingers,’” Weil says. “And you see the blast injuries that lose part of their fingertips, or lose the skin, or have deep burns from these firecrackers that they held to show off or whatever. It can be pretty remarkable that people would consider that even a possibility.  “Or they've thrown fireworks at their friend and they've injured them somewhere.”   The most common fireworks injuries are to the finger, wrist, or hand. Weil says people can suffer burns and eye injuries from fireworks injuries, too, leading to shrapnel and paper embedded deep in their skin and tissue.   Weil says many cases require multiple surgeries and hospitalizations which often cost someone tens of thousands of dollars a pop – no pun intended – to salvage fingers or keep patients from living without a thumb.   'It would be something you'd have to have reconstructed, and that's why sometimes we have to do toe-to-hand transfers and so forth,' Weil says. 'They can be quite functional, but that's not something you want to contend with.” Fireworks were blamed in 11,100 hospital visits in 2016, resulting in four deaths.
  • This year, the Jean R. Amos United Service Organization Center is celebrating its 40th anniversary at the Atlanta airport. Opened July 1, 1977, the USO facility is designed as a haven for traveling service members and their families. It was the first-ever USO designed as a component of an American airport.
  • As the case of the accused NSA leaker in Augusta moves forward, WSB learns that in the interest of 'national security,' we may never know what Reality Winner saw.  Winner, a 25-year-old National Security Agency federal contractor with top secret security clearance and a specialty in linguistics, is facing a single charge in connection with mailing a news website (The Intercept) a classified document that details one of the ways Russia tried to hack the U. S. election systems in order to help Donald Trump win.  The cyberattack came just days before the November election day. The document says that Russian military intelligence (the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate) targeted a voting software manufacturer, then sent voter-registration-themed phishing e-mails to more than 100 elections officials.  Winner was in court for a status conference on Tuesday, June 27. Her parents, who live in Texas, were not at the hearing.   Government prosecutors say some of the evidence from Winner's home and office is so sensitive, the judge and Winner's lawyers will have to get security clearances just to be on the case to see the classified documents.  Atlanta criminal defense attorney Steve Sadow, not tied to this case, was granted such a security clearance years ago. He says the FBI screens the attorneys and the people working with them to make sure that they are not a risk of disclosure in terms of extortion or blackmail that a foreign power or other entity could use against them.  'Let's say the attorney has a history of drug use, or gambling problems, or things that have come up in the questions involving the Trump administration and Michael Flynn.  “Things that might give rise to a blackmailer in which the attorney is told, 'If you don't reveal information which is confidential to the government foreign entity, we will disclose information about your background or your activities, which may subject you to criminal prosecution or you may use the right to practice law,'' explains Sadow.  'The government doesn't want to take that chance.'  Sadow agrees that it is essentially putting your entire personal and professional life under a microscope.  'I can remember they asked some of my best friends – because they asked for information about people that they could contact – they wanted to know whether I was the kind of person that could be blackmailed, or extorted, or did I have anything in my history that would give rise to government concerns,' says Sadow. 'I'm assuming the same thing is taking place with the case in Augusta.'  Once the screenings are done and Winner's lawyers, Titus Nichols and John Bell, and federal judge Brian Epps, have clearances, Sadow says the defense cannot be afraid to step on toes.  “The defense attorney needs to be willing to put himself on the line and aggressively take on the government, because in a case of this nature, the government's goal here is to set an example so that other people don't do this,” says Sadow. 'The attorney has got to push the envelope. Sometimes that puts into play something called ‘graymail’.'  To listen to a clip from Veronica Waters’ interview with Steve Sadow, click HERE. Judge Brian Epps has installed a classified information security officer (CISO) in Winner's leak case who will help with any motions or orders connected to the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA).  The CISO is meant to help prevent “graymail”, in which a defendant tries to leverage a better position or get charges dropped by threatening to expose more confidential government information.  Sadow says that is why the CISO is a de-facto censor, essentially helping the prosecution.  “That person serves the role of making sure, to be perfectly candid, that nothing the government doesn’t like gets out into the public without the government having had the opportunity to go into court and - I say - ‘b**** about it’ before it gets released,” Sadow says.  Sadow adds that because the government wants to make an example of Winner, they will work to control what the public can see, and what the defense can say.  “No one is suggesting that the information that’s been disclosed isn’t something the public is interested in or should’ve known about,” Sadow explains. “What the government is saying is, ‘Wait. We didn’t make the decision to disclose it, and even though maybe the public should’ve known – that’s our call, not her call.’”  And with things being so secret, says Sadow, 'The public hasn't got a clue about what really is going on because it's been censored.'   The government has seized Winner's computers, mobile phones, and notebooks. There is also a note pad with handwriting in Farsi that they are translating, says the prosecution. Court papers also reveal that they have recovered more classified documents from Winner that are not tied to what she allegedly mailed. They have not said whether these are documents that she had access to in her job.  Sadow says a judge or a lawyer without a lot of experience in classified cases could find themselves being led along by what the government contends is 'standard' in these types of instances.  “The defense has to push that ‘graymail’,” Sadow says. “That may get him into an adversarial situation with the court, with the prosecution.  “The attorney has really got to stand his or her ground because if not, under CIPA, and the way these classified information cases are worked, the defendant and his lawyer wind up getting stampeded.”  Sadow adds, “They just become afraid to take on the government and whenever a defense attorney’s in that posture, they need to get out of the case.”  Winner has pleaded not guilty to a sole charge of 'willful retention and transmission of national defense information.' In a June 8 hearing, Judge Epps denied her bond.  In that hearing, a prosecutor said that during her time in the Air Force, Winner put a flash drive into a secure computer in what appeared to be a dry run of sorts, having searched the Internet for information on what happens when you put a flash drive into a classified computer system. The location of that flash drive, or whether anything is on it, is a mystery to prosecutors and a stated concern of Judge Epps' when denying her bail.  Attorneys agreed to have all of the evidence discovery filed by August 25. The court is also looking for a place to store the classified information securely.  Winner's tentative trial date is October 23.   If convicted, Winner faces up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines, plus up to three years of supervised release and a $100 special assessment.
  • The World's Busiest Airport is nailing down plans to keep a record-breaking crowd moving swiftly and safely this Fourth of July holiday weekend.  Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta is on track to break its own one-day record for passenger screenings, which was just set over the Memorial Day weekend.   'We're expecting June 30 to be our busiest travel day. Over 90,000 people will come through these passenger screening checkpoints just that day in itself,' says Richard Duncan, the airport's assistant general manager for public safety. 'This will set another record for us.'   And that's just through the TSA checkpoints. The rest of the airport will also be teeming with travelers.  'We expect to see a few million pass through the airport during the entire weekend,' says Andrew Gobeil, deputy director of policy and communications.  On a typical day, anywhere from 60,000 to 80,000 passengers go through security, says Gobeil.  Duncan says they have the ability to flex their operations so that Hartsfield-Jackson can open and staff more screening lanes during busy times. They expect three peaks throughout the day--one each in the morning, afternoon, and early evening. The goal is to move people through the checkpoints in 20 minutes or less. Duncan says the automated screening lanes that opened in May has helped speed the process.  'If someone is getting frustrated because it takes longer, I'd just ask them, have a little patience. We will get you through the process and onward to your destination.'  Duncan's primary focus is on the many layers of airport security. While some public safety directives take place proactively behind the scenes, he says fliers will see a larger number of armed law enforcement over the July 4th weekend.  'Just the presence of people in uniform makes people feel a little bit more comfortable about being here, and we also want to be able to respond to any types of emergencies,' says Duncan. 'We want to have the police officers present so that they will prevent some individual from trying to do something. It may be a deterrent to someone coming in if they see the law enforcement officers. So it serves as a deterrent and also a protective comfort for the people doing the traveling themselves.'   Duncan also reminds holiday fliers not to try to bring fireworks with them, whether in a carry-on or in checked baggage. 'It happens,' says Duncan, of travelers attempting to fly with fireworks, but they are viewed as a safety hazard by the Federal Aviation Administration and therefore are banned.  'Buy those at your destination,' says Duncan.
  • He has not been granted bond, but 74-year-old Tex McIver is settling into new digs after being moved from the Fulton County Jail over the weekend.  McIver’s attorney, William Hill, has worried jail would be hard on his client: “He’s got a rash on his back, can’t get to his doctor.”  McIver was moved to the low-to-medium security Alpharetta Annex not by court order, but because Fulton County needed the bed he was occupying in the medical wing.  Fulton County Jail Commander Colonel Mark Adger says a third of their inmates are re-classified every 30 days, and McIver met the criteria to be one of them. Medical staff worried about the 74-year-old's ability to 'thrive' in general population if he was relocated there. He says while it's unusual for a murder defendant to be moved, the attorney's age and physical condition contributed to his classification.   'Inmate McIver is a medium-security inmate and was never housed in maximum security,' says Adger.   The Fulton County District Attorney's Office filed an emergency motion to 'terminate special privileges' and return McIver to the jail on Rice Street, contending the move appears to be the result of him receiving preferential treatment.   The state contends that since the Alpharetta Annex cannot monitor visits and phone calls as thoroughly as the Fulton County facility, McIver might try to alter evidence or influence witnesses--a key concern raised by prosecutors in a previous hearing, in which they cited three jail phone calls of McIver's. In one, McIver discussed giving a Jaguar to a former employee who has previously testified in one of his bond hearings; in another, McIver talked about having a judge make a phone call that would allow him to 'be out of here the next day.'   Adger, the Chief Jailer, says calls McIver makes are, in fact, recorded, and the district attorney's office still has the ability to monitor them and be notified when he makes them.   The motion also says, however, that in a June 18 phone call, McIver 'states that staff permitted him to use a non-secure telephone to make local calls.' Adger never got reports of McIver having a hard time in jail. “What I have seen of him,” Adger tells WSB, “he spends most of his time reading his bible.  “He didn’t do much, didn’t talk much to anybody.”  At the Alpharetta Annex, McIver is able to watch TV, but no longer has Wi-Fi access to use a tablet.  Tex McIver was charged with malice murder and six other counts in the September 25, 2016 shooting death of his wife, Diane McIver. He insists a gun he was holding in his lap went off accidentally while both were riding in a family vehicle.  Prosecutors suggest McIver killed his wife intentionally over money.  McIver will stand trial for the murder of his wife on Oct. 30. An evidentiary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 25.
  • A Fulton County judge rules that a governor-appointed committee set up to investigate the indecency arrest of DeKalb County's sheriff can move forward.  Attorney Noah Pines filed a lawsuit on behalf of Sheriff Jeffrey Mann for a writ of prohibition to block the committee, arguing that the panel is exceeding its lawful authority. Pines insists that the statute used to set up the committee doesn't apply to Mann's case, because he was charged with ordinance violations in Atlanta, and not crimes as defined by state law.  Mann was charged with indecency and obstruction on May 6, after police say he exposed himself to a policeman in Piedmont Park, then ran from the arresting officer.  'The committee can't investigate Sheriff Mann for that. They don't have the authority,' argued Pines. 'If he was charged with a misdemeanor, I wouldn't be here. But he wasn't charged with a misdemeanor, he was charged with an ordinance violation.'   Georgia Assistant Attorney General Rebecca Dobras disagreed, saying the accusations are 'concerning' for DeKalb County's highest law enforcement officer.  'He was arrested for exposing himself and masturbating in public, and then fleeing another police officer when he was told to stop,' Dobras countered. 'These are criminal in nature. He could face imprisonment with these charges.'  Pines also contended that the committee is 'quasi-judicial' and has too much power in its ability to interview people and make a recommendation on suspension to Governor Nathan Deal. Pines argued over the statute's reference to misconduct in office and incapacity to function in office.  'It would make sense that misconduct in office means something you've done in your office,' said Pines. 'I don't mean literally in your office, but in your official capacity as sheriff. He's letting people out of jail, he's charging more money for bond, he's charging them for food--something that violates his duties in office, not something that happened outside his office not in his official capacity.'  Dobras argued that the committee's recommendation to the governor on whether or not Mann should be suspended is not binding, and that the only thing required to allow the investigation are allegations--not actual criminal charges--yet certainly the accusations he's facing amount to something 'alleged' in Mann's case.  'This is just an investigation,' Dobras said. 'It's to find out more. What's going on with Sheriff Mann? Can he perform his duties as a sheriff?'   Fulton County Superior Court Judge Eric Dunaway ruled that a writ of prohibition is not appropriate. Dunaway agreed that the committee is only investigative in nature, and pointed out that any recommendation to Gov. Deal is non-binding.  The committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday, June 1, and to make a recommendation to the governor by June 16.   Esther Panitch, Channel 2 Action News legal analyst, tells WSB Radio that depending on the result of the investigation, Mann may have looked a gift horse in the mouth.  'All of this would've been avoided had the City of Atlanta sent this prosecution of this case to State Court of Fulton County,' says Panitch. 'At that point, it would have been charged as a crime--as it usually is--and not as an ordinance violation. We didn't have to be here.  'It seems like the City of Atlanta was trying to do as little damage to Sheriff Mann as possible by issuing an ordinance violation to begin with,' Panitch continues. 'The problem is, he didn't take it as a gift. He took it as an opportunity to fight back.'  Mann sent his staff a memo last week telling them that he was suspending himself for conduct unbecoming for one week ending June 4, and donating a week's salary to charity.   'I will continue to vigorously defend myself as it relates to the charges,' Mann's memo read in part. 'However, the mere fact of placing myself in a position to be arrested is sufficient reason for this self-imposed discipline. I cannot, in good faith, fail to take responsibility for the negative and unwanted criticism brought to this great agency and the County, and I apologize to each of you. You deserve a leader who takes responsibility for his actions.'  Court records indicate Mann's case is set to be handled in Atlanta Municipal Court on Friday, June 2.
  • A community group has $30,000 ready to buy back unwanted guns in Atlanta.   The effort is being led by Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church in west Atlanta, the Atlanta Police Department, the Fulton County Sheriff's Office, and the group Stop Atlanta Violence Effectively (SAVE).  The church’s pastor, Rev. Dr. R. L. White, says the group bought 900 guns in its first buyback effort two years ago.   White says they have no problem with gun ownership by responsible owners who know how to carry, secure, and handle weapons safely.  'We're not about confiscating guns,' says Dr. White. He notes, though, that too often, young people are killed by gunfire in accidents at homes or by stray bullets on the streets.  'I'm the one that has to look in the face of mothers and families, try to give them some words of comfort, in what you know is an impossible task when they see their children lying before the altar,' says White.  White says they want to be a medium for people who no longer want their guns, for any reason.  'Anonymity will be there,' he says, 'because there are some in the criminal element who have those guns and they want to get rid of them. Ours is only to help lessen the number of guns in the streets.'   Cpt. Dan Cochran, with the Fulton County Sheriff's Office, says they will pay $50 for working handguns and $100 for working long guns. On-site firearms instructors will check the weapons for functionality, and they will not buy BB or pellet guns.  White and Cochran emphasize that the buyback is a 'no questions asked' event.  'We are offering amnesty,' says Cpt. Cochran. 'We will not ask the names of those who bring their weapons, nor will we create a database with any of their information. We do not intend to have photographers on site.   'We will be checking the weapons in GCIC (Georgia Crime Information Center) to see if there is an owner somewhere of those weapons, but it is in no way to bring any action against the person who surrenders the weapon.'  Cochran says the weapons bought, like the ones received in 2015, will be melted. In the previous gun buyback, he says the weapons were tested to see if they were tied to crimes, but they were true to their word and never tried to contact anyone who had sold a weapon to them.   SAVE volunteer Delabia Cameron (top picture, third from right) is the mother of a high school sophomore who was killed Oct. 4, 2015, by a stray bullet nearly two years ago in Union City. Amira Cameron, 15, was outside with her 13-year-old brother and some friends and listening to music in her headphones when a drive-by battle rolled through their neighborhood. She didn't hear it and was struck in the head by a bullet.   'We're not trying to take guns away from licensed owners,' said Mrs. Cameron. 'What happened to my daughter? She was 15 years of age and killed in Union City. The guns that were involved have never been found. So hopefully, someone would come forward with those guns. If we could save one other life, that's what I'm a part of.'  Cameron says she, her husband, and their son--who saw his sister's murder--are all still in therapy.   Dr. White knows that the gun buyback isn't exactly 'justice' for survivors of gun violence.  'We know that there is not justice for them,' White says. 'The only satisfaction we have is, that gun that has killed somebody or robbed somebody--that gun will never be used again.'   White says it took 18 months to raise $30,000. Their goal was $100,000, he says. Even though many business people told him they supported the idea of what the group is trying to do, they declined to give donations to help.  He says some feared that they would alienate customers who might somehow be offended by a gun buyback event.  Most of the donations came church members and other from neighborhood churches.  White notes that he has seen some other city governments in states including Texas and California that have funded gun buybacks, but he says Atlanta lawmakers were not on board with the idea.  The gun buyback will be June 15, 2017, at the Atlanta Civic Center.
  • Is the I-85 collapse making you sick? Possibly. That's why the bridge reopening as soon as possible is just what the doctor ordered.  Dr. Melinda Paige, clinical mental health counseling professor at Argosy University in Atlanta, says the increased commute time increases the stress levels of many drivers--and in turn, the brain interprets that as a threat, causing emotional distress or physical symptoms.  Paige says it's classic fight-or-flight mode--all caused by being stuck in a traffic jam.   'Eighty-five percent of our brains are actually the same that we share with other animals and primates,' says Dr. Paige. 'So that part of the animal brain...doesn't have the ability to tell the difference between traffic and something coming to eat me alive. Our brains are the same as they were when we were Neanderthal.'   The perceived 'threat' leads to anxiety which can manifest itself physically for some drivers.  'Their stomach starts to hurt, or they get chest pains, or they start to breathe quickly or get clammy,' says Paige.    Paige says the other 15% of the brain is where we're 'smart.' Humans then worry that the boss will be mad and fire them if they're late, or their child will be upset if Mom or Dad isn't in the carpool line as early as usual.  She says when the body reacts stressfully to the stories our minds tell, it's important to tell yourself that those thoughts are irrational.  Paige recommends a strategy with the acronym 'SNAG:' Stop and Notice what's going on in the body; Appreciate the fact that your biology is working for your protection, knowledge which should reassure you; and Ground yourself by actively calming the mind and body.  When your heart's racing, Dr. Paige explains, practice mindfulness and being in the moment.  'Get in touch with something in the here and now, like our breath. Take 10 deep breaths. Something soothing on the car radio. A book on tape. Maybe a nice smell that you enjoy. Anything that you can use to get you present again and grounded calms the mind and body,' says Paige.
  • A teen faces carjacking and aggravated assault charges after allegedly targeting an Uber driver in Dunwoody.  The 911 call came in around 9:20 Monday morning from the 5000 block of Winters Chapel Road.   'An Uber driver...said that she was just carjacked at knifepoint by a fare that she had picked up,' says Dunwoody Police Sgt. Aaron Belt.   He describes the weapon as a typical steak or utility knife from a household kitchen.  But it was a short-lived getaway for the suspect, a 16-year-old boy whose identity is withheld because he is a juvenile. Belt says a responding officer didn't have to look far at all to spot him in the stolen Toyota Scion.   'Within a couple minutes of the call coming in to the 911 center, the officer found the suspect driving the carjacked vehicle away from the scene and was able to quickly take him into custody,' says Belt. 'He located the vehicle--passed him on a side street.'   Belt says the teen didn't specify where he was going--and gave the barest hint into why.   'He was upset with some things going on in his personal life, but he wasn't too forthcoming into his motives or his reasoning behind it,' says Belt.   The driver was unhurt, and the teenager's motive remains a mystery. He was charged with three felonies – Hijacking of a Motor Vehicle, Aggravated Assault, and Possession of a Knife During the Commission of a Crime – and booked into the DeKalb County Youth Detention Center.   'It's really kind of an odd crime, especially given the kind of nonchalant response from the suspect involved in such a violent crime,' says Belt.   If you have any additional information regarding this incident, please contact Detective R. Ehlbeck at 678.382.6925 or at robert.ehlbeck@dunwoodyga.gov. ANONYMOUS TIPS may be submitted via the SUBMIT A CRIME TIP tab at www.dunwoodypolice.com, or by texting C-R-I-M-E-S (274-637).
  • Veronica Waters

    Reporter

    Veronica Waters is an anchor and reporter for News/Talk WSB. She is also the staff expert on legal affairs and the courts. In 2007, the Radio-Television News Directors Association named Waters' series on "Snaring Internet Predators" best in the region with an Edward R. Murrow award for Investigative Reporting.She has been honored by several professional organizations for news and sports feature reporting, and was named in 2003 as the Atlanta Press Club's Radio Journalist of the Year. Waters has covered an assortment of high-profile cases from Mayor Bill Campbell's corruption trial to the murder trials of activist-turned imam Jamil Al-Amin and of former DeKalb County, GA Sheriff Sidney Dorsey.She served as the station's correspondent for the murder trial of accused "Black Widow" Lynn Turner, and the death penalty case of double murderer Stacey Humphreys. One of the biggest legal cases in Atlanta history involved the notorious Gold Club racketeering trial. Waters covered this unfolding drama not only for WSB Radio and radio stations throughout America, but also for a worldwide audience on BBC Radio. Waters joined WSB in 1997 as an anchor and reporter. She began her journalism career at the Southern Urban Network and Mississippi Network in Jackson, MS. Waters attended Alcorn State University and Mississippi State University, and enjoys cheering for the NFL's Tennessee Titans.

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  • A former lottery computer programmer who admitted to rigging computers to enable him to pick winning numbers and cheat four states out of $2.2 million in several lottery games over six years was sentenced to up to 25 years in prison in Iowa on Tuesday. 'I regret my actions and I'm sorry for the people I hurt,' said Eddie Tipton, 54, the former information technology manager for the Multi-State Lottery Association, a central Iowa organization that provides number-picking computers for lotteries in 33 states the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Tipton's voice quivered when asked by Judge Brad McCall to speak during the sentencing hearing. After McCall issued the sentence, Tipton was handcuffed and taken away by sheriff's deputies. Under Iowa law, Tipton is likely to serve far less than 25 years — probably between three and five years, said Iowa Assistant Attorney General Rob Sand, who prosecuted the case. The Iowa Board of Parole will ultimately determine how long he's behind bars. 'I think when you're an insider who abuses your position of trust and privilege you should expect to see the inside of a jail cell,' Sand said. Tipton's attorney asked McCall to give Tipton probation in Iowa, arguing his client was unfairly being treated far more harshly than other people involved in the scheme. As part of his plea deal, Tipton also admitted to committing theft by fraud and a computer crime in Wisconsin, where he'll be sentenced Sept. 18. The agreement allows him to serve his Wisconsin sentence — likely to be three to four years — at the same time he serves the Iowa prison sentence. Tipton also agreed to repay the $2.2 million to the four states from which he rigged games and jackpots were paid, but he told McCall it's unclear how he will get the money. He said he hopes to study ministry and get a job in that field after prison. 'Hopefully you're going to get rid of that greed and gain a little common sense during your prison stay,' McCall said. Tipton helped write the computer code behind several U.S. lottery games, including some of its biggest including Powerball, Mega Millions and Hot Lotto. He worked for the lottery association from 2003 until 2015 and was its computer information security director for his last two years there. Tipton admitted in June to installing code that prompted the computers to produce predictable numbers only on certain days. Tipton said he gave the numbers to his brother, Tommy Tipton, and longtime friend Robert Rhodes and others to play and often split the winnings with them. Tommy Tipton is serving a 75-day jail sentence in Texas after pleading guilty to a theft charge. Rhodes is expected to get probation when he's sentenced on Aug. 25 for a computer crime charge. The games Eddie Tipton fixed included Colorado Lotto in November 2005, Megabucks in Wisconsin in December 2007, 2by2 in Kansas and Hot Lotto in Iowa in December 2010, and Hot Lotto in Oklahoma in November 2011. Iowa Lottery officials became suspicious and never paid the jackpot when Tipton and Rhodes tried to cash a $14 million Iowa Hot Lotto ticket bought in 2010. 'Eddie Tipton had the keys to the kingdom and those are the things we changed immediately to make sure any equipment he touched was removed and we continue to look ahead and make sure we have those checks and balances as we proceed,' Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich said. ___ Follow David Pitt on Twitter at https://twitter.com/davepitt ___ Sign up for the AP's weekly newsletter showcasing our best reporting from the Midwest and Texas: http://apne.ws/2u1RMfv
  • Two Georgia police officers were arrested Tuesday on charges related to child abuse. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, 47-year-old Tracy Jones and 36-year-old Rosemary Jones were arrested in Sylvester and booked into the Worth County Jail. The GBI says it was asked to investigate allegations of the couple mistreating their adopted children. Tracey Jones, an officer with the Jacksonville Police Department, was charged with two felony counts of cruelty to children in the first degree. Rosemary Jones, an officer with the Poulan Police Department, was charged with two counts of cruelty to children in the first degree, two counts of aggravated assault and one count of false imprisonment.
  • Peachtree City Little Leaguer Jayce Blalock, whose grand slam during a game made headlines earlier this month, is back at it again – this time at SunTrust Park. Video of the 13-year-old’s 375-foot shot into the trees during a game against a South Carolina team was viewed more than 1 million times. The Atlanta Braves tweeted videos Tuesday of Blalock hitting another 375-foot shot at SunTrust Park.  You've seen Peachtree City Little Leaguer Jayce Blalock hit a 375 foot shot in the trees. Now, he's conquered @SunTrustPark! pic.twitter.com/uTPjlu0oT6 — Atlanta Braves (@Braves) August 22, 2017 Upon further review, 13-year-old Jayce Blalock went mammo! Yes, 13. pic.twitter.com/oOPJfbnVLp — Atlanta Braves (@Braves) August 22, 2017 Here's Blalock's grand slam from earlier this month:  'They said he could hit it into the trees ...' You were saying? #LLWS pic.twitter.com/QcWJnimLnV — Little League (@LittleLeague) August 6, 2017  
  • The Latest on President Donald Trump's visit to Arizona (all times PDT): 2:50 p.m. President Donald Trump is greeting service members at a Marine Corps base in the 106-degree heat of Yuma, Arizona. Trump is also signing caps with his 'Make America Great Again' campaign slogan and posing for selfies on the tarmac just steps away from Air Force One. Trump is visiting with service members after touring the base. It's a hub of operations for the U.S. Border Patrol. The president made no formal remarks while in Yuma. His next stop is Phoenix for the latest in a series of campaign rallies. The visit is Trump's first out West since he took office in January. ___ 2:30 p.m. President Donald Trump is reviewing equipment used by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol during a stop in Yuma, Arizona. Agents are telling Trump about a Predator drone, helicopter and boat, which are on display in a hangar at the base. Trump patted the side of the drone. Trump also is greeting dozens of border patrol and immigration and customs enforcement agents. He shook hands as they showed him everyday items, such as a fire extinguisher, that have been refashioned to smuggle drugs across the border. Trump is expected to greet Marines before heading to a campaign rally in Phoenix. ___ 2:15 p.m. A spokeswoman for President Donald Trump says he will not pardon former Sheriff Joe Arpaio (ahr-PY'-oh) while visiting Arizona. Trump sparked speculation about a possible pardon when he told Fox News in a recent interview that he was considering issuing one. But White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters traveling with Trump on Tuesday that 'there will be no discussion of that today at any point, and no action will be taken on that front at any point today.' Arpaio, the former Maricopa County sheriff, was recently convicted in federal court of disobeying court orders to stop his immigration patrols. Immigrant rights advocates had criticized a potential pardon by Trump. ___ 3 a.m. President Donald Trump is trying to recapture the fervor that helped put him in office with a campaign-style rally in Arizona, but he's also likely to hear some protests over his immigration policies and his comments about Charlottesville. It will be his farthest trip west since taking office in January. He'll visit the Mexican border at Yuma before the political rally in Phoenix. Trump's visit comes at a sensitive time. Some Republicans are reeling after his remarks last week that 'both sides' were to blame for violence that erupted at a rally organized by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. The president also has teased that he may pardon former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (ahr-PY'-oh), who recently was convicted of disobeying a court order to stop his immigration patrols.
  • A homeless man’s call to police on Monday morning ended an hours-long search for a Louisiana infant who was kidnapped and then abandoned underneath a highway overpass, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending news Authorities in Shreveport were called Monday morning by a homeless man who said that another man told him he had left a baby under a bridge in Minden, about 30 miles east of Shreveport, KTBS reported. The child and a man identified by authorities as 25-year-old Kyshaun Wilson had been reported missing around 3:30 a.m. Monday after Wilson left a home in Minden with the 2 1/2-month-old boy, according to the news station. KTBS described Wilson as a friend of the family who lived at the home on Columbia Street, but KSLA reported that he was not a blood relative to the boy. He was visiting the home on Sunday night and got up around midnight Monday to get the infant a bottle, according to KTBS. “For some reason unknown at this time, he walks out with the baby,” Minden police Chief Steve Cropper told the news station. Investigators told KSLA that Wilson walked for miles before he left the baby under an overpass on Interstate 20 around 3 a.m. He got a ride to Shreveport and went to Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino, where he met a homeless man and confessed to leaving the infant, the news station reported. The homeless man, who was not identified, called police, who were able to find Wilson. Wilson initially denied any knowledge of the missing child, but later admitted that he had left him under the overpass, the Minden Press-Herald reported. Police found the child wrapped in a blanket and sleeping underneath the Sibley exit bridge, according to KTBS and The Press-Herald. “The scariest thing about it -- if he were able to roll off that ledge, he would have hit that concrete retaining ledge and probably would have rolled right out into interstate,” Cropper told the Press-Herald. However, he told KTBS, “the child was fine. He had only a few minor abrasions.” The baby has since been released to his mother. Cropper told the Press-Herald that Wilson was arrested on one count of aggravated kidnapping. As authorities took him to police headquarters, Wilson said that “God told me to do it,” according to the Press-Herald.
  • Sailors with ties to Michigan and Illinois are among 10 who are missing after a U.S. warship collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asia. U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis said he was informed by Logan Palmer's family that the central Illinois man is missing. In Michigan, April Brandon said the military informed her that her son, Ken Smith, is also missing. The USS John McCain collided with an oil tanker off Singapore on Monday. Adm. Scott Swift said some bodies have been found in a flooded compartment of the warship. No other details have been released. Brandon said Smith's father, stepmother and grandfather served in the Navy. She said Smith, 22, grew up in Novi, Michigan, and moved to Norfolk, Virginia, as a teen with his father. 'His father and I couldn't be prouder of our son,' Brandon said. 'He's a great kid. He's a hero.' Davis, a Republican whose district includes the Decatur area, said Palmer comes from a 'patriotic family.' He enlisted in 2016. 'Our military must do whatever necessary to minimize incidents like this and protect those who risk their lives each day in service to our country,' Davis said.