H 73° L 55°
  • clear-night
    Current Conditions
    Clear. H 73° L 55°
  • cloudy-day
    Partly Cloudy. H 73° L 55°
  • cloudy-day
    Cloudy. H 73° L 55°

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00


Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00


Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Latest from Veronica Waters

    A comment about lynching students, censorship of essays with racial themes, a threat to throw a Latino student over the president’s wall, and questions about whether their families are here legally. These are among the list of alleged teacher comments that South Cobb High School’s students say they have brought to the administration’s attention. South Cobb seniors Malik Freeman, Rin Faith, and Naomi Yaledah-Bashaar spoke with WSB Radio’s Veronica Waters, recalling a series of racially-offensive comments made by teachers in the past year. “Our band director once said to his students in class, ‘Is it cotton-picking season?’” Freeman says.  “[A] teacher said to Hispanic students, ‘If you don’t get this question right, we’re going to throw you over the wall,’” Faith remembers. Yaledah-Bashaar tells WSB a teacher once told a noisy classroom 'that if we wouldn’t be quiet, he would have to hang us.” All three students say this has tainted their love of their school and their trust in its administration and staffers. None feels safe in the place they spend hours every day, in a year that should be one of the best, they all say. “I’ve never felt so unsafe in a school building, ever in my life,” says Yaledah-Bashaar. 'I've always had respect for my teachers, I've always had love for the schools that I've been in, and I’ve always had a close connection to my teachers. “But I no longer feel comfortable at South Cobb. I no longer feel safe. I no longer feel as though I'm welcomed or my opinions or values or me as a person is appreciated.' The trio says complaints have fallen on deaf ears. The teacher who made the lynching remark stood by his comment when Yaledah-Bashaar confronted him about it the next day. She taped the conversation, and shared part of it on Twitter. The instructor, who has since retired, insisted he was standing by his words because he 'tells it like it is.' In a more recent incident, Faith says, a teacher assigned students to write about a controversial topic and present their essays in class. One student wrote about how most mass shootings in the U.S. are committed by white men. The teacher took offense, students say, accusing the author of not backing up his paper although he listed his proper citations, and began censoring the topics she allowed to be presented in class. One student was disciplined after questioning the teacher about her decision, the students tell WSB.  The students are lobbying for apologies, and action – including having that student's disciplinary record cleared. Freeman, a student government board member, hopes that something positive will be done to resolve this before he graduates in May, and that the administration will listen to their grievances seriously. 'It's my senior year at South Cobb High School, and it's been my worst year,' he says. 'It's been their worst year. All because of what we've had to endure.' He says the administrators put the onus on students to do research on the allegations and then talk to their classmates about what was happening. “We’re sick of always having slaps on the wrists,' Freeman says. 'We just want something to be done about it. Whether that's reprimanding the teacher, her losing her job, whether that's bring the board out here and let's have a forum. We just want something to be done.' Students and parents accuse the administration is turning a deaf ear to them after they put together a package of statements from students about the comments they have witnessed. Although they met with their local school board rep, a promised deadline to give them some resolution by the end of January has come and gone and they have heard nothing, the group says. Only five students demonstrated Thursday afternoon. The students and parents present say most other parents were afraid of backlash targeting their kids, so they did not allow them to attend. Faith says she understands the nervousness, but believes the stakes are high enough that she should protest publicly. 'We really just want to show people that you don't get to sweep this under the rug like you did everything else,' she says. Faith adds that the teachers who make racist, homophobic, or sexist comments should be disciplined or even fired, much like a student who says something considered inflammatory would be disciplined. 'It's just sad to look around,” Faith says, adding, “You teach at a predominantly black and brown school. Are you really still thinking like that?  “Issues like this [are] what keep us from progressing as a whole, and everybody should be more concerned about coming together despite your adversities and differences, rather than separating us further.” Several community members came out in support of the students. Calli McGregor is a Cobb County parent who does not have kids at South Cobb, but who is frustrated that these students are being ignored and made to feel unvalued. “These students have done their best to go through the proper channels and chain of command, to get some resolution [for] these issues and so far, they have not,” McGregor says. 'I think they’re very, very brave young men and women and I just want to be here to support them.” Asked what she feels the district should do, McGregor says, “Just respond to these students. Make them feel heard, make them feel supported. “And above all else, make them feel safe. Make them feel like they can go to school without having to feel discriminated against and marginalized.” Leroy Tre Hutchins is another Cobb County parent whose children attend different schools, but is alarmed over continued missteps and offenses by staffers. “To hear this and to hear some of the things that the teachers have said to these students, I can’t imagine the type of post-traumatic stress disorder these children are gonna have as a result of the people that we’re supposed to trust with our kids every day,” Hutchins says. He adds that he thinks it is imperative staffers at South Cobb High receive immediate training on “explicit and implicit bias.” “For every school employee; every lunch lady, the resource officers, the substitute teachers, all the way to the superintendent’s office,” Hutchins concludes. Friday afternoon, John Stafford, senior executive director of communications and events for South Cobb High, emailed the following statement to WSB: “We take the claims of racial bias seriously, and the safety of our students is of paramount importance. All allegations are reviewed thoroughly and appropriate action taken, as necessary.”
  • A few keystrokes online could match you up with a life insurance payout you did not even know you were due. Georgia leads the nation when it comes to matching people with misplaced life insurance. This is thanks in part to a service launched a year ago by the State Insurance Commissioner and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The ‘Life Insurance Policy Locator’ is a free service that “streamlines and simplifies the process for consumers,” State Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said in a statement.  The Commissioner’s office said that with the new service, Georgian’s requests are encrypted and secured to maintain confidentiality. “Participating insurers will compare submitted requests with available policyholder information and report all matches to state insurance departments through the locator,” the statement read, “Companies will then contact beneficiaries or their authorized representatives.” State Deputy Insurance Commissioner Jay Florence tells WSB the service is invaluable. “People thought that it was worthwhile during their life to spend this money to give you a benefit upon their death,” Florence says, adding, “Whether it’s large or small, obviously they had something in mind – a need that they wanted to fill.  “If you’re talking about a widowed spouse, a life insurance benefit can mean all the difference in the world.” In the year since it has launched, one out of every six Georgians using it found something a loved one left for them. According to Consumer Reports, an estimated $1 billion in benefits from life insurance policies are unclaimed.  “The largest life insurance policy that we’ve seen come back has been over $640,000,” says Florence. Since the service went live last December, 589 Georgians have received more than $6.6 million in policy payouts. For a link to the Locator, located on the front page of the state insurance commissioner’s website, click here. 
  • The vote tally is certified in the Atlanta mayoral race, and Keisha Lance Bottoms' margin of victory has grown. Was the vote a tale of two Atlantas?  WSB Political analyst Bill Crane is unsurprised by Atlanta's election map, which shows a pretty distinctive geographical split.  'You can almost see at the precinct level, if you were to match up census tracks and ZIP codes, more affluent and whiter neighborhoods voted for Mary Norwood, and less affluent and blacker neighborhoods voted for Keisha Lance Bottoms. But that map, geographically, has largely been in place since the 1970s,' Crane says. North and east Atlanta went mostly Mary Norwood, the south and west to mayor-elect Keisha Lance Bottoms. Election officials in Fulton and DeKalb counties on Monday certified their election results, with Bottoms in the lead by 832 votes. The Associated Press points out that the outcome practically mirrored her 2009 loss to current Mayor Kasim Reed by 714 votes. Crane says coded language played a role on both sides of the mayoral race, adding, “Race became a pretty dominant issue in social media discussion, and indirectly in the advertising about who was a Democrat and who was a Republican.” Atlanta's last white mayor, Sam Massell, left office in 1974 and was succeeded over the next four decades by Maynard Jackson, Andrew Young, Bill Campbell, Shirley Franklin and Kasim Reed. The AP says Atlanta’s population today is 53 percent black, with black Atlantans still constituting a majority of registered voters and overall turnout. The runoff election saw 92,169 votes cast, The AP reports – less than 20 percent of the Atlanta’s roughly 500,000 residents. “We still more likely view things – as general voters – as who most and best understands me, who’s most like me, and who is most likely to best represent me,” Crane explains, adding, “And when you get to that simplistic view, race calculates much higher than a lot of other factors.” Crane says until Atlantans blend more and learn to trust each other, racial politics will keep coming into play.
  • Basil Eleby’s case is being transferred to Fulton County behavioral court. Prosecutors say it is the right track for the accused I-85 arsonist since he has been working hard to treat his addiction. “I’d rather be sober than be the other way around,” Eleby told reporters outside the Fulton County court house Friday. “It’s a whole lot better.” Now 79 days sober, Eleby says this arrest turned his life around. “I never thought I’d get to this point,” Eleby said. “To get another chance because there are so many people out there who didn’t get another chance.” He added, “So many people out there who are still where I was a couple of months ago – out in the cold and out in the rain, and they feel like they just don’t have no way out. “Those people – they are human; most low people are just looking for a way out and they just need a chance. They just need people to believe in them.” If Eleby successfully completes the 18-month program, the arson charges will be dropped. “Good luck Mr. Eleby,” Judge Constance Russell said after the hearing. “Go forth and do well. Don’t let me read about you.”  Atlanta police alleged Eleby set fire to a shopping cart underneath I-85 last spring. The blaze eventually spread to construction material the Georgia Department of Transportation stored under the bridge and caused a chunk of the busy highway to collapse. The highway reopened six weeks later, ahead of schedule, and Eleby was charged with arson. An arson conviction for Eleby could have resulted in a severe felony sentence, but WSB senior legal analyst Ron Carlson says prosecutors would have had an uphill battle proving it. “That charge requires – under Georgia law – number one, the suspect intentionally set the fire; there were witnesses to that,” Carlson explains. “However, number two, [that] when he did so, he realized the blaze would endanger human life. “With his reported mentality of about a 15-year-old, that mental element of the charge might have been difficult for the state to prove.” Outside court Friday, Eleby’s attorneys maintained his innocence. “Basil was unfairly accused of something he did not do,” attorney Lawrence Zimmerman said. “We presented evidence from day one from polygraph tests to alibi witnesses to the state of Georgia that Basil had nothing to do with this fire whatsoever.” Zimmerman added, “The state’s been very gracious. They saw all the evidence and they also realized there was no case against Basil. “The Atlanta Police Department made a mistake.” He concluded by saying, “This is what we call justice. I’ve gotten so many phone calls from so many people around the country, from engineers that work on highways – everybody wanting to help out. “So many people believing in Basil, knowing that charging him with arson was ridiculous.” Mawuli Davis, another of Eleby’s attorneys, echoed Zimmerman’s sentiments. “Basil made it clear and has been consistent that if anything we did [would] require him to enter a plea of guilty, he would not do it – period.  “What he was crystal clear about was that he did not set that bridge fire; he didn’t do anything that caused it to catch fire and was not present when any fire was burning.” Davis added, “People can say what they want. This man stands here knowing that entering this program is in his best interest as a human being, but that he is an innocent man and will remain so.”  Before his arrest, Eleby had been homeless for about 10 years. Outside court Friday, Eleby told reporters of his hopes and dreams going forward. “I want to live and I’m going to keep pushing forward. I wanna start my own mobile detail business, or get into computers; I like computers. “And I like cleaning stuff; taking something that looks dead and making it look alive again. Eleby concluded his remarks by saying, “At first I couldn’t see the blessings I was getting out of this, but through all this crazy stuff happening and through all this time, God just took it and turned it around and gave me what I was asking for in the first place – to stay sober and to get a new way of life.”
  • Basil Eleby is entering the Fulton County Accountability Courts -- avoiding a plea deal and jail time. If the accused I-85 arsonist successfully completes the 18-month program, charges made against him will be dropped. “I never thought I’d get to this point,” Eleby told reporters outside court. “To get another chance because there are so many people out there who didn’t get another chance.” Eleby added, “So many people out there who are still where I was a couple of months ago – out in the cold and out in the rain, and they feel like they just don’t have no way out. “Those people – they are human; most low people are just looking for a way out and they just need a chance. They just need people to believe in them.” WSB senior legal analyst Ron Carlson says Fulton’s Accountability Courts slash recidivism as well as cost to taxpayers. “It’s basically a highly supervised probation program, which features treatment and rehabilitation,” Carlson explains. He adds, “Our man Basil Eleby would seem to qualify for accountability court on two grounds: number one, crack was involved in this crime and number two, there are reports he has limited mental ability.” Eleby got more restrictive addiction treatment after testing positive for drugs or alcohol twice since April. Atlanta police say Eleby set fire to a shopping cart underneath I-85 last spring. The blaze eventually spread to construction material the Georgia Department of Transportation stored under the bridge and caused a chunk of the busy highway to collapse. The highway reopened six weeks later, ahead of schedule, and Eleby was charged with arson. An arson conviction for Eleby could have resulted in a severe felony sentence, but Carlson says prosecutors would have had an uphill battle proving it. “That charge requires – under Georgia law – number one, the suspect intentionally set the fire; there were witnesses to that,” Carlson explains. “However, number two, [that] when he did so, he realized the blaze would endanger human life. “With his reported mentality of about a 15-year-old, that mental element of the charge might have been difficult for the state to prove.” Before his arrest, Eleby had been homeless for about 10 years. Outside court Friday, Eleby told reporters of his hopes and dreams going forward.  “I want to live and I’m going to keep pushing forward. I wanna start my own mobile detail business, or get into computers; I like computers. “And I like cleaning stuff; taking something that looks dead and making it look alive again. Eleby concluded his remarks by saying, “At first I couldn’t see the blessings I was getting out of this, but through all this crazy stuff happening and through all this time, God just took it and turned it around and gave me what I was asking for in the first place – to stay sober and to get a new way of life.”
  • Police say the man arrested for peeping in on UGA sororities may have some unknown victims, after recovering a stash of women’s clothing and underwear that has yet to be claimed. A detective pored over images and videos in 30-year-old Patrick McElroy's camera, finding they had been taken at night through the slats of window blinds. A 19-year-old UGA student who recently met with Athens Clarke County Police recognized her own face in videos on Patrick McElroy's camera, seeing herself dressing in her bedroom and bathroom.  Police spokesman Epifanio Rodriguez says the amount of women's clothing and underwear McElroy allegedly stole sends up red flags. “For the most part, women’s undergarments are not of value for resale,” Rodriguez tells WSB. “That’s concerning to us that he possibly was on a track of escalating the crime that he was already committing.”  First arrested in late September after a neighbor spotted a man lurking outside the window of a house where a sorority's members lived, McElroy now faces 10 peeping Tom charges, 16 burglary counts, and five larceny charges. Rodriguez says since the crimes date back four years, and detectives have found women's clothing and underwear which have not had owners identify them, some women may not know they have been victimized. 'So anyone who has any property that may be stolen, anything along these lines, may want to call us,' says Rodriguez.  McElroy lives in Madison County, but has been held without bail since his arrest. Police say he targeted his victims after meeting them as their Uber driver.  'He would pick them up at their residence, at that point knowing where they lived, then going back later on and burglarizing them,' says Rodriguez, 'and even going further later on and going back when they were home and conducting these peeping Toms.”
  • The third-place finisher in Atlanta's mayoral race is throwing her support behind runoff candidate Mary Norwood. Former Atlanta City Council President Cathy Woolard admitted she made the difficult decision mere moments before addressing reporters in a morning news conference on the steps of Atlanta City Hall on Wednesday morning. 'I did it about five minutes ago, on the roof of the parking deck,' said Woolard. 'Seriously. I did entertain the notion of not endorsing anyone--I'd like to be useful to either campaign, whoever becomes mayor--but I also realized that abdicating leadership by not making a decision really isn't who I am.'  She said she had not called either candidate before announcing her decision publicly.  Woolard, who grilled Norwood and Keisha Lance Bottoms in a Tuesday-night forum on topics from race to public transit, detailed the thought process that led to her decision, based on the reasons she herself ran for mayor. The forum, Woolard said, was 'unsurprising' in what material she was able to mine from the candidates.  She says it comes to issues of growth and city-building, she's been 'confounded' by City Hall decisions she says have left parts of Atlanta behind. Norwood has the edge here, Woolard says, having attended 'all of the city design meetings' and being an early advocate of the Beltline. But on issues of income inequality and social justice, Woolard says Lance Bottoms is the greater candidate, because as the city grows, she says, it's important to think about who gets to be successful in that growth. With Atlanta being a majority-black city, says Woolard, black leadership and representation matter. As Georgia's first openly-gay elected official, Woolard says, she knows having a seat at the table made it possible to get certain things done. The third, deciding factor, says Woolard, was ethics. 'In all of her years at City Hall, she has managed to stay true. Periodically, everybody makes mistakes, but I have not seen a pattern of mismanagement or decisions that I feel like have been unethical.  'I feel like the lack of transparency at this City Hall has crushed the spirit of our city, and I feel like we need a very clean break with this administration and a new start here, with a fresh set of players,' says Woolard. Lance Bottoms, the top vote-getter in November's election, has been endorsed by Mayor Kasim Reed. Reed is a two-term mayor whose last months in office have seen a federal investigation into alleged bribery in the procurement office. The mayor himself has not been implicated. Woolard says there have been 'ethical lapses' and questionable decision-making on Lance Bottoms' part, but said she would be 'polite' so as not to make her announcement a negative conversation. She likes and respects both candidates a great deal, she said. 'It's a painful decision, but it is the decision that I made,' said Woolard. Woolard was asked whether she has concerns about Woolard being progressive enough for Atlanta. 'I worry sometimes about the people around her not being sufficiently progressive, but I don't worry about her,' said Woolard.  Economic development and social justice are not mutually exclusive, said Woolard.  'We have had parts of this city that have been neglected, where investment hasn't happened, where we have let schools fail, where we have been okay with letting poor parts of town be poor parts of town, and I just don't think it has to be that way,' says Woolard. Early voting is underway. The runoff election is Tuesday, December 5.
  • WSB legal analyst Phil Holloway says while that might make for a sympathetic victim in a lawsuit, that same fact also makes for a convincing argument for the defense.
  • In 2018, a new statue of a longtime boxing legend will go up in downtown Atlanta.  Monday, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced that Evander 'The Real Deal' Holyfield, 55, will be immortalized with a statue near Woodruff Park. The statue will be in a pedestrian plaza area in front of the Flatiron Building.  'I believe that great cities have great art and great artists, and these treasures should be accessible to all our residents,' said Reed. 'And I believe that Evander Holyfield is a treasure.' WSB asked the five-time world heavyweight boxing champion and Olympic medalist whether he ever expected to be immortalized with a statue in the town where he grew up.  'No,' says Holyfield. 'You know, all I wanted to do was be the best.' Holyfield, who retired in 2014, credits his mother and the Boys Club for helping him fight his way out of the ghetto. Both, he says, taught him that there were other options for him than the ones the world said were his choices, growing up in a poor area. The installation of the statue at Peachtree St. and Auburn Ave. will be completed in January. It shows the 6'2' boxer standing calmly, with his gloved hands at his sides.  Was that the pose he would have chosen? Holyfield tells WSB Radio he is just happy to have a statue--but he admits that while this is one of the pictures he picked for consideration, it wouldn't have been his first choice--until he was told that humility was the theme.  'Sometimes you want that shot that you're strong and all this, but the point of the matter is that humility is the key to success,' says Holyfield. 'With humility, you know how strong you are, so you don't have to show it.  'You ain't got to pose and make all your veins pop out and all that, but you can be telling somebody, 'Hey, I was once in your place at one point in time, as well.
  • His book called gay people 'vile.' Now, a federal judge says she may rule within the next month whether the city of Atlanta fired its fire chief over his religious views.  Kelvin Cochran lost his job in January of 2015, after self-publishing the book 'Who Told You That You Were Naked?' It includes passages that referred to homosexuality as 'vile, vulgar and inappropriate' and akin to 'bestiality.' When concern was raised about the book in late November 2014, Cochran was suspended for 30 days. His lawyer, Kevin Theriot, contends the chief was punished for his religious faith, but attorneys for the city argued that it was Cochran's actions during his suspension while an investigation was underway that got him ousted. City lawyer David Gevertz pointed out that Cochran had been directed to not make public comments about his suspension, but instead helped launch a PR campaign with the Georgia Baptist Convention that resulted in thousands of angry e-mails being sent to City Hall. 'We did not fire Chief Cochran because of his religious beliefs,' said Atlanta Chief Counsel Robert Godfrey. 'It was about trust. It was about his campaign to have people contact the mayor and things like that afterwards.' Theriot contends that Mayor Kasim Reed's public statements and social media posts contradict that, including one in which Reed made clear that he did not share the anti-gay views expressed in Cochran's book. The lawsuit points out that there were 'zero instances of discrimination' by Cochran against any employees, and so Theriot says the rest of what the city says is a pretext. 'There are a few isolated passages that they take out of context to try to depict Chief as being hateful, when in fact, Chief Cochran's beliefs require him to treat everybody equally--and the only evidence before the court is that what he always did,' says Theriot. Theriot acknowledged that some copies of Cochran's book were given to men on the job, but he insists they were from people who asked for it and/or shared similar beliefs as the chief. Gevertz pointed out in court that the book created a hostile work environment and could leave the city open to lawsuits from disgruntled employees or unsuccessful candidates once the views of Cochran, a member of the mayor's cabinet, were known publicly. Cochran's lawsuit seeks back pay after his suspension and termination, as well as reinstatement. He has also filed a separate complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Cochran says his childhood dream was to become a fire chief, and he says the discrimination and racial slurs experienced in his early years working in Louisiana combined to make him vow that if he were ever in a position of authority, no one would face discrimination because they were a minority under his leadership. Yet, he says, that is why the city terminated him. 'I was shocked that writing a book encouraging Christian men to be the husbands and fathers and men that God had called us to be would jeopardize my 34-year career,' said Cochran on Friday. 'It's still unthinkable to me that the very faith and patriotism that inspired my professional achievements and drove me to treat all people with love, equity, and justice, are actually what the government used to end my childhood dream-come-true career. 'In the United States of America, true tolerance should be a two-way street for all Americans,' Cochran continued. 'No one deserves to be marginalized or driven out of their profession because of their faith.' U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May grilled lawyers on both sides with questions about the cases they cited in support of their arguments, and says she will write a detailed analysis and likely issue a ruling in about three weeks. The attorneys are seeking summary judgment, meaning they are asking the judge to decide the case. If she cannot rule on every issue raised, says Judge May, the Cochran case will go to trial on the ones she cannot resolve, putting the questions in the hands of a jury. A trial would likely be held next spring. Any jury pool will likely include some people like Tonya Ditty, who tells WSB that she has been a longtime supporter of Cochran since the case began in 2014. She attended Friday's hearing and says she was also at a rally at the state Capitol for him. Ditty says she is concerned about 'the trampling of religious rights,' no matter what religion. 'When our Founders wrote the Bill of Rights, they did not pick a religion,' says Ditty. 'This is fitting for everyone. I think that often is said that, 'Oh, the Christians just want protection.' This is for any religion. I don't think it's ever been stated that we are trying just to protect Christians.' Ditty, who says she is a Christian, says people of faith are being stifled. 'I either have to live out my faith in church or in my home, but dare me come out into the marketplace of ideas, and then I'm under attack,' she says.
  • Veronica Waters


    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.

    Latest from Veronica Waters »

    Read More


  • A woman was arrested after an explosive outburst at a Georgia Department of Driver Services office in Cobb County, according to a warrant. 'If I had a bomb,” the warrant alleges Polly Barfield said, “I'd blow this place up.” Barfield, 53, told Channel 2 Action News her children were present and she had no intention of actually carrying out the threat. She was just frustrated with how long it was taking to get her paperwork done Tuesday at the department’s Kennesaw office. But authorities told the news station the threat made in a state government building 'placed those that heard it in fear for their safety.” Barfield was charged with disorderly conduct, according to the warrant. She was released from the Cobb County Adult Detention Center after posting $4,000 bond. 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.
  • Messages of condolence poured in for the family of young Tripp Halstead, who died on Thursday.
  • Update, 2:14 a.m. CDT Sunday: Austin police have arrested a man in connection with a bomb threat that led to the cancellation of The Roots’ show Saturday at South by Southwest.  The city of Austin tweeted the following statement early Sunday: Trevor Weldon Ingram, 26, was arrested on charges of making a terroristic threat, a third-degree felony, the release said. Police also tweeted Ingram’s booking photo: ORIGINAL STORY: A South by Southwest performance by The Roots at Fair Market in Austin, Texas, was canceled Saturday night due to a “security concern,” event organizers said. >> Visit Statesman.com for the latest on this developing story A police spokesman said around 9:30 p.m. that more information would be released via Twitter, but nothing had been posted by 11:30 p.m. CDT. However, the Austin Chronicle reported that it had two staffers at the event. One staffer heard event workers discussing the concern as a bomb threat, according to a report the weekly posted online, and 'a second Chronicle staffer spoke with someone working at Fair Market tonight, who confirmed that Austin police were canvassing the property to determine whether there is any validity to the threat.' The cancellation of the show on the final night of the South By Southwest Festival comes at a time of heightened concern in the city following three deadly package bombs – two on Monday – that have exploded in East Austin this month, killing two people and seriously injuring a third. >> Austin package explosions: 3 blasts appear connected, claim 2 lives, police say Representatives for the event issued the following statement Saturday night after the cancellation:  “Due to a security concern, we have made the difficult decision to cancel tonight’s Bud Light x The Roots SXSW Jam. After working proactively with SXSW, the Austin Police Department, and other authorities, Bud Light believes this is the best course of action to ensure the safety of our guests, staff, and artists, and appreciate your understanding. We are truly sorry to have to cancel the event, but we felt it was necessary to take all safety precautions.” >> Austin package bombings: Friends remember victims Draylen Mason, Anthony House In an Instagram post, Fair Market representatives said Anheuser-Busch made the call to cancel the event. In a tweet that was later deleted Saturday night, frontman Questlove wrote, “Uh, welp can’t say much but for those in Austin waiting in line to see us tonight. Tonight’s show has been cancelled. They’ll make official announcement but I’d rather save y’all the trouble of waiting in line.” >> On Austin360.com: Complete coverage of SXSW In response to fans who were upset after waiting in line for hours, Questlove also tweeted:
  • Bill Murray has arrived at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. >> The Roots SXSW show canceled following possible bomb threat, report says He’s in town for multiple reasons – the premiere of Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs” on Saturday night, a dedication at the Belo Center for New Media at the University of Texas on Saturday afternoon and an appearance at the Long Center on Sunday night. >> On Austin360.com: Complete coverage of SXSW >> Read more trending news  In true Bill Murray fashion, he also appeared on Sixth Street on Saturday evening and recited a poem while wearing overalls and a bucket hat, likely to promote his Long Center show at which he’ll be sharing stories and poetry. Anderson made an appearance, too: >> Click here to watch
  • Andrew McCabe, the onetime FBI deputy director long scorned by President Donald Trump and just fired by the attorney general, kept personal memos detailing interactions with the president that have been provided to the special counsel's office and are similar to the notes compiled by dismissed FBI chief James Comey, The Associated Press has learned. The memos could factor into special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation as his team examines Trump campaign ties to Russia and possible obstruction of justice. McCabe's memos include details of his own interactions with the president, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation who wasn't authorized to discuss the notes publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. They also recount different conversations he had with Comey, who kept notes on meetings with Trump that unnerved him. Though the precise contents are unknown, the memos possibly could help substantiate McCabe's assertion that he was unfairly maligned by a White House he says had declared 'war' on the FBI and Mueller's investigation. They almost certainly contain, as Comey's memos did, previously undisclosed details about encounters between the Trump administration and FBI that could be of interest to Mueller. The disclosure Saturday came hours after Trump called McCabe's firing by Attorney General Jeff Sessions 'a great day for Democracy' and asserted without elaboration that McCabe knew 'all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels off the FBI!' In the last year, Trump has repeatedly condemned McCabe as emblematic of an FBI that he insists is biased against his administration. That sent former CIA Director John Brennan, an outspoken Trump critic, into a Twitter tizzy: 'When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America...America will triumph over you.' Sessions said he acted on the recommendation of FBI disciplinary officials who said McCabe had not been candid with a watchdog office investigation. McCabe was fired two days before his retirement date on Sunday. The dismissal likely jeopardizes his ability to collect his full pension benefits and, more broadly, could add to the turmoil that has enveloped the FBI since Comey's firing and as the bureau moves ahead with an investigation the White House has dismissed as a hoax. An upcoming inspector general's report is expected to conclude that McCabe, who spent more than 20 years with the FBI, had authorized the release of information to the media and was not forthcoming with the watchdog office as it examined the bureau's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. McCabe has vigorously disputed the allegations and said his credibility had been attacked as 'part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally' but also the FBI and law enforcement. 'It is part of this administration's ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the special counsel investigation, which continue to this day,' he added. 'Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the special counsel's work.' The firing set off dueling tweets between Trump, who called the termination a 'great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI,' and Comey, the director he fired 10 months ago. Trump called Comey 'sanctimonious' and said Comey made McCabe 'look like a choirboy.' Comey, referencing his highly anticipated book that comes out next month, responded with his own tweet: 'Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon. And they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not.' Also Saturday, Trump's personal lawyer, John Dowd, cited the 'brilliant and courageous example' by Sessions and the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility and said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should 'bring an end' to the Russia investigation 'manufactured' by Comey. Dowd told the AP that he neither was calling on Rosenstein, who oversees Mueller's inquiry, to fire the special counsel immediately nor had discussed with Rosenstein the idea of dismissing Mueller or ending the probe. Mueller is investigating whether Trump's actions, including Comey's ouster, constitute obstruction of justice. McCabe could be an important witness, and his memos could be used by investigators as they look into whether Trump sought to thwart the FBI probe. Comey's own memos, including one in which he says Trump encouraged him to end an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, have been provided to Mueller and are part of his investigation. McCabe, in a statement defending himself, asserted he was singled out by the administration because of the 'role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath' of Comey's firing last May. He became acting director after that but clashed with the Trump administration, including when he publicly rejected White House assertions that Comey had lost the support of the rank-and-file. He abruptly left the deputy director position in January and went on leave. The firing arises from an inspector general review into how the FBI handled the Clinton email investigation. That inquiry focused not only on specific decisions made by FBI leadership but also on news media leaks. McCabe came under scrutiny over an October 2016 news report that revealed differing approaches within the FBI and Justice Department over how aggressively the Clinton Foundation should be investigated. The watchdog office has concluded that McCabe authorized FBI officials to speak to a Wall Street Journal reporter for that story and that McCabe had not been forthcoming with investigators. McCabe denies it. McCabe became entangled in presidential politics in 2016 after it was revealed that his wife, during her unsuccessful run for state Senate in Virginia one year earlier, received campaign contributions from the political action committee of then-Gov. Terry McAuliffe, D-Va., a longtime Clinton friend. The FBI has said McCabe received the necessary ethics approval about his wife's candidacy and was not supervising the Clinton investigation at the time of the contributions. ___ Associated Press writer Chad Day contributed to this report. ___ Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP
  • A business owner says thieves smashed a window of a Southern California pet store and made off with six birds worth thousands of dollars. Birds-N-Paradise co-owner Erik Schreiner tells the Press-Enterprise newspaper in Riverside that surveillance footage shows at least one shadowy figure stealing the birds early Friday. He says the thieves took three Patagonian conures worth $950 each; a caique parrot worth $1,400; a rose-breasted cockatoo worth $2,200; and a yellow nape Amazon parrot worth $2,500. Schreiner believes the theft at his shop in the city of Menifee is tied to other recent bird heists in the region. Thefts have occurred at a bird farm in Redlands and an exotic bird store in Cypress in the past few weeks. The Riverside County Sheriff's Department says it's not clear if the crimes are linked.