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Teen sexting would be misdemeanor under bill

Sexting among teens could be reduced to a misdemeanor under a bill being considered by a House subcommittee.

Right now teens that send or receive explicit pictures via cell phones face felony child pornography charges and must register as a sex offender.

Rep. Jay Neal (R-LaFayette) says his bill would reduce that to a misdemeanor if the teens involved are within four years apart.

“What I don’t want us to do is make youthful stupidity a felony that will create a life-long barrier for these teenagers,” he told a group of members from the Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

Neal tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish that details are still being worked out over pictures that are maliciously sent.

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  • ATHENS – It’s a picture that if anyone actually sells it will make a killing. The four seniors who stayed, with the postgame hoopla of a 42-13 blowout swirling around them, pulled over to have someone capture the moment. No one would have blamed Nick Chubb and Sony Michel for taking the NFL’s money. Running backs live short lives. College running back is a pretty tough way to earn a scholarship. Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy had to consider if another uncertain season was the best move. Because guys who hit NFL quarterbacks have nice houses too. This was one of the moments they thought was more valuable than turning pro. Those four players standing together for a photograph that will probably be on their walls forever. They don’t have senior days in the league. Tonight was the proper end for the Class of 2017 that very much deserve it. “What a great honor it is for these guys to go out on top,” said coach Kirby Smart. “To do something no Georgia team has done before. Win the SEC East and go undefeated in the East.” It hardly seems like it was four years ago when this class walked into Sanford Stadium for the first time. We were more focused on guys like Gurley, Mason, Wilson and Herrera. But it was that night we saw a few glimpses. There was Aaron Davis, playing as a walk-on because, well there wasn’t many options, getting an interception in his first game against Clemson. He had another interception in his last game. Michel was the best running back in his class. He was the speedster from Florida with the cool name. The backfield was loaded then. But Michel was actually the Dawgs second leading receiver that night. This night, he scored three times. And of course, Chubb. Remember this. And this. This kid had a point to make and we took notice. Now Nick Chubb is a soon-to-be Georgia legend (or maybe he already is, but there’s games to go. “He’s won the hearts over of a fan base that will never leave,” said coach Kirby Smart. “What he’s given to this place through injury and toughness, it’s just tremendous.” It cannot be overstated for Chubb has accomplished here. There is only one back that’s had more yards and more touchdowns than this kid from Cedartown. He’s the clear second best to Herschel Walker and that’s about all anybody can be. “Man you hope that you have many more as good as (Chubb),” said Smart. “But you know these guys don’t come around very often.” With the talent in this backfield, Chubb hasn’t been the workhorse that he had to be when Todd Gurley got busted four years ago. Remember his first starter? 38 carries. That’s still his career high. A week later it was 30 more against Arkansas. Whatever has been needed, Chubb has delivered. With no flash. No style. Just stud. Yeah, Nick probably could be a Heisman contender but that’s not what’s best for this team. And frankly Chubb running the ball for free 30 times a night is not what’s best for him either. So instead he and his buddy Sony split the load (with another freshman chipping in) and everybody is a star “They complement each other so well and they get along so well,” said Smart. “It will be a long time before you coach a pair like that again.” I don’t know any of these players personally. They are college kids and I’m a guy that sticks a microphone in their face. But I don’t think I’ve ever rooted harder for a player on any team that I have for Nick Chubb. I thought his career was over that afternoon in Knoxville three years ago. It was bad. Last year, I thought the old Chubb was never coming back. Knee injuries are no joke. But there’s never been any complaining. Any showboating. Anything that would take attention away from everyone in Red and Black. Tonight, Chubb got his reward. His best performance of the season (151 rushing yards) and two more TDs. Despite the reduced workload, Chubb is over 1,000 yards for the year. The only season he didn’t do, his knee nearly blew up. There’s only one other UGA back that can say that and he goes by one name. It’s a fitting send off for this entire senior class, but man am I going miss watching No. 27 in red. “What a great honor it is for these guys to go out on top,” said Smart. “It’s their leadership that’s led us to this point.” A lot has happened in this football program since that muggy September night against Clemson four years ago. A couple of head coaches, a bunch of coordinators, some bad losses and lots of doubt. Tonight, there is little doubt that this Georgia team is very, very good and can do some special things. So hopefully for these 21 and 22 year old, there will be more pictures to put on their walls with some nice trophies next to them. But at least tonight, they have the moment they have rightfully earned.  
  • The company accused of negligence after a 5-year-old died at the Sun Dial restaurant had no comment Friday about a lawsuit filed against it. >> Read more trending news “Due to the pending litigation, we are not commenting on the matter,” Marriott International, Inc. spokesman Jeff Flaherty told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an email.  The parents of Charlie Holt, who died from a head injury after he was caught in the rotating wall at the restaurant atop the Westin Peachtree Plaza, filed a lawsuit Wednesday claiming negligence against the restaurant and hotel.  The lawsuit alleges the restaurant failed to prevent a “longstanding safety hazard” that led to the child’s death and disputes initial claims the boy wandered away from his family.  Marriott International, Inc., which owns the Westin Peachtree Hotel and the Sun Dial restaurant, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, LLC were named in the suit.  “The Sun Dial had no protections to stop children from getting close to the pinch point or to stop the rotation of the floor if a child became trapped in the pinch point,” the lawsuit states.  Charlie Holt was visiting Atlanta with his parents, Rebecca and Michael Holt from Charlotte, North Carolina, April 14 when he was caught between a wall and table as the dining area rotated. The family was seated near a window, but Atlanta police said the boy wandered away from the table.  Westin security staff and employees freed the child, police said, but he later died at Grady Memorial Hospital from a crushed skull.  The Holt family’s attorney, Joe Fried, said Charlie did not leave his family, contrary to police statements.  “The family was leaving the restaurant together after paying their bill,” Fried said in an email to The AJC late Thursday. “They were walking to the exit, following the same path that the hostess used to walk them to their table and that they used to walk to and from the restroom earlier. Charlie was only a few steps ahead.” Fried said the path was blocked when a booth rotated near a stationary interior wall, trapping Charlie between the booth and wall.  Rebecca and Michael Holt rushed to help Charlie, but he was stuck.  “By the time someone could manually stop the rotation, it was too late,” Fried said. “Charlie’s head had been pulled into the narrow pinch point and he suffered catastrophic head trauma, right in front of his parents.” The lawsuit alleges there was no guard to prevent people from getting trapped and no emergency stop button on the wall or automatic safety cutoff. The family is seeking unspecified punitive damages and a trial.
  • Like most kids, Camron Ellis was excited to go to the mall.  >> Read more trending news Ellis, who was born with severe hearing loss and uses a cochlear implant, was one of several dozen other deaf or hard of hearing children Tuesday to see Christmas carolers and tell Santa what they want for the holidays as part of the “Signing Santa” event at MacArthur Center.  “(Camron’s) just full of joy and having the time of his life,” his grandmother Temekka Ellis told the Virginian-Pilot. “He looks forward to this every year. This is our third time here.” The Talking Hands, a group from Suffolk high school’s sign language class, performed “Frosty the Snowman,” “Silent Night” and other holiday classics, according to the Suffolk News-Herald. “This is probably the only time these deaf kids get to see Christmas carols in sign,” signing teacher, Anita Fisher, told the Pilot.  “For me, this is about the kids,” high school senior Ray Liverman, who took up sign language three years ago, told the Pilot. “I saw what this group was doing and I like the Christmas songs, so I just started in the class. I know it sounds sappy, but it just really warms my heart when I see the looks on their faces, because they understand the songs now.” The mall also offers a “Calming Santa” event for children with autism and other special needs. Camron Ellis, 5, wearing a bright red shirt and blue jeans, moved his hands, trying to keep up with the singers as they signed “Jingle Bells.” “Music,” he said. “Yes. Thank you.”
  • Police are searching for the gunman who shot and killed a mother of five in front of her own family. 'He stood right there and he looked me dead in my face and unloaded the gun again on her,' said the victim's mother, Gloria Blaylock. Marietta police told Channel 2's Carl Willis Justin Cox, 40, shot and killed Felicia Miller in a driveway on Pin Oak Court. Relatives say Cox, a convicted felon came off a porch and walked up to the car firing the deadly shots through a window. TRENDING STORIES: Another cheating scandal: APS police chief disciplines 17 officers, dispatcher Lawsuit: Sun Dial restaurant ‘had no protections' to stop 5-year-old's death Woman carjacked, kidnapped while pumping gas 'I ran to my dad and my mom. I couldn't get in the house fast enough,' said the victim's sister, Tenisha Miller. The clues police are pursuing in hopes of finding the killer, on the Channel 2 Action News Nightbeat at 11.
  • Christina Aguilera delivered a tribute to the late Whitney Houston that only a vocalist of her caliber could do. >> Read more trending news At Sunday night’s American Music Awards, Aguilera celebrated the 25th anniversary of Houston’s blockbuster movie “The Bodyguard” and it’s top-selling soundtrack. Related: Christina Aguilera to pay tribute to Whitney Houston, ‘The Bodyguard’ at AMAs Beginning her set in a black pantsuit and a singular spotlight, Aguilera sang the a capella opening of “I Will Always Love You,” transitioning to the big note before going into “I Have Nothing,” followed by “Run to You,” a song Houston herself has praised Aguilera for singing. Related: Christina Aguilera to pay tribute to Whitney Houston, ‘The Bodyguard’ at AMAs Assisted by a choir, Aguilera ended her tribute with “I’m Every Woman” recieving a standing ovation. Watch a clip of the performance below.
  • Congressional Republicans left Capitol Hill late last week excited about the prospects for sweeping legislation which would deliver tax cuts and tax reform, as with approval of a House tax bill, the focus has shifted to the Senate, and whether GOP leaders can muster the needed votes to approve a slightly different GOP tax measure after Thanksgiving. “This bill gives Americans more take home pay by cutting taxes and preserving deductions for home mortgage interest and charitable contributions,” said Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) – while he’s on board, only a handful of GOP Senators are expected to determine the fate of this legislation. Here’s where things stand on Capitol Hill: 1. Remember, there is more to do than tax reform. Yes, Republicans want to get tax reform done by the end of the year. But there are other measures which will need attention as well after the Thanksgiving break. For example, the Children’s Health Insurance program needs to be reauthorized, and has been in limbo since October 1. A temporary federal budget runs out on December 8, and there still hasn’t been a deal announced on how much Congress will decide to spend on the discretionary budget, which is what funds pretty much everything outside of mandatory spending items like Social Security and Medicare. There had been talk earlier this year of a possible government shutdown showdown, but that seems unlikely right now, because it would really get in the way of GOP efforts on tax reform. House Speaker Paul Ryan still wants all that spending work – a giant omnibus funding bill – done by the end of the year. House Speaker Ryan: Don't intend on stopgap government funding into next year. — DailyFX Team Live (@DailyFXTeam) November 14, 2017 2. A rush of spending seems likely. In order to get a deal on the discretionary budget for 2018, it’s expected there will be a sizeable increase in defense spending in any final spending deal for next year – President Trump had asked for $54 billion in extra military funding, but there’s no sign of any budget cuts to immediately offset the cost of that. Not only is that extra money likely to be approved, but a third hurricane disaster relief bill seems likely to be voted on by Congress in December as well. The latest White House request was for $44 billion, much less than what Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico have asked for in terms of hurricane aid. That would make total aid close to $100 billion just this year. In the latest disaster aid plan, the White House for the first time is seeking offsetting budget cuts to pay for some of that extra spending. The plan unveiled last Friday has $14 billion in cuts now, and another $44 billion in cuts later – later, as in between 2025 and 2027, after President Trump is gone from the Oval Office. White House wants $44 billion in hurricane relief, offers some cuts now, more in 2025-2027 https://t.co/wg7ggSUI0C — Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) November 17, 2017 3. Some Senators to watch on tax reform. When lawmakers return to legislative sessions the week of November 27, the main political game on Capitol Hill will be figuring out where everyone stands on the GOP tax reform bill in the Senate. This is a similar scenario to what went on with Republicans on health care reform, and many of the same players are involved. On the bubble right now would be Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ). Also, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has said he wants major changes on how small businesses and pass through businesses are dealt with. Don’t count the bill out yet, but there is a lot of work to do. And one thing is for sure – someone will be watching them very closely. Republican Senators are working very hard to get Tax Cuts and Tax Reform approved. Hopefully it will not be long and they do not want to disappoint the American public! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2017 4. Some items you probably won’t see in 2017. One item that won’t be acted on this year is an infrastructure bill. President Donald Trump has talked about his grand $1 trillion infrastructure program since the 2016 campaign, but at this point, there is still no detailed plan, and there is no bill in the Congress. On immigration, there’s still lots of talk about wheeling and dealing on DACA and border security, but I’m not sure there’s the political will to do that. Don’t look for funding for the border wall, but instead for something that sounds like border security, but isn’t the wall. With tax reform dominating the agenda, don’t look for anything on DACA until 2018. DACA: 3 whole months left to come up w/something. Of course there is also Thanksgiving; Christmas: New Years; etc…..no pressure. — David Gee (@CurtG345) November 18, 2017 5. One issue that has disappeared – the deficit. It used to be that Republicans were all about reigning in spending, and cutting the size of government. Now that they have had control of the House, Senate and White House, they are poised to, to, to, do nothing in 2017 on that front. The budget doesn’t balance for at least ten years (if not more), there were no major spending cuts enacted by the Congress, there was no appetite for savings in mandatory spending programs, either. The cuts included in the President’s budget have pretty much been ignored by lawmakers, and it took the White House three disaster aid bills before any offsetting budget cuts were proposed. Meanwhile, the yearly federal deficit is trending back up, and with the disaster relief bills, and an increase in the federal budget caps, there will be more red ink in 2018. Only a few Republicans have stuck with their familiar call for budget discipline. Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) on adding $1.5 trillion to the deficit: “If this was a Democratic bill we wouldn’t even be voting for it. That’s how hypocritical this place has become.” https://t.co/H5FduNppVH — MainStream Coalition (@ksmainstream) November 17, 2017