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Local News

    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  
  • An Atlanta woman was one of two people who died Monday afternoon after the Yamaha WaveRunner they were on crashed into a concrete bridge. Channel 2 Action News has learned 34-year-old Sabrina LaShea Daniels was vacationing in Miami with friends at the time of the accident. According to police, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded to the crash in the area of Bridge Road Causeway, just north of the MacArthur Causeway, around 5:30 p.m. Investigators said Daniels and 30-year-old Julio Montero crashed while trying to maneuver the WaveRunner. Montero, from Brockton, Massachusetts, was driving at the time. TRENDING STORIES: ’He loved (her) … until the moment she shot him,’ prosecutors say Thousands fill Piedmont Park for Atlanta ‘American Idol’ auditions Police investigating deadly shooting in Fayette County “She was always there for whoever needed her. She was always there,” Daniels’ sister, Carla Robinson, told the ABC affiliate WPLG in Miami. “We were on FaceTime. She showed me everything. I was looking at everyone and she was showing me everyone on the boat.” “I’m going to remember her as someone who was always there for me,” said Sabrina Lopes, one of Daniels’ friends. “We loved each other so much. She was such a beautiful person. I am never going to forget her.” The crash remains under investigation. CLICK HERE for information on a GoFundMe page set up by Daniels’ family to help with funeral expenses.
  • Andrea Sneiderman, the widow of a man murdered outside a Dunwoody day care, has completed her parole after she was sentenced on perjury charges. A jury convicted Andrea Sneiderman in 2013  of lying about an affair with her husband’s killer, Hemy Neuman . Neuman shot and killed Rusty Sneiderman outside his son’s Dunwoody preschool in 2010. Newman was convicted of murder in 2012 and is serving a life sentence. Sneiderman was originally sentenced to 60 months at Lee Arrendale State Prison, but the state parole board decided she should serve 22 months. She was released from prison in June 2014 . TRENDING STORIES: Police search for renter after husband finds wife dead in home ‘He loved (her) … until the moment she shot him,' prosecutors say 2nd-largest Powerball jackpot ever jumps even higher! According to the state Board of Pardons and Paroles, Sneiderman has been under standard supervision until Monday. Under the conditions of her parole, Sneiderman had to meet with her parole officer once a month, had to get permission to leave the state and couldn’t have any weapons. She was also subject to random searches. The pardons and parole board said there was no probation to follow Sneiderman's parole. We’re checking to see what Sneiderman’s plans are now that her parole has ended. 
  • A massive spill has sent nearly four million gallons of raw sewage into a Brookhaven Creek. DeKalb County’s CEO confirmed the spill happened last week along a tributary to Nancy Creek. Crews are now working to replace the broken line that led to the spill. Officials tell Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher it’s the worst spill of its kind in more than a decade. TRENDING STORIES: ’He loved (her) … until the moment she shot him,’ prosecutors say Thousands fill Piedmont Park for Atlanta ‘American Idol’ auditions Police investigating deadly shooting in Fayette County We broke the story that during the first half of the year, DeKalb County was on track for a 63-percent increase in sewer spills. County officials say many of those were caused by heavy rains but that is not what caused the huge spill in Brookhaven.
  • An Athens woman says she has no idea where her mother's remains are because of a financial dispute with a northwest Atlanta funeral home. Willene Favors died on June 27 but it wasn't until this weekend that she was cremated by Hollified Mortuary. Favors' widow agreed to the cremation, but not how they would pay for it, which has led to even more problems for the family. 'My mother's ashes are somewhere here in Georgia, but I don't know where,' her daughter Deneane Favors said. For two months, Favors' daughter and the owner of the funeral home, James Hollifield, made verbal agreements about the thousands of dollars it would cost to bury her mother. “He said 'I need my money. Nothing's for free.' I said 'Well, that's not what you told us before you even went and picked up my mother's body. You told us that you were going to work with us,” Favors told Channel 2’s Nicole Carr. Favors had no life insurance and everyone involved tells Carr there were conversations about how to lay her to rest and even cancelled funeral services.  Deneane Favors says a few donations were sent to Hollifield on her behalf, and she had a crowdfunding effort to raise the rest of the cash.    There was just one problem with the arrangements, there was no written agreement. “I said 'Well we need something in writing.' He said 'Oh we'll get all that stuff situated. We want y'all to focus on gettin' the  money up and gettin' your mother laid out the way she should be.  We're going to make her look like a Queen,” Deneane said. But when Carr spoke to Hollified, he said Deneane “didn’t pay Hollified Mortuary not one dime.” TRENDING STORIES: ’He loved (her) … until the moment she shot him,’ prosecutors say Thousands fill Piedmont Park for Atlanta ‘American Idol’ auditions Police investigating deadly shooting in Fayette County Carr spent the day digging into state records to find out when Favors' remains will be released and uncovered that the funeral home has been disciplined by the state. When Carr confronted Hollifield at the funeral home, Hollifield wouldn't come out to talk to her at first on Tuesday. Then he refused to show an expense contract Williams says doesn't exist. 'I don't have time to show you and deal with you because I've got something else to do.' But when he did take the time to invite Carr in, things went south because Carr asked about the state putting his business on probation. “You taking up all of this time, coming up  here with this bulls---,” he said. Hollifield would later come outside and tell her off camera that he’s working to make sure his funeral director is licensed. We found out about the business’ two-year probation after employing an unlicensed director when we dug into state records. We also uncovered a March 2017 state board investigation revealing Hollifield Mortuary operated without a licensed funeral director for more than a year and records show there’s been no change in that status We did find the funeral director current with his embalming license but not the director license that landed them the punishment. The state says they can’t talk about the ordeal right now, but they didn’t know about this mishap until we alerted them. The woman’s daughter filed complaints with the state Tuesday as Hollifield tells us he’ll release the woman’s remains to her widow for an undisclosed amount.
  • The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Paulding County sheriff’s office are investigating a homicide at a home in Paulding County. Deputies responded just before 6 a.m. to a home in the 4000 block on Hiram Sudie Road in Hiram. TRENDING STORIES: ’He loved (her) … until the moment she shot him,’ prosecutors say Thousands fill Piedmont Park for Atlanta ‘American Idol’ auditions Police investigating deadly shooting in Fayette County Beth Harris, 39, was found dead. Detectives said her husband, Charles Harris, 36, was the one who called 911. Authorities are looking for a person of interest, Derek Jess Renfroe, 32, who they say rented a room at the home. We're with investigators as they search for the man and dig into his connection to the couple, for Channel 2 Action News at 6.
  • During revealing opening statements Tuesday, the state said a woman sent her ex-lover to his grave falsely labeled as a rapist. Victoria Rickman admitted to shooting her former boyfriend, William James Carter Jr., in September 2013. Rickman told police she shot Carter because he was trying to rape her at a home on Clifton Road in DeKalb County. Attorneys for the state said she shot him out of anger. Carter had 10 gunshot wounds to the back, the victim's family attorney told Channel 2 Action News. The jury heard Tuesday that Rickman and Carter had a toxic relationship. Prosecutors said it was worthy of an episode of 'Jerry Springer.' The question for the jury is did Rickman shoot Carter 10 times because he sexually assaulted her or did she shoot Carter because he refused to drop battery charges against her?  TRENDING STORIES: Apple owners beware: Identity thieves may be targeting you Now that the eclipse is over, here's what you can do with your special glasses Deputies say woman killed, man injured in shooting The defense said Carter was abusive and did, in fact, rape Rickman. Prosecutors said she made up the rape charges, as she had before. “He loved this woman,” said prosecutor Sheila Ross. “It will be clear William Carter Jr. loved Victoria Rickman up until the moment she shot him.' Prosecutors played an audio recording of Carter screaming at Rickman when she showed up at his house four months before the murder. He called her dangerous and he threatened to call police if she wouldn't leave. The trial continues on Wednesday.
  • A man who rented a room at a house where a woman was found dead Tuesday morning has been named a person of interest in the case, according to the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office.  Beth Harris, 39, was found dead inside her home in the 4000 block of Hiram Sudie Road, Sgt. Ashley Henson said. Her husband, Charles Harris, called 911 before 6 a.m. Henson said Harris is cooperating with the investigation. The GBI is also involved. Detectives believe Derek Jess Renfroe, 32, who lives at the residence, was there during the incident. They are currently looking for him. Harris was at work at the time of the incident, Channel 2 Action News reported. “It’s too early in the investigation to pinpoint (a suspect),” Henson said early in the investigation. “We’re keeping our options open and focusing on everyone.”  Henson said the cause of death will be determined by autopsy. Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at 770-443-3015. In other news:
  • After a tense, two-hour hearing Monday, a judge agreed to add two relatives as defendants in a divorce case involving a central figure in the Atlanta City Hall bribery scandal. Elvin “E.R.” Mitchell Jr., the federal government’s star witness in the bribery case, is in the process of a heated divorce from his wife, Marjorie Mitchell. An attorney for Marjorie Mitchell amended the divorce complaint to add E.R. Mitchell’s mother and sister, as well as several companies, in a search for assets she alleges might belong to the marital estate. Both women have worked or otherwise been involved with companies tied to E.R. Mitchell, a long-time contractor who pleaded guilty in January conspiracy to pay bribes to win government work. The lawyer for Marjorie Mitchell wants to know if they might have inadvertantly obtained assets that should be considered in family court. A lawyer for the contractor, meanwhile, has tried to block an expansion of the family matter, and said he would attempt to dismiss the case against the women. On the subscriber website, MyAJC.com, read more about the latest development in the case. Related coverage Could Atlanta bribery figure have worked with the feds before? Atlanta paid contractor accused of bribery at least $7.3 million

News

  • 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.