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Local News

  • Local school districts are working to figure out how to make up the three snow days last week. Channel 2's Liz Artz reached out to several districts around the metro area. In DeKalb County, the superintendent is taking back two teacher work days and the third day he said he's going to put out in a survey and let parents be part of the decision. 'We worked with our teacher organization and a number PTAs to come up with the general survey on which option is best to pull together and make a decision from there,' said Dr. R. Stephen Green, DeKalb County School Superintendent. What parents have to say about the decision, on Channel 2 Action News at 6. TRENDING STORIES: GSU soccer player to withdraw from school after using racial epithet Police investigate what led up to hotel shooting, search for possible second crime scene Georgia Power ordered to refund over $43M to its customers
  • A mother accused of poisoning and killing her 2-year-old son will soon learn her fate. Erica White is charged with more than a dozen crimes, including murder. White is accused of killing her disabled son, Tyreal McFall, in November 2014. Channel 2's Chris Jose was in the courtroom when White broke down in tears facing a jury on Monday at the start of her murder trial. TRENDING STORIES: GSU soccer player to withdraw from school after using racial epithet Police investigate what led up to hotel shooting, search for possible second crime scene Georgia Power ordered to refund over $43M to its customers From bank statements to crime scene pictures, there's lots of evidence that both sides will be presenting in the courtroom during the trial, which is expected to last two weeks. Why prosecutors say this is a case 'about poisoning for profit,' on Channel 2 Action News at 5.
  • Channel 2 Action News has confirmed a school bus has wrecked and rolled on its side on its way back to school. Officials say there were students on board at the time of the wreck. The students were from Clear Creek Middle School. Sixteen students were taken to nearby hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. The rest of the students were taken back to the school, according to district officials.  Stay with WSBTV.com and tune in to Channel 2 Action News starting at 4 p.m. for the latest on this developing story.
  • A Georgia State University soccer player who was suspended from the team after she used a racial epithet on social media has withdrawn from the school, officials said. Some students had called for the expulsion of 18-year-old freshman defender Natalia Martinez after the epithet appeared on her Finsta page, a secret version of Instagram that is growing in popularity among teens. MORE: What is a ‘Finsta?’ Teens and their secret Instagram accounts “As a progressive, diverse university, we ... feel like this sort of behavior should not be tolerated,” said India Bridgeforth, who created a petition demanding the university take a tougher approach with Martinez. The petition had garnered more than 500 signatures by Monday afternoon, when the university announced Martinez had “officially withdrawn.” Associate athletic director Mike Holmes told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that officials were made aware of Martinez’s post Friday morning — just days after the University of Alabama expelled a 19-year-old student who posted a video of her racist ranting on her Finsta page. That student, Harley Barber, uploaded a second video on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in response to people who were upset by the language and threatened those who wanted to report her fake Instagram account, The Washington Post reported.  In a statement, Georgia State University said the school does “not tolerate the language (Martinez) used in her post.”  
  • A record label co-owner and producer credited with the speedy success of Atlanta-based Migos is facing charges after his alleged speed behind the wheel caught the attention of Alpharetta police. Dashcam video obtained by Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik shows officers pulling over Pierre “Pee” Thomas last Sunday. “He observed a red SUV traveling at a high rate of speed,” said Officer Jason Muenzer. “He noticed the vehicle was going about 100 mph.” TRENDING STORIES: GSU soccer player withdraws from school after using racial epithet Georgia Power ordered to refund over $43M to its customers Oscar nominees announced LIVE on 'GMA' Tuesday morning Muenzer said the officer got on Ga. 400 near Old Milton Parkway and began following Thomas north. “That officer tried to catch up to the vehicle, but he himself got up to about 120, 125 and even then, the officer noticed the vehicle was pulling away from him.” Eventually, video shows Thomas pull over off McFarland Parkway in Forsyth County. He told officers he was heading home from the studio. “When the officer approached the vehicle, the driver acted as though he didn’t see the officer,” Muenzer said. “The only excuse he had was he didn’t see the officer and he wanted to get home.” On the dashcam video, the officer questioned Thomas and his speed. “What were you doing going that fast, man?” he can be heard asking. “You were pulling away from me. I was doing 120 just trying to catch up to you. You were pulling away from me.” Officers would later handcuff Thomas and take him to the North Fulton Jail annex on reckless driving charges. Police told Petchenik this arrest was just one of a series recently on the busy highway. “It’s getting old,” Muenzer said. “Those speeds, the slightest crack, the slightest item in the roadway, road debris, you can lose control of your vehicle.” Thomas’ attorney, Drew Findling, told Petchenik his client was not impaired and that he complied with officers. “We will go to court in the city of Alpharetta and look forward to putting this matter behind him,” Findling said. “We will resolve it in court.”
  • Police were called to a home in Clayton County Monday afternoon after a person was shot. According to the City of Lovejoy police, the scene is on Lovejoy Road near S. Grove Drive. DEVELOPING: We are at the scene of a shooting on Lovejoy Road in Clayton County. Working on getting information and will update. pic.twitter.com/tz39WN9EpJ — Tom Regan (@tomreganWSB) January 22, 2018 Channel 2’s Tom Regan is at the scene working to learn more information. WATCH Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m. for a LIVE report.
  • A man is in police custody in connection to a deadly robbery because his mother made him turn himself in, the victim’s parents said. Larry Stewart, 24, was shot and killed on Dec. 1 while trying to sell his PlayStation through the OfferUp app in South Fulton County. This past weekend, Quantavious Poole’s mother made him surrender to police, Stewart’s parents said. Stewart’s father, who is a pastor, said he is praying for his son’s alleged killer. We’re talking to the victim's parents about why they forgive the suspect, on Channel 2 Action News starting at 4. TRENDING STORIES: GSU soccer player to withdraw from school after using racial epithet Police investigate what led up to hotel shooting, search for possible second crime scene Georgia Power ordered to refund over $43M to its customers 'He was just a hardworking young man, minded his business & loved his family' said Larry Stewart's parents. Larry was killed while selling his video game device online. Police arrested the man they believe is the killer. Live report at 4 & 5 on Ch2 pic.twitter.com/DwD6HDd7RT — Tyisha Fernandes (@TyishaWSB) January 22, 2018
  • Authorities said a missing hiker has been found alive after an overnight search in a local park. Canton police said officers were trying to find Brendan Dowling, 41, of Kennesaw early Monday morning. We’re learning about the circumstances and where he was found, for updates on Channel 2 Action News at Noon. Police said Dowling was walking trails behind Boling Park in Canton.  He had called 911 at 6:30 p.m. Sunday and reported that he was lost on Rampley Trail and his cell phone battery was dying. TRENDING STORIES: Police: Armed man who escaped home after shooting neighbor kills himself Here is how the government shutdown is affecting Georgia Man, teen arrested in car theft with newborn and 4-year-old inside Officers found his vehicle in Boiling Park and started searching for him. He was found 10 hours later, just before just before Channel 2 Action News This Morning at 4:30 a.m. Monday. He is currently trying to retrace his steps with authorities.  Channel 2's Audrey Washington talked to police about their concern as he was in the cold all night. They are still not sure how he got lost. 'He's an avid runner according to his family, so he's used to running in the woods and trails like this, but obviously he got turned around tonight,' Officer Pacer Cordry said. New Video: Brendan Dowling, covered in a blanket, about to leave with his family. The Kennesaw man got lost in a park, for nearly 11 hours. @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/tbkGUQNdGX — Audrey Washington (@AudreyWSBTV) January 22, 2018  
  • Police in Henry County searched a hotel in McDonough on Monday morning after getting reports of an armed man at the hotel. >> Read more trending news

News

  • Authorities arrested a 16-year-old on Monday morning after authorities said he shot a 15-year-old girl at a Texas high school, according to the Ellis County Sheriff's Office. >> Read more trending news
  • Dramatic video captured the moment a Georgia girl was thrown off a ladder and caught by a heroic firefighter weeks ago. Now, the two have reunited.  >> Watch the news report here WSB-TV was there when DeKalb County Fire Capt. Scott Stroup met the girl this weekend.  >> WATCH: Firefighter catches child thrown from burning building The fire ripped through the Avondale Forest Apartments on Jan. 3.  >> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news  Helmet camera video showed the moment the toddler was dropped down to a firefighter as the flames roared around them. >> Read more trending news  An estimated 50 people were left without a place to live after the massive fire at the Decatur apartment complex. >> Watch the raw video here
  • The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are now open for visitors, with New York state picking up the tab for the federal workers.The two sites reopened on Monday after being closed due to the federal government shutdown.On Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced their reopening, saying the sites are vital to the state's tourism industry. The state will spend about $65,000 per day for the federal employees who operate the sites.The Democratic governor says the state will pay for the duration of the shutdown, which may soon be over after a stopgap spending bill to reopen the government passed the Senate on Monday.New York had the same arrangement in 2013, during the last government shutdown.
  • Southern California authorities on Monday went tent to tent telling the homeless living in a 2-mile-long (3.2-kilometer-long) encampment that the large riverbed encampment some have called home for years is being closed down.Orange County sheriff's deputies called out to tent dwellers on the dusty trail designed for biking and jogging, letting them know county workers will haul their trash, store personal belongings and provide transportation to area shelters.'We're basically informing all these folks, hey, you should have been gone by now,' said Sgt. Shannon Parker after speaking with two homeless men who said they did not know where they would go. 'It's a work in progress.'The move comes as West Coast cities grapple with a rise in homelessness caused in part by soaring housing costs, rock-bottom vacancy rates and a roaring economy. A drug addiction crisis and need for mental health services are also factors.The decision had many of the roughly 450 people who live on the trail that passes by the stadium for the Los Angeles Angels baseball team on edge.Heather Smith, 42, said she's been homeless for a decade after her husband left her and she was addicted to painkillers following surgery. She said she hasn't used drugs in years, but has no family and can't take her dog or cat with her to a shelter.'There's no other place for me to go,' she said, tears streaming down her face. 'I'll probably end up in jail.'People think we're all bad, and it's not true,' she said.Neighbors have long urged the county south of Los Angeles to shut down the encampment and restore the trail that leads to the Pacific Ocean for jogging and biking. They have complained about homeless people rattling shopping carts in their otherwise quiet neighborhoods and allegedly stealing potted plants and bikes.Undersheriff Don Barnes said authorities hope to get the homeless to move voluntarily and avoid arrests. He said deputies cleared another portion of the trail previously in about three weeks without arresting anyone.Barnes declined to give a specific timetable for the move, but said he hoped it would be completed 'as soon as possible.'The trail that runs through the cities of Anaheim and Orange will be shut to the public for up to three months while the county cleans the area. Officials said they'll take a harder stance on camping after it reopens.Officials in nearby cities are concerned that homeless residents will wind up living on the streets once they're pushed out of the riverbed.That's what Brooke Weitzman, an attorney and advocate for the homeless, said she expects will happen since there's only 100 spaces at shelters that don't meet the needs of many homeless people.'It's not effective. It's not humane. It's not giving people any choice,' she said. 'There's nowhere to go other than the city sidewalks.
  • Congress sped toward reopening the government Monday, as Senate Democrats dropped their objections to a temporary funding bill in return for assurances from Republicans leaders that they will soon take up immigration and other contentious issues.Senate Republican leader McConnell's commitment to quickly tackle the issue of immigrant 'Dreamers' was contingent on Democrats providing enough votes now for a stopgap spending measure lasting a little less than three weeks. The measure needed 60 votes, and Democrats provided 33 of the 81 it got. Eighteen senators, including members of both parties, were opposed.Before the government can reopen the Senate must vote on final passage, the House must approve in turn, and President Donald Trump must sign the measure. The Senate vote was underway late in the afternoon.Democrats climbed onboard after two days of negotiations that ended with new reassurances from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the Senate would consider immigration proposals in the coming weeks.Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer lent his backing to the agreement during a speech on the chamber's floor. 'Now there is a real pathway to get a bill on the floor and through the Senate,' he said of legislation to halt any deportation efforts aimed at 'Dreamers,' who were brought to the country as children and are now here illegally.The White House downplayed McConnell's commitment, and said Democrats caved under pressure. 'They blinked,' principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah told CNN. In a statement, President Donald Trump said he's open to immigration deal only if it is 'good for our country.'Earlier Monday, McConnell raised hopes for a quick end to the shutdown, saying 'I hope and intend' to reach agreement soon on immigration and other contentious issues — if the Democrats agreed to the stopgap spending measure lasting a little less than three weeks.Progressive groups expressed criticism of Democrats for agreeing to reopen the government without a firmer commitment to solve the Dreamer issue.A block of liberal Democrats — some of them 2020 presidential hopefuls — stuck to their opposition. Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Dianne Feinstein of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey voted no, as did Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont.Feinstein said she wasn't persuaded by McConnell's assurances and did not know how a proposal to protect the more than 700,000 younger immigrants would fare in the House.House Speaker Paul Ryan told 'Fox and Friends' Monday that if the Senate approved a temporary spending bill to reopen the government through Feb. 8, the House would approve it, too.The Senate vote came as most government offices cut back drastically or even closed on Monday, as the major effects of the shutdown were first being felt with the beginning of the workweek.McConnell said he hoped to reach bipartisan solutions on immigration, border security, disaster aid, military funding and more by Feb. 8. If not, he said 'it would be my intention to take up legislation' addressing those issues.The Senate over the weekend inched closer but ultimately fell short of a deal that could have reopened the government before the beginning of the workweek. McConnell and Schumer said negotiations lasted late into the night.On Sunday night, Democrats appeared to be holding out for a firmer commitment from McConnell. 'We have yet to reach an agreement on a path forward,' Schumer said then.There were hours of behind-the-scenes talks over the weekend between the leaders and rank-and-file lawmakers over how to end the display of legislative dysfunction, which began at midnight Friday after Democrats blocked a temporary spending measure. Democrats have sought to use the spending bill to win concessions, including protections for roughly 700,000 younger immigrants.Republicans have appeared increasingly confident that Democrats are bearing the brunt of criticism for the shutdown and that they will ultimately buckle. The White House and GOP leaders said they would not negotiate with Democrats on immigration until the government is reopened.President Trump on Monday accused Democrats of prioritizing services and security for noncitizens over U.S. citizens. 'Not good,' his first tweet said. In a second tweet, he said, 'Democrats have shut down our government in the interests of their far left base. They don't want to do it but are powerless!'Trump's first tweet appeared to undercut comments by his legislative affairs director, Marc Short, who told CNN that the immigrants in question are law-abiding and 'productive to our society.' Short says the administration wants to 'find a pathway for them' to stay in the U.S.It appeared that Democratic resolve was beginning to waver, with growing worries that a prolonged shutdown could prove to be an electoral headache for the party just as it has grown more confident about prospects in November midterm elections.Although they initially dug in on a demand for an immigration deal, Democrats had shifted to blaming the shutdown on the incompetence of Republicans and Trump, seeming sensitive to being seen by voters as willing to tie up government operations to protect immigrants.Trump, who regularly disrupted negotiations in recent weeks, had been a relatively subdued player in the weekend debate. He has not appeared in public since Friday afternoon. The White House said he was in regular contact with Republican leaders, but he has not reached out to any Democrats, a White House official said.Democrats are facing intense pressure from their base to solve the issue over the young immigrants, commonly referred to as 'Dreamers,' and they are skeptical of Republicans' credibility when offering to take up the issue. Whether Trump would back the emerging plan or any later proposal on immigration is an open question.While lawmakers feuded, signs of the shutdown were evident at national parks and in some federal agencies. Social Security and most other safety-net programs were unaffected by the lapse in federal spending authority. Critical government functions continued, with uniformed service members, health inspectors and law enforcement officers set to work without pay.___Associated Press writers Mary Clare Jalonick, Kevin Freking, Catherine Lucey contributed to this report.
  • A Mexican Uber driver living in the U.S. illegally was charged Monday with raping, assaulting and robbing young women in California, prosecutors said.Alfonso Alarcon-Nunez's four alleged victims are between 19 and 22 years old and three were intoxicated when they were assaulted, San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow told reporters.Officials said Alarcon-Nunez was not always driving for Uber when he picked up those women but said the alleged crimes show that the company should improve its driver screening process, Dow said.Alarcon-Nunez, 39, faces 10 criminal charges including forcible rape, rape of an intoxicated victim, oral copulation of an intoxicated victim and first degree burglary. It wasn't immediately known if Alarcon-Nunez has an attorney. His arraignment was scheduled for later Monday.Detectives are looking for potential witnesses and trying to determine if there are additional victims in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties northwest of Los Angeles, where the Alarcon-Nunez had been driving for Uber since September of last year, Dow said. He had a valid California license issued in 2015.Prosecutors said Alarcon-Nunez solicited rides as an Uber driver, targeting drunk women. Then he drove women to their homes, assaulted them, and stole property including cellphones, computers, and jewelry, officials said.He collected his fare payments through the smartphone app Venmo to disguise his identity and his Uber records, officials said.Alarcon-Nunez has also gone by the name 'Bruno Diaz' and his Venmo username was 'Brush Bat,' prosecutors said.Predators in cars parked outside bars or restaurants 'jump in front of the actual Uber driver and they will take someone unsuspecting to their home. And that's a way of putting someone at risk, and in this case that's exactly what's alleged to have happened,' Dow said.Dow urged Uber users to make sure they are getting in the car of the correct driver by verifying the license plate and other information provided to clients.DNA evidence helped lead detectives to Alarcon-Nunez, who was arrested at his Santa Maria home last week, Dow said. The alleged crimes are said to have occurred in December and January in San Luis Obispo, a city of about 45,000 with a large population of college students.Dow urged Uber and other ride-hailing companies to beef up background checks. Uber spokesman Michael Amodeo did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.Alarcon-Nunez returned to the U.S. illegally after a voluntary deportation from New Mexico in 2005, officials said. Dow did not have details about why he was deported or whether he has a criminal record in the U.S.Alarcon-Nunez's immigration status will not have a bearing on the prosecution, Dow said. He could face life in prison if convicted on all charges.___Follow Weber at https://twitter.com/WeberCM .