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Airport wait times could get lengthy
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Airport wait times could get lengthy

Airport wait times could get lengthy
Photo Credit: Mlcochran from UReport.WSBRadio.com
Hartsfield-Jackson tower

Airport wait times could get lengthy

You may remember the warnings about long waits at the airport during talks about sequestration.

Weeks into the federal cuts, how are things going?

Data from the Transportation Security Administration reported 20-30 minute waits at two checkpoints at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport Wednesday. Only twice in the past two weeks have passengers reported waiting 30 minutes or more at TSA checkpoints.

Some travelers say they aren't having any problems. Ken Maharaj said "there's no wait at the security gates. It was a snap." Betsy Bootle said she "really didn't have any problems. It may have been 15 minutes."

A Department of Transportation spokesman says everything will change on April 21 when the agency plans to start forcing 47,000 air traffic controllers and aviation safety inspectors to take days off. It's then they say we could see wait times of 60 to 90 minutes at the airport.

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News

  • The Latest on the Republican legislation overhauling the Obama health care law (all times local): 4:20 p.m. The Senate health care bill would result in 22 million more uninsured Americans over the next decade compared to current law. That's according to an analysis Monday from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The figure may further complicate Senate GOP leaders' plans to pass their bill this week. It's barely an improvement upon the health care bill that passed the House — which would have resulted in 23 million more uninsured. Several GOP senators have said they want to see their bill cover more people than the House version. And President Donald Trump himself called the House bill 'mean' — though he's lent his support to the Senate version and is lobbying for passage. ___ 2:15 p.m. The nation's largest doctors' group is outlining its opposition to the Senate Republican health care bill. The American Medical Association sent a letter Monday to Senate leaders saying the draft legislation violates the medical oath to 'first, do no harm.' The letter says the Republican plan is likely to lead to higher costs and greater difficulty in affording care for low- and middle-income patients. The doctors' group says the Senate bill's Medicaid payment formulas threaten to 'limit states' ability to address the health care needs of their most vulnerable citizens' and won't keep up with new medical innovations and epidemics such as the opioid addiction crisis. The letter is signed by Dr. James L. Madara, the group's CEO. The AMA has about a quarter-million members. __ 2 p.m. One of the nation's biggest health insurers says the Senate health care bill will 'markedly improve' the individual insurance market's stability and moderate premium hikes. Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurer Anthem says the bill will help in part by appropriating money for cost-sharing reduction payments and eliminating a health insurance tax. Cost-sharing reduction payments help cover expenses like deductibles for people with modest incomes. President Donald Trump has discussed ending these payments, and insurers planning to return to the exchanges next year want a guarantee that the payments also will return. Anthem Inc. sells coverage in key markets like New York and California. It has said tough market conditions have forced it to pull out of exchanges in three states for 2018: Ohio, Wisconsin and Indiana. __ 1:10 p.m. Senate Republicans have issued a revised version of their health care bill. The changes include a penalty for people who let their insurance lapse. Under the new package, people who lacked coverage for at least 63 days in the past year and then buy a policy would face a six-month delay before it takes effect. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released his initial measure last week. It had no penalty for people who let their coverage expire. The waiting period is designed to prompt healthy people who might not otherwise buy insurance to do so. That helps insurance companies pay for sicker customers who are more expensive to cover. McConnell is hoping to push the measure through the Senate by the end of this week, but some Republicans are rebelling. __ 12:55 p.m. An outside group backing President Donald Trump will begin targeting more Republican holdouts on the Senate's health care bill. America First Policies is expanding its campaign against Nevada Sen. Dean Heller to include Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson. Those lawmakers came out against the bill as written when it was made public last week. A senior official with America First Policies says online and social media ads will remind voters that Republicans have promised to repeal President Barack Obama's signature health care legislation. The official demanded anonymity to discuss the plan. The group also is preparing radio and television ads to run ahead of the vote, which could come at the end of this week. — Julie Bykowicz __ 11:19 a.m. A conservative Republican senator who doesn't back the GOP health care bill is using unusually sharp tones to criticize party leaders. Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson is accusing top Republicans of trying to jam the legislation through the Senate. He says the leadership effort is 'a little offensive' and says conservatives haven't had input into the proposal. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced legislation last week rolling back much of President Barack Obama's health care law. Johnson is among four conservatives and a moderate who said they don't back the measure but haven't ruled out supporting it if it's changed. McConnell is working this week to make revisions to win over votes. The bill will win approval if just two of the 52 Senate Republicans support it. All Democrats oppose it. __ 10:54 a.m. A nonpartisan group representing Republican and Democratic state officials who administer Medicaid programs says the GOP health care legislation advancing toward a Senate vote will not work. In a strongly worded statement that reflects the 'unanimous' views of its board, the National Association of Medicaid Directors said the Republican health care bill would be 'a transfer of risk, responsibility, and cost to the states of historic proportions.' While the group's members differ over the concept of federal spending limits on the health program for low-income people, the board agreed that the inflation adjustments in the Senate bill 'are insufficient and unworkable.' Medicaid has become perhaps the key sticking point in the congressional debate. The group said Congress should focus on stabilizing insurance markets for now, and tackle Medicaid overhaul later in a more thoughtful manner. __ 2:54 a.m. Senate Republicans skeptical about a GOP health overhaul bill are expressing some doubt about holding a vote on the measure this week. Lawmakers are awaiting a key analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. President Donald Trump is making a final push to fulfill a key campaign promise, insisting that Republicans are not 'that far off' and signaling that last-minute changes are coming to win votes. So far, five Republican senators are expressing opposition to the Senate GOP plan that would scuttle much of former President Barack Obama's health law. That's more than enough to torpedo the measure developed in private by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The holdouts are expressing willingness to negotiate, but many of them are pushing revisions that could risk alienating moderate Republicans in the process.
  • Police are looking for the person who sprayed bullets into a home filled with children. Newnan police said four girls were inside the home on Reynolds Street having a sleepover when someone outside fired their gun into the home around 11:30 p.m. Two of the girls, both 11, were hit by gunfire. 'We ask you to have a heart, understand that we want to speak to you. We will hopefully track down leads and locate you and this is your opportunity to come forward and let us know what happened in your own words,' said Newnan's deputy police chief. One of the girls were hit in the cheek, the other was shot in the thigh. They were taken to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. TRENDING STORIES: From Mexico to metro Atlanta: Bust nets $1M in meth, $250K in cash Teen missing for more than a year found at Duluth home Police continue to search for duo seen punching woman, daughter Both are listed as stable. One of the girls' mother was home at the time. Investigators believe the gun used was a 9mm. Police were able to count seven bullet holes into the home. Channel 2's Lori Wilson spoke to neighbors in the area. Why they say they've been afraid for years about something like this happening at 6 p.m.
  • DeKalb County police are trying to find a man thought to be a serial robber and his accomplice, saying they present more than just a threat to businesses. Authorities say it’s a public safety issue, too. “It's a safety issue when you're robbing businesses,” detective Chastity Cantrelo told Channel 2 Action News. “At any point, a customer could come in and startle the suspects, and he could make the mistake of shooting someone.” The person has hit two Waffle Houses and a Walgreens in three weeks. Police say he has never pulled a gun, just shown a handle. In two surveillance videos, the robber is wearing the same outfit — a gray and black zip-up hoodie, black sweatpants and sneakers. Also, he’s always wearing a white glove on one hand to keep from leaving fingerprints, police said. The armed robberies have some people in the area concerned. “I guess they feel really bold and brazen about what they're doing,” resident Ed Banks said. “It is pretty scary.” Tipsters can remain anonymous, and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000, by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting crimestoppersatlanta.org.
  • The police chief of a small Pennsylvania town has lost part of his arm in a fireworks accident. Leechburg Police Chief Michael Diebold, 39, was injured Saturday night when a mortar he was lighting during a fireworks show at a local carnival misfired and struck him. >> Read more trending news Diebold, who is licensend to handle pyrotechnics, was flown to UPMC Mercy Hospital’s trauma and burn unit and is now listed in stable condition. The investigation into the incident is ongoing. >> Related: 5 tragic fireworks accidents that show how dangerous they can be City officials and residents gathered Sunday night at the town's fire hall for a prayer vigil for Diebold. 'I've always known him to be a good person, a hard worker and an officer who cares deeply and is committed to his community,” Captain Steve Ignatz said. >> Related: Woman killed in illegal fireworks explosion on New Year’s Day, boyfriend critically injured A fundraiser for Diebold is underway to help pay for his hospital expenses.
  • In the past two weeks, the Atlanta Braves have been one of the best teams in baseball, with most of their wins coming late in the game or in extra innings. Despite a 7-0 loss Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Braves are 7-3 in their last 10 games. The Braves moved from No. 27 in last week's MLB power rankings, to No. 23 this week. Matt Adams, who came over from the St. Louis Cardinals, has stepped up big for the Braves, hitting .299 with 12 home runs and 31 RBI. In just one month with the Braves, Adams' 12 home runs are tied for second with Matt Kemp in the National League. Braves first basemen Freddie Freeman, who fractured his wrist on May 17, leads the team with 14 home runs. Shortstop Dansby Swanson is having a strong performance from the diamond as well. In his last seven games, the Kennesaw native has recorded nine hits and three RBI in just 27 at-bats. Currently, the Braves (36-39) rank second in the National League East and sit nine games behind the Washington Nationals for first place.
  • Police are investigating a deadly shooting in southwest Atlanta early Monday morning. Officers found two victims at locations less than a mile apart. Police told Channel 2's Audrey Washington the victims were in two separate cars when a third person started shooting outside a discount food mart in the 3000 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. That shooter took off. Lt. Ricardo Vazquez told Washington that 'there was a third person involved and we don't know who he is.' One victim was found in a car in the parking lot and died on the way to Grady Memorial Hospital, according to officials. TRENDING STORIES: Teen missing for more than a year, found at Duluth home American tourist robbed, shot in Turks and Caicos is medically evacuated to US 3 teens indicted in the fatal shooting of high school senior Authorities have identified the deceased victim as Tory Lambert, 39. Lambert's family says he was the life of the family and had five children, with the youngest just 9 months old. 'He was at the wrong place at the wrong time,' said a family member. 'He would've done anything for anyone.' The second victim was shot several times but managed to drive farther down Martin Luther King Jr. Drive before crashing. He was taken to the hospital and was listed as stable. 'Very early in the investigation… We don't know if a dispute led up to this shooting incident,' said Vazquez. 'We're in the process of investigating that.' Detectives are trying to get more information from the surviving victim. The victim's family was too upset to speak on camera but they said there was some dispute at another nearby location before the gunfire erupted at the food mart. They believe that might be connected to this homicide. 'This was just so uncalled-for, his life to be taken over something as minute as somebody else's argument,' said a family member. Family members say Lambert was the son of Violet Lambert, who was killed in a domestic dispute in a Cobb County mall parking lot in 2014. Now the family has to deal with yet another act of senseless violence that ended in tragedy.