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The battle for 'The Range' gears up in Gwinnett
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The battle for 'The Range' gears up in Gwinnett

The battle for 'The Range' gears up in Gwinnett
Photo Credit: Sandra Parrish
Opponents including Marlin Knapp (left) and Mike Islam (center) want Gwinnett commissioners to put a park on the 130-acre tract known as "The Range" rather than a proposed development of 334 homes.

The battle for 'The Range' gears up in Gwinnett

A showdown is gearing up this week over one of the largest undeveloped areas in central Gwinnett County.

The 130-acre tract known as "The Range" was part of the campus of Scientific Atlanta before it was bought by Cisco.  The land was left undeveloped in order for the company to test the range of its satellite dishes and other electronic transmitting products.

Now Cisco is offering to sell the land to developer David Jenkins in order to build up to 334 homes.

Neighbors, who complain it will lead to school overcrowding and traffic congestion, want to the county to instead buy it for a park.

They also complain that Jenkins was granted immunity in the bribery case against ex-commissioner Kevin Kenerly.

Opponents calling themselves Neighborhoods in Peril complain the area of Cruse Road near Pleasant Hill Road cannot handle any more traffic and the number of proposed homes would be taxing on existing infrastructure.

"We cannot take even 100 more cars," says opponent Mike Islam who lives in the area.

The group plans to wear red to show their opposition at Tuesday night's 7 p.m. public hearing.

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  • The Latest on the Republican legislation overhauling the Obama health care law (all times EDT): 7:15 p.m. Threats of opposition from three Republican senators are casting doubt on whether GOP leaders have enough support to move ahead on the Senate health care bill. The Senate has to hold a procedural vote to move forward, most likely on Wednesday. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine tweeted after the Congressional Budget Office analysis on Monday that the Senate bill won't fix the flaws in the current bill. She says she will vote no on the 'motion to proceed.' Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin says he has 'a hard time believing I'll have enough information for me to support a motion to proceed this week.' Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky says it's worse to 'pass a bad bill than to pass no bill.' Republicans can't afford more than two defections. ___ 6:35 p.m. The White House says the Congressional Budget Office's projection that 22 million more people will be uninsured in 2026 'must not be trusted blindly.' The White House is again trying to undermine the analysis of the CBO, questioning the office's predictions that millions of more Americans would be uninsured under a Senate health care proposal compared with President Barack Obama's health care law. The White House says the CBO 'has consistently proven it cannot accurately predict how health care legislation will impact insurance coverage.' It says the office has a 'history of inaccuracy,' and cites its 'flawed report on coverage, premiums and predicted deficit arising out of Obamacare.' ___ 6:30 p.m. Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono is decrying the Republican health care bill as 'mean, ugly' a day ahead of her own surgery. Speaking on the Senate floor Monday, Hirono says people typically figure health insurance is a concern for someone else until they get sick. Hirono announced in May that she was being treated for kidney cancer. She says she will have surgery Tuesday to remove a lesion on her rib. But first she joined several Democratic senators in criticizing the GOP health care bill, saying it was a 'tax cut for the rich bill.' Hirono says health care is a right, not a privilege. And in light of the budget analysis that found 22 million more Americans would be uninsured, Hirono says, 'it's as bad as we thought.' ___ 6 p.m. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is focusing on the tax cuts, deficit reduction and lower premiums cited in a nonpartisan analysis of the Senate's health care bill, and making no mention of the 22 million more Americans who would be uninsured. McConnell put out a brief statement Monday after the release of the Congressional Budget Office report. He says Americans need relief from the 'failed Obamacare law,' and says the Senate will soon act on a bill to give Americans better care. The Kentucky Republican says the bill would lower premiums by 30 percent in 2020, cut taxes by $700 billion and reduce the deficit by $331 billion. His statement omits any mention of the CBO prediction that 22 million more Americans would be uninsured in 2026 than under President Barack Obama's health care law. ___ 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 told Channel 2 Action News that four girls were inside the home on Reynolds Street having a sleepover when someone outside fired a 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. Kocoyo Elder, who lives in the neighborhood, was home watching TV with her grandkids when she heard the gunshots. 'We paused the TV and we heard the sirens, and we came on the porch and saw a lot of police and there were a lot of people walking this way,' she said as she described the scene to Channel 2's Lori Wilson. 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. Both are listed as stable. 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 One of the girls' mothers was home at the time. 'When you arrive and you find that two 11-year-old girls were enjoying a sleepover with family and freinds and they've been shot now, that tugs at your heart,' Deputy Chief Cooper said. Investigators believe the gun used was a 9mm. Police were able to count seven bullet holes in the home. 'I couldn't sleep until I got up this morning and knew they was OK,' one of the mothers said. Neighbors are hoping for justice but worry about an attempt at retaliation. 'It grieves my spirit knowing that two young ladies could have possibly lost their life in this area. That's not right,' said Pastor Render Godfrey, who lives in the area. More than anything, they want the violence to stop. One neighbor who asked Wilson to go by her first name Jackie says she constantly worries living in this area. 'I've been terrified for years because every other month there's always something going on,' she said.
  • The son of former Atlanta Braves infielder Keith Lockhart is fighting for his life after he was hit in the face with a baseball.According to a post by the family on social media, Jason Lockhart, 15, was hit on June 17 when he was playing in a baseball tournament in South Carolina.Channel 2 Action News has learned when Lockhart touched home plate, the catcher was throwing the ball back to the pitcher. It hit Jason in the face, breaking his nose.In a Facebook post written by his sister, we learned Jason was initially given stitches but on June 19 when he visited the doctor's office for X-rays, his nose began to bleed profusely. Doctors could not stop the bleeding and even after going to urgent care, he was ultimately taken to the Scottish Rite hospital in Atlanta.A CT scan determined the fracture was more severe than doctors originally thought. The results showed a laceration on his artery. Sydney Lockhart says a surgeon was brought in to stitch up a laceration in his nose and reset his broken nose the next day.In an update on Wednesday, Sydney Lockhart wrote that an artery was cut by the fracture and Jason was sedated for two days. He was put on a ventilator to help his body rest but the bleeding continued.On Friday, he was heavily sedated in a paralytic state and put on life support so doctors could monitor and contain any bleeding. In Facebook post written by his mother, she said doctors determined the blood was coming from his nose, not his brain. Jason also developed a fever, which doctors say is common when the body is fighting a condition as severe as this.Jason was originally scheduled to have surgery Monday but doctors have moved it to Tuesday according to his sister's Facebook page. Sydney Lockhart says although there was no bleeding since Sunday's surgery, his body is responding a bit slower than anticipated. Doctors are also backing off several medications, according to the post written Monday afternoon.The procedure is to remove and replace packing in his nose and will closely look inside to figure out if there is an area behind the packing that could cause more bleeding. 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 Support has been flooding social media with messages from inside the baseball community to friends and family.Keith Lockhart played several seasons for the Braves.Braves Vice Chairman John Schuerholz issued a statement on Twitter offering prayers for Jason and his family and encouraged fans to do the same.The family asks for prayers and support saying:We are really staying positive that this is the best way to give Jason the most comfort possible and the least stress. Thank you again for standing with us in the biggest and scariest situation our family has ever encountered. With Love and Appreciation, The Lockhart family Our top 3 requests or goals right now are: 1. Keeping Jason at this calm paralytic state with no movements 2. No bleeding 3. Making it to Monday and letting Jason's body do all the clotting itself Thanks so much for all the outpouring prayers & support for Jay. It's been rough, a few surgeries but we're confident he's going to be ok.-- Keith Lockhart (@klocky7) June 24, 2017 Jason had a good night last night still had some bleeding but manageable no surgery. Hoping and praying for the same today.#staystrongJ-- Keith Lockhart (@klocky7) June 24, 2017 Jason just came out of surgery Dr.'s located 3 areas of bleeding &stopped the flow of blood. We are all encouraged about today!#staystrongJ-- Keith Lockhart (@klocky7) June 25, 2017 I don't think y'all understand how much of a champion this child is 💛 pic.twitter.com/TaGn7XPFq5-- syds (@SydneyLockhart) June 21, 2017 Braves Vice Chairman John Schuerholz statement on Jason Lockhart, son of Braves alumni @klocky7: pic.twitter.com/JiIxyZgoN1-- Atlanta Braves (@Braves) June 26, 2017
  • Detectives believe a 5-year-old California boy who has been missing for two months was killed by his father after a family trip to Disneyland. But despite weeks of intensive searches, investigators have not yet found the boy's body. Still, prosecutors say they are confident they can secure a murder conviction. Legal experts say so-called 'no body cases' can result in convictions, but they present an additional challenge for prosecutors: proving the victim is actually dead. 'In most homicide prosecutions, the fact the person died is not the issue,' said Heidi Rummel, a law professor at the University of Southern California and former federal prosecutor. In the vast majority of murder cases, proving someone was a homicide victim is relatively easy with an autopsy, but without a body, prosecutors will need to prove the case with only circumstantial evidence, Rummel said. The boy's father, Aramazd Andressian Sr., was arrested Friday in Las Vegas and is being held there on $10 million bail. He is scheduled to appear for an extradition hearing in Las Vegas on Tuesday and is expected to return to Los Angeles by the end of the week, prosecutors said. Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said she understands it seems unusual to file a murder charge when investigators haven't found the boy's body and concedes it will be a challenge. But Lacey said she's confident prosecutors will land a conviction in the case. 'As time goes on and there's no sighting of a person, of the victim, obviously a case gets a bit stronger, but it just forces us in law enforcement to work harder to look for evidence that would indicate the person is guilty of murder,' Lacey said. 'I would not have authorized the filing of this case unless I believed that a jury would hear the evidence and convict the defendant of murder.' Investigators have been searching for the missing boy since his father was found passed out in a large park in South Pasadena, California, on April 22. Sheriff's officials say the father had taken prescription pills and was found in a car doused in gasoline in what they say was an attempt to take his own life. The boy was last seen leaving Disneyland with his father around 1 a.m. on April 21. Investigators believe Andressian killed his son a short time later and then drove about 145 miles (230 kilometers) later that morning to Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County. Sheriff's homicide detectives have searched the lake twice in the past few months, using dogs and a dive team to help in the search. Detectives said they believe Andressian killed his son in an attempt to get back at his estranged wife for their tumultuous relationship, Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Joe Mendoza said. Sheriff's officials and federal agents arrested Andressian because he was 'becoming a flight risk,' Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said. Investigators believed Andressian was planning to leave the U.S. and flee to a country that does not have an extradition agreement with the U.S., but McDonnell declined to name that country. Andressian had also changed his appearance by dying his hair and shaving off his facial hair and had been socializing while living out of a Las Vegas hotel for 47 days, conduct characterized as inconsistent with that of a grieving parent, Mendoza said. Andressian's attorney, Daniel Nardoni, has said his client 'is adamant that he never harmed his son Aramazd and is innocent of the charges.' Nardoni did not immediately respond Monday to an emailed request for comment. ___ Follow Michael Balsamo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MikeBalsamo1
  • The mother of a 2-year-old girl who became known as Baby Doe after her remains washed up on a Boston Harbor island is scheduled to be sentenced. Rachelle Bond is expected to be sentenced to time served Tuesday — a day after her ex-boyfriend was convicted of second-degree murder in the girl's death. Prosecutors say they're asking that Bond be sentenced to the time she's already served in jail plus probation. Bond and her boyfriend, Michael McCarthy, were arrested in September 2015 in the killing earlier that year of Bella Bond. A computer-generated image of the girl was shared by millions on social media by authorities trying to determine her identity. Bond pleaded guilty in February to being an accessory after the fact for helping McCarthy dispose of the body.
  • Several prospective jurors have been excused from the federal securities fraud trial of an ex-pharmaceutical company executive because they claimed they couldn't be impartial. Jury selection will continue Tuesday morning in Brooklyn. During jury questioning Monday, several potential jurors said they couldn't ignore Martin Shkreli's reputation for raising the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000 percent. One of them called him 'the face of corporate greed.' Another said he's 'the most hated man in America.' The 34-year-old Shkreli was arrested last year on conspiracy and other charges unrelated to the price-gouging scandal. Since then, he's defied his lawyers' advice to lay low by using social media to boast about his accomplishments and troll his critics. The defense has accused the media of vilifying him.