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In an attack that British Muslims say was aimed directly at them, a man plowed a van into a crowd of Muslim worshippers outside a north London mosque early Monday, injuring 10 people. London police are investigating it as a terrorist incident.
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  • There is light at the end of the prolonged wet and/or cloudy spell we have been going through. As I’ve been advertising on the radio for a few days now a prolonged dry spell is expected to begin Sunday and last through next Thursday, with modest thunderstorm chances returning Friday and next weekend. By the way, from this long distance, 4th of July weather looks pretty typical for the Metro, very warm and humid with around a 30% chance of an afternoon or evening thunderstorm. But first things first. We are still in a warm very deep moist tropical air mass. And while we get to see some sun today and tomorrow, we are not done with rain just yet, nor the threat of an isolated severe storm or small, weak tornado. Listen for details on the weather today this weekend and next 5 days on the radio in my reports for updates. Or check wsbradio.com at Click on the MellishMeter on the WSB Radio homepage for my 5 day forecast in writing anytime on any digital device. Due to the tropical nature of the air in place, more heavy downpours are likely in spots late today and overnight into tomorrow and that’s on already saturated soils, so a FLASH FLOOD WATCH has been issued for all of Metro Atlanta north of Griffin. Take note that trees may fall in the wet root zones without new rain or without high wind. Also bear in mind that in tropical systems lightning and thunder is often at a minimum, even in storms capable of producing damaging straight line winds or a tornado, so you may get little or no warning. You can see what’s left of Tropical Storm Cindy and the approach of a front from the north. MID-DAY FRIDAY: FRIDAY END OF DAY: FRIDAY EVENING: SATURDAY AM: END OF DAY SATURDAY: SUNDAY MORNING: HIGHEST FLOODING RISK FRIDAY: Flash Flood Watch 2pm Friday-8pm Saturday FRIDAY SEVERE WEATHER RISK:   TORNADO WATCH UNTIL 9PM Atlanta time: The remnants of Cindy will push eastward, and interact with shear axis/weak convergence boundary through Saturday. This shear axis/weak convergence zone will slowly sag south across the metro area through Saturday, serving to focus areas of precipitation. As with any tropical system, the potential for severe weather will exist. Especially for isolated tornadoes within any rain-bands. Areas roughly along and west of the Interstate 85 corridor will have the best potential for any severe weather through tonight. However, if good heating occurs across southern areas today, an isolated severe thunderstorm is not out of the question there, too. End of day Friday predicted (simulated) radar from a couple models: A welcome change is headed our way in the long term as drier air moves into the region, with lower than normal temperatures continuing and lower than normal humidity moving in with a less than normal rain odds Sunday through next Thursday. FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @MellishMeterWSB
  • Family and friends are preparing for the funeral for a 16-year-old killed in a crash in Cherokee County. Police said a 17-year-old driver fell asleep at the wheel on Hightower Road and traveled into an embankment and hit a tree. Mahlon Thornton died at the scene. The driver has a broken arm. Family members said Mahlon and his friend had been up all night fishing Sunday into Monday. 'They stayed up all night fishing. They were tired and they were probably going pretty fast,' said Cynthia Decker, Mahlon's guardian. Mahlon moved in with Decker three years ago. TRENDING STORIES: Sheriff reduces jail time for Georgia inmates who saved officer Police: Woman attacked at gas pump, turns tables on would-be robbers Homeowner stabbed to death during home invasion 'I'm going to miss that hug in the morning and that hug at night and that hug before he left,' she said. Deputies are still investigating the crash. 'I just want these kids to understand they're not invincible. They gotta rest. They gotta take care of themselves,' Decker said. Mahlon's parents said they forgive the driver. 'No blame, no blame. It could have easily been Mahlon driving,' said the victim's mother, Jenelle Thornton. Mahlon's funeral is Saturday in West Cobb. His family said they are finding comfort through faith. 'Our ministry has just begun because of this event. This will reshape us. We have no idea how to comprehend,' the victim's father, Wayne Thornton said.
  • A mother wanted on child cruelty charges out of Snellville has been arrested in Tennessee.  Savion Piotter already had DFCS cases pending against her in New York and DeKalb County. Snellville Police Det. Deann Green took out arrest warrants against her last week for drugging her four kids with Benadryl in an effort to control them, keeping them out of school for the last year and refusing to seek medical care for them.  When an officer showed up at her Snellville duplex with a caseworker, a 3-year-old answered the door and an 8-year-old subsequently shut and locked it in the officer’s face. Piotter skipped town with the kids before police could return with the warrant.  “I was able to ping her cell phone… and located it in Tennessee. I coordinated with Knoxville Police Department and they were able to locate her in the hotel in that area and make an arrest,” Green tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.  The four children were placed in DFCS custody and will be brought back to Georgia along with Piotter who Green plans to extradite.  Asked why Green was able to locate Piotter when others haven’t been able to, “My big thing is to keep track of kids and make sure they’re safe and in good condition. So, I wanted to make sure they didn’t slip through the cracks,” she says.
  • The Trump administration has authorized the sale of unarmed surveillance drones to India, the manufacturer said Friday, as the two nations' leaders prepare for their first face-to-face meeting. India initiated its request to buy 22 Guardian MQ-9B unmanned aircraft for maritime surveillance last year. The deal is estimated to be worth about $2 billion. The offer is still subject to congressional approval. The green light from the administration marks a further deepening in defense ties as India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets with President Donald Trump at the White House on Monday. Modi's two-day visit to Washington, which starts Sunday, takes place amid uncertainty over the relationship because of differences on trade and other issues. So far in his presidency, Trump has focused on outreach to China, India's strategic rival, as he looks to Beijing to rein in North Korea. But Washington and New Delhi share concerns about China's rise as a military power. India reportedly wants the drones for surveillance of the Indian Ocean — waters that China's navy increasingly traverses after establishing its first overseas base in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti. India's archrival Pakistan would also likely be opposed to the drone sale. 'We are pleased that the U.S. government has cleared the way for the sale of the MQ-9B Guardian to the Indian government,' Linden Blue, CEO of the manufacturer, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, said in a statement. Blue added that it would 'significantly enhance India's sovereign maritime domain awareness in the Indo-Pacific.' A congressional staffer familiar with the matter confirmed the administration has approved the sale. The staffer was not authorized to discuss the potential deal and requested anonymity. David McKeeby, spokesman for the State Department bureau of political-military affairs, said it does not comment on proposed defense sales before Congress is formally notified. A senior White House official said Friday that the U.S. is interested in providing India the kind of high technology it provides to its closest allies and defense partners. That is important to the strategic partnership and for cooperation in areas like the Indian Ocean, and also creates U.S. jobs, said the official, who requested anonymity to brief reporters on the preparations for Modi's visit. India does not have a formal alliance with the U.S., but defense ties have intensified in recent years with joint drills between the two militaries and defense sales. The South Asian nation, which has traditionally bought most of its defense equipment from Russia, is looking to upgrade its capabilities. Since 2008, India has signed more than $15 billion in U.S. defense contracts, including for C-130J and C-17 transport aircraft, P-8I maritime patrol aircraft, Harpoon missiles and Apache and Chinook helicopters. Ashley Tellis, an expert on South Asia at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said the U.S. decision to offer the Guardian aircraft to India is significant as the U.S. has a standing policy of declining export of such advanced drones other than to allies involved in combined operations with U.S. forces. 'Much bureaucratic china within the U.S. government had to be broken to get to this decision,' he said. There could still be pushback from Congress. While there is bipartisan support for closer U.S.-India security ties, some lawmakers remain wary of the export of U.S. drone technology to non-allies. Modi, a Hindu nationalist, will be making his fourth visit to the U.S. since he took office in 2014. He forged a strong relationship with President Barack Obama, and on his last visit in June 2016, he addressed Congress and described the U.S. as an 'indispensable partner.' The visit is likely to be lower key and aimed at building a personal bond between the two leaders, who have spoken twice by phone since Trump took office. Modi will be the first foreign dignitary to be hosted for dinner at the White House during Trump's presidency. They share a populist streak and a knack for using social media, and are likely to find common ground on combating Islamic extremism. Modi will be urging a tougher stance on Pakistan over militants that India blames for attacks on its territory. But there could be increased strains on trade issues. India is among nations singled out by the Trump administration for their trade surpluses with the U.S., which in India's case totaled $30.8 billion in 2016. New Delhi is also closely watching the administration's review of the H1B visa program, under which thousands of skilled Indian workers come to the U.S. New Delhi was irked by Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord. In making the announcement, the U.S. president said New Delhi had made its participation 'contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid.' India denies that and says it will continue to be part of the accord, regardless of U.S. participation. ____ Associated Press writer Vivian Salama contributed to this report.
  • Republicans in full control of government are on the brink of history-making changes to the nation's health care system. The impact for consumers would go well beyond 'Obamacare.' Former President Barack Obama's signature law is usually associated with subsidized insurance markets like HealthCare.gov. But the Affordable Care Act also expanded Medicaid. Not only would the GOP legislation scale back coverage through the insurance markets and phase out the Medicaid expansion, it would also make fundamental changes to the broader Medicaid program. The federal-state program covers low-income people, from newborns to elderly nursing home residents, from special-needs kids to young adults caught in the opioid epidemic. House Republicans have passed their health care bill, and Senate GOP leaders are driving toward a vote next week. President Donald Trump is waiting, eager to deliver on a campaign promise to repeal the law. Against fast-moving developments, a look at some major issues for consumers. WHY MEDICAID MATTERS As health care costs have kept climbing, employers cut back on coverage, and Medicaid passed Medicare as the nation's largest public insurance program. It now covers about 70 million people, including children and able-bodied adults mostly served by private managed care plans. The GOP's biggest Medicaid change involves limiting future federal financing. Since its inception, Medicaid has been an open-ended entitlement, with Washington matching a share of what each state spends. Instead, Republicans propose a per-beneficiary cap. In addition, the GOP would phase out added financing that Obama's law provided as an incentive for states to expand the program and cover more low-income adults. About 11 million are covered by the expansion. The Congressional Budget Office estimated the House bill would reduce federal Medicaid spending by $834 billion over 10 years, and the program would cover about 14 million fewer people by 2026, a 17 percent reduction. Governors of both parties have warned Congress that would mean a cost shift to states that undermines coverage for the vulnerable. Medicaid limits got very little attention in the 2016 presidential campaign. The idea was a relatively late addition to Trump's talking points. Indeed, candidate Trump had started out promising no cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. Economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a longtime GOP adviser, says the Republican approach is '180 degrees different in its economic and budgetary philosophy,' from the course steered by Obama. The Medicaid limit would move the nation closer to putting public health care programs on a budget, fiscal discipline that conservatives say is long overdue. But the human consequences could be politically volatile. 'No one wins on health care policy,' observed Holtz-Eakin. WHAT DOCTORS ARE SAYING Groups representing doctors and hospitals are overwhelmingly opposed to the Republican approach, because it's likely to result in millions more uninsured people. Consumer organizations like AARP are also opposed. Under Obama, the nation's uninsured rate dropped below 9 percent, a historic low. Progress has stalled, partly because 'Obamacare' is politically divisive. Now, the uninsured rate may start climbing again, because both the House and Senate bills cut federal financing and repeal an unpopular requirement to carry health insurance. It 'would have a profoundly negative impact on Americans,' said John Meigs, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Some Republicans argue that a Medicaid card or an 'Obamacare' policy means little because either the doctor doesn't accept notoriously low Medicaid fees, or high deductibles under the health law keep patients from coming in. But doctors see a health insurance card as a ticket into the system, so patients can be screened for chronic conditions that can ultimately lead to serious illnesses. Obama's law made many preventive services free of charge to the patient. Dr. Mott Blair of Wallace, N.C., recalls a patient who got a colonoscopy that found a polyp, which undetected could have led to colon cancer. 'Now we are able to bring them in and get their blood sugars down, their blood pressure down,' Blair said in a recent interview. 'They're not going to have a disastrous complication like a stroke or a heart attack, at least not for the foreseeable future.' PRIVATE INSURANCE CHANGES Republicans would make no significant changes to employer-provided coverage, which remains the mainstay of private insurance. They focus instead on the market for individual policies, which Obama's ACA sought to reform by providing subsidies, setting requirements for comprehensive coverage, and creating online markets where consumers could compare plans. An estimated 17 million to 20 million people have individual policies. About 10 million are in the ACA's markets. 'Obamacare's' results have been mixed, with lower enrollment than expected, big losses for many insurers, and sharp premium increases. The situation varies from state to state, with healthy markets in some and others struggling to hang on to insurers. Consumers who are not entitled to subsidies can face shockingly high premiums. Both the House and Senate bills would keep subsidies for private insurance, although with considerably less money. The House and Senate formulas for subsidies differ. States would be able to seek waivers from federal insurance requirements. The Senate bill takes immediate steps to stabilize insurance markets for the next two years. Over the long run, premiums for younger people are expected to come down. But older adults and people who require comprehensive coverage are likely to pay more. 'Low-income people will end up paying higher premiums for plans that have bigger deductibles, compared to today,' said Larry Levitt of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, commenting on the Senate bill. 'Older people who are now getting premium subsidies would get substantially less help, but younger people would get more.
  • Nevada Republican Dean Heller became the fifth GOP senator to declare his opposition to the party's banner legislation to scuttle much of Barack Obama's health care overhaul on Friday, more than enough to sink the measure and deliver a stinging rebuke to President Donald Trump unless some of them can be brought aboard. Echoing the other four, Heller said he opposes the measure 'in this form' but does not rule out backing a version that is changed to his liking. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he's willing to alter the measure to attract support, and next week promises plenty of back-room bargaining as he tries pushing a final package through his chamber. Nonetheless, Heller's announcement underscores the scant margin of error Republican leaders must deal with. Facing unanimous Democratic opposition, McConnell can afford to lose just two of the 52 GOP senators and still prevail. Besides the five who've announced outright opposition, several other GOP senators — conservatives and moderates — have declined to commit to the new overhaul. The measure resembles legislation the House approved last month that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said would mean 23 million additional uninsured people within a decade and that recent polling shows is viewed favorably by only around 1 in 4 Americans. Heller, facing a competitive re-election battle next year, said he was opposing the legislation because of the cuts it would make in Medicaid. The federal-state program provides health care to the poor, disabled and many nursing home patients. The Senate bill would also erase the tax penalties Obama's 2010 law imposes on people who don't purchase insurance. It would allow insurers to cover fewer benefits and repeal tax boosts on wealthier people that help finance the statute's expanded coverage. The Senate legislation would phase out extra federal money Nevada and 30 other states receive for expanding Medicaid to additional low earners. It would also slap annual spending caps on the overall Medicaid program, which since its inception in 1965 has provided states with unlimited money to cover eligible costs. 'I cannot support a piece of legislation that takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans and tens of thousands of Nevadans,' Heller said. Trump has spoken favorably about both the House-passed bill and the Senate version unveiled this week, though he declared several times as he ramped up his campaign for the presidency that he would not cut Medicaid. Heller said that to win his vote, GOP leaders would have to 'protect Medicaid expansion states' from the bill's current cuts. 'It's going to be very difficult to get me to a yes,' he said, noting that conservative Republican senators would likely be reluctant to add spending back to the measure. Heller spoke at a news conference in Las Vegas with Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican who has also assailed the House and Senate health care bills for cutting Medicaid. The state has added 200,000 more people to its program under the Obama overhaul. Sandoval said the Senate bill 'is something that needs to change.' It would be politically difficult for Heller to take a different stance on the measure from the popular Sandoval. Heller got an opponent for next year when first-year Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen announced this week she would seek his Senate seat. Just hours after McConnell released the 142-page legislation on Thursday, four conservatives said they opposed it. They were Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas. Underscoring the sensitivity of the bill, Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, who has not suggested she opposes the measure, declined to comment on its components when asked at a news conference Friday. 'It was just released yesterday. So, we have 142 pages to go through,' she said. Asked about the bill's impact on Medicaid insurance coverage for lower-income Iowans, Ernst said, 'I wouldn't say they are losing it.' Iowa opted to expand, and has added more than 150,000 people to its rolls since 2014. Under special rules McConnell is using that will block Democrats from using a filibuster to kill the bill, the legislation cannot include provisions that make policy changes that don't primarily affect the budget. The Senate parliamentarian will make that decision. Democrats hope to use those rules to erase some language from the bill, including a section barring consumers from using the measure's health care tax credits to buy insurance that covers abortions. Realizing they're outnumbered, Democrats and their liberal allies were planning events around the U.S. over the next few days aimed at building public opposition to the bill. In one instance, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and MoveOn.org were planning weekend rallies in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Each state has expanded Medicaid and has a GOP senator. ___ Regina Garcia Cano reported from Las Vegas. Associated Press writer Thomas Beaumont in Des Moines, Iowa, contributed to this report.