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State & Regional Govt & Politics
Deal to sign 911 amnesty bill today
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Deal to sign 911 amnesty bill today

Deal to sign 911 amnesty bill today
Photo Credit: Sandra Parrish
Robin Elliot celebrates passage of medical amnesty bill

Deal to sign 911 amnesty bill today

Gov. Nathan Deal today will sign into law a bill that will provide amnesty to anyone who seeks medical help for a drug overdose victim or underage drinker suffering from alcohol poisoning.

The new law, which will take effect upon his signature, will allow those who call 911 or take the victim to a hospital to be able to do so without fear of prosecution as long as they did not sell or administer the drug.

The measure also makes the antidote Naloxone, known to reverse the effects of an overdose, more readily available to emergency personnel and families of drug addicts.

The bill’s passage is thanks to a grassroots effort led by mothers who have lost their children to heroin overdoses.

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News

  • Heavy rain is likely to blame for part of building collapsing onto a downtown Atlanta sidewalk. It wasn't raining at the time Friday, but day after day of rain must have weakened the moulding at the top of the 2-story building on Pyror Street. The collapsed happened around 8 a.m. Friday when part of the building's decorative façade came crashing down. In exclusive video to Channel 2 Action News, a car driving down the street had to swerve to get out of the way of any falling debris. Two cars parked in the street were hit and had minor damage. Construction workers across the street said there was a man walking close by that was given a scare, but thankfully no one was injured. Channel 2 Action News spoke to the owner whose family's law firm operates out of the building. 'We are calling structural engineers, calling emergency crews to come clean up the mess, and then hopefully the city of Atlanta will allow us to open the front of the building to our clients can get inside,' said building owner Karen King. A structural engineer come out later and deemed the building sound.
  • Britain's fire-safety crisis expanded substantially Saturday as authorities said 34 high-rise apartment blocks across the country had cladding that failed fire safety tests. London officials scrambled to evacuate four public housing towers after experts found them 'not safe for people to sleep in overnight.' Hundreds of residents hastily packed their bags and sought emergency shelter, with many angry and confused about the chaotic situation. Some refused to leave their high-rise apartments. Scores of evacuees slept on inflatable beds in a gym while officials sought better accommodations for them. Camden Council leader Georgia Gould said it decided to evacuate four blocks in north London's Chalcots Estate late Friday after fire inspectors uncovered problems with 'gas insulation and door stops,' which, combined with the presence of flammable cladding encasing the buildings, meant residents had to leave immediately. The evacuation comes amid widening worries about the safety of high-rise apartment blocks across the country following the inferno that engulfed Grenfell Tower in west London on June 14, killing at least 79 people. Attention has focused on the 24-story tower's external cladding material, which has been blamed for the rapid spread of that blaze, but multiple other fire risks have now been identified in some housing blocks. The government said Saturday that the cladding samples that failed fire safety tests came from 34 apartment towers in cities including London, Manchester, Plymouth and Portsmouth. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said further testing 'is running around the clock.' So far, Camden Council has been the only local authority to have asked residents to leave as a precaution. It said about 650 apartments were evacuated, though initial reports put the figure at 800 apartments. The council said residents would be out of their homes for three to four weeks while it completes fire-safety upgrades. 'I know some residents are angry and upset, but I want to be very clear that Camden Council acted to protect them,' Gould said in a statement. 'Grenfell changed everything, and when told our blocks were unsafe to remain in, we acted.' Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, who has been criticized for her slow response to the Grenfell tragedy, said Saturday that the government was supporting Camden officials to ensure residents have somewhere to stay while building work is done. In response, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, said May needed to 'get a grip' and lead a stronger response to what is now a 'national threat.' Residents — including families with babies and elderly relatives — trooped out of the buildings late Friday night with suitcases and plastic bags stuffed with clothes. Council workers guided dozens to a nearby gym, where they spent the night on inflatable mattresses. Others were being put up in hotels or other housing projects. Many residents complained about a lack of information and confusion. Officials first announced the evacuation of one building, then expanded it to five before reducing it to four. Some residents said they learned about the evacuation from the television news hours before officials came knocking on doors. Renee Williams, 90, who has lived in Taplow Tower since 1968, told Britain's Press Association: 'No official came and told us what's going on. I saw it on the TV, so I packed an overnight bag. 'It's unbelievable. I understand that it's for our safety but they can't just ask us to evacuate with such short notice. There's no organization and it's chaos,' she said. Carl McDowell, 31, said he took one look at the inflatable beds at the gym and went back to his Taplow apartment to sleep there overnight. Other residents were distraught that they were ordered to evacuate, but were told to leave their pets behind in buildings that could be dangerous. Fire-safety experts say the Grenfell Tower blaze, which police said was touched off by a fire at a refrigerator, was probably due to a string of failures, not just the cladding, which is widely used to provide insulation and enhance the appearance of buildings. Police said Friday they are considering filing manslaughter charges in the Grenfell disaster and they were conducting a wide-ranging investigation that will look at everything that contributed to it. The Metropolitan Police said cladding attached to Grenfell during a recent renovation failed safety tests conducted by investigators. 'We are looking at every criminal offense from manslaughter onwards,' Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack told reporters. 'We are looking at all health and safety and fire safety offenses, and we are reviewing every company at the moment involved in the building and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.' The government has ordered an immediate examination of the refrigerator model that started the blaze, the Hotpoint model FF175BP refrigerator-freezer. The government also urged building owners, public and private, to submit samples of their cladding. One hotel chain, Premier Inn, has calling in experts to check its buildings. Police say 79 people are either confirmed or presumed dead in the Grenfell blaze, although that number may change, and it will take weeks to find and identify remains. To encourage cooperation with authorities, May said the government won't penalize any Grenfell fire survivors who were in the country illegally. ___ Sheila Norman-Culp, Gregory Katz and Alastair J. Grant contributed to this report.
  • A woman from Parker County, Texas, who previously claimed the deaths of her two young children in a hot car in May as an accident, admitted that she left them in the vehicle to teach them “a lesson,” police said. Cynthia Marie Randolph, 25, told “several variations of the events” during police interviews, and later said she broke the car window to make it look like an accident according to WFAA. >> Read more trending news What really happened on May 26, police said, is that Randolph’s 2-year-old daughter refused to get out of the car. The mother responded by shutting the door to teach her “a lesson,” assuming “she could get herself and her brother out of the car when ready.” Randolph proceeded to go inside the house where she smoked marijuana then fell asleep for two or three hours. Randolph initially told authorities she was folding laundry and watching TV and realized within an hour that her kids were “gone.” She said they took off. She found them in the car, where they had locked themselves inside. She broke the car window in an attempt to save them, according to CBS Dallas-Fort Worth. Randolph is being held without bail.
  • After days of showers and storms, more rain is on tap for Saturday. But drier air is coming soon. Several thunderstorm warnings were issued as strong storms moved through parts of metro Atlanta Friday evening. The storms brought heavy rain and damaging wind. [Download the free Severe Weather Team 2 app for weather alerts] Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brad Nitz said there were reports of trees down in parts of the north metro. Nitz said there is a chance for rain overnight Friday and into Saturday. After a cloudy start, widespread rain is likely Saturday afternoon and early evening. [PHOTOS: Storms move through several metro counties] Drier air will start to move in Saturday night. More rain could cause ponding on roads, flooding of poor drainage areas, creeks and streams. Sunshine and temperatures in the low 80s are ahead for the start of next week.
  • Dylan Bundy helped Baltimore avoid a dubious pitching record, throwing seven solid innings as the Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-3 Saturday. The Orioles had given up at least five runs in 20 straight games, matching the major league mark set by the 1924 Philadelphia Phillies. Bundy (8-6) allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings. Relievers Donnie Hart and Mychal Givens combined to keep the Rays scoreless over the final two innings. Jose Alvarado (0-3) walked the only batter he faced, Seth Smith, leading off the seventh. He was replaced by Jumbo Diaz, who gave up a two-run double to Mark Trumbo and Trey Mancini's two-run homer that put Baltimore ahead 7-3. Baltimore also got a second-inning, two-run homer from Welington Castillo and Adam Jones hit a solo shot in the third. Corey Dickerson and Evan Longoria homered on consecutive pitches in the third for the Rays. Rays catcher Wilson Ramos singled in four at-bats in his season debut. The 2014 NL All-Star with Washington missed the first 76 games this season after right knee surgery. Tampa Bay rookie Jake Faria wound up with a no-decision after winning each of his first three starts in the majors. He permitted three runs and five hits over six innings. Faria had pitched at least 6 1/3 innings in his first three starts, allowing one run each time. The Rays tied it at 3 in third when Dickerson had a two-run drive before Longoria went deep on Bundy's next pitch. Tampa Bay set a team mark with their major league-leading 10th set of back-to-back homers this season. Tampa Bay has sixth straight multihomer games, one off the franchise high. TRAINER'S ROOM Orioles: Closer Zach Britton (left forearm strain) could move his rehab assignment from Class-A Delmarva to Double-A Bowie on Monday. Rays: RHP Brad Boxberger (strained flexor mass) was expected to be reinstated from the disabled list this weekend but has oblique discomfort and will have a Sunday bullpen session. SMITH'S SURPRISE NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith surprised his sister Marsha Smith-Hill, who threw the ceremonial first pitch as part of a cancer survivor salute, by joining her on-the-field. UP NEXT Orioles: RHP Chris Tillman (1-5, 8.39 ERA) makes his 10th start since returning from right shoulder bursitis in the series finale Sunday. He allowed five runs and eight hits in four-plus innings Tuesday, but Baltimore's 6-5 comeback win over Cleveland enabled him to avoid losing a sixth straight start. Rays: RHP Jake Odorizzi (4-3, 3.78 ERA) will look Sunday to avoid tying Wilson Alvarez's team record set in 1998 of allowing a homer in 11 consecutive appearances.
  • Jon Lester gave up a three-run homer to J.T. Realmuto in the first inning and then settled down to help the Chicago Cubs beat the Miami Marlins 5-3 Saturday afternoon. Lester (5-4) went seven innings, retiring 13 in a row after Realmuto's seventh homer of the year. Cubs starters have an ERA of 2.52 over the past 11 games. Wade Davis completed the four-hitter with a 1-2-3 ninth for his 15th save. Javier Baez had an RBI single in the fourth, and his two-run double in the sixth put the Cubs ahead to stay. Jon Jay, a one-day sub for Anthony Rizzo in the leadoff spot, had two hits and scored a run. Addison Russell had two hits and scored twice. Lester beat Miami for the first time in five career starts. The Marlins have only 16 hits in their past four games but have won two of them. Miami's Justin Nicolino remained winless in five starts, allowing three runs, two earned, in four innings. The damage might have been worse, but catcher Realmuto, third baseman Martin Prado and first baseman Tyler Moore helped him with fine defensive plays. Third baseman Baez and second baseman Ian Happ made flashy plays to rob the Marlins. The Cubs took the lead for good in the sixth against Nick Wittgren (1-1). Addison Russell led off with a double, Happ singled and Baez hit a two-run double. Chicago scored an unearned run in the first. Jay led off with a single, advanced when center fielder Christian Yelich bobbled the ball, and scored on Happ's two-out single. Baez had an RBI single in the fourth and scored on Albert Almora Jr.'s double. CUBS FANS SHOW UP The crowd of 25,448 was the largest at Marlins Park since May 13. Some spectators cheered for the home team. RESTING UP 1B Rizzo was given a breather and held out of the lineup. 'I don't want to beat him up,' manager Joe Maddon said. 'We've got a long way to go, and if you ride them too hard, the point of diminishing returns will set in. I've been a part of way too many teams that have been exhausted in September.' Rizzo, who lined out as a pinch hitter in the ninth, will be back in the leadoff spot Sunday, Maddon said. TRAINER'S ROOM Cubs: 2B Ben Zobrist (left wrist) is unlikely to return for the Cubs' next series against the Nationals, and a rehab stint is a possibility. ... LHP Brett Anderson (strained lower back) will begin a rehab assignment Sunday when he pitches for Double-A Tennessee. Marlins: SS Adeiny Hechavarria (oblique), who has been the disabled list since May 10, is expected to the rejoin the Marlins on Tuesday for the start of their series against the Mets — if he's not traded before then. UP NEXT Miami RHP Edinson Volquez (3-8, 4.29) is scheduled to face LHP Mike Montgomery (1-3, 2.26) in the series finale Sunday. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball