ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
59°
Overcast
H 75° L 58°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    59°
    Current Conditions
    Overcast. H 75° L 58°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    69°
    Afternoon
    Mostly Cloudy. H 75° L 58°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    73°
    Evening
    Cloudy. H 75° L 58°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

News
Two votes needed to lock up Falcons stadium deal
Close

Two votes needed to lock up Falcons stadium deal

Two votes needed to lock up Falcons stadium deal
Photo Credit: Special to WSB-TV
A diagram indicating a proposed location for the new Atlanta Falcons stadium, just south of the Georgia Dome. The diagram also shows how MLK Dr. would be relocated.

Two votes needed to lock up Falcons stadium deal

After two-and-a-half years of negations, the new Falcons stadium could finally be approved this week.

All that is left is approval from the Atlanta City Council and Invest Atlanta, the city's economic development arm.

The city council has a regularly scheduled meeting Monday and could vote on the deal then. Invest Atlanta also needs to approval the deal. It meets Tuesday.

Neither group is saying that it will vote on the stadium this week, but no one would be surprised if it happened.

"I don't think it's moving too fast. They've been in negotiations for 2 1/2 years now," said Duriya Farooqui, the city of Atlanta's chief operating officer. "We've heard the public, and we've heard the council's input. We think it's a good deal for the city, the state and the Falcons, and that has been validated today."

But some City Council members aren’t ready to put a stamp on the stadium just yet.

“This is a huge deal,” Councilman Michael Julian Bond told Channel 2 Action News. “You want everybody to be on board when you make such a large decision like this. It’s going to change the face of downtown. People want to vote to support to vote this because of the impact it’s going to have on our city. But people don’t want to be rushed.”

Count Councilwoman Felica Moore as one who want things to slow down.

"If the train leaves that soon, it will leave without me," she said Thursday.

But others say it’s time to make a move.

"Let's get on with the business of the community," said council member Ivory Lee Young, whose district includes the stadium area. "Let's get on with this and move on to bigger things. Because we can certainly use a better stadium than the one we have now, and we have figured out a way to pay for it. What is our delay?"

If the deal is approved by the City Council and Invest Atlanta, the Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority will choose an architect to build the stadium by April 30. A general contractor will be hired May 31.

By August 1, a site should be selected. Both sides want the land just south of the Georgia Dome. But they have to buy land owned by two churches first. If they can’t get it, a backup spot just north of the Dome will be used.

We should see drawings for the new stadium by Oct. 31. Construction will need to begin by mid-2014 if the Falcons want to start the 2017 season in their new home.

All of this was set in motion Friday when the GWCCA voted Friday to move forward with a plan to build a $1 billion stadium in downtown Atlanta.

The agency's board of governors voted unanimously to enter into an agreement with the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Falcons to build the new retractable roof stadium.

The board's executive director has drafted a memorandum of understanding between the authority and the Falcons, and a second memorandum that includes Invest Atlanta, said authority spokeswoman Jennifer LeMaster. The executive director has also prepared a funding and development agreement between the authority and Invest Atlanta, and an operation and maintenance agreement between the authority and the city.

"The Board's vote to allow us to finalize the new stadium transaction is a direct reflection of a mutually beneficial and sustainable business relationship crafted by all parties," GWCCA Executive Director Frank Poe said in a release. "This is a very significant step forward for our campus."

Board chairman Tim Lowe said the development will reinforce Atlanta's position as a top-tier sports and entertainment host and is in the state's best financial interest.

The Congress Center plans to retain control over events annually hosted at the Georgia Dome — including the SEC Championship football game, NCAA basketball tournament rounds and Georgia high school football championships, among others.

Mayor Kasim Reed and Falcons owner Arthur Blank last week agreed to financing terms of the project, which would replace the 20-year-old Georgia Dome.

Reed said the city would provide $200 million for construction costs through hotel-motel tax revenue and the Falcons would provide $800 million. Officials have said the public investment is less than what would have to be spent on Georgia Dome upgrades in the next few decades. The franchise is also responsible for providing up to $50 million to cover infrastructure costs, and will pay for any cost overruns.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank, in a statement, called Friday's vote "an important step towards a new stadium," which he said would be "an iconic asset" for downtown. Blank is on the board of directors of Cox Enterprises, whose media holdings include News/Talk WSB.

The authority will own the stadium and officials hope to build it in time for the 2017 NFL season. The agreement calls for the Falcons to lease the stadium for 30 years, paying the state $2.5 million annually in rent.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

News

  • Long before his short stints in jail turned into years behind bars, Khalid Masood was known as Adrian Elms, with a reputation for drinking and an unpredictable temper. At least twice he was convicted of violent crimes, well before he stabbed a police officer to death Wednesday in London with a motion that one horrified witness described as 'playing a drum on your back with two knives.' But as he checked out of his hotel to head toward London for his deadly rampage, the manager said he was struck by his guest's friendly manner. Within hours, Masood drove his rented SUV across the crowded Westminster Bridge, leaving a trail of dead and wounded. Then he jumped out and attacked Constable Keith Palmer, an officer guarding Parliament, stabbing him to death before being shot to death by police. In all, he killed four people and left more than two dozen hospitalized. Masood, who at 52 is considerably older than most extremists who carry out bloodshed in the West, had an arrest record dating to 1983. The violence came later, first in 2000 when he slashed a man across the face in a pub parking lot in a racially charged argument after drinking four pints, according to a newspaper account. The victim, Piers Mott, was scarred for life, said his widow, Heather. Masood's last conviction was in 2003, also involving a knife attack. It's not clear when he took the name Masood, suggesting a conversion to Islam. Heather Mott said Masood appeared to come out of jail 'even worse.' She said she got chills when she learned the identity of the London attacker. 'What a pity they didn't realize he was a nutter,' she said. Police are combing through 'massive amounts of computer data' and have contacted 3,500 witnesses as they look for clues as to why the British-born man launched the deadly attack. 'Clearly that's a main line of our investigation is what led him to be radicalized: Was it through influences in our community, influences from overseas or through online propaganda? Our investigations and our arrests will help in that, but the public appeal will make a big difference if people come forward with more information,' said Britain's top counterterrorism officer, Mark Rowley. A security official who spoke Friday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about an ongoing investigation confirmed that Masood had spent time in Saudi Arabia but said investigators were still trying to determine how long he stayed and what he was doing. Prime Minister Theresa May said Masood was 'investigated in relation to concerns about violent extremism' years ago. But she called him 'a peripheral figure.' The Islamic State group described Masood as 'a soldier,' claiming responsibility for the attack. Rowley said police are investigating whether he 'acted totally alone inspired by terrorist propaganda, or if others have encouraged, supported or directed him.' People made arrests across the country as they investigate whether anyone else helped Masood prepare his attack. Six people were released without charge Friday night, leaving four in custody on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts. Detectives have searched 21 properties in London, Brighton, Wales, Manchester and the central English city of Birmingham in one of Britain's biggest counterterrorism operations in years. Wednesday's attack was the deadliest in Britain since suicide bombers killed 52 commuters on London's transit system on July 7, 2005. Once Masood's identity became known, police and the media began tracing his final hours. The manager of the Preston Park Hotel in the beachside city of Brighton where Masood stayed the night before the attack said he seemed unusually outgoing and mentioned details about his family, including having a sick father. 'He was normal, in fact friendly, because we spent possibly five or 10 minutes talking to him about his background and where he came from,' Sabeur Toumi told Sky News. He was 'laughing and joking, telling us stories about where he lived.' Police raided the room, searching for clues about Masood. Masood's mother lives in rural Wales, according to a website on which she sells handmade cushions and handbags. The listings on Folksy by Janet Ajao have been taken down, but in an archived version of the site, she describes living in 'rural west Wales with my husband, border collie and a few chickens.' Calls to the home in remote Trelech, Wales, went unanswered Friday. When Masood was in school, he took his stepfather's name, Ajao. He was athletic and popular in high school, known as someone who liked to party, according to Stuart Knight, a former classmate, who said the young man was one of only two black students in the school of 600. 'I am in shock — that is not sympathy for what he has done — he was a nice guy and I'm surprised he turned and did what he did,' Knight said. In one of the last places Masood lived, a home in Birmingham, neighbors recalled him as a quiet man whose wife was veiled and who wore traditional Muslim clothing. But the neighborhood is not among one of the city's many Muslim enclaves, suggesting he was not deeply embedded in its religious community. Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo prisoner born and raised in Birmingham, said the details emerging of the attacker's life raised questions about where was radicalized. 'He did not live in a Muslim neighborhood. In my mind, in my analysis, he was probably a drifter,' said Begg, adding that no one he knew in the community had met Masood. 'I'd also be surprised if he had any connection with a mosque, because sadly they are places where you can no longer discuss politics or air grievances.' Since British authorities began cracking down on mosques, many people are instead being radicalized online, Berg added. Cultural and religious alienation can fuel such violence, he added. Begg helps run a group called Cage that has encountered extremists who spoke of their alienation before they committed attacks. While in prison, Begg said he saw others who succumbed to radicalism. He said groups like IS can exploit people's weaknesses and criminality. Late Friday, the British government honored a lawmaker who battled to save the life of the police officer slain in the Parliament attack, giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. May's office said Tobias Ellwood has been named to the Privy Council, a committee of senior lawmakers, judges and others that advises Queen Elizabeth II. The institution dates back a millennium. Security Minister Ben Wallace, who helped coordinate the government response to Wednesday's attack, was also named to the council. ___ Hinnant reported from London, where Associated Press writers Danica Kirka, Jill Lawless and Gregory Katz contributed.
  • A Cherokee County middle school teacher died Thursday morning after his pickup truck went off a 100-foot embankment on I-575, officials said. The driver of the F-150 was identified as Kevin White, 37, of Canton. He was a chorus teacher at Booth Middle School in Woodstock. The incident happened on the southbound side of the interstate at Little River Bridge near Ridgewalk Parkway in Woodstock. The truck was found upside down. “It’s a significant drop,” Cherokee County sheriff’s Lt. Jay Baker told Channel 2 Action News. “It appears they were traveling at a pretty high rate of speed (considering) the distance where the car went airborne.” Baker said the truck veered into the median and went through a construction zone before striking a gravel embankment that caused it to become airborne. The accident caused major delays during the morning commute. The Cherokee sheriff’s office and Woodstock police are investigating. In other news:
  • U.S. stocks flirted with sharp losses but managed a mixed finish after Republicans canceled a vote on their health care bill because it became clear the bill would fail. Hospital stocks soared in response, while companies that stand to benefit from other Trump proposals faltered. For the second day in a row, stocks started higher and wilted as it became clear the health care bill was in trouble. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged as much as 126 points in afternoon trading on reports of the bill's impending failure, although Wall Street cut its losses after the vote was canceled. Consumer-focused companies like Nike, Starbucks and clothing company PVH rose. The health care act became something of a proxy for the rest of the Trump agenda and it dominated the market for most of this week. It was the worst week for stocks since the week before the presidential election. Banks and small-company stocks, which made huge gains after Trump was elected, both suffered their biggest losses in more than a year. President Trump and other Republican leaders said they were moving on from health care, and Michael Scanlon, a portfolio manager for Manulife Asset Management, said investors will be glad if that happens. 'You're going to see a very quick pivot to corporate tax reform,' he said. A corporate tax cut could give stocks a large boost by increasing profits, and it might also raise tax revenue. After the close of trading, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Republicans will proceed with tax reform proposals, but acknowledged the health care debacle will make that task more difficult. The Standard & Poor's 500 index finished down 1.98 points, or 0.1 percent, at 2,343.98. The Dow lost 59.86 points, or 0.3 percent, to 20,596.72 as Goldman Sachs and Boeing sank. Technology companies inched higher and the Nasdaq composite rose 11.04 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,828.74. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 1.22 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,354.64. Trading was relatively light as investors waited for answers about the state of President Donald Trump's business-friendly agenda. That may have contributed to the big fluctuations. Hospitals and insurers that do a lot of business with Medicaid celebrated the demise of the bill. HCA Holdings, the largest U.S. hospital company, climbed $2.87, or 3.5 percent, to $86.04 and Community Health Systems jumped 84 cents, or 9.7 percent, to $9.54. Among Medicaid-focused companies, Centene and Molina Healthcare each gained about 5 percent. The American Health Care Act would likely have left more Americans uninsured and would make big changes to Medicaid, a joint federal-state health program for low-income Americans. Those stocks fell when the bill was introduced because investors were concerned hospitals would have to take in more patients who lack insurance and that insurers would get less money from Medicaid. Insurance companies slumped. Cigna fell $3.36, or 2.3 percent, to $142.82 and Anthem shed $2.63, or 1.6 percent, to $126.77. With Trump and majority Republicans unable to pass the first big item on their agenda, there were some signs of concern that his proposals of tax cuts, infrastructure spending, and regulatory cuts will take longer. Those are aspects of Trump's proposed agenda Wall Street is excited about. Vulcan Materials, a construction materials maker, sank $2.65, or 2.3 percent, to $112.74. Steel maker Nucor declined $1.50, or 2.4 percent, to $59.76. Construction and machinery companies also stumbled. Engine maker Cummins shed $1.45, or 1 percent, to $150.77 and Boeing sank $1.44 to $175.82. Scanlon, of Manulife, said investors want Trump and Congress to come up with a real proposal that changes corporate taxes. 'Something needs to be done with a permanent solution, not just one of these holiday things,' he said, because 'the goal is to be a stimulus for domestic investment.' Bond prices rose slightly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.41 percent from 2.42 percent. U.S. crude oil futures rose 27 cents to $47.97 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 24 cents to $50.80 a barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline gained 2 cents to $1.60 a gallon. Heating oil rose 1 cent to $1.50 a gallon. Natural gas added 3 cents to $3.08 per 1,000 cubic feet. The dollar inched down to 110.80 yen from 111.07 yen. The euro edged up to $1.0808 from $1.0786. Gold rose $1.30 to $1,248.50 an ounce. Silver jumped 16 cents to $17.75 an ounce. Copper lost 1 cent to $2.63 a pound. In Germany, the DAX added 0.2 percent and the French CAC 40 dropped 0.2 percent and Britain's FTSE 100 index dipped 0.1 percent. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.9 percent following recent losses. The Kospi of South Korea shed 0.2 percent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng reversed earlier losses to finish 0.1 percent higher. ___ AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/marley-jay
  • A judge has dismissed a large part of the case against the man accused of holding six women against their will inside a Sandy Springs mansion.Kenndric Roberts appeared before a judge Thursday and heard the extensive case against him.Channel 2's Mike Petchenik was inside the courtroom and live-tweeted the hearing as a detective went on the stand to detail the investigation.We'll have more on the new details released in the case on Channel 2 Action News starting at 4Roberts was facing 14 felony charges, including six counts of human trafficking and six counts of false imprisonment, and weapons charges.Charges that remain are:1. False Imprisonment 2. False Imprisonment 3. Weapons charge Prosecutors said Roberts held six women against their will at a mansion and forced them to dance at the Pink Pony strip club.They said he took their money, by one account, $78,000, for just two months of work. RELATED STORIES: Woman held captive was forced to dance at strip clubs, mother says Man accused of holding women captive faces 14 felony charges Man accused of holding 6 women captive in Sandy Springs mansion Investigators also said he also threatened harm to the women if they left him.'He took her phone, we found her passport in his bedroom,' said detective Justin Clutter. 'Basically she was in fear because she saw firearms. He ended up sending her to Dominican Republic to get a breast augmentation and a butt lift. And he started making threats.'Roberts attorney called him a 'poor man's Hugh Hefner,' who had legit contracts with these women to pay them for the work they were doing for him.He argued Roberts lavished them with expensive gifts as part of their payment and that they were free to leave as they wanted. Minute by minute coverage of the case: Judge also sets a bond for Kenndric Roberts. D.A. arguing victims weren't notified about potential bond.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Breaking: Judge dismissed all but three charges against Kenndric Roberts. pic.twitter.com/v0Op6UrYqS-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Defense attorney argues women weren't held against their will, wanted to partake in the lavish lifestyle Kenndric Roberts was providing.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Prosecutor: Roberts threatened to cut the breast implants out of a victim if she tried to leave him.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Attorney: 'My client is a poor man's Hugh Hefner.'-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Attorney points out Kenndric Roberts has no previous arrest record, despite allegations of gang affiliations.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Attorney: 'They were living pretty high off the hog, weren't they?' Det: 'That's debatable.'-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Attorney says Roberts paid for health insurance for the woman, provided them vehicles, expensive jewelry.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Attorney says women had housing, personal chef, tanning contracts and beauty salon stipends while working for Roberts.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Defense attorney argues all the girls had contracts with a 'termination clause' in it.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 I obtained this handwritten note Roberts' attorney says he wrote showing items he says he gave one woman who worked for him. pic.twitter.com/uFQUsoiWLw-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Det. testifies Roberts forced the women to dance at the Pink Pony in Brookhaven, then took all their tips.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Det: Kenndric Roberts put vehicles in the name of one victim who had good credit.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Det.says one human trafficking victim wrote an e-mail to the Attorney General's office laying out allegations of abuse at the home.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Det. says Roberts wouldn't allow the women to keep any money on them at all.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Detective says Roberts stole $78k from women he forced to work at strip clubs.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Detective testifies Roberts sent victim to Dominican republic to have breast work and butt lift.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 A #SandySprings special investigator is testifying in human trafficking case. pic.twitter.com/Z4GGAli63x-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Kenndric Roberts is in court for his prelim hearing on human trafficking charges. pic.twitter.com/w0eXros87D-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017