LISTEN LIVE:

White House holds first press briefing since Florida school shooting, Russia indictments.

ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
73°
Mostly Cloudy
H 73° L 63°
  • cloudy-day
    73°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Cloudy. H 73° L 63°
  • cloudy-day
    73°
    Today
    Mostly Cloudy. H 73° L 63°
  • heavy-rain-day
    77°
    Tomorrow
    Chance of Rain. H 77° L 61°
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

Latest from Jon Lewis

    The supplies are nice, but the Red Cross does not need blankets, water, or diapers. What they can really use is cash.  'We can turn that into help that's needed immediately,' says Sherry Nicholson, with the Red Cross in Atlanta.  She tells WSB that getting items to the Houston area, and areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey, is difficult. Distributing those supplies is even more difficult, and the tractor-trailers carrying those loads can create blocked roads and trouble for law enforcement.  Besides, she says, anything that is needed can be purchased, and at a lower price by the Red Cross.  Take, for example, someone who arrives at a shelter soaked, with only the clothes they have on.  'A Red Cross worker steps up, wraps a Red Cross blanket around that person,' Nicholson says, 'and can give them a meal, can give them a comfort kit, which contains all those things we take for granted, like toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant. All those things we take for granted.'  It costs the Red Cross about $17 to provide that. The recipient gets two blankets; one to line their cot and another to cover themselves.  Through the donations of restaurants, hotel chains and suppliers, the agency can buy what is needed.  They also send supplies to the disaster area, with one of those distribution centers located in our area.  A Red Cross Center located in Union City has sent truckloads of needed items to the Houston area.  Those items, like meals and blankets, have gone out. Cleaning items will go later.  'The mops, the shovels, the brooms, the bleach, as people are able to get back and maybe clean a little bit,' Nicholson says.
  • We have warned you about skimmers. The latest device that crooks use to steal credit card information is called a Shim.   A shim is exactly what you might think. It is a thin, small card, wedged into an ATM or at a gas pump. Once inserted, it steals information.   'It's inserted into the Dip and Wait card slot,' says Dottie Callina of the Better Business Bureau, “in an ATM, at a gas pump or, really, anywhere.'   Unlike skimmers, which can be bulky and very noticeable, shims are almost undetectable.   'Where it is, it intercepts data off your chip,' Callina tells WSB, 'your credit card or debit card chip, the EMV chip, the one that's supposed to protect everybody.'   The BBB is telling people that, if possible, they should use tap and pay, like Apple or Samsung pay, to avoid the scam. In addition, they warn, if the card is not going into the reader smoothly and something appears to be blocking it, there may be a shimmer inside.   The scam has been used in other parts of the United States and in Canada, but has not been repoened in the Atlanta area. Yet.
  • Mistakes were made. A lot of mistakes and, in the end, they led to the murders of two Georgia Corrections officers.  The GBI has completed its investigation into the June 13 shootings of corrections officer Christopher Monica and Curtis Billue and found that some procedures were not followed. That, according to the report, led to the murders by inmates Ricky DuBose and Donnie Russell Rowe.  'The report outlines several security breaches that led to the escape that day,' says Department of Corrections Commissioner Gregory Dozier.   'The first was a breach in the inmates' search process,' Dozier says. 'We are aware that they were able to take a pen or a toothbrush on that bus that day.'  Dozier says the standard procedure should have included a strip search of the inmates but, instead, only included a pat down.  'They was a breach in the cuffing,' Dozier says. He says the inmates handcuffs should have been double locked, but were not. 'Within minutes after boarding that bus they were able to out of their cuffs, not just them but several others.'  'The inmates were not continuously supervised while on the bus,' Dozier says. 'There were two occasions: once on the grounds of Baldwin (State Prison) and once on the ground of Hancock (State Prison).'  The GBI reports also details how neither officer wore protective clothing. Billue's ballistic vest was found in his car while Monica’s stab vest was found at his home. In addition, the report says neither guard had their gun on them, nor had it secured. The guns were kept either in a box or on a shelf behind the two officers in the front compartment of the bus.  Dozier says, based on what happened, procedures have been changed.  Padlocks that secure the gate between the guards and the inmates will now only release the key when the lock is locked.  The security chief of the prison is now in charge of the inmate bus, instead of one of the corrections guards.  Inmates will, as was the policy, be strip-searched before entering a bus.  The killings of the officers prompted a nationwide manhunt for the escaped inmates. DeBose and Rowe were captured two days after the killings, after trying to carjack a car in central Tennessee.
  • A mother is locked up in the DeKalb County jail, charged in the hot car death of her daughter.  Police say 25-year-old Dijanelle Fowler is charged with second degree murder and second degree cruelty to children in the June death of one-year-old Skylar Fowler.  The girl's body was found inside the car in a parking deck of Emory Hospital.  The investigation into the girl’s death took a month.  “The timeline of her interaction with her child throughout the day,” says DeKalb police Captain Jerry A. Lewis. “Through the process of the investigation we were able to determine that some of the things that were told to us were not true.”  Captain Lewis tells WSB that the biggest discrepancy was the timeline involving how long the girl was in the car.  “The injuries that the child had for the amount of time that she said the child was in the vehicle do not match,” Captain Lewis says.  When the incident happened police went on the theory that the mother was getting her hair done for six hours while the one year old died inside the hot car.  Captain Lewis says there is a father, but that neither the suspect nor the victim lived with him. He has been notified of the girl’s death and the charges.  The charges against the 25-year-old do not include intent, nor do they need to. Captain Lewis says the cruelty charge allows police to also charge her with second degree murder due to negligence.  Surveillance video shows the woman leaving her car and entering the Northlake Tower Festival Shopping Center just after 10:00 the morning of the girl’s death. Fowler then leaves the shopping center at about four that afternoon.
  • He could not get out of jury duty, but to be honest, he really didn't want to.  “It really wasn't getting stuck,” says P. Harris Hines, 'I got my jury summons like everybody else. I always thought it was a pillar of a free society.”   So Hines missed his day job for jury duty. And what does he do? He's the Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court.   “I considered it an honor and a privilege,” Hines tells WSB. “My wife has done it, and my father some years ago. I'm part of the legal system and always try to be a good citizen.”   Hines was summoned to jury duty in Cobb County, and, even though he did not get chosen for a jury, he did find the experience a good one.   “I always believed, and believe now, that jurors seek to do that which is right according to the law,” Hines says, “and the people I was serving with, I feel good about them serving.”   Hines cannot remember if he has ever been called for jury duty before. The original date of his service was during a busy time for the state Supreme Court, so he asked to be rescheduled and his request was granted.
  • She is tall, slim, wears a bandanna, and she is wanted for two bank robberies.  The FBI and Marietta police are hunting for the woman suspected of pulling off two robberies. The first was at the Wells Fargo bank in Marietta, and the second at a PNC Bank in Sandy Springs.  “The fact that she's hit so close together, time wise, leads us to believe we will see her again,” says Stephen Emmett with the FBI.  The first robbery, at the Wells Fargo, happened on June 16 at the bank on Roswell Street NE. The second was 10 days later, on June 26 at the PNC Bank at 5640 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.  Both robberies were pulled off late in the afternoon.  In both cases the robber entered the bank, told an employee that this was a robbery, and walked away with the cash.  There were surveillance cameras at the banks and they took some very clear pictures of the suspect.  “I understand the pictures are innocuous, but make no mistake, a robbery is occurring,” Emmett tells WSB. “Someone, from the photographs, has to know who this person is.”  The individual in both robberies is described as a black female, 25 to 35 years old with a slender to medium build and wearing a bandanna.
  • It's a scam tech could affect anybody buying groceries or just about anything else.   This was at the Kroger on Highway 138 in Conyers. There are two suspects who approached one victim.   “They offered to let her use the employee discount for Kroger,” says Conyers Police Sergeant Kim Lucas, “while they faked completing a transaction at the self check out counter.”   Lucas tells WSB the opportunity for robbery happened when the victim turned away.   “An employee came up to assist them with that, she was talking to the victim, distracting her, and that's when this couple made off with the victims cash in hand,” Lucas says.   Lucas says the employee was not part of the scam, and was simply doing her job by offering to help.   Police do not have any of the reports of similar fifth but, Lucas says, there are, no doubt, more out there.   “Chances are this is not the first time that they've done this,” she says, “ and it won't be the last unless we catch them.”
  • Clergy from around the state are pleading with Georgia Senator Jonny Isakson concerning the current Healthcare bill before the Senate and the future of Medicaid in Georgia.  “Respecting dignity of people,” says John Berry, CEO of The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Georgia. “The Healthcare bill that was passed by the House of Representatives does not respect the dignity of human beings in the way they are treated with their health. And the Senate version appears, from a Medicaid perspective, if possible, to be even worse.”  Berry has been with the Society for 11 years and says he's seen everything.  “We have dealt with situations where people have told us ‘I have to choose whether to put food on the table for my children or provide medicines that I need to live a healthy life’,” Berry says.  A letter has been sent to Senator Isakson, signed by more than 100 clergy members, asking him to protect Medicaid.  Archdeacon Carole Maddox, with the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, is among those who have signed the letter.  “This is clearly not morally right,” Maddox says. “It is, instead, cruel and destructive.  “It is completely contrary to our call as Christians to care for the poor, the sick, the elderly, and the children,” Maddox says. “I can understand how Christians of good faith can find themselves on both sides of many issues. But healthcare is a no-brainer.”  According to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, 19 percent of Georgians receive Medicaid, compared to the national average of 20 percent.  Nearly 2,000,000 people in Georgia receive Medicaid help, many of them children, seniors, the disabled, and veterans. The letter claims that federal Medicaid funding in Georgia would be cut by $4 billion over the next 10 years.  The Society also says that Georgia school districts would face a financial strain under the current bill. It says that Georgia schools received $30 million in Medicaid funds in 2015 to provide service for special education students and pay the schools for nurses and therapists.  The letter to the Senator has been signed by more than 100 clergy from around the state.
  • That notice that you got right now, throw it in the trash.'  Those words, that every Fulton County homeowner wants to hear, come from Commission Vice-Chairman Bob Elis concerning the 2017 tax assessments.  The county commission, in a unanimous vote, approved a measure that corrects the 2017 tax assessments by using the 2016 tax rates.  The decision by the board does not affect commercial properties and homeowners who have made improvements to their homes will also see an increase.  The corrective measure was sponsored by Commissioners Ellis, John Eaves and Liz Hausmann.  'The system is broken,' Hausmann says. 'It's inherently broken.'  Commissioner Emma Darnell says in addition to fixing a problem, the vote also shows that the Fulton County government is willing to listen.  The new tax assessments will be completed within a few weeks and then be sent out to homeowners by August. Those homeowners can still appeal the assessment, if they so choose.   'You can still appeal,' Ellis says, 'but, as for the new digest, you'll probably like it a whole lot better than what you have right now.”
  • Not every jail inmate is a bad guy and not all want to escape. Some try to help their guards.  A Polk County Sheriff's deputy owes his life to a work detail of six inmates who, instead of trying to get away, rendered help to the man until other authorities arrived.  It happen last week. It was a brutally hot and humid day and the officer was watching over a work detail. He was having some difficulties, so an inmate asked if he was alright.  'The guard said he was, but also told the inmate that he should call 911 on his cell phone if anything happens,' says Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats.  Moats tells WSB that, a few minutes later, the deputy wavered then collapsed due to the humidity.  'They (the inmates) rolled him over on his back,' Sheriff Moats tells WSB, 'took his gun belt off and his vest off and got ready to perform CPR when he started breathing.'  The inmates could have taken the officer's gun and car, but stayed with him instead.  'My guys were thinking the worst on their way over there,' Moats says, 'but, when they got there, all the inmates were with the officer. All were accounted for. They took care of him.'  The actions of the inmates do not surprise the sheriff.  'These guys are not bad guys,' Sheriff Moats says. 'They're people who just made a mistake and got caught.'  The Sheriff and his staff bought the inmates pizzas after what they did. The deputy’s family provided dessert.
  • Jon Lewis

    Field Reporter

    Jon Lewis has been a reporter for WSB for 20 years starting in 1997. He is originally from New York. His top stories include going to Norway to cover Jimmy Carter receiving the Nobel Peace prize. 

    Read More

News

  • The woman accused of screaming at a mother and her baby on a Delta flight last week has now been punished at work. >> Watch the video here According to Fox News, Susan Peirez, who claimed to work for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during the incident, has been suspended from her job with the New York state government. >> DOT reveals which airlines ranked highest for complaints in 2017 “State employees are and must be held to the highest standard both professionally and personally,” said Ronni Reich, a spokesperson for the New York State Council of the Arts, where Peirez works. “We were notified of this situation and have commenced an investigation. This employee has been removed from the office and placed on leave until further notice and until the inquiry is resolved.” >> On Rare.us: Woman kicked off Delta flight for complaining about baby Mother Marissa Rundell captured the incident on camera, and the video quickly made its rounds on the internet. The footage shows an annoyed Peirez complaining about having to sit next to a “crying baby” on the plane even though it doesn’t appear the child was crying at the time. When a flight attendant informed her that she couldn’t change seats, she threatened to have the employee fired and was soon removed from the flight.  >> WATCH: United Airlines plane loses engine cover on way to Honolulu, makes emergency landing Delta responded in a statement, saying Peirez’s actions and behavior failed to meet the airline’s standards for passengers: >> Read more trending news  'We ask that customers embrace civility and respect one another when flying Delta,' the statement said. 'This customer’s behavior toward a fellow customer on a flight from New York to Syracuse was not in keeping with those standards. We appreciate our Endeavor Air flight attendant’s commitment to Delta’s core values and apologize to the other customers on board Flight 4017 who experienced the disturbance.
  • Latest updates, results, photo galleries and stories from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
  • A Minnesota man listening to emergency dispatch audio learned that his wife, a 911 dispatcher, was killed in a crash with a wrong-way driver as she headed for work, the Star Tribune reported. >> Read more trending news Jenna L. Bixby, 30, died Saturday night in the head-on crash in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Park, authorities said. Her husband, Daniel Bixby, was listening to the audio that first reported the crash, according to Andrew Williams, who heads two Twin Cities scanner monitoring groups online, the Star Tribune reported. The crash was reported at 8 p.m. Two hours later, State Patrol troopers contacted Daniel Bixby and confirmed that his wife had died. “A few of us were listening at the same time last night and messaging back and forth,” Williams told the Star Tribune. “Maybe two hours later, Dan sent a message on the board that troopers came and told him it was his wife. Yeah, it’s tough.” The wrong-way driver was identified as retired minister Richard J. Shaka, 72, of Blaine. He was in critical condition, authorities said. Troopers said alcohol consumption by Shaka appears to have been a factor in the collision. Jenna Bixby worked the past 3½ years as a 911 dispatcher for the city of Minneapolis, according to city records. “Minneapolis’ Emergency Communications staff work day and night to keep people safe,” Mayor Jacob Frey said Sunday. “As a 911 dispatcher, that’s what Jenna Bixby did for years -- and what she was on her way to do at City Hall when her life was tragically taken late last night.” Shaka taught at North Central University in Minneapolis in the Bible and Theology Department from 1996 until he retired in 2011. Shaka also founded a Twin Cities nonprofit organization that builds orphanages and youth centers in his native Sierra Leone, the Star Tribune reported.
  • A substitute teacher at Western Guilford Middle School, in Guilford County, North Carolina, was fired after a video surfaced of him body-slamming a student. The student, Jose Escudero, told WGHP that the altercation started because of a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day. >> Read more trending news  Jose said the teacher took the box, throwing it into a sink, WGHP reported. The 12-year-old said he waited until end of class to ask for the chocolate to be returned. Jose said he put them in his bag and the substitute teacher tried to grab the candy, WGHP reported.  Jose said the teacher then grabbed him and held him against the wall before throwing him over his shoulder to the ground. The student said he had bruises on his elbow, shoulder and back. Jose’s mother shared the video of Jose falling to the floor on Facebook saying she wants justice. Guilford County Schools spokeswoman Tina Firesheets told WGHP that the teacher is no longer a district employee. The Escuderos told WGHP that they’re looking into legal action against both the school and teacher, whose name has not been released. WSOCTV.COM contributed to this report.
  • The Latest on the deadly Florida high school shooting (all times local): 1:50 p.m. A group of students who survived the Florida school shooting have started their 400-mile trip to the state capital to pressure lawmakers to act on a sweeping package of gun control laws. The students left Coral Springs on Tuesday afternoon and expect to arrive in Tallahassee in the evening. They plan to hold a rally Wednesday at the Capitol in hopes that it will put pressure on the state's Republican-controlled Legislature. The fate of the new restrictions is unclear. Lawmakers have rebuffed gun restrictions since Republicans took control of the governor's office and the Legislature in 1999. But some in the GOP say they will consider the bills. Wednesday will mark one week since authorities say a former student killed 17 students and faculty at Stoneman Douglas High School. ___ 1:15 p.m. Three buses are preparing to take about 100 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students to Tallahassee so that they can pressure state lawmakers to pass more restrictive gun laws. Dozens of reporters and cameras swarmed the students as they prepared to leave. Many of the students wore burgundy T-shirts of the school's colors. They carried sleeping bags, pillows and luggage and hugged their parents as they loaded the bus for the 400-mile journey. Alfonso Calderon is a 16-year-old junior. He says he hopes that the trip will start a conversation between the Legislature, Gov. Rick Scott and the students over commonsense laws on guns. ___ (Corrects to three buses instead of two) 12:20 p.m. Students from several Florida high schools have taken to the streets in a show of solidarity with students from a nearby school where 17 students were gunned down in their classrooms on Valentine's Day. Video footage taken from television news helicopter crews showed several dozen students who walked out of West Boca Raton High School on Tuesday morning, apparently bound for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in nearby Parkland. Many of the students were wearing their backpacks. The distance between the schools is about 11 miles (17 kilometers). Several dozen more students gathered outside Fort Lauderdale High School, holding signs with messages that included 'our blood is on your hands.' On Monday, students at American Heritage High School held a similar protest. Former Stoneman student, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. ___ Midnight A hundred Stoneman Douglas High School students are busing hundreds of miles across Florida to its capital to urge lawmakers to act to prevent a repeat of the massacre that killed 17 students and faculty last week. After arriving late Tuesday, they plan to hold a rally Wednesday in hopes that it will put pressure on the state's Republican-controlled Legislature to consider a sweeping package of gun-control laws. Shortly after the shooting, several legislative leaders were taken on a tour of the school to see the damage firsthand and appeared shaken afterward. Chris Grady is a 19-year-old senior on the trip. He said he hopes the trip will lead to some 'commonsense laws like rigorous background checks.
  • When an accused teenage gunman opened fire on his former classmates last week, he wore a maroon polo shirt emblazoned with the logo of the school from which he’d been expelled -- Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The name Stoneman Douglas has become synonymous with the tragedy that ended with 17 people dead and the accused killer, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, charged with murdering them. But who was Marjory Stoneman Douglas? Douglas, who died in 1998 at the age of 108, was a journalist and advocate of the women’s suffrage movement. She may be most well-known, however, for her efforts to save the Florida Everglades, which are not far from the school bearing her name. >> Read more trending news Below are some of the details from Douglas’ remarkable life. Marjory Stoneman, who was born in 1890 in Minneapolis, showed a tendency for excellence early on. According to the National Park Service, she graduated with a 4.0 GPA from Wellesley College, where she was elected “class orator.” Following a brief marriage to a man named Kenneth Douglas, she moved to Florida in 1915 to reunite with her father, Frank Stoneman, who she had not seen since she was a child. The first publisher of the Miami Herald, Stoneman hired his daughter as a society columnist.  Moving through various duties at the Herald, Douglas established herself as a noteworthy writer, the National Park Service said. It was as a journalist that she embraced activism, fighting for feminism, racial justice and conservation of nature.  It was around 1917 that Douglas took on a passionate role in advocating for the preservation of the Everglades. NPR reported that most people at the time considered the Everglades “a worthless swamp,” but Douglas disagreed.  “We have all these natural beauties and resources,” Douglas said in a 1981 NPR interview, when she was 91 years old. “Among all the states, there isn’t another state like it. And our great problem is to keep them as they are in spite of the tremendous increase of population of people who don’t necessarily understand the nature of Florida.” Douglas in 1947 published her book, “The Everglades: River of Grass,” described by the National Park Service as the “definitive description of the natural treasure she fought so hard to protect.” Later that year, she was an honored guest when President Harry Truman dedicated the Everglades National Park, according to the National Wildlife Federation.   In the 1950s, Douglas railed against a major project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a system of canals, levees, dams and pumping stations designed to protect marshland -- now used for agriculture and real estate -- from flooding. The National Park Service credits Douglas with fighting the destruction of the wetlands long before scientists realized the effects it would have on Florida’s ecosystem. In 1969, she founded the nonprofit Friends of the Everglades, which continues to fight for the wetlands today.  Co-author John Rothchild, in the introduction to Douglas’ autobiography, described watching her speak at a 1973 public meeting regarding a Corps of Engineers permit: “When she spoke, everybody stopped slapping (mosquitoes) and more or less came to order. She reminded us all of our responsibility to nature and I don’t remember what else. Her voice had the sobering effect of a one-room schoolmarm’s. The tone itself seemed to tame the rowdiest of the local stone crabbers, plus the developers and the lawyers on both sides. I wonder if it didn’t also intimidate the mosquitoes. The request for a Corps of Engineers permit was eventually turned down. This was no surprise to those of us who’d heard her speak.” Douglas was inducted into the National Wildlife Federation’s Conservation Hall of Fame in 1999, and into the National Women’s Hall of Fame a year later.  When discussing the issue of mankind and humans’ attitude toward nature, Douglas pulled no punches. “I’ll tell you, the whole thing is an enormous battle between man’s intelligence and his stupidity,” she told NPR. “And I’m not at all sure that stupidity isn’t going to win out in the long run.” She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She later donated the medal to Wellesley College.  On the same day she received the medal from President Clinton, Douglas was invited to witness the signing of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, commonly called the Brady Bill, according to the Daily Beast. The bill, named for Jim Brady, the press secretary critically injured during the 1981 attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan, established a federal background check for those wanting to purchase a firearm. Cruz passed a background check in February 2017 when he legally bought the assault rifle used in last week’s massacre at Stoneman Douglas.