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Latest from Jon Lewis

    They're a group of people that have two things in common: they're all refugees and they are all new American citizens. 'These are folks that are leaving behind war and violence,' says Paddia Mixon, CDO of New American Pathways. 'They fled for their lives, and this is their opportunity to find a permanent safe place to be.' The naturalization ceremony was held at the Georgia State Capitol, following a ceremony for the refugees prior to that. In the wake of the new travel ban, it may seem and all the time to be naturalized as an American citizen. But, for these people, there was a little choice. 'For most people this is the best option they have to have a normal life,' says Mixon, 'to have the opportunity to choose their own destiny, and support their family.' Mixon says there is a lot of fear among the refugees, but also great optimism about this country. She says all are enthusiastic about becoming citizens, for money the first time they will be citizens anywhere.
  •  Atlanta-based UPS is testing a drone delivery system in Florida, but don't expect to see the skies over the metro area filled with drones anytime soon. 'Right now the law requires us to maintain a line of sight with each drone,' says Kyle Peterson with UPS, 'so that's how we manage it with the test.  That may not be practical with our daily operation.' Peterson tells WSB the testing was a success, accomplishing all that they wanted, but the company still has some technology concerns that need to be worked out. 'I think it's both,' Peterson says.  'It's the regulations and the technology, so that's what we were testing the other day, trying to find out what we're capable of.' UPS has used drone technology in the past, for emergency deliveries. 'We used a drone to delivery an urgent, commercial package to an island over three miles of water,” Peterson says.  'So we flew from Massachusetts an asthma inhaler to an island called Children's Island, over three miles off the coast.' Peterson says the company will continue testing its drone delivery system, work on whatever technology they'll need to get right and be ready when and if, the laws catch up to drone technology. UPS Florida Drone Test Broll
  • The video of the crash was horrific. A car, being chased by the Georgia State Patrol, hits a sign on Gresham Road, then crashes, ejecting a small girl. We now know more about the girl, and the driver. Police are hunting for 25 year old Kadeem D'Anto Fletcher, who was driving the car that was involved in Monday chase. The state patrol says he was speeding, prompting on officer to try and pull him over. That's when Fletcher tried speeding off, starting the chase. When he reached Gresham Road, police say, Fletcher jumped the curb, hit a sign, and wrecked at a gas station. The whole incident was caught on video:   According to the patrol, Fletcher ran off, after 7 year old Serenity Largue was ejected.  Fletcher ran back to the accident scene, checked out the car, then ran off again. 'It's just disturbing on the highest level,' says Sergeant James Buchanan, with the state patrol.  'You have an individual that abandons a 7 year old child.' The girl was transported to Egleston Children's Hospital, where she's recovering. The patrol has been able to learn more about the girl, and the 2011 Audi that crashed. 'The little girl is not his child,' Buchanan says, 'She is the girlfriend's child.' Buchanan says, up until the crash, Fletcher's only offense had been driving without a license.  Now he faces a host of charges.
  • Atlanta police have arrested the suspect they believe is responsible for the murder of a young woman at Underground Atlanta earlier this month. 24-year-old Felix Shirley was identified through video and tips called in to Crimestoppers. He is the suspect in the murder of 26-year-old Misha Moore, who was found shot to death at Underground on January 10. 'There was some connection that they did know each other,' says APD Lieutenant Charles Hampton, 'I'm not sure exactly how they knew each other, but it was not just a random encounter.' Hampton says police do not know if Shirley is still in the Atlanta area.  He was wearing a construction hat at the time of the killing, and police found that he had been working as a construction worker at Mercedes Benz stadium.
  • It's one of Georgia's best known companies, and they're expanding their Alpharetta headquarters. That means new buildings and a lot more jobs. Jackson Healthcare has announced the expansion all of their campus off of Northwinds Parkway. It includes 306,000 square feet of office space, including a new headquarters building which will be eight stories high and have 267,000 square feet of space. In addition, there will be eight 39,000 square-foot amenities building that will be three stories high and built to look like the Roman Coliseum. It will house a gym, a pool, a restaurant, dry cleaning, open a barber, massage, and I'll spray tanning studio. The project will be completed with a new parking deck with a capacity of 1385 spaces.  It, too, will have an Italian feel to it. As for the 1400 jobs, company president Shane Jackson says that they will be well paying, above the median for income, and will feature college graduates and IT specialists. The $100 million project will take 18 months to complete. Ground will be broken within the next 60 days.
  • Spaghetti Junction is no surprise.  The other two shouldn't be either.  The American Transportation Research Institute is out with its list of the worst interchanges for truck bottlenecks in the country and, once again, the 85-285 interchange tops the list.  It's the second year in a row that Spaghetti Junction is listed as the worst in the U.S.  Number 9 on the list, with the ATRI has been putting out since 2002, was the northwest corridor, at the intersection of 75 and 285.  Number 14 is the interchange at Interstate 20 and 285 on the west side, near 6 Flags.  '75 is such a heavy truck route anyway,' says Rebecca Brewster, President and COO of the ATRI.  'And we do see impacts throughout the bottleneck analysis when you do see construction at a certain location.'  Brewster tells WSB, good climate also means volume at the interchanges and, given the interstates that run through this area, Atlanta has become a crossroads for trade routes throughout the country.  'So many people seem to think that the northeast is the worst place for congestion,' Brewster says.  'The truck drivers I speak to all say that no, it's really bad around Atlanta.
  • The city says it's doing what it can but it's up to Fulton County to do animal control. Fulton County says it can provide help to the 14 cities in the county, including Atlanta, but it will cost. The recent dog attacks in one Atlanta neighborhood has prompted an ordinance from the Atlanta City Council.  The chairman of the Fulton County Commission says they are here to help, but the city will need to pay for the extra animal control officers. 'If cities want better coverage and more services regarding animal control, yes, we will provide it,' says Chairman John Eaves, 'but there's a cost that goes with it.  We will provide the service when the monies are made available to cover the cost of the service.'' Eaves tells WSB, the county has an agreement with the cities to cover animal control duties.  If a city wants more coverage then that city needs to pay for more coverage. 'Our goal is to provide as much animal control coverage as is needed,' says Eaves. 'The cities need to pony up that money per our agreement to provide the service.' Eaves says Fulton County Animal Control has been busy. Since the first of the year they've received 712 calls for service in just the city of Atlanta. The discussion from the city and county was prompted by the most recent dog attack.  A 48 year old man was mauled by two dogs, including a pit bull, in the street in an Atlanta neighborhood.  Seven days earlier two children were attacked by two dogs as the kids walked to a school bus stop.  One of the children was killed.  The other was severely injured.    
  • When Faye Butler was born in 1918, the star player for the Red Sox was Babe Ruth, World War I was five months away from ending, and women could not vote. Butler, who was born in Iowa and lives in Decatur, is 98 years old and has now voted in her 20th presidential election. She cast her ballot for Hillary Clinton, meaning the woman who was born before women had the right to vote has voted for a woman for president. 'I'm sure that she's going to be Madam President,' Butler says. She tells WSB she's not surprised. 'I've been thinking about this for 10 years now and I was really disappointed that she didn't make it the first time.' Butler was born in Council Bliffs, where her younger sister (younger by 18 months) still lives. She says that when she voted this year she thought about her mother and women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, who fought for the right. 'When I heard what they did in order to get us the right to vote,' she says, 'I think that young women need to get out and vote.' Butler says she did not hear either her mother or grandmother tell stories about being represented by people they could not vote for, but did relay one story about her grandmother and the time she was getting ready to vote for the first time. 'I asked her if she was going to vote and she said no,' Butler says, 'because she said she would eliminate Pa's vote if she did. 'So I told her that, if I ever got married and he was going to vote for someone I didn't like, I was going to make sure to vote.” Butler, who was a charter subscriber to Ms. Magazine (and still has the Margaret doll she bought when she purchased the subscription), says she often considers herself lucky to be born before women could vote and now has voted for a woman.
  • When Faye Butler was born in 1918, the star pitcher for the Boston Red Sox was Babe Ruth, World War I was five months away from ending and women could not vote. >> Read more trending stories Butler, who was born in Iowa and lives in Decatur, Georgia, is 98 years old and has now voted in her 20th presidential election. She cast her ballot for Hillary Clinton, meaning the woman who was born before women had the right to vote has voted for a woman for president. 'I'm sure that she's going to be Madam President,' Butler says. 'I've been thinking about this for 10 years now and I was really disappointed that she didn't make it the first time.' Butler was born in Council Bluffs, where her sister (younger by 18 months) still lives. She says that when she voted this year she thought about her mother and women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, who fought for the right. 'When I heard what they did in order to get us the right to vote,' she says, 'I think that young women need to get out and vote.' Butler says she did not hear either her mother or grandmother tell stories about being represented by people they could not vote for, but did relay one story about her grandmother and the time she was getting ready to vote for the first time. 'I asked her if she was going to vote and she said no,' Butler says, 'because she said she would eliminate Pa's vote if she did. 'So I told her that, if I ever got married and he was going to vote for someone I didn't like, I was going to make sure to vote.” At the age of 22, Butler's very first presidential vote went to Franklin D. Roosevelt. 'I guess I liked his fireside chats,” Butler told WSB-TV. And so began a lifetime of voting Democrat. The sole exception: the election of 1948. Faye's family was afraid President Harry Truman was in cahoots with political bosses in Kansas City. 'Well, we assumed that Truman was part of this. So we voted for Dewey,' Butler said. Butler, who was a charter subscriber to Ms. magazine (and still has the Margaret doll she bought when she purchased the subscription), says she often considers herself lucky to be born before women could vote and now has voted for a woman. 'I just believe in women's rights. I just believe that Hillary is going to make it,' Butler told WSB-TV. And with a smile on her face Butler said she will accept the results of the election.
  • The damage to Colonial Pipeline's main gas line into Atlanta is causing gas shortages in the metro area and a lot of repairs for the company. 'Our focus is getting our main line back in service this week,' says Steve Baker, with Colonial. 'I think motorists will start to see some relief. This is a temporary situation, but it's also a time to be prudent. This is not a repair that flips a switch and everything is back to normal quickly.' The pipeline ruptured on September 9, in Alabama, causing a disruption of service in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Baker tells WSB once the line is repaired it will take a few days for stations to get back to full capacity. The gas will need to get to the Atlanta market, go to the terminals, then onto delivery trucks, and then go to the stations for drivers. In the meantime, Baker says, Pipeline 2 is operating and some product did make it into the Atlanta area over this past weekend. But, again, it will take a few days before it reaches station and get into the tanks of vehicles.
  • 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. 

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  • Pickens County deputies are searching for an armed fugitive.  Authorities are looking for Nicholas Bishop in the area of Priest Circle in Talking Rock.  Bishop is believed to be armed with a handgun and on foot after he abandoned a stolen vehicle around 2 p.m.  If you see him, call 911 immediately. Officials say do not attempt to approach him. - Please return for updates.
  • One more time, Doris Payne, the 86-year-old infamous international jewel thief, has pleaded guilty to the usual crime. She admitted Wednesday to stealing a necklace from Von Maur at Perimeter Mall last year, the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office said. Payne, who recently said she’s been dealing with a possibly cancerous tumor, was sentenced to 120 days of house arrest and three years of probation.  She was also banned from all Von Maur locations and every mall in DeKalb County. Payne, who’d been free on bond, was arrested last month for missing a court date. Shortly after the would-be appearance, she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution she wasn’t medically able to attend. “I ain’t runnin’,” she said in a phone interview. “I’ve never in my life been late for court. Last month, Payne was deemed too ill to stand trial by the judge presiding over a Fulton County case stemming from a missing set of earrings at Phipps Plaza. Payne has been open about her habits of theft, which she detailed in a documentary called, “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne.” RELATED: Huge DeKalb center with (at least) 8 popular chains is opening soon RELATED: Cop helps elderly woman who got kicked out of dentist office in DeKalb RELATED: A DeKalb family’s tale of two dead bodies and a crying baby girl Like DeKalb County News Now on Facebook | Follow on Twitter and Instagram
  • A drunken driver destroyed a row of headstones at a historic Carrollton cemetery, causing tens of thousands of dollars' worth of damage, police said. According to police, the driver was coming down Martin Luther King Street on March 19, ran a stop sign, jumped a curb and crashed into the city-owned cemetery. The broken headstones range in date from the late 1800s to 1950. 'And what we discussed is, if one is damaged beyond repair, we'll put something back that's respectful. It's hard to replace it with the exact same item. The families aren't around anymore, so the city will take on the responsibility,' city manager Tim Grizzard said. TRENDING STORIES: Thousands of Georgians could lose food stamps next week 16-year-old in custody after hoax call about school gunman Food prices at SunTrust Park vs. Mercedes-Benz Stadium: What's the difference? The 35-year-old driver, Ray Antonio Baker, was arrested and charged with DUI. City officials said they will ask his insurance carrier to pay for the damage. 'Our plan is to go after the individual's insurance to pay for repairs. If that doesn't pay for everything, the city will certainly pick up the tab,' Grizzard said. Officials said this isn't the first time a driver has damaged headstones, but it's not a big enough problem to put up a wall. 'It's not something that has happened often enough that we need to put up a barrier. If it was a recurrent spot, we would do something,' Grizzard said. City officials said it could take weeks to repair the damage.
  • A federal judge in Hawaii who temporarily blocked President Donald Trump's revised travel hours before it was set to take effect issued a longer-lasting order Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson held a hearing Wednesday on Hawaii's request to extend his temporary hold. Several hours later, he issued a 24-page order blocking the government from suspending new visas for travelers from six Muslim-majority countries and halting the U.S. refugee program. Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin argued that even though the revised ban has more neutral language, the implied intent is still there. He likened it to a neon sign flashing 'Muslim Ban,' which the government hasn't bothered to turn off. Chad Readler, a Department of Justice attorney defending Trump's executive order, told the judge via telephone that Hawaii hasn't shown how it is harmed by various provisions, including one that would suspend the nation's refugee program. Watson disagreed. Here's a look at Watson's ruling and what comes next: ___ THE PREVIOUS RULING This month, Watson prevented the federal government from suspending new visas for people from six countries and freezing the nation's refugee program. The ruling came just hours before the ban was to take effect. Watson, nominated to the bench by former President Barack Obama in 2012, agreed with Hawaii that the ban would hurt the state's tourism-dependent economy and that it discriminates based on nationality and religion. Trump called the ruling an example of 'unprecedented judicial overreach.' The next day, a judge in Maryland also blocked the six-nation travel ban but said it wasn't clear that the suspension of the refugee program was similarly motivated by religious bias. The federal government appealed the Maryland ruling to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and sought to narrow the Hawaii ruling. ___ THE LATEST RULING Like his temporary order, Watson notes that Hawaii has shown the state's universities and tourism industry will suffer from the ban. A plaintiff in Hawaii's lawsuit, the imam of a Honolulu mosque, will be harmed if the ban is enforced, Watson said: 'These injuries have already occurred and will continue to occur if the Executive Order is implemented and enforced; the injuries are neither contingent nor speculative.' Government attorneys have tried to convince the judge not to consider comments Trump has made about the travel ban. 'The court will not crawl into a corner, pull the shutters closed, and pretend it has not seen what it has,' Watson wrote. Watson also refused to narrow his ruling to only apply to the six-nation ban, as the government requested. The ruling won't be suspended if the government appeals, Watson said. 'Enforcement of these provisions in all places, including the United States, at all United States borders and ports of entry, and in the issuance of visas is prohibited, pending further orders from this court,' he wrote. ___ WHAT'S NEXT FOR HAWAII'S LAWSUIT? Watson's ruling allows Hawaii's lawsuit challenging the ban to work its way through the courts. 'While we understand that the President may appeal, we believe the court's well-reasoned decision will be affirmed,' the Hawaii attorney general's office said in a statement. Ismail Elshikh, the imam of a Honolulu mosque who joined the lawsuit as a plaintiff, argues that he's harmed by Trump's order because it prevents his Syrian mother-in-law from visiting family in the U.S. It's not clear how Watson's ruling will affect the mother-in-law's ability to obtain a visa. The Department of Justice didn't immediately comment after Watson issued his decision. ___ DEFENDING TRUMP'S EXECUTIVE ORDER The Department of Justice opposed Hawaii's request to extend Watson's temporary order. But the department said that if the judge agrees, he should narrow the ruling to cover only the part of Trump's executive order that suspends new visas for people from Somalia, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen. Other provisions of the order have little or no effect on Hawaii, including a suspension of the nation's refugee program, Department of Justice attorney Chad Readler said Wednesday. In an attempt to downplay the effect suspending the nation's refugee program would have on Hawaii, Readler said only a small amount of refugees have been resettled in Hawaii. But Watson questioned that reasoning by noting that the government said there have been 20 refugees resettled in Hawaii since 2010. Other parts of Trump's order allow the government to assess security risks, which don't concern the plaintiffs in Hawaii's lawsuit, Readler said. The revised order removes references to religion, he said. ___ CAN AN APPEALS COURT AFFECT THE HAWAII RULING? The president is asking the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to put the ruling by the judge in Maryland on hold while it considers the case. The Richmond, Virginia-based appeals court will hear arguments May 8. If the court sides with the federal government, it would not have a direct effect on the Hawaii ruling, legal experts said. The Trump administration's best bet for saving the travel ban is to have the case go before the U.S. Supreme Court, said Richard Primus, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Michigan law school. 'What a ruling in 4th Circuit in favor of the administration would do is create a split in authority between federal courts in different parts of the country,' he said. 'Cases with splits in authority are cases the U.S. Supreme Court exists to resolve.