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    It. Is. Awesome.'Those were the first three words that came from the mouth of Billye Aaron, wife of Henry Louis 'Hank' Aaron after she first gazed at the brand new statue honoring her husband. The Braves unveiled the bronze structure Wednesday evening in a ceremony at SunTrust Park.The statue, which stands more than 9 feet tall, is the crown jewel of Monument Garden at Atlanta's new ballpark, which opens with an exhibition against the New York Yankees on Friday. RELATED STORIES: Change in plan: Atlanta Braves WILL allow outside food in SunTrust Park Roads near SunTrust Park still a construction nightmare SunTrust Park making last-minute changes in preparation for opening day Wednesday's ceremony helped raise funds for Aaron's Chasing the Dream Foundation, which awards college scholarships to students not only in the Atlanta metro area, but all over the world. [Meet the artist behind the new statue] Aaron remains Major League Baseball's all-time leader in RBI and total bases. Now 83 years old, he played his final game in October 1976. But it's very clear that more than four decades later, the Braves organization still holds him in the highest regard. The #Braves unveil @HenryLouisAaron's new statue at @SunTrustPark. More tonight at 11:00 & on @wsbtv .com @MLB #MLB pic.twitter.com/G8Qtb4Eat5-- Anthony Amey (@AnthonyAmeyWSB) March 29, 2017 Hank Aaron admiring his new statue #Braves pic.twitter.com/vrZcCAVDy2-- Anthony Amey (@AnthonyAmeyWSB) March 30, 2017 .@HenryLouisAaron stands beside his new statue in Monument Grove at @SunTrustPark! pic.twitter.com/Wibg4kEnLY-- Atlanta Braves (@Braves) March 30, 2017
  • Apparently President Donald Trump won’t be singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at Nationals Park on opening day.  Trump has declined to perform the tradition when the Washington Nationals host the Miami Marlins Monday, ESPN reported. >> Read more trending news It is due to a scheduling conflict, The Washington Post reported. The tradition of the president throwing out the first pitch at Washington’s opening-day game started more than 100 years ago , when President William Howard Taft threw out the first pitch for the then-Washington Senators in 1910, ESPN reported.  In recent history, George W. Bush and Barack Obama threw out ceremonial first pitches on opening day. Overall, 13 presidents been part of the ceremony either for the Senators or the Nationals. There is no word on who will have the honor of throwing out the first pitch. Nats all-star pitcher Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to start for Washington. Edinson Volquez is the starter listed for the Marlins. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET on Monday.
  • The Braves' new ballpark looks like a throwback stadium with its green seats, brick walls and its old-school, intimate feel. That's from an initial glance inside the park. Beyond the stadium walls sits the real wow factor that could be a game-changer for the industry. Atlanta's new SunTrust Park is part of a 60-acre complex that will include restaurants, retail shops, residential areas, a four-star hotel and a concert hall. The $622 million ballpark is the main attraction, but it is only part of what the Braves are promoting as 'the South's pre-eminent lifestyle destination' — The Battery Atlanta. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred believes it's the model for future ballparks. Manfred told The Associated Press he views the Braves' new mixed-use development as a 'watershed' event for baseball, 'like with Camden Yards in the early '90s.' 'I think the scope of the mixed-use development surrounding the ballpark and the economic opportunity it has created for the club is what people see as revolutionary,' Manfred said Tuesday. 'It's a different era in terms of community financing for facilities. 'I think the kind of mixed-use development the Braves have done at SunTrust Park provides a roadmap for clubs to get new stadiums built.' Baltimore's Camden Yards created a wave of throwback stadiums in baseball when it opened in 1992. Manfred said the Braves' park will be copied by other teams. St. Louis, Boston and Los Angeles are among other cities which have made it easy for fans to dine, shop and even live in complexes that includes sports venues. Manfred said the Braves took the concept to a new level. 'There has never been something this massive around a baseball stadium and it's really an amazing accomplishment,' the commissioner said. The Braves' new home in the northern Atlanta suburbs is the realization of the vision the club wanted but could not develop at Turner Field. They left the downtown facility originally built for the 1996 Olympics amid some opposition. There are concerns about traffic issues in the new location, residents near Turner Field feel abandoned and not all residents helping pay for the new ballpark are happy about the tax incentives the Braves were given to move. Braves chairman Terry McGuirk says the team made the decision in hopes of offering more for its fans. It doesn't hurt that this new complex also offers more for the bank accounts of the team and its owner, Liberty Media — the landlord for most of the businesses around the new ballpark. 'We always knew from our fans that they'd come down to Turner Field and they would get out of their car, run into the stadium and then enjoy themselves in the ways we set up inside the stadium,' McGuirk said last week. 'But they always complained to us there was nothing outside. ... The entire external fan experience around Turner Field was never good and we did our best to make it as good as we could make it.' The first few home games will show if the Braves have adequately addressed the new traffic concerns at the busy interstate exchange in suburban Cobb County, which isn't served by Atlanta's rapid transit system. There also is remaining unrest caused by Cobb County's decision to commit $400 million in public funds for the new stadium. Turner Field won't disappear . It is being converted to be Georgia State's football stadium . The school also will build a new baseball stadium on the adjacent site of old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. But the Braves aren't looking back. They will unveil their dig digs in Friday night's exhibition game against the Yankees for season-ticket holders only. Another trial run for the stadium will come when Georgia plays Missouri in a college game on April 8. Manfred said he plans to attend the Braves' home opener on April 14 against San Diego. The Braves drew inspiration for their development from Ballpark Village, a dining and entertainment district built beside Busch Stadium in St. Louis. 'So we started modeling that,' McGuirk said. Los Angeles also has a large sports, entertainment and residential district built near the Staples Center. Similarly, Patriot Place is a mixed-use development built around Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Some dining and shopping retailers at the Braves complex will be ready for the start of the season. Others will open later in the year. The Omni Hotel, which can be seen behind the centerfield wall, is set to open in early 2018. The hotel and the Comcast office building were the important first anchors of the development. 'Quickly we went from 100,000 square feet to a million and a half square feet in our vision of what the fan experience was going to be,' McGuirk said. SunTrust CEO Bill Rogers said the 25-year naming rights deal, worth an estimated $250 million, was made more attractive to his company by the fact fans will be drawn to the complex throughout the year. 'You're going to have people on the facility and engaging with us other than in 81 games,' Rogers said. '... The Battery creates a 24-7, 365 relationship that just wouldn't exist otherwise.' That's what the Braves are banking on.
  • Investigators are searching for a gunman after a shooting left three people injured in southeast Atlanta. Nearly 40 shell casings littered the pavement along Redford Drive. Among the victims was a 14-year-old boy. 'You heard that first shot, like, boom. Then you heard boom, boom, boom,' witness Ryan Clausell told Channel 2's Nefertiti Jaquez. 'I am still nervous. I'm still nervous.' Clausell said she was terrified when she heard the gunshots erupt outside her front door. 'He had a big gun. One guy had a big gun. The other guys had smaller guns,' Clausell said. Now, investigators are looking for the man who had the big gun. TRENDING STORIES: Woman paying for parking has throat slashed by robber Mother, 3 children reported missing in north Georgia Change in plan: Atlanta Braves WILL allow outside food in SunTrust Park Police said around 7 p.m. on Tuesday the man drove to the neighborhood and opened fire, hitting three people. Witnesses told police the target was a woman in her 30s who had recently gotten into a fight with a former boyfriend. When bullets started flying, some pierced a car, in which investigators say a man and the teen were sitting. 'As a mother, how does it make you feel that a 14-year-old boy was innocently shot in all this?' Jaquez asked Clausell. 'It's sad,' Clausell said. Anyone with information in this case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477. CONFIRMED: @Atlanta_Police are looking for @ least 2 suspects (shooter/driver). 3 people shot, including a teenage boy. More @ 11 @wsbtv. pic.twitter.com/nlBwFbRFl1-- Nefertiti Jáquez (@NefertitiWSB) March 29, 2017 #Breaking: @Atlanta_Police: Innocent 14 year old boy injured in shooting. He's been rushed to hospital. Stay with @wsbtv for more.-- Nefertiti Jáquez (@NefertitiWSB) March 29, 2017 Detectives on the scene of this shooting. We will have more - as soon as we get it. Stay with @wsbtv for the latest. pic.twitter.com/h6O7fCTdwH-- Nefertiti Jáquez (@NefertitiWSB) March 29, 2017
  • Wednesday night, a bronze statue of Hank Aaron's legendary 715 th home run will be unveiled at SunTrust Park, the new home of the Atlanta Braves.'April 8, 1974, I just turned 10. I was living in my native town on the Danube River, in little Bulgaria. Europe. I had no idea that baseball even exists,' artist Ross Rossin said.In his Buckhead studio, Rossin watched a replay of the famous homer.'I smile when I see that. Because I've seen that about 10,000 times, and I'm still excited about it,' Rossin said. RELATED SUNTRUST PARK STORIES: Roads near SunTrust Park still a construction nightmare Atlanta Braves have unveiled final traffic, parking plan SunTrust Park parking guide It's that moment in history Rossin was commissioned to capture. He came up with a nine-foot bronze sculpture of Hammerin' Hank's record breaking home run .'The position of the head. The eyes on the ball. You just feel it rather than see it. That's why you need to transform that feeling into the actual sculpture to make it real,' Rossin said.SunTrust Park: The new home of the Braves Aaron himself came to the studio to hold a bat. Another former Braves player posed in a replica of the uniform.Rossin spent 1,600 hours bringing the art to life.'I will never forget when I asked him, 'Mr. Aaron, what were you thinking in that moment in time? What was going on in your head?' Reasonable question, right? He said, 'I was just doing my job,'' Rossin said.Besides being nine feet tall, the sculpture weights seven tons. Henry 'Hank' Aaron is scheduled to attend the unveiling.
  • Only Channel 2 Action News was there as officers arrested a former Roswell city councilman in Gwinnett County. Channel 2's investigative reporter Mark Winne was at the Motel 6 on Tuesday when Kent Igleheart was taken into custody. He will now face child sex-related charges in DeKalb County. Iglehart resigned from his position of 15 years in November 2016 when he was accused of sexual exploitation of a child, enticing a child for indecent purposes and furnishing alcohol to a minor. Tuesday, he was indicted on 15 charges. 'Initially the case was opened because the young victim in this case made an outcry about the sexual relationship,' DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston said. TRENDING STORIES: Woman paying for parking has throat slashed by robber Mother, 3 children reported missing in north Georgia Change in plan: Atlanta Braves WILL allow outside food in SunTrust Park Boston told Winne that if Iglehart is convicted of the charges in a newly-obtained indictment by her office from a grand jury, he could sit in prison much longer than the 15 years he served as a councilman. 'Anytime we have a predator that is using the internet to sexually exploit and induce a child, I take that really seriously,' Boston told Winne. Breaking: Former #Roswell city councilman indicted on new child sex-related charges. @MarkWinneWSB was there for the arrest. pic.twitter.com/sZpPdvDQUf-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 28, 2017 The indictment said Iglehart posed as a teenager online to obtain sexually explicit images and videos of a 14-year-old girl, and then revealed his true identity and began a physical relationship with her after she turned 16. 'It doesn't matter if you're an elected official or otherwise, any adult engaging in this type of illegal behavior with a minor is completely inappropriate and absolutely illegal,' Boston said. As he was being put into the back of the patrol car Tuesday, Winne asked Iglehart if he sexually exploited a minor. Iglehart did not answer Winne's questions.
  • Three days before fans walk through the gates, the Atlanta Braves gave Channel 2's Ross Cavitt a top-to-bottom tour of Cobb's SunTrust Park. Braves history is spread throughout the park with artwork, golden glove trophies, the Braves hall of fame in the concourse and life-sized bobble heads bobbling around the place. The tour included the stadium's three clubs, including the Delta 360 club, which rivals the best sports bar you'll ever see. The SunTrust Club is shown with its cushy front row seats and at almost every stop, there were workers still putting it all together. 'Jaw-dropping would be how I'd term the fan's reactions to what they've seen,' said Braves CEO Terry McGuirk. RELATED SUNTRUST PARK STORIES: Roads near SunTrust Park still a construction nightmare Atlanta Braves have unveiled final traffic, parking plan SunTrust Park parking guide A lot of work is in progress inside of SunTrust Park, but Cavitt was told that's pretty much the last minute punch list and the park will be ready when fans first gather Friday. The team seemed to take a great deal of pride that this public / private partnership using more than $350 million in taxpayer dollars to complete the park in nearly two years -- largely on time and on budget. In glowing terms during the three-hour tour, Braves officials declared SunTrust Park a home run. 'This is the most beautiful major league ballpark I've ever seen,' said Braves President John Schuerholtz. Outside, crews continue to work like crazy on roads and sidewalks and the pedestrian bridges that will bring fans to the area.
  • A bill to allow guns on college campuses has passed the state Senate and is now on the way to the House. This bill would allow anyone over 21 with a concealed carry permit to carry a firearm on a college campus in Georgia. Critics say the schools and even the board of regents oppose this bill. But supporters say 150 colleges in the U.S. allow it and there haven't been any problems. 'Not one of these college campuses has seen a single resulting act of violence including threats, or a single resulting suicide attempt,' State Sen. Bill Heath, R-Bremen, told Channel 2's Richard Elliot. TRENDING STORIES: Woman paying for parking has throat slashed by robber Mother, 3 children reported missing in north Georgia Change in plan: Atlanta Braves WILL allow outside food in SunTrust Park On-campus child care centers would be excluded, as would areas on some college campuses at which high school students attend class. This is the fifth year in a row the Legislature has considered such a measure . Last year's legislation got as far as Gov. Nathan Deal's desk before he vetoed it , citing concerns that it was both too broad and that campuses have historically been gun-free to promote learning. Deal has also called for excluding campus discipline hearings and administrative and professors' offices from the proposal, but lawmakers so far have not added those exclusions. With just two days left in this year's legislative session, officials say lawmakers are negotiating with Deal's office over a potential compromise before the session closes Thursday. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this article.
  • Just days after announcing their policy on outside food in SunTrust Park, the Braves have had a change of heart. The organization initially said no outside food or drink, except a sealed water bottle, would be allowed into the new stadium. Tuesday morning the Braves tweeted that, after receiving feedback from fans, they have changed that policy. 'Over the past few days we have heard feedback from our fans expressing their desire to continue to bring food items into the ballpark on game days. We listened and have decided to amend our approach,' the organization posted on Twitter. RELATED SUNTRUST PARK STORIES: Roads near SunTrust Park still a construction nightmare Atlanta Braves have unveiled final traffic, parking plan SunTrust Park parking guide Fans will now be allowed to bring food inside SunTrust Park as long as it fits inside a clear, gallon-sized plastic bag. Fans may still bring a sealed plastic water bottle. 'One bag of food and one bottle of water per ticket will be permitted,' the tweet said. All bags of food are subject to additional inspection. Exceptions to the policy will be made for those with dietary concerns and infants. #Braves statement on outside food policy at @SunTrustPark: pic.twitter.com/rMP5XkGyea-- Atlanta Braves (@Braves) March 28, 2017
  • After public backlash, the Atlanta Braves reversed their policy and now will allow fans to bring outside food into SunTrust Park. A team representative said last week the restriction was because of security concerns of the team. What you can and can’t bring into SunTrust Park On a statement posted on Twitter on Tuesday, the Braves said fan complaints led to the policy reversal. The team now will allow outside food, as long as it fits in a clear, gallon-size container, per the statement: Over the past few days we have heard feedback from our fans expressing their desire to continue to bring food items into the ballpark on game days. We listened and have decided to amend our approach.  Fans will be able to bring food inside of SunTrust Park as long as it fits inside a clear, gallon sized plastic bag and may also bring a sealed plastic bottle of water. One bag of food and one bottle of water per ticket will be permitted. Additional considerations will be made for those with dietary concerns and infants. All bags of food will be subject to additional inspection at our security gates before entry. The team previously had stated ticketholders would not be allowed to bring in outside food, with exceptions being made for infant food and fans with special dietary restrictions. How to get to SunTrust Park Where to eat, drink at the Battery Atlanta  The Braves will open their new stadium in Cobb County on Friday, March 31, in an  exhibition game against the New York Yankees. The Braves open the season Monday, April 3, against the Mets in New York. Their home opener against the San Diego Padres, Friday, April 14, is sold out. Some standing room-only tickets will go on sale April 10. Suggested video:

News

  • 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.