ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
69°
Broken Clouds
H 82° L 60°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    69°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H NaN° L 59°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    NaN°
    Today
    Partly Cloudy. H NaN° L 59°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day Created with Sketch.
    82°
    Tomorrow
    Chance of T-storms. H 82° L 60°
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

Atlanta United

    Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez, who leads the MLS with five goals, will miss four to six weeks with a left quad injury. The team says Martinez, a native of Venezuela, suffered the injury last week when playing for the Venezuelan National Team in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification. Martinez has led Atlanta United, which plays at Seattle on Friday, to a 2-1 start as an expansion team. He had a hat trick in a 6-1 win over Minnesota United. He added two goals in a 4-0 win over Chicago.
  • A new coach is making the decisions after a pair of historically bad games. Nearly half the projected starters are sidelined. Fans are freaking out that the United States' streak of consecutive World Cup appearances might end at seven. On the eve of his first competitive international match in nearly 11 years, Bruce Arena was calm and confident. 'The last thing we're going to do is concern ourselves a whole lot if players go down, and I haven't done that. I'm actually eager to see how some of these other players are going to perform,' the old-turned-new U.S. coach said Thursday at the last training session before the qualifier against Honduras. 'My guess is we're going to be OK.' Another misstep and the Americans would be winless in the final round of World Cup qualifying with seven games left. Only one team has qualified from a similar start in the North and Central American and Caribbean region, Trinidad and Tobago in 2006. 'We don't like to say 'panic.' It's not our job to worry about the fans,' said Christian Pulisic, the 18-year-old Borussia Dortmund midfielder who two weeks ago became only the youngest American to score in the Champions League. 'We just have to win the game for us. The fans will support us throughout.' Arena, 65 years old and a member of the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame, coached the U.S. from 1998-2006. He was brought back in November to replace Jurgen Klinsmann following a 2-1 home loss to Mexico and a 4-0 debacle at Costa Rica. 'We felt like we let some different things slip,' U.S. captain Michael Bradley said. 'He's come in and found the right way to work and talk and show some things and make sure that we understand who we are and what we're about and ultimately we're stepping on the field giving ourselves the best chance to win.' Midfielder Fabian Johnson, right back DeAndre Yedlin and forward Bobby Wood are hurt. Brad Guzan, who might have started in goal, skipped the match because of the birth of his daughter. Timmy Chandler, the right back in November, is serving a one-game suspension because of yellow-card accumulation, as is midfielder Jermaine Jones. Jordan Morris, who might have replaced Wood in the lineup, is doubtful due to an ankle injury. Tim Howard, 38 years old and a starter at the past two World Cups, is expected to be in goal after recovering from a thigh injury sustained against Mexico. Clint Dempsey, a 34-year-old forward, has returned after a length absence caused by an irregular heartbeat. Geoff Cameron, who missed the November qualifiers because of a knee injury, could be shifted to right back — he plays midfield for Stoke and usually is in the U.S. central defense. DaMarcus Beasley, at 34 a veteran of four World Cups, is an option at left back along with Jorge Villafana, Tim Ream and Matt Besler. John Brooks and Omar Gonzalez could remain in central defense. The math looks bad for now but not terrible. Costa Rica leads with six points, followed by Mexico and Panama with four, Honduras with three and Trinidad and Tobago, and the U.S. with none. Because the top three teams qualify for next year's World Cup in Russia, and the fourth-place nation advances to a playoff against Asia's No. 5 finisher, a loss Friday would not be fatal. 'Seven games remaining, you're still there,' Arena said, pointing out that Mexico reached the playoffs four years ago with just 11 points. 'The general rule of thumb is 15 points, but it always changes.' The U.S., 30th in the FIFA rankings, plays again Tuesday at Panama. Honduras is 65th after opening the final round with a loss to Panama and victory over Trinidad and Tobago, both at home. Celebrating the second anniversary of its opening in February 2015, Avaya Stadium is among MLS' 16 soccer specific stadiums, with a capacity of about 18,200. There is a single deck in a U shape with luxury suites at field level. Seats are blue except for a handful in red; Earthquakes fan Anders Young won a Crack the Code contest two years ago, determining those seats spelled 'GO EQ' in binary. Quite a difference from old RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., where Arena's Americans lost to Honduras in a 2001 qualifier. 'We managed to make our home game into a home game for our opponent,' Arena said. 'I'm hopeful tomorrow that when we step out on the field that there's going to be some support for the U.S. team, and I think there will be.' ___ AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley contributed to this report.
  • Chris Wondolowski didn't have to travel far when he got the call to join the U.S. national team ahead of two key World Cup qualifiers. The U.S. will be playing Honduras on the home field of Wondolowski's San Jose Earthquakes on Friday night as the Americans look to bounce back from an 0-2 start in the final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region. 'To represent your country is the ultimate pinnacle, especially as a soccer player in a World Cup qualifier in your hometown,' Wondolowski said. 'I couldn't have drawn it up any better. I'm very excited. I'm very honored to be a part of such a big game. It's not necessarily the place we want to be, but it is an exciting place for U.S. Soccer right now. We have meaningful games in meaningful places.' And Wondolowski might need to play a meaningful role with the U.S. short-handed at forward headed into the games against Honduras and then at Panama next Tuesday. Bobby Wood is out with a back injury, Jordan Morris has not practiced this week because of an ankle injury and Clint Dempsey said he might not be able to play 90 minutes after missing the final four months of the 2016 MLS season due to an irregular heartbeat. That leaves just Jozy Altidore and Wondolowski as the only healthy forwards. The 34-year-old Wondolowski didn't know whether he would get another chance at World Cup qualifying. He didn't get his first call-up to the national team until six years ago despite a prolific MLS career. He has played 35 international games, including two at the 2014 World Cup. Wondolowski has scored 11 goals for the national team, but is most remembered for one he missed in the round of 16 against Belgium at the 2014 World Cup. With the game scoreless late in regulation, he had a chance at a game-winner but shot over the crossbar from inside the 6-yard box. The U.S. lost 2-1 in overtime and Wondolowski has not played in any 2018 World Cup qualifiers. 'If you play well at the club level, you figure you can get a chance,' he said. 'You never know if that will keep happening. You always have to cherish the times that you have.' Wondolowski has done that by scoring 28 goals the past two seasons for the Earthquakes and one so far this season in three games. He doesn't know if he will get a chance to play but has already been a valuable resource for his familiarity with the home stadium. 'They've been asking me about the field, the atmosphere,' he said. 'I don't have enough adjectives to tell them how great it is. The atmosphere you feel, the presence that the crowd provides throughout the game will lift you. It's an amazing pitch, amazing fans, and hopefully we can get three points.' After the losses to Mexico and Costa Rica last November that led to coach Jurgen Klinsmann's firing and the return of Bruce Arena as coach, the U.S. has little margin for error. The Americans are in last place in the six-team group that will send the top three teams to Russia in 2018 and the fourth into a playoff with the fifth-place nation from Asia. 'Some games you go in and you're trying to implement things and work on your style,' Wondolowski said. 'We're worried about three points. Pretty, ugly, it doesn't matter. Just grind it out any way possible.
  • Have you heard? It’s a seller’s market. Well, in most zip codes at least. But a hopping homebuying season doesn’t necessarily mean your home will go well over asking price just by putting up a For Sale sign. There’s still plenty a seller must do if they want to get the best price for their soon-to-be-former digs. Here are 50 things to do if you plan to sell your home this spring. 1. Learn the Market The reports of a seller’s market are greatly exaggerated — which is to say every zip code is different. If you want to expedite a sale, your “property has to be marketed properly and be priced appropriately,” said Glenn S. Phillips, CEO of Lake Homes Realty. “The feeding frenzy of a few years ago has not returned, and buyers are better informed than ever.” 2. Avoid Over-Pricing Gradual price drops signal to house hunters that more decreases are to come, Phillips says. Plus, if your home sits on the market long enough, prospective buyers will wonder what’s wrong with it. “In the end, most homes that start overpriced sell at a price lower than a home priced [appropriately] from the start,” he said. “And the deal happens much faster and without the pain of months trying to sell.” 3. Hire a Realtor Yes, you’ll have to pay them a commission. (Side note: You’ll be expected to cover the buyer’s agent, too.) Still, a good Realtor can be instrumental when it comes to the whole “learn-the-market, price-it-right” stuff. Plus, they’ll do the heavy lifting when showing the house and negotiating offers. Of course, be sure to … 4. Vet Prospective Agents “Find someone who is in the business full time and who can demonstrate their skill at listing a house,” Reba Haas, CEO of Team Reba at RE/MAX Metro Inc. in Seattle, said. “This will show up in their print materials, online photos, services provided marketing presentation and ability to find the right price range to help you sell in a reasonable amount of time.” 5. Get a Home Estimate … Yes, your real estate agent can help you set the right price on your home, but it doesn’t hurt to get a general idea of the pricing in your area on your own. There are plenty of sites online that can help you get an idea of your home’s current value. 6. Or, Better Yet, a Pre-Listing Appraisal That’ll help preclude any problems during the bank appraisal. “An independent appraisal performed prior to listing can determine the value that a lender would assign your home,” Bruce Elliott, president of the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association, said. “While the process is never scientific, many buyers do find an independent appraisal to be a credible source for judging a home’s value.” 7. Determine How Much the Sale Will Cost You Because there are plenty of expenses associated with selling a home. “A lot of sellers are not aware of what their costs are, including attorney, commission to broker and any other closing costs, including potential repairs before putting the home on the market,” says Kobi Lahav, managing director, Mdrn. Residential, a real estate brokerage in New York City. Fortunately, your broker or listing agent can help you pin down a rough estimate of what you might have to shell out. 8. Hire an Attorney They’ll be instrumental when it comes time to negotiate the purchase contract with your chosen buyer, but you’ll, of course, want to … 9. Research Their Reputations (& Fees) Ask friends and family for recommendations, or do a search online to find an affordable real estate attorney you can trust. 10. Ask for a Mortgage Pay Off Quote You may think you know how much you owe on your mortgage. However, “it is not always what you see on your lender’s website,” Denise Supplee, co-founder of SparkRental and Pennsylvania Realtor, says. “And it is a good idea to have that information, especially if the money from your sale is going towards another sale.” 11. Build Your Coffers Like we said, selling your home can be very costly. Be sure you’ve got an adequate emergency fund on hand to cover the costs, moving expenses and mortgage or rent associated with your next abode. 12. Check State Tax Records “Make sure any debts you thought you paid off, were, in fact, posted in municipality tax records [and] satisfied,” Janice B. Leis, Accredited Buyer’s Representative and associate broker with Berkshire Hathaway, says. “Otherwise, you will have an arduous task getting issues resolved if faced with either a quick closing or finding out by the title company near closing, when life is hectic.” 13. Consult an Accountant Or a trusted financial adviser before putting down For Sale stakes. They can fill you in on any tax deductions or bills associated with the sale that you’ll be expected to pay next year, Leis says. 14. Pull Your Credit Reports In addition to liens, look for any judgments because those can go against the title of your home. “I have seen … people who thought they were getting X amount of dollars find out that they owe back taxes from many years ago,” Supplee says. (You can pull your free annual credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com.) If you’re also searching for a new home while you’re trying to sell yours, well, then, you’ll want to … 15. Get Your Full Credit Check On Because the better your credit score, the more affordable your new mortgage will be. Check for credit report errors, because they may be needlessly weighing you down. If you find one, be sure to … 16. Dispute Any Errors … You can go here to learn how to handle errors on your credit report. 17. … & Otherwise Shore Up Your Scores Beyond that, pay down high credit card balances, limit new credit inquiries and address any other credit-score killers to improve your credit scores. You can monitor your progress using your free credit report summary, along with two free credit scores, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com. 18. Set Realistic Deadlines “It takes a lot of time to prepare a home for sale,” Haas says. “Be realistic in what you can do, and consider where you may need help from family, friends or by hiring professionals.” 19. Map Out Your Move “If coinciding with a closing and purchase, make sure there is a contingency in your purchase contract,” Reis says. “Otherwise you owe on two properties or will be in default on new purchase due to lack of proceeds from the sale of your existing home.” 20. Get a Pre-Home Inspection Home Inspection Sure, it’ll cost you. Still, “spending a few hundred dollars on a thorough home inspection can help you get a better idea of what repairs need to be made, and more importantly, what your net proceeds will be from the sale of your home,” Emile L’Eplattenier, a New York City real estate agent and member of the Real Estate Board of New York, says. 21. Make Any Major Repairs … Pay particular attention to roof and air conditioning issues, as buyers tend to shy from expensive repairs, Elliott says. “Completing as many repairs as your budget allows will pay off when potential buyers are not put off by the amount of time or money they would need to bring the home up to speed,” he adds. 22. … & Consider Some Small Upgrades “Replacing old curtains and blinds or even appliances and fixtures will make your home look better in pictures and on showings,” L’Eplattenier says. At the very least … 23. Paint So long as you don’t use one of these four colors, of course. By the way … 24. Carefully Consider Major Home Improvement Projects Fix the roof, sure. Have the AC serviced, but consult with your Realtor or stager before blinging out the bathroom or wallpapering the basement. Certain home improvements that seem like a good idea may not actually bring any value to your home — or, worse, could be a turnoff to potential buyers. (We’re looking at you, outdoor bathtub.) 25. Get Your Disclosures Ready Though there are variations by city or state, some types of seller’s disclosure are generally mandated by law. “If you know of an issue in your home, write it down on the disclosure form provided by your Realtor,” Elliott says. “Nothing is too small to disclose, and failing to disclose is a serious breach of real estate law that can undermine the sale or worse.” 26. Trim the (Furniture) Fat “Too much furniture makes a home look smaller than it really is, so sell or move out furniture to make the home feel more spacious,” Phillips says. 27. Tap a Photographer … And consider hiring a professional. Solid listing photos make a big difference when it comes to getting buyers over to your house. 28. … But Clean Your Windows Before Showings “Multi-exposure photography … will make the photos really stand out, but if the windows are dirty, you don’t get the best shots,” Haas says. “Plus, cleanliness in general just makes for a better showing.” 29. Actually, Clean Everything We’re spelling this out just in case you hadn’t taken the initiative to do so already. “Nothing turns buyers off like grime, odor and general dinginess,” Elliott says. 30. Grout & Glaze “How does the bathroom look?” Max says. “Do you need to reglaze the tub or put new grout on the tile?” 31. Set the Stage Your Realtor can provide some valuable insights into how to organize your (leftover) furniture. “Stagers can also help you organize your furniture, and they can bring in just a few pieces that accentuate the positives of your home,” Kathryn Bishop, Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Studio City, California, says. 32. Change the Light Bulbs Lighting can be just as important as furniture feng shui when it comes to attracting homebuyers. 33. Up Your Curb Appeal “Neatly trimmed bushes, fresh mulch and a colorful pot of flowers work wonders on that all-important first impression,” Elliott says. “Repainting (or washing) the front door and pressure cleaning the driveway and sidewalks are also simple tasks that provide eye-catching results.” 34. Find a Place for Fido Sure, Sparky is cute and all, but you’ll want your pets out of the house during any showings. Plus, “it will always bring questions about any pet damage or difficult-to-remove smells,” Phillips says. Speaking of smells … 35. Deodorize … “Homeowners become smell blind and don’t realize how powerful smell is to homebuyers,” he says. “The home should smell fresh and clean, not perfumed and not like cats, dogs, cigarette smoke, old furniture, mothballs, mold, old food, gym locker or just plain stale.” 36. … De-Personalize … Pack away those personal pictures and mementos. “Removing these items helps buyers imagine themselves in the home,” Phillips says. 37. … De-Clutter … That goes beyond offloading some excess furniture and your picture words. Bottom line: It’s time to put all those books, toys, video games and figurines away. “The more crowded the apartment is, the smaller it appears,” Stacey Max, the sales manager of BOND New York, a residential brokerage, says. 38. … & Detach “Sellers are usually emotionally attached to their homes, which is natural,” Lahav says. “However, they have to remember that any potential buyer is looking at it without the emotional aspect that the owner has for his own property.” 39. Clean Out Your Closets … “They should look roomy,” Max says. 40. … & Your Drawers “We all say that one day we will go into all the rooms and drawers and throw out a lot of old items,” Lahav says. “Selling your home is the best time to do it.” In fact, while you’re at it, go ahead and … 41. Start Packing You’ll have to do it sooner or later. Might as well get a head start. 42. Store You don’t have to junk all your belongings — or avoid decluttering just because you don’t want to part with your old Buffy the Vampire Slayer box sets. Consider renting out a storage space or keeping some stuff over at a friend’s or family member’s place while you’re trying to sell. 43. Talk to Your Neighbors Consider this part of your curb appeal project — especially if you’re selling an apartment, co-op or condo. “You want your neighbors to be aware that there will be open houses,” Lahav says. “Buyers coming to view your home and see unhappy neighbors who look mad that the elevator [doesn’t] work or the driveway is blocked will assume that the neighbors are nasty, and that can affect their decision.” 44. Do a Final Walk-Through Just to be sure there’s nothing you missed with regard to repairs, curb appeal or staging your home. 45. Advertise Amply “Some sellers believe that it is OK to not put the home on the local MLS, that the agents in the area will just bring the perfect buyer,” Phillips says. “While this could happen, it rarely does. Doing this is like trying to sell a secret. The price does not matter because few buyers know the house is even for sale.” 46. Host an Open House “Recently, my listings have all sold to buyers who came to the open houses,” Bishop says. Beyond that … 47. Be Available “Appointments often come with only an hour’s notice,” she adds. “Work as smoothly as possible with your Realtor to accommodate showings.” 48. Adjust … If you find you did list your home for more than it’s worth, go ahead and change your listing. (Again, consulting with your Realtor can come in handy here.) 49. … & Stay Flexible “We’ve seen purchases fall apart over very small amounts of money, over a single appliance and over attitudes,” Phillips says. “Remember the big picture and how much it will cost to start over finding another willing and capable buyer. [Getting] the deal closed is often the best financial (and emotional) choice, even if you have to give up a little more than you wanted.” 50. Brush Up on Your Homebuying Skills Chances are, you’ll be buying a new abode before or after you sell your current one, so you’ll want to go refamiliarize yourself with that process as well. Fortunately, we’ve got 50 things you should do as a house hunter right here. Related Articles How to Get a Credit Card After Bankruptcy The Best Easy-to-Get Credit Cards 3 Credit Cards for People Who Love Cash Back This article originally appeared on Credit.com.
  • Atlanta United has finalized the transfer of Josef Martinez, who leads Major League Soccer with five goals in the expansion team's first three games. The 23-year-old Venezuelan forward initially joined United on loan from Italian club Torino in February. Atlanta president Darren Eales said Tuesday the team had planned all along to make the transfer permanent and keep Martinez under a multi-year contract. Eales says Martinez has 'been a fantastic addition to our club and it's clear he has the ability to (continue) making an impact in our league.' Led by Martinez, United (2-1-0) tops MLS with 11 goals and has averaged more than 50,000 fans for its first two home games. During the international break this week, Martinez is playing for the Venezuelan national team in World Cup qualifying.
  • DaMarcus Beasley, Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard were with Bruce Arena the last time the U.S. coach guided the Americans into World Cup qualifying — way back 12 years ago. 'It's a long time for a coach, too, I might add,' cracked the 65-year-old Arena, 'I had a lot more hair 12 years ago.' Jozy Altidore played for Arena during his debut season of Major League Soccer with the New York Red Bulls in 2006 and part of '07. The Americans are counting on that familiarity and experience in big matches when they face Honduras at home Friday in World Cup qualifying. 'He's been around U.S. Soccer for a very long time. I think that helps him a bit in his approach,' Altidore said after Tuesday's training in a steady rain at Avaya Stadium. 'He's a guy that everybody's really comfortable with and there's no adjustment period, which is good. He was one of my first pro coaches, so I know him well, his style and everything, so it's nothing new. It's good to have him back.' Arena's roster features 19 of 26 players from Major League Soccer with the Monday night addition of Chris Wondolowski of the San Jose Earthquakes. There were just 10 MLS players leading into an embarrassing 4-0 loss to Costa Rica on Nov. 15 — eight of whom dressed for the match after Howard got hurt against Mexico. That sent the Americans to their first 0-2 start in the final round of World Cup qualifying and led to Jurgen Klismnann's ouster. Arena then returned 10 years after his firing. 'I think Bruce is going to call up the players that give him the best chance to win,' midfielder Michael Bradley said. 'Regardless of where you play, regardless of what you've done, Bruce is going to rely on guys who are going to step on the field in big moments and go for it, be aggressive and fearless and represent him and the team and our country in the best possible way.' The Americans might need all the depth they have up front. Forward Jordan Morris didn't practice again Tuesday while nursing an ankle injury sustained Sunday with the Seattle Sounders. He did gym work and rehabbed the ankle after spending Monday receiving treatment at the team hotel. His status for Wednesday's practice remained unclear. Rain shortened on-field work and wet weather remained in the forecast for Wednesday and again Friday on match day. 'Anybody that's going to help the team, it doesn't matter where you play,' Beasley said. 'It doesn't matter if it's more MLS, more Europe, more Mexico, more Scandinavia, it doesn't matter. As long as you know what it's about to play for this team and play for this country you're going to be a part of it, so it's good to have that.' Beasley and Dempsey are 34. Howard, the starting goalkeeper the past two World Cups, turned 38 this month. There's a comfort level for the three with their new, and old, coach, Arena. 'They're old, man, they're some old cats,' Altidore said. 'That's a long time ago. Guys that we still need, guys with a lot of quality.' 'They're not bad players,' Arena said when asked about his 30-somethings still playing for him on the big stage more than a decade later. Dempsey and Howard are healthy again at last. Howard had surgery on his right thigh in November after getting hurt in a World Cup qualifying loss to Mexico and being replaced in the 40th minute. Dempsey had been out because of an irregular heartbeat. 'Experience counts for a lot in games like this, guys who understand what these games and what these moments are all about,' Bradley said. 'In both their cases, their experience and their track record speaks for itself, guys who have been on the field for us on so many big days, on so many important days. For me, personally, I couldn't be happier to have them both back and in the team and we're going to rely on them in a big way on Friday night.' Howard likes the mix of players brought in by Arena. 'I think that's probably a testament to some of our longevity,' Howard said. 'It's good to have some pieces in play that have been there who understand the manager. There are a lot of young kids, too.' NOTES: Altidore downplayed a Twitter back-and-forth with teammate Alejandro Bedoya on March 11. Bedoya spoke after Altidore drew a foul during Toronto FC's 2-2 draw with Philadelphia. 'Knowing Jozy, he tends to go down easy in the box, so let's just leave it at that.' Altidore took to Twitter: 'Nice comment pal @AleBedoya17. You have a lot to say but never to anyones face. Im surprised.. but I shouldn't be.' The matter seems put to rest. 'It's all jokes, man,' Altidore told The Associated Press. 'It's nothing crazy. I've known Bedoya a long time. It's all good.
  • The Atlanta Falcons announced a five-year contract extension with team president Rich McKay on Tuesday. McKay will remain with the team at least through June 2022, serving as president and chief executive officer of the Falcons as well as president of owner Arthur Blank's AMB Sports & Entertainment. McKay was hired by the Falcons in 2004 and served as general manager for four seasons. After being bumped up to team president, he helped pushed through Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a $1.5 billion, retractable roof facility that opens this summer to replace the Georgia Dome. McKay also helped secure an MLS expansion franchise, Atlanta United, which is owned by Blank and opened play this season. Prior to joining the Falcons, the 58-year-old McKay was general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 10 seasons. He is an influential player in league circles, serving as chairman of the competition committee and helping negotiate the current collective-bargaining agreement with the players. In addition, McKay worked prominently on Atlanta's efforts to land the College Football Playoff championship game in 2018, the Super Bowl in 2019 and the Final Four in 2020 — all to be held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 'Rich has been so important to our businesses and Atlanta's growth for many years,' said Steve Cannon, CEO of Blank's AMB Group. 'Rich is a great champion of our core values and will continue to be a strong leader in our organization and community for years to come.' ___ For more NFL coverage: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • As his U.S. teammates trained under cloudy skies on a brisk Bay Area morning, Tim Howard sat stretching on the sideline. He loosened up his shoulders. He balanced on his left leg and worked his hips. This is the new normal for Howard, fresh off his 38th birthday and a November surgery on his right thigh to repair the adductor muscle. 'I'm old,' chuckled Howard, the Americans' top goalkeeper the past two World Cups. 'That's every day for me now, between now and the next three years that's what every day looks like. It's a process, but hopefully it'll pay off.' Howard is expected to start for coach Bruce Arena in Friday's World Cup qualifier against Honduras at Avaya Stadium, home of the MLS San Jose Earthquakes, before the Americans play at Panama four days later. 'It's good to have him back,' defender DaMarcus Beasley said Monday. 'He's been a big part of this team for a long time now. Big games, World Cups, qualifiers. To have him back with the team and the group is a big plus for us and for everybody to see him back, especially after the injury he had at the end of last season.' Brad Guzan, who was chosen as the starter for last year's Copa America and then called to sub for an injured Howard in the 40th minute of the first U.S. World Cup qualifying loss to Mexico, was replaced last week. Guzan and his wife welcomed a baby girl Sunday night — '9 pounds, I'm told, and 22 inches long,' Arena announced, though he didn't know the baby's name except that she arrived a little early. 'In these situations, I think family comes first, despite what we'd all like to think otherwise around the sporting side,' Arena said. 'He needs to be with his family this week, so the decision for him to stay makes sense.' Howard is confident kicking with his right foot again but he notes, 'Thankfully I have half a decent left foot' when he needs to use it. The U.S. is 0-2 in the final round of World Cup qualifying for the first time, and Arena returned to coach the team 10 years after his firing. He was re-hired in November to replace Jurgen Klinsmann on the heels of those two defeats: 2-1 to El Tri at home and 4-0 at Costa Rica. Arena will be cautious with Howard as well as Clint Dempsey , who is back playing after dealing with an irregular heartbeat. Leading into his first MLS season with Colorado, Howard had hoped his body would allow him to return to the Americans' roster for qualifying, but didn't want to put anything in stone without knowing for sure he would be healthy. Now, he never expects to be fully 100 percent. 'I kind of felt that I'd be ready but I didn't want to get ahead of myself. It was a long rehab,' he said. 'A lot could happen between whenever that was, January, and now. We have setbacks all the time. I was on the right path, I was always going to be March 11 or there about, but I didn't want to put a timeframe on it and have a setback, so for me it was just personal. I'm 38, I don't think I'll ever be 100 percent again. But I've played through everything in my career, so it's not an issue for me.' Fellow goalkeepers Nick Rimando and David Bingham of the Earthquakes worked through drills Monday with position coach Matt Reis. Arena wouldn't say whether he had decided to promote Howard to No. 1 keeper before Guzan's availability became a question. 'We haven't decided our starting lineup yet. We're playing Friday, it's Monday,' he told The AP. Sounders stars Dempsey and Jordan Morris didn't train Monday, though Dempsey came to the field. Morris stayed at the team hotel Tuesday for treatment on the right ankle he injured during the first half of Seattle's 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls on Sunday. Earthquakes coach Dominic Kinnear was one spectator at his team's practice field, and Arena walked across the grass to offer his appreciation. 'Hey, Dom, thanks for your hospitality,' Arena said during a short chat. Howard, who did light jogging along with his stretching regimen, also said hello and they shared a laugh. While Howard said the 'unknown' concerned him in regards to his comeback and trying to simulate game action, he considers himself fortunate his timing and instincts are still intact at this stage of his career. 'I'm thankful that my reflexes and my reactions haven't slowed,' he said. 'So that's been a good thing. I probably take less risks and I think that's helpful.
  • The stands are packed with red-and-black-clad fans who chant incessantly, accompanied by a steady drumbeat and swirling flags. 'Atlanta!' they shout from one end of Bobby Dodd Stadium 'United!' everyone else responds. There's plenty to cheer about with an expansion team that has already displayed a dynamic style of play, scoring 11 goals in its first three games. It's early, but say this: Atlanta has really embraced Major League Soccer. 'It's like a party out there every time you take the field,' midfielder Julian Gressel said. 'Even coming out for warmups, you get goosebumps on your body. It's just a great feeling.' While impressive on the field, winning the last two games by a combined score of 10-1, United's best work has some in the stands. The inaugural contest, a 2-1 loss to New York Red Bulls that United led most of the way before surrendering two late goals, attracted a sellout of 55,297 to a stadium best known as the home of Georgia Tech's college football team. It was larger than any crowd drawn this past season by the Yellow Jackets. That was followed by turnout of 45,922 for Saturday's 4-0 blowout of Chicago — another sellout, essentially, since the school closed off 10,000 seats in the upper deck for previously planned renovation work. Not too shabby, considering United won't even move into its permanent home, $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, until late July. 'The support has been just amazing. We're very, very fortunate that we've got this atmosphere to play in front of,' defender Michael Parkhurst said. 'We don't want to take it for granted. We want to make this a real fortress and a place where teams dread to come to play.' United is one of two new franchises that joined MLS this season, but it hardly has the look of a neophyte organization. Not with a big-pockets owner such as Arthur Blank, who also owns the NFL Falcons. Not with a well-known coach such as Gerardo 'Tata' Martino, whose previous stints include Barcelona and guiding the mighty Argentina national team. Not with a roster that includes Josef Martinez, a 23-year-old Venezuelan on loan from Italian Serie A club Torino, as well as players such as Miguel Almiron, Hector Villalba and Yamil Asad to press the attack. Martinez already has an MLS-leading five goals, including two of the world-class variety in United's latest victory. Taking advantage of a Fire team that played most of the game a man down, Almiron threaded a pass between four defenders to send Martinez into the clear for his first goal in the 60th minute. Then, after another brilliant pass from Asad, the speedy forward flicked the ball away from the goalkeeper and managed to slowly curl the ball just inside the far post in the 82nd to finish off the rout. 'Josef Martinez is probably the best forward in this league,' Gressel said. 'It's not surprising to me that we can go out there and score four or five goals a game.' After an international break, United faces a very tough stretch that will give a better indication of whether this team is a legitimate playoff contender in its very first season. Atlanta plays its next four games on the road before finally returning home April 30. 'It's definitely still an expansion team,' Parkhurst said. 'We've got our bumps and bruises along the way. Off the field, everyone's still trying to get sorted and situated to the new city.' Indeed, United's debut hasn't been entirely smooth. In addition to blowing a lead in the opener, some Atlanta fans came under fire for chanting an anti-gay slur . Team officials quickly apologized and vowed to toss anyone who did it again. The crowd was on its best behavior Saturday, even unveiling a banner before the game that said, 'Give Racism A Red Card.' After the match was over, a long line snaked up to a merchandise stand on the west side of Bobby Dodd Stadium, everyone standing eagerly with credit cards in hand to gobble up more United gear. In a city starved for championships, especially after the Falcons squandered a 25-point lead and lost to New England in last month's Super Bowl, this team has provided a quick salve. 'It's really special,' said goalkeeper Alec Kann, a native of the Atlanta area. 'Things are moving in the right direction, for sure.' ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/paul-newberry . ___ For video on AP's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NFqhyY2qCc
  • Josef Martínez scored twice in the second half, pushing his league-leading total to five, and expansion Atlanta United won its second straight, defeating the Chicago Fire 4-0 on Saturday. Chicago (1-1-1) dug an early hole, conceding an own goal in the fourth minute and then having Johan Kappelhof sent off with a red card in the 11th minute. The own goal — Julian Gressel's cross from just out of the box on the right deflected off Brandon Vincent and went past keeper Jorge Bava— was enough for Alec Kann to post the first shutout in Atlanta (2-1-0) history. Martínez, who had a hat trick in last week's 6-1 win over fellow first-year team Minnesota, sandwich his goals around the first for Héctor Villalba. Miguel Almirón set up Martínez in the 60th minute, Villalba scored unassisted seven minutes later and Martínez capped the rout in the 82nd minute, assisted by Yamil Asad. Kann, who had two shutouts last season as a backup for Sporting Kansas City, had three saves.

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.