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Atlanta's Evening News & Erick Erickson

5-7PM

Erick Erickson

Atlanta’s Evening News & Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson practiced law for six years and oversaw a number of political campaigns at the federal, state, and local levels. He was also an elected city councilman in Macon, Georgia. 

In addition to hosting a show on WSB radio Erickson is a Fox News contributor after spending three years at CNN. He has also appeared on the Colbert Report on Comedy Central. According to Newsweek, “Erickson has grabbed his party’s power brokers by their elephant-stitched suspenders. Avid readers include Rush Limbaugh, former senator Fred Thompson and … John Boehner.” 

Erickson is known for a willingness to speak candidly about and challenge the Republican establishment as well as rally conservatives to push their agenda at both the federal and state level. He has used his position to help raise the profile of a number of conservative candidates across the country from Marco Rubio in Florida to Nikki Haley in South Carolina to Ted Cruz in Texas. 

The London Telegraph named Erickson the sixty-fifth most influential conservative in America in 2010. He is co-author of the book RedState Uprising. Each weekday morning, Erickson writes his “Morning Briefing” email, widely considered a must read among conservative pundits and activists. “The ability of [Erickson's Morning Briefing] to shape a message illustrates the power of the conservative network,” according to Washington Post. The Hollywood Reporter describes Erickson as "the most influential conservative blogger on the Internet." 

Erick Erickson earned a Bachelor of Arts with honors at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, majoring in History and Political Science. He earned his juris doctorate at Mercer’s Walter F. George School of Law. 

Wrap up your day with him on the air weeknights on News 95.5 and AM-750 WSB.

The Erick Erickson Show 12-04-18

Topics: Tonight on the show the tariff man, bad day on the stock market, lefty rag hates dogs and just how many Democrats are going to run for President.
Posted: December 04, 2018

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The Erick Erickson Show 12-03-18

Topics: Tonight on the show we remember our 41st President George H.W. Bush.
Posted: December 03, 2018

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The Erick Erickson Show 11-28-18

Topics: Tonight on the show John Allen Chau's last mission, the latest on Stacey Abrams lawsuit, the problems with climate change extremists and a Christmas reminder we could all use.
Posted: November 28, 2018

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Local Politics
Jewel Johnson used to feel close to her south Fulton County neighbors. Over the three decades she’s lived in Loch Lomond Estates, she invited neighbors over for birthday lunches, tried to always say hello on the street and celebrated each year at the subdivision Christmas party. But those strong relationships frayed after she and a cohort of neighbors sued in 2016 to stop their neighborhood’s annexation into the city of Atlanta. As the court battle unfolded, Johnson said, people stopped waving and sometimes refused to answer the door when she knocked. She’s stopped attending the holiday party, and her relationship with a close friend became so strained, Johnson deleted the woman’s number from her phone. “I really felt like we had a real good community, ‘til the annexation came along,” said Johnson, 67. “I don’t know if it will ever get back. I pray it will.” Thus is life these days in Loch Lomond, a tree-lined suburban neighborhood of about 200 homes that was on the edge of Atlanta’s expansion when it was developed in the mid-1960s. Now, the neighborhood finds itself on the last fault line in the Fulton cityhood movement that over the past 13 years has reshaped the county’s politics and forged new community identities. It’s this struggle for identity that has pitted neighbor against neighbor in Loch Lomond. The community and its residents became collateral damage as the charge to incorporate areas across Fulton forced homeowners in the neighborhood, many of whom had lived together in harmony for decades, to suddenly take sides. In 2014, a group of residents in the subdivision started a petition to annex the unincorporated area of Fulton into the city of Atlanta, just one street over. The successful petition, after the majority of neighbors signed on to join the city in 2016, caused a backlash among residents who resisted becoming part of Atlanta. They sued on the grounds that the petition was not valid. In October, the Georgia Court of Appeals agreed and upended the annexation, saying the neighborhood was improperly annexed into Atlanta. That decision effectively placed Loch Lomond in the new city of South Fulton and set off a new wave of hard feelings among neighbors who say a small, vocal group of residents is overwhelming the majority’s will. For Johnson, too much was at stake to sit on the sidelines. She had lived in Atlanta in the 1970s and 1980s, and still owns property in the city. But a series of events made her decide she didn’t want to be there any longer: She had one child, and was pregnant with twins, when the Atlanta child murders began in the late 1970s. When her children were young, Atlanta did little to respond to a drug dealer next door. And gentrification raised her property taxes, making it harder to afford her home, while services didn’t seem to improve. In 1989, she decided it was time to leave. Decades later, when Loch Lomond neighbors began seeking signatures for the annexation petition, she hadn’t changed her mind about the city. “Southwest Atlanta’s always on the back burner,” she said. “We get less from the city than anybody. …We can’t survive in Atlanta. Their interest is not in the little people like me.” ‘We have been unannexed’ In many ways, the neighborhood had one of its own atop city hall at the time of the annexation two years ago. Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed grew up in Loch Lomond, and lived there when he was a state representative. For resident William Shepherd, the idea of joining Atlanta had a lot of appeal. Shepherd, now in his 80s, is past president of the neighborhood homeowners’ association. And he’s so in favor of living in Atlanta that he refuses to believe the court decided otherwise. He said he didn’t “have any hard feelings” toward neighbors who pushed for the annexation to be overturned. But at the same time, he questioned their motives, saying they should have respected the wishes of the majority of residents, who wanted to be in the city. State law requires 60 percent of property owners and voters sign off on an annexation, though opponents questioned whether all the signatures were legitimate. “I felt like people manipulated the community,” he said of those who filed suit. “I’d rather have my own choice.” Shepherd moved to Loch Lomond 47 years ago during a period of sharp transition. As his and other black families moved in to what was originally considered a remote area of the county, many of the original white owners left the subdivision. For sale signs were common. The neighborhood, a bucolic setting with several lakes and homes on one-acre lots, attracted middle-class families who formed the basis of the community that is still in place today. Shepherd said he preferred to join Atlanta over South Fulton because he thought an established city would be a better fit for aging residents. The city of South Fulton is still building up its police department and making decisions about fundamental parts of its government. More than two years after the annexation was first finalized, in the summer of 2016, Shepherd thinks of himself as an Atlantan. “I’m not going to say we’re out of Atlanta,” he said. “I’m not accepting it as fact that we have been unannexed.” Other residents have been reluctant to share the depth of their feelings, not wanting to air neighborhood business in public. Some declined to discuss the annexation controversy on the record. Lorraine Walton, a longtime resident, said the fact that several residents want to be in South Fulton “has created a divide.” And Emmanuel Tillman, who lives in the neighborhood next to Loch Lomond, said he’s had to get off his local Nextdoor app because of the amount of “sniping” between neighbors about the annexation. Mary Harris, a 42-year resident who led the petition drive for annexation, said she still considers herself an Atlanta resident. She said those that want to stay in Atlanta aren’t giving up. But she doesn’t believe the legal dispute has changed the character of the friendly neighborhood. “No one has stopped talking,” she said. ‘It’s just an uncomfortable feeling’ Still, Atlanta annexation opponents say they have experienced a different reality. Some say the neighborhood isn’t as welcoming to them as it once was. They describe behavior that’s hurtful, including being ignored by some neighbors. Leroi Stanley, 45, grew up in Loch Lomond, later lived in Cobb County and moved back to the neighborhood several years ago to raise his children. He doesn’t want to be part of Atlanta and found advocates pushing the annexation to be overzealous in their efforts. He objected when one neighbor asked his mother for his father’s death certificate so they could get him off the voter rolls and make it easier to get to the 60 percent of signatures needed for annexation. He said that moved him to question the annexation efforts. Shortly after, Stanley said, he stopped getting invitations to community meetings, including this year’s Christmas party. “There’s been no more notices in my mailbox,” he said. “The neighborhood is definitely divided, and I would say rightfully so.” Stanley and his anti-Atlanta annexation neighbors said Reed and other city officials tried to persuade residents by making lofty promises as they tried to build support for the annexation. Neighbors saw his visits to the largely African-American neighborhood as an effort to get more voters into the city who would be inclined to support Keisha Lance Bottoms in what would become a close mayor’s race last year between her and Mary Norwood. Bottoms eventually won by fewer than 800 votes. Stanley didn’t like that his children’s education was disrupted by the annexation effort. They were moved from the Fulton County Schools to Atlanta Public Schools after the area was annexed. Still wary of the test cheating scandal, he doesn’t trust his children’s education to the city. He moved one child into Fulton schools after the court ruling, and plans to move the other two at summer break. Other residents expressed different reasons to distrust the city and its leadership. Evelyn Weaver, who’s lived in the neighborhood for 45 years, said she knew Reed as a child. But she didn’t like the mayor’s plan to displace two historic, black churches downtown to build Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Weaver, who was also involved in the lawsuit, said she grew up in Atlanta and didn’t want to go back. The tensions from the Loch Lomond annexation battle have been hard, she said. “It’s just an uncomfortable feeling,” she said. Raphael Ammons, one of those involved with the lawsuit, said people in the neighborhood used to go out of their way to help each other, but that’s changed since the court case. Ammons said he hopes time heals the divide, but said there’s “a lot of bad blood” between residents. “People are angry they’re not going to be in Atlanta,” he said. “Some people don’t even speak to you. It’s just animosity, it’s tension.” ‘They’ve been so ugly to me’ Fulton County’s cityhood movement began in force in 2005, when Sandy Springs residents voted to incorporate. Since then, Johns Creek, Milton and Chattahoochee Hills also formed cities in north Fulton. But residents in south Fulton weren’t interested. In 2007, they rejected a cityhood referendum with 80 percent of the vote, preferring the unincorporated status quo. As annexations shrank the unincorporated area, cityhood proponents tried again. In 2016, residents approved a referendum to form the city of South Fulton, and they elected leaders the following year. South Fulton’s transition period to assume services from county was finalized this fall. Odie Donald, the South Fulton city manager, is hoping to bridge the divide between those who wanted to be in his city and those who preferred Atlanta. He is planning to hold community meetings to welcome Loch Lomond residents into South Fulton before the police, trash and other services transition to the new city in January. Donald said he hopes to win residents’ trust and he thinks they will get used to their new reality, and even come to enjoy being South Fulton city residents. “I believe they will end up very happy,” he said. “By law, we have to serve them and they have to be in the city. We’re going to make sure they have the highest level of service.” Michael Smith, an Atlanta spokesperson, said the city was disappointed in the court’s ruling in October, and in a subsequent decision last month to deny a request that the court reconsider. City officials and some Loch Lomond residents continue to explore options for other ways to stay in Atlanta, he said. As for Johnson, she hasn’t spoken at length to people on the pro-Atlanta side since well before the court ruling in October. Even though the episode has taken its toll, she’s happy with her decision to pursue the lawsuit. She hopes time will repair strained friendships, but she isn’t sure. “They’ve been so ugly to me,” she said. “I don’t know if this thing’s ever going to heal,” she added.
The Atlanta's Evening News Team
Atlanta news, traffic and weather. Breaking stories from around the Metro Area. Coverage you can depend on from News 95.5 AM750 WSB.
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News

  • After DeKalb County School District officials promised efforts to improve their hiring process, the district hired a teacher this summer who had been arrested in 2013 in New York for meth possession. Carl Hudson was arrested in 2013 for possession of methamphetamine, a felony, a few blocks from Flushing High School, where he was principal. According to the New York Daily News, he pleaded to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct and received a conditional discharge, meaning the whole incident would get wiped from his record if he did not have any other legal run-ins over the following year. Hudson’s case is like the series of hiring blunders that led DeKalb officials to admit to gaps in the district’s hiring processes while promising to correct those flaws. According to his resume, he moved to Atlanta in 2016 and found employment with Atlanta Public Schools, beginning as a long-term substitute before becoming a permanent hire, until he left the district this summer to teach math at Tucker High School. Atlanta Public schools officials said he worked for the district just over a year, ending in November of 2017. His arrest, though, was easily found through a Google search and according to Georgia teaching standards should have kept him from being employed by either school district. Superintendent Steve Green said Tuesday that being previously charged with a crime would not make someone ineligible for a job. District officials said they were not aware of Hudson’s arrest prior to hiring him. TRENDING STORIES: Police ID woman run over, killed at gas station; search for driver underway Michelle Obama extends national book tour, adds stop in Atlanta Officer shot in bulletproof vest during traffic stop, suspect killed Atlanta Public Schools officials did not say whether they were aware of his 2013 meth arrest, but said late Tuesday that results of standard background checks met their guidelines. According to the Code of Ethics for Educators, from the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, unethical conduct includes the commission or conviction of a felony, including a situation where the charge is disposed through diversion or similar programs. On his application, Hudson marked “no” when asked whether he had been convicted of any crimes in the last five years. On his resume, instead of listing the name of the high school where he worked, he wrote “NYC DOE High School,” or New York City Department of Education. Efforts to reach Hudson were not successful. District officials said he “walked off the job” Nov. 26. Bernice Gregory, the district’s human resources chief, said changes to the hiring procedure since she arrived at the district in April include having a second person — either Gregory or the director of employment services — perform a second candidate screening to ensure checks and balances on the district’s hiring checklist have been met. That could include a Google search and verifying a person’s job history for the past 10 years, talking to at least one reference who directly supervised the candidate. “We put another set of eyes on it,” Gregory said about the applications. “Once we put their names in Google, you know everything … is going to come up that’s out there.” The district recently joined the National Association of Teacher Education and Certification, which has a database giving the district access to convictions, arrests and charges against a potential candidate. Her staff is set to begin training this week to use that system. She said they also recently signed up for access to the Child Protective Services Information System, which essentially is a child abuse registry for the state of Georgia and would tell district officials whether someone had had as little as a child abuse complaint against them. A question added to applications will ask applicants if they have been asked to resign from a school district. During peak hiring times, Gregory said someone from her department will ask the question again. The district has gotten into trouble for sloppy hiring in the past, including a teacher hired last summer who had been fired from the Toledo, Ohio, school district on allegations that she assaulted students by putting them in headlocks and pushing them against walls. DeKalb County Schools placed Sandra Meeks-Speller on administrative leave on Oct. 10, 2017 pending an internal investigation, shortly after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution requested her personnel file and told district officials what was uncovered online about her past. Diane Clark was removed twice from the district in 13 months. The first time, in November 2016, she was allowed to retire early after several of her Cross Keys High School students claimed she made threatening comments about getting them deported immediately after President Donald Trump was elected. The second time was December 2017, after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution discovered Clark had been brought back to the district as a substitute teacher.  District officials admitted failing to do internet searches was among critical gaps in their background-check process, and promised changes such as verifying the work history candidates provide on their job applications and making direct contact with references.“Our background-check process certainly needs shoring up,” Superintendent Steve Green said last year. “We need to keep up with the times for ways there are to get information. In the old days, if you were cleared to teach in Ohio, you would be cleared to teach here.” District officials said in an email at the time that they would provide training sessions on interview tips, contact state boards where candidates are licensed and provide annual safety awareness training for some human capital management employees.
  • A Kentucky man is facing murder charges after allegedly slashing the throat of his sleeping 3-year-old niece early Saturday morning, news outlets reported. >> Read more trending news  The toddler’s father heard her screams over a baby monitor around 2:45 a.m. and was attacked by Emanuel Fluter, 33, when he tried to save his daughter, The Associated Press reported. Josephine Bulubenchi later died from her injuries at an Albany-area hospital. Fluter, a veteran, who had been living with the family in their rural Clinton County home, had been suffering from mental health issues, the child’s father and Fluter’s brother, Dariu Fluter, told WKYT-TV. “I want people to know that he loved his nieces and loved his nephews,' Dariu Flutur said. 'He loved us. He loved me and his sister.” The family told WKYT they forgive him for the alleged murder. 'He has a mental condition that he suffers with since he was in the army,' Dariu said. 'It's tough for us to understand because of what happened.' >> Trending: Texas firefighters rescue over 100 snakes from burning house, including pythons, boas There were four other children in the room at the time of the attack, but none of them were injured, police said. Fluter is jailed on $1 million bond and is due back in court on Dec. 18.
  • A metro Atlanta woman is accused of stabbing another woman to death at a Rockdale County motel and firing at officers during a chase. It happened at a Motel 6 in Conyers. Right after the murder, a statewide alert helped authorities in another part of the state catch the murder suspect, 42-year-old Joyce Marie Lewis-Pelzer. The alert also sparked new attention being put on the disappearance of another woman seven years ago. Last November, Channel 2 Action News followed up on the disappearance of Shawndell McLeod out of DeKalb County that is being investigated as a homicide. [READ MORE: 6 years later, this missing woman's case is now a murder investigation] While looking into Lewis-Pelzer, Channel 2's Matt Johnson found DeKalb court records that show McLeod took out a protective order against Lewis-Pelzer two months before the disappearance. Lewis-Pelzer is recovering at a south Georgia hospital after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said she led deputies on a high-speed chase that ended in Turner County. TRENDING STORIES: Police ID woman run over, killed at gas station; search for driver underway Michelle Obama extends national book tour, adds stop in Atlanta Officer shot in bulletproof vest during traffic stop, suspect killed 'Probably eight or nine minutes from mile marker 94 to mile marker 84 -- 10-miles stretch and it reached speeds of 110 miles per hour,' Sheriff Billy Hancock said. Deputies in Crisp County returned fire when she shot at them on I-75 Monday night. Authorities said she tried to head to Florida after stabbing her partner. A statewide alert helped a state trooper locate her car and attempt to make a traffic stop before authorities said Lewis-Pelzer kept going. It took two PIT maneuvers to stop her and the GBI said she fired at least one shot from her car toward deputies. As for the McLeod case, a Conyers police spokesperson said they're working with another department to look at the suspect further to determine her connection to an additional murder. The family of the victim at the motel is out of state and have not been notified of her death as of late Monday night. The accused killer has multiple domestic violence arrests in both DeKalb and Fulton counties.
  • Attorneys for President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn asked a judged to spare him prison time in a memo filed Tuesday. >> Read more trending news  In the filing, Flynn’s lawyers recommended for a sentence 'a term of probation not to exceed one year, with minimal conditions of supervision, along with 200 hours of community service, CNN reported. His attorneys said in the memo that “General Flynn accepted responsibility for his conduct and that his cooperation “was not grudging or delayed.” >> Related: Guilty: Michael Flynn admits in court to lying about Russian communication “Rather, it preceded his guilty plea or any threatened indictment and began very shortly after he was first contacted for assistance by the Special Counsel's Office.” Flynn is scheduled for sentencing next Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials. Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, recommended no jail time for Flynn in a filing last week. Original story: Attorneys for President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn are expected to make a sentencing recommendation Tuesday in a case brought by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office. Prosecutors with Mueller’s team said last week in court filings that Flynn has been cooperative since he pleaded guilty last year to making false statements to the FBI. In light of his assistance, prosecutors asked that Flynn receive little to no jail time for his crime, an argument Flynn’s attorneys are expected to echo, according to The Associated Press. >> Mueller investigation: Report recommends little to no jail time for Michael Flynn Flynn resigned from his post in the Trump administration in February 2017 after serving just 24 days in office. He pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials and agreed to fully cooperate with Mueller’s team.  Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced next week by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, according to court records.
  • A day of shopping at a New Jersey mall took a violent turn for three teenagers, who said they were beaten up by two women over a parking space. >> Read more trending news  The three friends - Taylor McFadden, 18; Tatum Bohanon, 19, and Alexandria 'Allie' DeRusso, 19 – told NJ.com that a car was waiting for their parking spot close to the Deptford Mall entrance, but that they weren’t ready to leave.  The girls think that’s what angered the women, who, at first, walked by their car with two men, and then returned and attacked them, McFadden said. She told NJ.com that one of the women hit Bohannon and the other woman punched DeRusso. “Both of my friends were on the ground at this point, getting punched,” McFadden told NJ.com. “I jumped out of the passenger side and I grabbed my phone so that I could call the police. People started coming over, but I think a lot of people were scared to get involved,” she said. When it was over, all three girls were treated at a local hospital. >> Trending: Father turns in daughter to face charges over starving dogs Authorities are investigating the incident.
  • California state lawmaker Joaquin Arambula was arrested Monday on suspicion of misdemeanor child cruelty, Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer said. The arrest came after officials at Dailey Elementary Charter School discovered an injury on a child who came into an office Monday afternoon, Dyer said. He did not describe the injury or Arambula's relationship to the child. He was cited for willful cruelty to a child, Arambula, a Democratic state assemblyman, is married with three young daughters. 'Joaquin is a committed father who wants what is best for his children,' his spokeswoman Felicia Matlosz said in a Tuesday statement. 'He is fully supportive of the process, which will show he is a loving and nurturing father.' Arambula is a former emergency room physician who won a 2016 special election to represent part of Fresno and the surrounding rural areas. His father Juan Arambula was a state assemblyman in the early 2000s. Officials at the elementary school reported the child's injury to child protective services, which called Fresno police, Dyer said. Officers called Arambula and his wife, Elizabeth, who both arrived at the scene. The child described how the injury occurred and said Arambula inflicted it, Dyer said. The police determined the injury happened Sunday evening. Arambula was cooperative and cordial, but he did not provide a statement to officers based on advice from his attorney, Dyer said. Officers were 'confident that a crime had occurred' and arrested Arambula on suspicion of willful cruelty to a child, Dyer said. He was taken in a patrol car to police headquarter, finger-printed, photographed and then released because his crime is a misdemeanor. The injury did not rise to the level of a felony. All school district employees in California are considered 'mandated reporters' under state law, meaning they are required to report known or suspected child abuse. They are not responsible for determining if an allegation is valid, according to the state Department of Education's website. They are expected to report if abuse or neglect is suspected or a child shares information leading them to believe it took place. They are then required to call law enforcement or child protective services, and law enforcement is required to investigate. A physical injury inflicted on a child by someone else intentionally is considered child abuse or neglect. Officials at the elementary school and Fresno Unified School District did not immediately respond to requests for comment. __ Associated Press writers Jonathan J. Cooper and Don Thompson contributed.