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Atlanta's Morning News

Weekdays 4:30am - 9am

Scott Slade

Atlanta’s Morning News

Join Atlanta’s Morning News with Scott Slade weekday mornings on WSB to start your day with the news, weather and traffic you need from WSB.  

Host

  • Scott Slade is host of Atlanta’s Morning News, consistently one of the top-rated radio programs in metro Atlanta for over twenty years, and among the top-rated news-talk programs in the USA. The show airs weekdays, 4:30-9:00 AM, on 95.5 FM and AM750, WSB.

After Atlanta's Morning News with Scott Slade

  • Scott Slade pulls back the curtain to offer you a behind-the-scenes glimpse at notes he takes every day, hosting Atlanta’s Morning News: KOREA SUMMIT: Kim Jong Un sends his right-hand man to Washington. And the Wall St Journal reports the U.S. is DEFERRING launching major new sanctions... The latest signs a North Korea summit is ON. BROAD report on the economy: S&P 500 companies: corp. profits up over 24% and 78% are beating expectations.  GAS PRICES MAY HAVE PEAKED: TRIPLE A says we should catch a break soon from rising gas prices after Russia and Saudi Arabia express interest in raising oil supply. CRUDE OIL prices have dropped enough to amount to a discount of at least 10 cents at the pump in the short term.  Americans spend BILLIONS on supplements like vitamins with no real idea on whether they're getting anything for their money.  WSB NEWS ABOUT YOUR HEALTH: THE MOST COMMON VITAMIN AND MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS DO YOU NO HARM, RESEARCHERS SAY BUT THEY DON'T DO YOU MUCH GOOD EITHER. SCIENTISTS IN CANADA SAY IT SURPRISED THEM TO FIND SO FEW POSITIVE EFFECTS FROM VITAMINS C, D, MULTI-VITAMINS AND CALCIUM. THEY SHOW NO ADVANTAGE IN PREVENTING HEART ATTACK OR STROKE. FOLIC ACID AND B-VITAMINS WITH FOLIC ACID DO REGISTER A SLIGHT HEALTH BENEFIT.  Starbucks stores close at 230 PM nationwide today for diversity training.  Watching to see if the roof at Mercedes Benz stadium cranks open today; it's supposed to open for the next 10 days for final construction, including Saturday's ATL United Game.  Delta Airlines rolls out new uniforms for flight attendants and ground crews.  The president travels to Nashville to raise campaign cash for Rep. Marsha Blackburn this evening, the GOP's leading Senate hopeful in Tennessee, and headline a rally.  Tuesday, May. 29 10:30 AM Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, First Lady Sandra Deal, and Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning Commissioner Amy Jacobs hold a news conference reminding parents, caregivers, and the public about the dangers of leaving children unattended in vehicles (LOOK AGAIN campaign)  I wonder if this will come up THE VIEW on Channel 2 this morning? You know John McCain's daughter Meghan is one of the hosts. Comes out last night during the premiere of the new HBO Doc. JOHN MCCAIN FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS she had a screaming match with the senator just days after his brain cancer surgery to prevent him from flying back to Washington to vote on the GOP attempt to repeal Obamacare. He told her to stand down, snapping at her that 'IT's My Life and it's my choice.
  • Scott Slade pulls back the curtain to offer you a behind-the-scenes glimpse at notes he takes every day, hosting Atlanta’s Morning News: WED on AMN Primary election results and analysis - who's moving ahead in the race for GOV  The White House meeting over the upcoming North Korea summit  The rain that's coming between now and Mem Day - who could see some flooding. Kirk Mellish's blog - 4-5 inches of rain between now and Sunday?  How Clark Howard says you can save hundreds on hearing aids  Why the CDC says ATLANTANS are maxing out the STRESS charts  The decision on whether a former DK cop will face a murder trial  Clark Howard's travel bargains Thursday morning (Kilauea volcano is still erupting): Are we going to hear from Clark Howard on whether Hawaii is on sale? Are you tempted? Gotta admit, I wouldn't mind seeing one of the natural wonders of the world. There hasn't been excitement for a play coming to ATL like this since PHANTOM's 1st run back in the 1990's... Hamilton!  AJC entertainment writer Melissa Ruggieri even has a public service BLOG this morning on common courtesy in the theater: turn off your phone, be on time, don't crawl over a row of people to go get a glass of wine (please wait til intermission). And for all that is Lin Manuel Holy, don't sing along with the songs!!!! The guy who paid 500 bucks for the seat next to you came to hear the cast do it... ok?  The 32 NFL owners are in ATL for meetings today ... including more changes in kickoffs and how to handle Natl Anthem protests and sports gambling...asking Congress to set clear rules.  PRIMARY ELECTION DAY ... over 400 races statewide, led by primaries for GA Governor.  Gwinnett and Cobb schools dismiss for the summer tomorrow; Atlanta, and DeKalb on Friday.  APS Super. Meria Carstarphen tells Chan 2's Audrey Washington that they'll be holding ACTIVE SHOOTER drills this fall.
  • Scott Slade pulls back the curtain to offer you a behind-the-scenes glimpse at notes he takes every day, hosting Atlanta’s Morning News: Today is first week day for the new STARBUCKS policy: 'Any customer is welcome to use Starbucks spaces, including our restrooms, cafes and patios, regardless of whether they make a purchase.' If this is their plan to weed out paying customers, it might just work.  Rudy Giuliani says Special Counsel Robert Mueller's people tell him the Russia obstruction probe will wrap up by September IF the president agrees to an interview this summer.  Developments from the Santa Fe High School shooting Friday -- Former Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan is calling for parents to BOYCOTT SCHOOLS until elected officials pass stricter gun control laws.  Singer Kelly Clarkson on the Billboard Music Awards last night with a tribute to the Santa Fe Texas high school shooting victims said moments of silence aren't working, it's time for action.  Coming up Tuesday on AMN:  Biggest rain chance days this week in Kirk Mellish's 5 DAY Forecast  South Korean President's meeting with Pres. Trump - will he get an earful for overselling NK willingness to negotiate?  Is GA Country Crooner Caleb Lee Hutchinson the new American Idol The Braves in Philadelphia playing the 2nd place Phillies  Early turnout on primary election day  Clark Howard's warning about thieves hacking credit cards with embedded chips  CDC: based on internet searches, Atlanta's ranking for stress.  TODAY  Pres. Trump says he will officially ask for formal investigation into whether the FBI had an informant inside his campaign in 2016.  Immunity hearing today for former DK officer Robert Olsen for the shooting death of an unarmed veteran; if he is not granted immunity, jury selection begins in his felony murder trial.  Atlanta City Council expected to vote TODAY on whether to spend up to $130 for backup generators at Hartsfield/Jackson International Airport. A resolution would call for the city to enter in to a contract with GA Power to install enough emergency capacity to supply 100% of the power needed to run the concourses normally...about 65 megawatts. (It could take more than two years to finish the generator project if and when it's greenlighted.)  Final day of campaigning before the GA Primary tomorrow. The candidates' biggest opponent may be voter apathy.
  • Scott Slade pulls back the curtain to offer you a behind-the-scenes glimpse at notes he takes every day, hosting Atlanta’s Morning News: Make a point to listen TOMORROW on AMN: Kirk Mellish's exclusive LONG-RANGE Summer Outlook at 620, 720 and 820 AM. Police tell the AJC, 7 of the 18 Holstein/Fresian dairy cattle (you may know them as Chick-fil-A cows) in the I-75 truck crash in North Cobb this morning did not survive. These cows were not on their way on vacation, but I'm impressed with their humane treatment by authorities.  CRIME ALERT for Morning Drive Muggings:  ATL police are mobilizing to STOP a string of car-jackings and pedestrian robberies that all occurred in a TIGHT radius including midtown and South Buckhead between the hours of 5AM and 7AM THIS WEEK.  CDC says it's now safe to eat romaine lettuce again. Tainted lettuce from AZ has aged out of the supply chain.  US House expected to continue debate on Farm Bill 12:00 PM today. Important: agriculture is GA's #1 industry worth nearly $75 billion a year. Some help for GA blueberry farmers? GA Dept. of AG says this year's blueberry crop is likely to be hit as hard as last years, around 60% off with an impact that could approach $400 million.  ON TAP TODAY  US Senate vote on CIA Dir. Nominee Gina Haspel.  Morning news conference over the future of a City of Eagles Landing.  The Cobb Development Authority meets with the Cobb School Board to talk about how big TAX INCENTIVES should be to draw several hundred high tech jobs to the Suntrust Park corridor.  THE huge new OPEN-AIR CLUB ON THE ROOFTOP OF THE FOX THEATER OPENS FOR BUSINESS TONIGHT to patrons, to the public on Saturday night ('Live From Here' with Chris Thile at the Fox Saturday). ABC: President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani is urging special counsel Robert Mueller's team to wrap up its investigation on the eve of the probe's one-year anniversary. Giuliani tells Fox News Channel's Laura Ingraham that Mueller 'has all the facts to make a decision.' Giuliani says Mueller has 'gotten 1.4 million documents, he's interviewed 28 witnesses. And he has nothing, which is why he wants to bring the president into an interview.' He says, 'We've tortured this president enough.'  I keep hearing Clarkston, Decatur and Athens being referred to as 'Sanctuary Cities.' But wait a minute ... the GA Legislature passed a law in 2009 OUTLAWING so called sanctuary cities that refuse to report immigration violations. But the national think tank Center for Immigration Studies says there's a loophole... the GA law refers to CITIES...and Dekalb and Clayton Counties are sanctuary COMMUNITIES.
  • Scott Slade pulls back the curtain to offer you a behind-the-scenes glimpse at notes he takes every day, hosting Atlanta’s Morning News: AUTHOR TOM WOLFE has died...88. He pioneered a novelistic form of journalism in the 60's and 70's with bestsellers like The Right Stuff and Bonfire of the Vanities. A lot of people think Wolfe pegged 1990 Atlanta with A Man in Full.  Kirk Mellish does NOT expect damaging, severe weather the next few days, we will be in and out of showers and a few storms.... about an inch of rain between now and the weekend on average, though some folks could see more and some, less.  NOTE TO SCOTT: TURN OFF the sprinkler system. We've got a bunch of rain coming the next few days.  (About an INCH between now and Friday)  I moderated last night's ATL Press Club debate between the Democratic candidates for governor – first Stacey Abrams and then Stacey Evans. Greg Bluestein's piece in the AJC this morning is headlined DEMOCRATS RENEW HOPE SCHOLARSHIP FIGHT. They were in agreement on several issues, however, including an immediate veto of ANY religious liberty legislation.  11Alive Survey USA poll on the GA Gov's race will be one of the last before the May 22 primary. HEADLINE: Cagle and Abrams solidify leads but a runoff still looms.  GOP:  Casey Cagle 35%  Brian Kemp solid 2nd place with 17%  Hunter Hill 10  Clay Tippins 8  Michael Williams 3  Around 25% undecided  DEMS  Stacy Abrams 43%  Stacey Evans 24%  Around a third undecided  The survey says in a head to head matchup, Cagle leads both Abrams and Evans by about 4 points.  I HOPE SOMEBODY studies the GA campaign for governor... there’s been some great TV and radio spots. (SOUND) Michael Williams is driving the Deportation Bus...Brian Kemp is handling every conservative icon from chainsaws to skeet guns in 30 seconds...While Clay Tippons is emerging from a swamp in Navy seal camo, Hunter Hill is running an obstacle course with a Casey Cagle lookalike FAR behind...and Casey Cagle is running a straight-laced TV ads with a graphics package that looks a LOT like the one they use on Chan2 Action News.  North Korea's threat to PULL OUT of next month's summit with Pres. Trump - they say they're upset over US/South Korea military exercises...that are routine. A North Korea official also says they have no interest in a summit with the US if it’s based on what they call ONE SIDED demands to give up nuclear weapons. No one who watches North Korea regularly is surprised that they are being flaky.  THE CURRENT TREND IN POP MUSIC - it’s not glad, it's SAD. the new survey showing we're singing more SAD songs. 500K since 1985... songs with happy themes are declining, while songs about sadness are RISING. HOWEVER: THE STUDY FINDS DANCE AND POP ARE THE MOST POPULAR GENRES.  GA ranks either 1st or 2nd for auto insurance rate increases the past few years...adding some extra interest to the GA Insurance Commissioner race.  AJC has reported the insurance industry is blaming increases in traffic, accidents and the cost to repair autos in GA for rates jumping as much as 25% in ONE YEAR.  TODAY  Braves/Cubs 730 at Suntrust Park (rain could interfere)  EPA Administrator Pruitt testifies to Senate Appropriations subcommittee on budget 9:30 AM.  Senate votes on resolution to reverse FCC decision to end net neutrality 9:30 AM.  Senate Intel Committee vote this morning on the nomination of Gina Haspel as CIA Director; DUPREE says look for a positive committee vote today and for the full Senate to confirm her Thursday.  The so-called red state teachers rebellion has spread to North Carolina. Today/Wednesday, thousands of public school teachers and their supporters will march of the state's capital, Raleigh. They want better pay and more resources for their classrooms. State Republican leaders tried to get ahead of the walkouts today/Tuesday by getting their message out. State G-O-P Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse says a local restaurant in North Raleigh is being paid to watch children for parents. Talk to you Thursday on AMN.

Atlanta's Morning News Anchors

Local News

  • Metro Atlanta school districts are still struggling to keep teachers amid a national teacher shortage, despite significant progress on increasing teacher salaries in recent years, often cited as the top reason why teachers leave. More than 700 teaching positions still exist across the region. And more than 3,000 teachers left their jobs during the 2018-2019 school year, with many retiring, moving to another school districts or leaving the profession. School begins for some districts in about two weeks. Educators and experts say focusing on issues beyond pay — including classroom conditions, professional development opportunities and school climate — will go a longer way to keep teachers in their classrooms. “Pay is just a small needle in the haystack,” said Jason Allen, a teacher at Seven Pillars Career Academy in Forest Park. “Increases are good, but [they are] not fixing the problem. I’ve left good-paying roles because of bad leadership.” School districts were holding job fairs as recently as Friday to continue the push toward starting the school year with teachers at the front of every classroom. That will be nearly impossible for some. DeKalb Schools, for example, recently said just 40 people had applied for more than 170 special education teaching positions the district had available. Officials there are scrambling to bring back retired special education teachers as well as looking at who in its pool of paraprofessionals could be certified before school begins for the district on Aug. 5. The district had 282 total openings on July 17. But 900 teachers left the district during the past school year, representing more than 20 percent of its full-time classroom teacher workforce. A list of initiatives to recruit and retain teachers supplied by the district was heavy on recruitment plans, and included one item — partnering with principals and professional learning — to address schoolhouse conditions. A 2016 Learning Policy Institute study found that key factors in why teachers leave included a lack of administrative support, teacher dissatisfaction with testing and other accountability pressures, working conditions and opportunities for advancement. According to the study, teacher turnover is higher in the South, where class sizes are larger and pay and education investments are lower. Turnover rates also are higher in where students of color largely make up the enrollment. Cornelius Minor, a New York-based educator and author of several education books, said he felt underprepared after recognizing the needs of the students when he entered the classroom. “Schools are a reflection of the unchecked racism, classism, sexism and ableism that is rampant in the communities that house them,” he said. “When kids walk into my classroom, they walk into my classroom both explicitly and implicitly traumatized by the conditions of the community in which you live. My job as a teacher is to be either OK with that or to work to undo it.” Minor, a product of Clayton County Schools, said he left the classroom in 2010 because he got an opportunity to learn more that could help with the experience. Through the consulting firm he runs with his wife, Kass Minor, those lessons are given to other educators. “As a young person coming out of (Florida A&M University), I was like, ‘I’m about to change the world,’” he said. “I get to the classroom and I’m like ‘I’m so not ready.’ It’s not enought to teach kids to conjugate a verb. That’s the tip of the iceberg.” To reduce turnover, districts have launched task forces, offered incentive pay and increased opportunities for mentorship and professional development.  While Cobb County Schools officials did not release information on how many teachers it lost during the 2018-2019 school year, they pointed out that the district has historically had the lowest teacher turnover of metro Atlanta districts. Just 20 vacancies are left to fill before school starts on Aug. 5. “We have even further increased our focus on teacher recruiting and retention,” officials said, “as evidenced by an additional new director-level [human resources] position dedicated to recruiting/retention efforts.” Gwinnett County Schools, which has little trouble recruiting teachers, saw 1,432 leave the system during the last school year, including 269 who retired. Officials said the district had 62 vacancies as of last week, with about half of them for special education positions. In addition to recruiting through job fairs and programs where they partner with colleges, the district recently began offering opportunities to high school graduates, well in advance of them attaining their degrees. “We also are growing future educators by providing letters of intent to recent Gwinnett County high school graduates who have enrolled in post-secondary education programs to become future teachers,” officials said. For years, Atlanta Public Schools has sought to offer contracts to teachers earlier than surrounding school districts as a head start to the teacher recruitment season. Officials have said the practice allows them to fill positions sooner. As of July 17, the district had 25 vacancies. In addition to the early contracts, the district’s 2015-2020 strategic plan calls for looking for candidates for high-need positions as early as the fall, including high-performing teachers in the prospective teacher screening process, increased its professional development offerings and provided more flexibility and innovative thinking through the district’s charter system operating model, which allows flexibility from some state regulations. Clayton County Public Schools’ professional learning department has developed a number of courses to continue supporting new and veteran teachers in an effort to boost morale and work on retention. The district lost 570 teachers last year, and had 187 vacancies as of Wednesday. “Over the course of the past few years, Clayton County Public Schools has worked to strengthen the screening and hiring process for new teachers through the establishment of a Retention Task Force,” district officials said. “As a result, the strengthened process has allowed the district to improve retention rates as well as the recruitment of new teachers.”
  • A dispute between Fulton County and its cities about the cost to run elections has frustrated leaders and led the county to cut back on early voting this fall. Officials in several north Fulton cities said they were shocked by what they called excessive costs to run city elections and demanded the county look for ways to save money. That led to a decision by the county to reduce the number of polling places, hours and days for early voting. “This makes me even angrier,” Roswell Mayor Lori Henry said upon learning that the East Roswell library was one of the proposed polling locations that wouldn’t open for early voting in the fall. “I am so frustrated with this and I am so frustrated with Fulton County.” The county had originally proposed opening 16 early voting locations, but reduced the number to nine after Henry and others said they thought the costs were too high. Roswell elections were slated to cost nearly $535,000, more than $200,000 more than the cost had been in 2017. The city’s elections are now estimated to cost about $375,000, a figure that is still more than $60,000 higher that what Roswell budgeted. “Fulton doesn’t really have competition,” Henry said. “They have us over a barrel on elections.” While some Fulton County cities perform their own elections and one, Mountain Park, contracts with Cherokee County, the other cities are required to contract with Fulton if they don’t want to go it alone, Henry said. She’s asked Sen. John Albers, R-Alpharetta, to put forth legislation that would allow cities to contract with neighboring counties to perform elections. Albers confirmed that he plans to file that legislation, saying he supports “giving our cities options for running elections to reduce the cost and improve the experience.” But Richard Barron, Fulton’s director of registration and elections, said the overall cost of municipal elections is lower this year than 2017. It’s just that the county’s method of cost-sharing divides the bill among all participating cities, and this year, neither Atlanta nor Sandy Springs is holding city elections. Those are the county’s biggest cities, and in 2017, during its mayoral race, Atlanta shouldered 58% of the cost of the election. Without those two cities’ contributions, Barron said, everyone else is being asked to pay more. Additionally, the county will train poll workers in person to ensure they understand their jobs, and will send mailings to all heads of household to ensure they know where their polling places are, which also adds to the costs. So does security, and there has been an increasing need for security at polling locations. Still, the early voting reductions by his office cut costs by 28% for Johns Creek and 44% in Alpharetta, in addition to the 30% decrease in Roswell. The savings amounted to more than $400,000 for just those three cities. The trade-off, Barron said, is less accessibility for early voting. In addition to the reduction in sites, early voting will not be available on the weekends, or after 5 p.m. “It’s unfortunate for the voters,” Barron said. “We’ve expanded early voting, and we were trying to keep that going.” Liz Hausmann, a Fulton County commissioner who represents part of north Fulton, said cities there balked at cost breakdowns that included a share of Medicare and Social Security contributions for staff. She said such a breakdown doesn’t make the county seem like it’s a good partner to the cities. “I feel strongly that if we conduct elections, we conduct elections,” she said. Hausmann said she didn’t think the cities were trying to get out of paying for elections entirely, but that the large cost increases “sent some of the cities into a quandary” about how to pay for them. Barron said the county divides the cost of municipal elections among the cities that are voting based on the number of eligible voters. If the county is holding an election — in November, it is not — the cities are only required to pay 10 percent of that cost. Henry said she was glad the county had reduced the numbers, but she didn’t think cities should be responsible for worker training or mailers that they didn’t ask for. “I just feel like they’re taking advantage of us because we’re required by state law to contract with them,” she said. Barron said the county doesn’t charge anything more than the cost of the election. “If you have an election as a municipality, you should have to pay for it,” he said.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the story of HIV in Atlanta has never been about white gay men with resources. The story is black gay men with few resources. If you’re wondering why that’s important, here’s your answer: The vast majority of people newly diagnosed and living with HIV are African American and living in metro Atlanta. That might not surprise a lot of people, but maybe this will. An end to the epidemic might be near. Give the county five years and the spread of HIV will be over, according to Derick Wilson, director of sexual health promotion for the Fulton County Board of Health. The temptation is to break out the bells and whistles, but that’s a tall order, especially in a county that leads the nation in the rate of new HIV infections. “If you look at new diagnoses around the country, no other large county has the same rate of new HIV infections,” said Wilson. “Sixty-nine of every 100,000 people in Fulton County were newly diagnosed in 2017. That compares to 29 per 100,000 in Kings County, New York, and 50 per 100,000 in Dade County, Miami, all with large, diverse populations similar to Fulton County.” End the epidemic in Fulton County, and we end it in the country. Until then, Wilson said, there’s little hope of ever ending it anywhere else. RELATED: An end to HIV in decade? First, Atlanta must catch up to other cities That explains in a nutshell why his office has drafted a “Blueprint for Ending HIV in Fulton County” and is working collaboratively with other county officials, including the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, to get people tested and in care. The blueprint, which spells out where the county is and where it needs to be, calls for decreasing by 25% new HIV infections by 2023; and getting 90% of people living with HIV to know their status, 90% retained in care, and 50% of those at risk of getting the disease on a daily dose of PrEP. “If we hit those goals, we basically end the HIV epidemic,” Wilson said. As part of its effort, the agency opened a PrEP Clinic in 2015 that provides free Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis medication and three years later hired a transgender coordinator, a first for any public health department in Georgia and maybe the Southeast. Trans outreach was one of Wilson’s first priorities when he joined the county health department in 2017. That’s significant because one of the highest risk groups for HIV infection is the transgender community. Continuing stigma associated with being transgender and the social alienation they face put them particularly at risk for infection. “To get them into treatment, we needed someone from the community to provide outreach and let them know there are safe spaces for them to come and talk about testing, PrEP, and treatment in a way that is respectful and authentic,” Wilson said. RELATED: Why Atlanta is still struggling with rising new HIV diagnoses Until the introduction of PrEP seven years ago, the most public health officials could do to prevent the spread of HIV was encourage condom use. That proved ineffective because people either didn’t want there to be a barrier during sex or in the heat of the moment, weren’t able to make the decision. “PrEP is an absolute game changer when it comes to HIV prevention,” Wilson said. “Taking one pill once a day can stop the virus from creating infection in the body.” Despite high rates when Wilson arrived here, few people were talking about HIV. It was as if high infection rates were an acceptable norm. It didn’t take long for him to realize that needed to change. And so along with a new PrEP outreach coordinator, Wilson launched the #STOPHIVATL campaign to remind people that HIV is out there and to let them know efforts were unfolding to end this crushing epidemic. Every day his office is putting out social media messages encouraging people to get tested and seek treatment. Those messages feature real people from metro Atlanta’s gay community so that they see themselves reflected in the campaign. “We can’t end the epidemic if people don’t think there is one or don’t think we can do anything about it,” Wilson said. While it’s still too early to tell if efforts are paying off, Wilson is confident they will. It’s why he left Philadelphia to come here in the first place. RELATED: Who, besides the CDC, didn’t know black gay men needed HIV outreach? Just as he arrived in 2017, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funding to the county was cut 33% from $6 million to $4 million. However, by the end of his first year in 2018, the new system of HIV testing he implemented had more than doubled the number of new HIV diagnoses from 40 in 2017 to 95, which reflects significant growth in success in finding people who were unaware that they were HIV-positive. On top of that, he said, his staff and funded providers were able to double their rate of HIV testing, providing results for almost as many people in 2018 as they did in 2017 even with the reduction in funding. “By reprioritizing the way we do HIV testing, we’ve already done the impossible,” Wilson said. “We focused on communities most impacted by HIV infection and limited funding to partner agencies that had a history of working with those communities. Once we found people, we got them into treatment.” The county’s work hasn’t gone unnoticed. For the first time in the history of the epidemic, both the city of Atlanta and the county Board of Commissioners recently gave nearly a million in funding — $250,000 from the city and $700,000 from the county — for HIV prevention. In addition, Wilson said his office is working now with Ryan White Care Program officials to find people when they drop out of care and get them reconnected. Right now, the county is leading the nation in the rate of new diagnoses. Wilson wants to lead the way in ending the HIV epidemic. “We have the ability,” he said. “We have the resources and we’re getting more. This is something that we have to do. There is no other option.” Find Gracie on Facebook (www.facebook.com/graciestaplesajc/) and Twitter (@GStaples_AJC) or email her at gstaples@ajc.com.
  • There is a new push for change after a man on an e-scooter was hit and killed by a bus in Atlanta. Brad Alexander, 37, was riding on a scooter Wednesday night when he was hit by a CobbLinc bus turning at the intersection of 15th Street and West Peachtree Street.  Police and emergency medical technicians pulled Alexander out from the under the bus but he died at the scene. [VOTE HERE: Poll Question: How should Atlanta improve e-scooter safety?] So far, Atlanta police have not determined who was at fault in the wreck. Thursday night, two Atlanta Councilmembers are calling for changes on Atlanta streets in light of the deadly scooter crash.  We'll break down their proposals to make the streets of Atlanta safer, on Channel 2 Action News This Morning

News

  • It's been a major distraction for drivers on Florida’s Turnpike in Osceola County. They don't know if she has a home, but a dog, whom some are now calling Ozzy, certainly has a lot of people watching out for her. >> Read more trending news  Dispatchers at the turnpike’s Traffic Management Center have spent months doing everything they can to catch the dog before she or a driver gets hurt. On Friday, Florida Turnpike officials said she was captured. She is very calm and quiet. There's a whole team of people watching hundreds of cameras along the turnpike and keeping an eye out for anything that may be dangerous for drivers. But consistently since May, in one particular part of the road, they kept seeing the same dog over and over. Road Ranger Jonathon Hester patrols a stretch of the turnpike near the Yeehaw Junction. “Our No. 1 job is safety,' Hester said. He's usually routing drivers around wrecks or helping with a flat tire. But lately, he's been determined to find the furry fugitive. 'This one has just evaded us for a long time and we keep trying to find him,” Hester said. For about two months, dispatchers were seeing the yellow Labrador between mile markers 196 and 205 on the turnpike, headed southbound. 'And just kind of runs up and down the roadway. It's a big distraction for the motorists driving by,” Hester said. “People see it and slam on their brakes.' Officials said they have no idea where she came from. 'It's possible it could've come from a vehicle crash,” Hester said. “A motorist could've been traveling with this dog, and crashed and the dog got scared and ran away.' Because she's been living on the road in Osceola County, they have affectionately named her Ozzy. Osceola County Animal Control let Hester borrow a trap in an effort to catch Ozzy. Now that the dog is caught, they plan to scan Ozzy for a chip to see if she has a home. If not, Ozzy may be up for adoption.
  • The Jacksonville Game Center has been burglarized twice in less than a month with thieves making off with nearly $10,000 worth of Magic the Gathering cards.  >> Read more trending news  Store owners told Action News Jax that both times, the thieves busted through a wall to get in. Hector Ortiz is a regular at the game center. Action News Jax caught up with him as customers and staff were preparing for their Friday night Magic the Gathering tournament. “The place is pretty packed, we have anywhere from 20-plus players,” Ortiz said. “It’s like a second home. A lot of people come to get away from issues.” So, when these crimes occur, Ortiz said the customers take it as a personal attack. “The first time it happened was really heartbreaking,” Ortiz said. Action News Jax first reported three weeks ago when thieves busted a hole in the wall to take more than $5,000 rare Magic the Gathering cards. The owner said they came back again overnight Friday. Surveillance video showed the glow of their flashlights. The owner said this time, they left another hole in the wall and stole more than $3,000 in those same, valuable cards.  He said they busted through the wall at the restaurant next door. Friday, Hunan Wok had a board up in the window where the thieves broke their glass to get in.Ortiz had a message for the thieves. “Just grow up,” Ortiz said. “It’s not necessary. You’re attacking us for a quick buck. Just go out there and get a job, man.
  • A woman is in jail facing felony charges after Clayton County authorities said she allegedly sneaked a firecracker into a courtroom and threatened to blow up the place.  >> Read more trending news  Whitney Jefferies, 32, was arrested Monday night after a judge saw the threat the woman allegedly posted on social media, Channel 2 Action News reported.  Judge Michael Garrett said Jefferies was in the front row in his courtroom. He told Channel 2 she seemed agitated that it was taking so long for her case to be called.  Later, he saw a video she posted on her social media page in which she held up a firecracker and said she was going to blow the courtroom apart, the news station reported.  It is not clear how Jefferies got the firecracker into the courtroom, and Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill has not commented on the situation. Deputies went to Jefferies’ condo in Morrow to arrest her, Channel 2 reported. Nobody answered when agents first knocked on her door, according to the news station.However, deputies realized someone was inside the home when a pizza was delivered to the house later that evening, Channel 2 reported.  Deputies went back to Jefferies’ door and brought her out in handcuffs, the news station reported.  Jefferies was booked into the Clayton jail, where she remains held on a $35,000 bond. She face three charges, including making terroristic threats and possession of a destructive device.
  • A Charlotte, North Carolina woman and her Australian boyfriend were murdered while they were traveling the world, officials said. >> Read more trending news  Chynna Deese, 24, and her boyfriend, Lucas Fowler, 23, were found shot and killed on a remote western Canadian highway Monday near their broken down van, WSOC-TV reported. Officials said they were exploring Canadian national parks and heading to Alaska. Police said this does not appear connected to any other crimes. Friday night, WSOC-TV interviewed Chynna's mother Sheila Deese, who said despite not knowing how her daughter died, she's comforted in knowing her daughter and Fowler were together until the end. 'It is a love story, a southern girl goes out of the country, meets this Australian and they were just the same personality,' Sheila Deese said. Canadian Police said they don't know if Deese and Fowler were targeted or if this was random. They said they are working with the FBI to find the couple's killer. 
  • A 77-year-old convicted murderer who was released from prison after being deemed 'too old' to kill again was convicted this week of fatally stabbing a Maine woman. >> Read more trending news  Albert Flick was found guilty Wednesday of killing 48-year-old Kimberly Dobbie in July 2018 outside a Lewiston laundromat. The attack happened in front of Dobbie's 11-year-old twin boys. 'I'm glad the verdict is done and over and I'm glad he'll never be able to walk the streets again,' said Dobbie's friend James Lipps, NBC News reported. This is Flick's second murder conviction. Flick was convicted in the 1979 death of his wife, Sandra. Similar to Dobbie's death, Flick stabbed his wife as her daughter watched, CNN reported. Flick was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the 1979 murder. He was released and was released in 2000 after 21 years for good behavior, The Washington Post reported.  By 2010, when he was in his late 60s, Flick had been convicted of assaulting two other women. Despite his record, the judge in the 2010 case sentenced him to four years. “At some point Mr. Flick is going to age out of his capacity to engage in this conduct,” Maine Superior Court Justice Robert E. Crowley said, according to the Portland Press Herald. “And incarcerating him beyond the time that he ages out doesn’t seem to me to make good sense.” Judge Crowley retired in 2010. He hasn't responded to media requests for comment. Flick is scheduled for sentencing August 9. He faces 25 years to life behind bars. “I firmly believe this could have been prevented,” Elsie Clement, whose mother was stabbed to death by Flick in 1979, told the Press Herald last year of Dobbie's death. “There is no reason this man should have been on the streets in the first place, no reason.”
  • Public school students in New Hampshire will be provided with free menstrual products thanks to the passage of a new law. SB 142, signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Chris Sununu, will require public schools to provide feminine hygiene products in women’s and gender-neutral bathrooms in high schools and middle schools starting January 1, The Concord Monitor reported.  >> Read more trending news  “This legislation is about equality and dignity,” Sununu said. “SB 142 will help ensure young women in New Hampshire public schools will have the freedom to learn without disruption – and free of shame, or fear of stigma.” The idea for the law came from 17-year-old Caroline Dillon, a high school student in Rochester, N.H. The high schooler was inspired to act after learning in U.S. History class about 'period poverty,' where those who can't afford feminine hygiene products miss work or school during menstruation. “It was sad to think about,” Dillon told The Monitor. “Girls in middle and high school would never dream of telling somebody that they have to miss school or use socks because they can’t pay for pads.” Dillon approached state Sen. Martha Hennessey with her idea, and Hennesey became a main sponsor of the bill. Educating some lawmakers was initially awkward, Dillon said. Most lawmakers are men, and wanted to avoid words like 'menstruation,' 'tampon' and 'feminine hygiene products,' The Monitor reported. “They would say ‘the thing’ or just try to avoid saying it all together,” Dillon said. “I would say to them, ‘If this makes you uncomfortable, think about how uncomfortable it is to be in this situation yourself. If you can't really picture it yourself, think about any woman in your life: your mom, your daughter, your aunt – think about how uncomfortable she feels – you are in the position to make it so these women don’t have to feel that way.’ ”  Dillon's efforts were ultimately successful. Funding for the new measure will come from school districts' budgets, according to CNN. Districts can partner with nonprofit organizations to provide the feminine hygiene products. Opponents of the bill said its amounts to an unconstitutional unfunded mandate,  USA Today reported. Similar laws currently exist in New York, Illinois and California.