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Atlanta's Morning News

Weekdays 4:30am - 9am

Scott Slade

Atlanta’s Morning News

(Weekdays 4:30am - 9am) 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 WSB, Atlanta’s News & Talk.

After Atlanta's Morning News with Scott Slade

  • Morgan Ward—an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Emory’s Goizueta Business School in Atlanta—has done extensive research on how people give and receive gifts. Ward tells WSB Radio’s Scott Slade that a resounding theme she has found in her research is it is sometimes better NOT to give a gift. >>LISTEN TO SCOTT SLADE’S FULL INTERVIEW WITH WARD BELOW. A few of Ward’s points include:  The wrong gift choice can do damage to your relationship with the recipient, but how do you know?  There’s a difference between giving gifts in “normal” situations, when it’s expected (i.e. the holidays and birthdays) and when the gift giving is spontaneous. In normal situations, getting something is better than getting nothing. But when it’s spontaneous, a bad gift can have a real negative impact.  Consider the resources of the gift-giver and how that might constrain the size of the gift. You might lay a foundation if that’s an issue for you this year.
  • 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.

Atlanta's Morning News Anchors

Local News

  • A single sewage spill sent about 9.2 million gallons of waste into a DeKalb County creek last week, officials announced late Monday. The spill on Meadow Creek Path — about a mile northeast of the Snapfinger Wastewater Treatment Plant — is believed to be DeKalb’s largest in more than a decade. It continues an already inauspicious start to 2020 for the county, which has long-standing sewer and infrastructure issues.  DeKalb officials blamed the massive spill on record-setting rain -- more than 18 inches so far this year, they said -- as well as the county’s work to improve the sewer system. “A preliminary engineering analysis indicates that the Meadow Creek Path sewer spill was caused when the plant reached its treatment and storage capacity, which has been temporarily reduced by the ongoing construction of a new plant,” the county said in a news release distributed at 8 p.m. Monday.  An initial report about the sewer spill was distributed Thursday, the day after it was discovered. That initial report did not include an estimated spill volume. DeKalb County is under a federal consent decree to repair its aging wastewater system. While the county has dedicated more than $300 million to the cause in recent years, plenty of work remains to be done and heavy rains often produce significant issues.  (The phenomenon called “stormwater intrusion” occurs when rainwater enters the sewer system because of things like broken or damaged pipes, intrusive tree roots and other aging infrastructure. The extra water then forces sewage out of manholes and clogged pipes.) Even before the 9.2-million-gallon event on Meadow Creek Path, DeKalb was off to a less-than-ideal start this year. About 90 other spills with a total estimated volume of 2.9 million gallons had already been reported.  That puts DeKalb at at least 12.1 million gallons in spills less than two months into the year — a figure already more than double the annual totals from 2018 and 2019.  Those numbers represented a marked decline from 2017, when total spills eclipsed 14 million gallons. As recently as last week, DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond was touting the progress being made under his leadership. Thurmond took office in 2017, some six years after the county was placed under the consent decree ordering it to fix its wastewater system and eliminate sewer spills. Officials have admitted they won’t come close to meeting the decree’s deadline of this June, but they’re negotiating an extension with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division. “I think the context has not been clearly articulated,” Thurmond said at a recent meeting with a group of county commissioners. “We’re here today because people did not do their jobs. And the management and the oversight, whatever was attempted, failed. This shouldn’t be my job. It should be ending now, now starting.” The spill reported at Meadow Creek Path is believed to be the largest in DeKalb since a 10-million-gallon spill in 2006.  In Aug. 2017, separate spills of 6.4 million and 3.9 million gallons were reported near Stonecrest and Brookhaven, respectively.
  • Slain Fort Valley University student Anitra Gunn was strangled to death, according to an arrest warrant released Monday. Her boyfriend, DeMarcus Little, 23, a U.S. Army soldier stationed at Fort Gordon, has been charged with malice murder. Gunn was “manually” strangled on Feb. 14, the the day she was reported missing, the warrant said. A graduate of Fulton County’s Westlake High, Gunn was killed in the woods where her body was found covered in sticks after a days-long search, according to the warrant. She was 23. Authorities have not released a motive. Little previously had been charged with criminal damage to property stemming from a Feb. 5 incident that left Anitra Gunn’s windows broken and her tires slashed. He was granted $10,000 bond Friday, hours before the GBI announced he had been charged with malice murder. In a court appearance Monday, Little was denied bond. Gunn’s funeral is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at at Greater Peace Baptist Church in Opelika, Ala. Fort Valley State students gathered on campus Monday night for a vigil in a campus auditorium. A seat in the front row, draped in fine black cloth with a giant black bow, was reserved for Gunn. A choir sang “Soon We are Going to See the King” during the somber event. Bobby Dickey, chair of the school’s Visual and Performing Arts and Media Studies department, said Gunn was a musically talented, vibrant young woman. “She was one of the sweetest young ladies I ever met since I’ve been at the school,” he said. “We’re gonna miss her, but we’re gonna hold her legacy up high.” Macon station WMAZ streamed the vigil. Gunn’s remains were discovered Feb. 18 a few miles from her home, following a search involving police and firefighters from numerous jurisdictions. Todd Crosby, the assistant special agent in charge of the GBI’s Perry office, declined to give details about the case. Little likely will have a preliminary hearing where a detective will testify about the evidence in coming weeks. Anitra’s father, Christopher Gunn, has asked for prayers and privacy. “The ray of sunshine and the apple of our eye gained her heavenly wings,” a Go Fund Me campaign to accept donations toward his daughter’s funeral and burial expenses reads. “Although we have so many unanswered questions, we are trusting in God thru it all. We are so THANKFUL for the outpouring of love, support and prayers from all over the country.” Anitra’s mother, Melissa Shearhouse, died in 2014 at age 35. She wrecked her car while negotiating a curve one day outside Opeika, a police report said. For a later Mother’s Day, Anitra posted a photo of her mother’s grave on Facebook, with a note. “It’s not at all the same without you, but I feel your presence,” she wrote. “That’s all I need.”
  • I'm proud to have GAXtracts here in Oconee County, assisting our efforts to weed out the bad guys and seize illegal vaping products, which we can now prove are filled with illegal and high THC content.' said Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry.  During recent testimony before the Georgia General Assembly, Georgia Bureau of Investigation (G.B.I.) Director Vic Reynolds stated that the agency maintains a database of nearly 70,000 gang members across the state. Criminal gang activity has been on a steady rise in rural, suburban and urban communities alike for the past several years, making reducing gang activity a priority for the G.B.I. as well as Georgia Governor Brian Kemp.  Illegal and illicit activities by gangs range from violent to drug crimes and are also part of the fast spread of illegal vaping products, often sold in otherwise apparently legal tobacco and head shops. The massive surge in E-cigarattes and vaping products have also created a spike in the manufacture and sale of black market THC-laced marijuana and other cannabis products, often unsafe and frequently containing toxic chemicals as well as known carcinogens.  GAXtracts, LLC, a Georgia-based agri-business and technology enterprise, is becoming a leading voice in the responsible, pure, proven and tested manufacture of CBD health supplements and products. The company is seeking to become Georgia's first state-licensed industrial hemp processor, and is in a research partnership now with the University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Bio-Science to develop and distribute resilient hemp seeds and seedlings for planting and distribution to Georgia farmers later this spring. GAXtracts and UGA hope to later genetically engineer a hemp plant strain containing virtually no THC.  But in the meantime, illicit hemp flowers and marijuana buds, as well as impure vaping solutions are flooding the market and streets, as well as showing up on the shelves of some vaping and head shops, packaged and marketed as legal products. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have issued multiple health warnings against the use of flavored vaping products by adolescents and young adults. Bad health results from consuming these illegal products include serious hospitalizations, pre-cancerous tumors, cancerous growths and death.  During the 2019 session of the Georgia General Assembly, the legislature and Governor legalized the farming, production, processing and sale of industrial hemp products, containing the chemical compound, Cannabidiol (CBD) to be used for processing and manufacture into a variety of health supplement and cosmetic CBD products.  Previously, the G.B.I. Crime Labs across Georgia have not had sufficient capacity to process or test the THC concentration or levels in products seized during arrests by local law enforcement. However as pure, proven and tested CBD and low THC levels (below 3 percent) are standard for all GAXtracts processing, manufacturing and later any products for sale, the company also has the sophisticated lab equipment and trained technicians and researchers onsite at their labs in Watkinsville, Georgia, to monitor and test for THC concentration and levels as well as determine whether or not any plant or sample is 'hot,' with a THC content above the legal limit of 3 percent.  'Assisting and supporting Sheriff Berry and his team was a no-brainer. We look forward to working with other local and state police and sheriff offices to help serve and protect our communities. We hope to help pure, tested and proven industrial hemp products become as associated with Georgia as peaches, peanuts and poultry,' said Don Barden, CEO and co-founder of GAXtracts.  Budget and staffing cuts have been proposed for the G.B.I. Crime Lab in the current budget cycle, though the Georgia House budget proposal for the remainder of the fiscal year restores several lab positions, Director Reynolds has indicated that a potential solution for handling increasing demand on Crime Lab testing facilities may be testing contracts with private vendors.  It may seem ironic to some, but it appears that the fast-growing and legal industrial hemp industry may become an ally in identifying and weeding out the sale of illegal and unsafe products, which potentially endanger the health of children and adults alike, wooed either by ending a bad smoking habit with vaping products, or seeking a path to a new and illicit high.  While some legislators are concerned about securing evidence and the chain of custody outside of the direct control of law enforcement agencies and personnel, rape kits have long been gathered and stored by non-profit and private sector health care providers, before being tested at the G.B.I. Crime Labs. As demand for vaping products is unlikely to abate anytime soon, it's good to know that the private sector is investing in technology to separate the weed from chaff.
  • Fayetteville police are searching for a man they say stole $600 worth of vacuum cleaners from a Walmart Sunday morning.  Police released surveillance video of the man quickly leaving through an emergency exit door. Police said he left in what appeared to be a silver hatchback.  Police are asking for anyone with information to call 770-461-4441. 
  • If you live in Georgia and want to vote in the primaries then the deadline to register is Monday. Voters can check their voter registration status at the state’s My Voter Page. The website provides Election Day precinct locations, early voting locations, absentee ballot applications and sample ballots.  There are more than 7.2 million registered voters in Georgia. Advance voting begins March 2, but the last day to register is Monday, Feb. 24, according to Georgia law. The Presidential Preference Primary will be the first time voters statewide use Georgia’s new secure paper-ballot system.  “The secure paper-ballot system is in place to provide voters assurance their ballots are secure. Georgians need to do their part by registering,” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said. “We have made registering easy and convenient, which is why the number of Georgia voters is soaring.”  All Georgians should check their voter registration information to make sure they are still registered where they currently reside. They can check your registration using the My Voter Page (MVP) website (https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov). If they are not able to locate their registration using the MVP website, or your information displayed on the MVP website is not accurate, they may submit a new voter registration application or update the information in your existing registration online at this link: https://registertovote.sos.ga.gov.  Registration is also possible at county elections offices, state agencies that provide food stamps and Medicaid and mental health, military recruiting centers and public libraries.  Preparations for the Presidential Preference Primary includes the removal of the 18-year-old voting machines and delivery to every county of the new secure paper-ballot system, as well as technical support and training to county elections supervisors who are responsible for training the poll workers they hire locally.  The paper-ballot system has been used in six counties in a pilot during the November municipal elections and then the December runoff. It was also used in special elections in a total of 12 counties held Jan. 28 and Feb. 4.  An important feature of the new system is the ability to audit the results. Two public audits, using different methods, have already demonstrated the accuracy and reliability of the results.  To educate voters on ways Georgia is protecting election integrity, Raffensperger launched Secure the Vote. More information is online at SecureVoteGa.com.  Georgia is a leader in election innovation and access with automatic voter registration through the Department of Driver Services, three weeks of early voting – including a Saturday, and no-excuse absentee voting. It is the top state in the number of motor voter registrations and, in the last election cycle, experienced record registration and a record increase in turnout.

News

  • Two people were arrested in an Alabama motel room after police discovered drugs and cash, including more than 8 pounds of marijuana, authorities said. Shane Antoine Tillman and Jennifer Gomez, both from California, were arrested by police at a Holiday Inn Express in Decatur, AL.com reported. Tillman was charged with trafficking in cannabis and unlawful possession of a controlled substance, according to an arrest report. He was taken to the Morgan County Jail and was being held in lieu of $6,000 bail, according to court records. Gomez was charged with trafficking in cannabis and was being held in lieu of a $5,000 bond at the Morgan County Jail. Decatur Police officers responded to a call reporting persons trespassing in a room at the motel, AL.com reported. According to police, authorities found 8.5 pounds of marijuana, prescription medications and a large amount of money in the room, AL.com reported.
  • A South Carolina family is grieving after a 7-year-old girl died while having her tonsils removed last week. Paisley Elizabeth Grace Cogsdill died Friday at a Greenwood hospital, WHNS reported. Paisley’s parents told the television station the girl’s heart stopped one minute into the tonsillectomy. The girl’s parents, Austin Cogsdill and Jasmine Cogsdill, said Paisley, a second-grader at Clinton Elementary School, was healthy and had shown no signs of medical issues, WHNS reported. “You don’t understand why these things happen but we know it was God’s plan and that’s the only thing that can get us through, cause we know it was God,” Paisley’s grandmother, Mary Beth Truelock, told the television station. An obituary posted online by Gray Funeral Home in Clinton described Paisley as “a gifted and talented student and a straight-A second-grader.' “Her full of ‘Joy’ attitude could be seen in everything she did, from playing T-ball and softball to performing hip-hop dance routines and gymnastics programs with her friends,” the obituary said. Autopsy results are expected sometime Tuesday, WHNS reported. A GoFundMe account was established to help pay for funeral expenses. The $30,000 goal was exceeded by Tuesday afternoon.
  • After watching a mother and her wheelchair-bound daughter tumble bloodied to the ground, Hamilton school bus driver Bob Thacker knew he had to do something to help. Thacker, a decade-long veteran of the city schools, dashed out of his bus to help mother Tonya Uhl and her special needs daughter Katelynn to right themselves and tend to their injuries. “She (Katelynn) was all bloody so I said, ‘I got to do something,’” Thacker said of the accident last month. The solution would be a wheelchair ramp, but Thacker said the Uhl family couldn’t get any local agencies to pay for and install it. “So I decided to build it myself,” he said, adding the ramp he created out of sturdy wood is detachable, portable and can be used on other stairs should the Uhls move from their Pleasant Avenue home. Uhl, whose seventh-grade daughter attends Garfield Middle School, said of Thacker, “he doesn’t know how much he did for us.” “It’s really appreciated. He went the extra mile to help us out like nobody else has before,” said Uhl. Becky Goosey, director of transportation for the city schools, praised Thacker for going far beyond his bus driving duties after witnessing how difficult it was for Uhl to push and pull Katelyn in her wheelchair up the steps of their home. “The student fell out of her wheelchair and had a significant injury to her mouth, and the parent had trouble getting up after she fell,” said Goosey. Joni Copas, spokeswoman for Hamilton Schools, said, “Bob is just one great example of our staff members going above and beyond the call of duty. “He saw a need and wanted to help Katelyn and her mother. He witnessed the daily struggle they had getting in and out of the house, so he took it upon himself and his own expense and built a ramp for them.” Thacker also arranged for another city resident to donate an electric, motorized wheelchair to Katelynn so she can more easily move about the neighborhood and school. “Sometimes, you just got to help people,” he said.
  • An Alabama man is charged with murder and other related charges after he allegedly opened fire on his ex-wife and her new boyfriend Monday evening following a Mardi Gras parade, killing the man and critically wounding his former wife. Anthony Orr, 49, also faces charges of attempted murder and discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle, according to Mobile County Jail records. >> Related story: Man fatally struck by Mardi Gras float Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste said officers were called around 6 p.m. to the scene downtown, where they found the man dead and the woman injured. The city is currently celebrating Mardi Gras, which originated in Mobile, and was in the middle of the biggest party the community sees each year. The gunfire erupted less than an hour before the Infant Mystics parade was set to roll, AL.com reported. The victims were shot a couple of blocks from where the day’s previous parade had ended. “We are currently looking for a black male by the name of Anthony Orr, who is the suspect in this shooting,” Battiste told reporters at the crime scene Monday night, according to video from Fox 10 in Mobile. “We believe that this shooting is domestic-related. He chose to deal with the domestic situation here at Mardi Gras.” Orr had threatened his ex-wife, who was riding on a float, from the parade route as the festivities were underway, Battiste said. The chief asked anyone in the public who knew Orr or spotted him to call police. “Don’t harbor him. Please notify us,” Battiste said. Orr was taken into custody around 10 p.m., Fox 10 reported. Court records obtained by the news station show Orr was arrested Feb 18, just six days before the shooting, on domestic violence charges. The documents indicate the victim, Orr’s ex-wife, told police he had beat her, kicking her in the face, in October 2018. Orr was released on bail three days before the double shooting, AL.com reported. “This is a prime example of, potentially, where somebody may not should have had access to bail because of the offense he committed,” Battiste said. “Once a person has identified themselves as a shooter, it’s kind of hard to get them to stop.” Anthony Orr is escorted to jail by police officers in the video below, courtesy of WKRG in Mobile.  Alabama legislators are seeking to pass a constitutional amendment denying bail to suspects accused of violent Class A felonies. The bill, which the Montgomery Advertiser reported was approved last week by the state House Judiciary Committee, is named after Aniah Blanchard, a 19-year-old college student who was abducted from an Auburn convenience store and killed in October. At the time of Blanchard’s abduction, the man accused of the crime, Ibraheem Yazeed, was free on $295,000 bond, the Advertiser reported. Yazeed, 29, had been charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery and drug charges in a January 2019 attack on two men at a Montgomery hotel. He now faces the death penalty in Blanchard’s abduction and shooting death. “We really believe the constitutional amendment will speak to this type of issues that we’re dealing with tonight,” Battiste said. “We shouldn’t be dealing with something like this if this guy had a history that indicated he should have been denied bail.” Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said Monday night that there were people who knew prior to the shooting that Orr had threatened his ex-wife and her new boyfriend. “There was enough information to be conveyed that this was an actual, valid threat. He was intending to carry out this threat,” Stimpson said. Battiste and James Barber, the city’s public safety director, told Fox 10 that Orr had threatened the victims Sunday night and Monday afternoon. He also actively tried to gain access to weapons throughout the day Monday, Barber said. “There are other people that knew there was a threat to kill the deceased, so it would have been very helpful if somebody had reached out to us. And maybe somebody had, but we haven’t been able to confirm that,” Stimpson said. “If you know that somebody has been threatened with their life and you know there’s a history of violence, you’ve got to tell us if you expect us to do something about it.” Police officials and the mayor tried to assuage paradegoers’ fear as the city prepared for Fat Tuesday, the final and biggest day of Mardi Gras season. “If anything, because of this situation, there is a heightened awareness on our part that we can’t let our guard down coming into the last day of Mardi Gras,” Stimpson said. “That’s when things can happen that you don’t expect to happen. But we have got everything that we have out there trying to make sure that everybody is safe.” >> Related story: Woman run over by Mardi Gras float dies The mayor urged the public to pray for the victims and their families. “How does your heart not break for those who have been shot?” he said. Court records obtained by AL.com show Orr’s divorce was finalized in September. In the woman’s March 2019 filing, she alleged he had been verbally, emotionally and physically abusive. The woman had obtained a protection from abuse order the year before, the news site reported. Orr pleaded guilty in August 2019 to resisting arrest, a charge that stemmed from a March incident in which his ex-wife called the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office to report he was breaking into her home. Deputies found him near the home, and when he refused to follow their commands, they stunned him with a Taser. “As we were helping Anthony Orr to his feet he made the statement he always wondered what a taser felt like and wondered if it really worked,” a deputy wrote in an arrest report, according to AL.com. “(Orr) stated that he is a believer now.”
  • A great white shark fitted last summer with a satellite tag has surprised researchers by showing up in the Gulf of Mexico and swimming past the mouth of the Mississippi River. The shark, a female named Unama’ki, has traveled 3,120 miles in 103 days, beginning in Nova Scotia, the Sun Herald reported. The 2,076-pound, 15-foot, 5-inch shark has been tracked by OCEARCH, a marine research group, according to WXXV. The shark has been lingering off the Louisiana coast and is heading toward Texas, according to the Sun Herald. “Is this a whole new piece to the white shark puzzle?” OCEARCH tweeted Monday. Earlier this month, Unama’ki was pinged about 100 miles from the Florida coast, Northwest Florida Daily News reported. In October, she was pinged off the coast of North Carolina near the Outer Banks, according to WVEC. Unama’ki was last pinged on satellite tracking at 7:12 a.m. Sunday, off Louisiana’s Marsh Island, according to OCEARCH. “She’s a shark on the move!” OCEARCH tweeted.
  • Ever wonder what kind of epic sports memorabilia David Ortiz has? Well, now is your chance to not only see it but also to own some of it. There will be an estate sale at the Weston home of the Red Sox legend Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., WFXT reported. The address will be released after 9 a.m. Friday, according to Exceptional Estate Sales. of Sudbury, which is organizing the sale. Sports memorabilia will include items Ortiz collected during his major league career, with most of them from his days with the Boston Red Sox, the estate sale company wrote on its website. Other items for sale include a poker table, a billiards table, furniture, a Route 66-themed chrome high-top table and stools, hand-knotted Oriental rugs, designer clothing, a white queen-sized four-post bed with matching nightstands and a mirror dresser, a rowing machine and a Rolls Royce neon sign. Ortiz put the five-bedroom, seven-bathroom home up for sale in February 2019 but later took it off the market, according to Trulia.com. The house is 5,214 square feet, according to the website. Ortiz played in the major leagues for 20 seasons, spending 14 years in Boston until his retirement after the 2016 season. He is eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2021.