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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 WSB, Atlanta’s News & Talk.

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

  • Hundreds of Samuel Rosa’s family members and friends cheered him on as the young cancer survivor and Atlanta Braves superfan had the honor of throwing out the first pitch at Thursday’s game at SunTrust Park. The celebration was still bittersweet for the 8-year-old and his Brookhaven family. Patrick Rosa, the boy’s father, died last month from complications related to leukemia, which he had battled for years. “It was a perfect day for so many different reasons. It was just exactly the image of how Patrick lived his life,” said Valerie Bolduc, Samuel’s mother and Patrick’s widow. “We were surrounded by friends and family the entire time.” Supporters came from all corners of the Rosas’ lives — there were classmates from Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic School; Patrick’s coworkers from the consulting firm Mercer; fellow players from the youth Murphey Candler Baseball program; and Patrick’s parents, who live in Montreal. They all wore T-shirts that said “Rosa Strong.” For Bolduc, Thursday’s festivities spoke to the love they received from their community since Patrick and Sam were both undergoing treatment. “The beauty in all of that,” she said, “is how much support we have received from everybody. Just knowing that people are thinking about us, it makes a difference.” The cool Thursday afternoon at the Braves game came with a number of surprises for the Rosas. In addition to throwing the first pitch, Sam was invited into the broadcast booth and met for Braves players Tom Glavine and Jeff Francoeur. He also got to meet Dansby Swanson, his favorite player. And Sam’s younger brother Will got to do the ceremonial “Play ball!” call before the game. Thursday was somewhat of a respite after an unimaginably hard summer for Bolduc, who said her time was split between Northside Hospital and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta for several months. Sam was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in May and began chemotherapy treatment. Then, in late June, Patrick was readmitted to the hospital; he had been battling leukemia since 2013. He died in early August from complications from meningitis related to the cancer. Finally, last Monday, some good news: Sam’s scans came back and revealed he was cancer-free. Patrick Rosa, a former college hockey player in Montreal, became a baseball fan when his sons started playing in Atlanta. He helped put together and coach a travel team for the 7-year-olds at Murphey Candler Park in Brookhaven. “Patrick, as long as he was not in treatment, was really involved in the coaching,” Bolduc said. He was “passionate about having the kids learning to play as a team. It was all about teamwork, having a positive attitude.” Follow DeKalb County News on Facebook and Twitter  In other news:
  • A second-year Georgia Tech student drowned while swimming with friends in the Chattahoochee River over the weekend, officials said. James Strock, 19, was last seen Saturday afternoon in the area of the West Palisades Trail at Paces Mill Park, according to school officials. Teams searched through dusk before turning to recovery efforts Sunday morning, dean of students John M. Stein said in a letter to the Georgia Tech community. A Georgia Tech spokeswoman confirmed Strock’s death Sunday evening after his body was pulled from the river just before 1 p.m.  Audrey Strock Lovetro said her brother was swimming with friends when he got caught in the current and started to struggle. His friends swam to James immediately, she said, and worked hard to rescue him but could not find him once he went under water. Strock came from North Carolina to Atlanta to pursue an undergraduate degree in computer engineering at Tech and was particularly interested in robotics and quantum computing. He was set to graduate in 2022. According to Tech officials, Strock was from Uganda and moved to the United States at age 16. He was an active member of the campus community, attended a campus ministry and could often be found in the recreational center. Strock completed a co-op program with DataPath, a communications and computer software company, in Lawrenceville over the summer. “Jimmy was a bright light,” his family said in an emailed statement to AJC.com. “He brought laughter and joy to everyone he met and our lives are forever changed by his legacy. We will miss him and love him for the rest of our lives, but we are rejoicing in knowing that he is with Jesus and one day we will see him again.” His family will be taking Strock’s body home to North Carolina. Funeral arrangements have not been made. “On behalf of Georgia Tech, we offer our deepest condolences to James’ family and friends during this difficult time,” Stein said in the letter to students, faculty and staff, which was shared on Reddit. “I have been in constant contact with his family and will continue to be there to support them.” Grief counseling is available on campus from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the week at the campus Counseling Center and in the student services building. Students may also call 404-894-2575 for support after hours. — Please return to AJC.com for updates. In other news: 
  • Georgia elected officials should cut — not increase — monthly natural gas charges for more than 1.6 million customers in metro Atlanta and elsewhere in the state, regulatory staffers have advised. In June, Atlanta Gas Light asked state regulators to approve a $96 million rate increase, the largest it had requested in recent memory. That would add nearly $4 a month to average residential customers of natural gas marketers served by the pipeline company. But in a filing Friday, Public Service Commission staff recommended that AGL’s rates instead should go down from their current level, decreasing about $42 million. The PSC staff didn’t provide comment on how much that would save the average natural gas customer each month. AGL isn’t the direct natural gas provider for Georgians. But its charges are automatically listed as a portion of the monthly bills of customers served by more than a dozen natural gas marketers in the state. Consumers typically also pay charges for the amount of natural gas used and sales tax. Elected members of the PSC are expected to hold new hearings on AGL’s rate request next month and decide the case in December. Rates changes could go into effect with the new year. AGL spokeswoman Jennifer Golz wrote in an email to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that “it is not unusual for the PSC staff to stake out an extreme position in the early stages of a case.” The company “has made great advancements in safety, reliability and rural gasification over the last 10 years and we look forward to working with the Commission to continue those programs for the benefit of our customers and the communities we serve.” AGL officials have previously said their rates will remain competitive with peers in the region. But the PSC’s public interest advocacy staff, which is supposed to provide independent analysis, differed with the company on more than two dozen financial points. Staffers wrote that the company hadn’t provided sufficient justification showing the benefits of many of the expansions and changes it sought. They recommended a lower rate of return than what AGL requested. And they pushed back against the company for failing to save on costs when its parent company was acquired in 2016 by Atlanta-based Southern Company, the owner of electricity giant Georgia Power and other energy businesses. Staffers also objected to ratepayers covering some other charges, including AGL executive and employee pay-for-performance incentives tied to company profits. Such expenses “should be borne by shareholders, not customers,” staff wrote in the filing. The compensation ultimately rewards greater and more frequent rate increases in order to improve Southern’s profits. “There is an inherent conflict between achieving greater financial performance for shareholders and achieving lower rates for customers.” Georgia energy bills may face other increases in the near future. Georgia Power is also seeking a rate increase that the PSC is expected to act on in December, with some charges potentially rising in January.
  • Two southeast Atlanta roads will remain closed for sewer work, The Atlanta Watershed Department said in a news release.  Oakview Road and Lakeview Drive began closures on Thursday. They will close daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until work is complete, according to the department.  Lakeview Drive between Hosea L. Williams Drive and Ridgedale Road is closed for two week. Oakview Road between Hosea L. Williams Drive and First Avenue is closed for five weeks.  Residents who typically park on the street must find alternative parking. They will still have access to mail, trash pick-up and emergency services.  Like Intown Atlanta News Now on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter In other news:
  • Two state Supreme Court justices on Thursday issued extraordinary opinions in which they openly questioned the imprisonment of a man convicted of the armed robbery and murder of a South Georgia woman 21 years ago. Chief Justice Harold Melton and Presiding Justice David Nahmias both asked the state attorney general’s office to closely re-examine the case against Devonia Inman. Inman is serving a life-without-parole sentence, even though DNA evidence discovered years after his trial strongly suggested another man committed the crimes. Nahmias, the former U.S. attorney in Atlanta, went so far as to question whether the state should continue opposing Inman’s efforts to obtain a new trial. “Let justice be done,” Nahmias wrote. Attorney General Chris Carr agreed to follow the justices’ recommendations. “The Attorney General and members of our senior staff take very seriously the court’s concerns, and are personally and fully reviewing the matter in conjunction with the district attorney who would be responsible for any prosecution arising out of this case,” office spokeswoman Katie Byrd said. “We were very gratified to see the Supreme Court’s order, especially the forceful and courageous concurring opinions of Chief Justice Melton and Presiding Justice Nahmias,” Inman’s legal team from Troutman Sanders said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing the fight for justice for Mr. Inman.” Inman, who has long proclaimed his innocence, was convicted of the 1998 murder of Donna Brown, a night manager of a Taco Bell in Adel. She was accosted in the parking lot after closing up and died of a gunshot wound to her face. Her killer took more than $1,700 of the day’s receipts. Inman’s case was chronicled in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s podcast “Breakdown: Murder Below the Gnat Line.” He is now being represented for free by Troutman Sanders lawyers who are trying to win him a new trial. “Everyone involved in our criminal justice system should dread the conviction and incarceration of innocent people,” Nahmias wrote. As a justice, Nahmias said, he has reviewed more than 1,500 murder cases. In some, judges and appellate courts granted new trials to defendants who appeared not to be guilty, he said. “Of the multitude of cases in which a new trial has been denied, Inman’s case is the one that causes me the most concern that an innocent person remains convicted and sentenced to serve the rest of his life in prison,” Nahmias wrote. If Inman were given a new trial, there’s no telling what the result would be, Nahmias added. But with the new evidence that’s been uncovered, “there is no doubt that a new trial would be very different than the one in which Inman was found guilty.” Writing separately, Melton said he shared many of Nahmias’ concerns. “The evidence that potentially connects a different person other than Inman to the murder in this case raises some very troubling issues,” he said. During the 2001 trial, prosecutors presented no physical evidence that tied Inman to the crime. Jurors heard from a jailhouse informant who said Inman told him he killed Brown, but the inmate later said he was coerced into turning on Inman. Prosecutors also called upon a friend of Inman’s who initially said she saw Inman with a lot of cash the morning after the killing. But she also recanted. A witness who did not retract her testimony was a newspaper delivery woman who said she saw Inman driving Brown’s car shortly after the shooting. But a man standing next to her at that time has said it was too dark for her to have identified Inman. Inman’s lawyers tried to call on witnesses who said another man, Hercules Brown, told them he committed the murder. (Hercules Brown is not related to the victim.) But Superior Court Judge Buster McConnell did not let the jury hear their testimony. Years later, DNA testing was conducted to see who might have been wearing a homemade mask found inside Donna Brown’s car. The GBI crime lab matched the DNA on the mask to Hercules Brown. At that time, Brown was in prison serving his own life-without-parole sentence, having pleaded guilty to the murder of two people during another armed robbery in Adel. With the new DNA evidence, Inman’s lawyers asked McConnell to grant a new trial. But McConnell let the conviction stand. In 2014, the Georgia Supreme Court declined to even consider Inman’s appeal of McConnell’s decision. Last year, Inman’s new lawyers filed a new petition before Superior Court Judge Kristina Cook Graham. In July, Graham declined to dismiss the case and ruled that Inman’s lawyers could question Hercules Brown. But the state attorney general’s office sought to overturn Graham’s ruling. On Thursday, the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously rejected the state’s request, and its order included the two concurring opinions by Melton and Nahmias. Nahmias wrote that he now has “grave doubts” about McConnell’s decision to deny Inman’s motion for a new trial. He also said he regrets the Supreme Court’s decision in 2014 not to hear Inman’s appeal. “Unfortunately, I have not found a way, within the confines of the law, for us to undo our decision … at this point,” Nahmias said. “But this court is not the only source of justice in this state. Indeed, judges are often obligated to enforce procedural rules, and we often must defer to discretionary decisions made by prosecutors. Prosecutors, however, may always exercise their discretion to seek justice — to do the right thing.”

News

  • If you believe cats are antisocial, think again. The animals can develop bonds with their caregivers just like children, according to a new report. >> Read more trending news  Researchers from Oregon State University recently conducted a study, published in the Current Biology journal, to explore the attachment bonds between cats and humans. To do so, they observed more than 100 cats and kittens that underwent a “secure base test,” an examination often given to infants and dogs to assess their attachment behaviors. During the test, the cats spent two minutes in a new room with their caregiver before being separated from their owner for two minutes and then reunited with them for another two minutes. After analyzing the data, they found cats with a secure attachment seemed less stressed during their reunion, compared to cats with an insecure attachment. They said cats with a secure attachment were more likely to balance their attention between their caregiver and surroundings. For example, they continued to explore the room while also interacting with their owner. On the other hand, insecure cats showed more signs of stress by twitching their tail or licking their lips. They would also either avoid the person completely or cling to them by jumping on their lap but not moving. “In both dogs and cats, attachment to humans may represent an adaptation of the offspring-caretaker bond,” co-author Kristyn Vitale said in a statement. “Attachment is a biologically relevant behavior. Our study indicates that when cats live in a state of dependency with a human, that attachment behavior is flexible and the majority of cats use humans as a source of comfort.” Overall, they said 64.3% of the animals were categorized as securely attached, while 35.7% of them were insecurely attached. The percentages remained relatively the same even when the team put the cats through a six-week training course. The goal was to determine whether socialization coaching would significantly alter their initial results. “Once an attachment style has been established between the cat and its caregiver, it appears to remain relatively stable over time, even after a training and socialization intervention,” Vitale said. The scientists said they were surprised by their findings and noted this is the first study to prove cats can display attachment styles that are similar to dogs and babies. “Cats that are insecure can be likely to run and hide or seem to act aloof,” Vitale said. “There’s long been a biased way of thinking that all cats behave this way. But the majority of cats use their owner as a source of security. Your cat is depending on you to feel secure when they are stressed out.”
  • A Missouri couple were horrified to learn their house had once been a methamphetamine lab after discovering their unborn child had tested positive for amphetamines. >> Read more trending news  Elisha Hessel and her husband, Tyler Hessel, had been trying to have a child for three years, WFAA reported. The couple were elated to learn Elisha was pregnant, but when she went for her recommended blood tests she was in for a shock: the unborn baby had tested positive. 'When they called me, I didn't know what that meant. So I asked the nurse if that meant like, drugs in general,” Elisha Hessel told WAND-TV. “She basically just said 'Yes,' and asked me if I could explain that.' Neither one of the Hessels had taken amphetamines, so after researching several scenarios, they decided to have their house tested for traces of the drugs, CBS News reported. Thinking back, they recalled some hints the neighbors had made about the home. 'Just through normal conversations as we got to know them a little better they said they were so happy to finally have 'normal' people move in next door,' Elisha Hessel told CBS News. 'They had also mentioned that the police were there for a possible drug bust type situation.' The tests showed the home's ventilator system was heavily contaminated with meth and residue used to make the drug, WFAA reported. Most states, including Missouri, require home sellers to disclose any material defects in their property to prospective buyers, according to Nolo Press, a database of legal articles. The state of Missouri specifically requires sellers to disclose if their property was used to produce meth, CBS News reported. However, state and county law does not have a penalty for anyone who fails to disclose a home’s meth contamination to a buyer or who doesn’t clean a property, WFAA reported. The Hessels said they were never told. After digging through records in Jefferson County for meth seizures, Elisha Hessel told CBS News she found her property listed in the database. On Oct. 3, 2013, authorities in Jefferson County responded to a tip at the home about a possible meth lab, WFAA reported. According to a police report, authorities found a burned barrel in the backyard when they apprehended a man at the residence, the television station reported. The barrel was full of empty allergy pillboxes, empty drain opener and camp fuel bottles and other supplies often used to make meth, according to the report. “When you look at the numbers, Jefferson County led the St Louis region, the state and the nation in meth lab seizures,” Jefferson County Undersheriff Timothy Whitney told WFAA. “We could have looked the other way, but as an agency, we decided to go headlong at the problem.” “There wasn't evidence that day at that time to suggest that distribution or manufacturing was going on,” Whitney told the television station In 2016, the house became the property of a bank, then it was sold to another buyer before the Hessels bought the property, WFAA reported. The Hessels have abandoned the house and have moved in with Elisha Hessel's mother, WAND reported. 'We have moved out and really do not know exactly what to do at this point,' Elisha Hessel told CBS News. She said the insurance company denied their claim, and their attorney says the best option is to pursue the insurance company to cover the remediation of the home. That will be expensive. The Hessels said they got an estimate of approximately $100,000 -- what the house is worth -- to clean it up. While Elisha Hessel said her blood tests have been clean lately, the baby will be tested again when she is born in January, WFAA reported. If the child's amphetamine levels are detected that day, the Children's Division of the Department of Social Services will get involved, the television station reported. “Everybody wants to have their own home when they bring their baby home,” Elisha Hessel told WFAA. “A lot of it's the disappointment and being upset over it, but I have definitely been angry over it as well.” Relatives of the Hessels have set up a GoFundMe page to cover the cost of cleaning up the house.
  • Four baby squirrels will survive but may be scarred after someone tied their tails together.  The incident is being called a case of animal abuse, The Associated Press reported. The Kensington Bird and Animal Hospital in Berlin, Connecticut, said someone brought in the squirrels when they were found on train tracks.  >> Read more trending news  The animals' tails had been tied together intentionally, but hospital employees do admit that tail knotting can happen naturally, according to the AP. In this case, it was a man-made object that kept the animals bound and their tails were broken and braided together. The squirrels, according to hospital employees, were 'tangled, braided, and purposefully tied together,' the AP reported.  Officials also say since the animals were found on train tracks, that could be an indicator of animal cruelty. As for the squirrels themselves, the tails may have to be amputated because of the damage done to them.
  • Authorities in California on Monday canceled an Amber Alert issued over the weekend for a 2-year-old boy in Merced County. >> Read more trending news  Officials with the Merced County Sheriff's Office said John Weir, 2, was last seen Friday with his father, Steven Weir, and that the pair might be headed for Tuolumne or Calveras County. Update 2:55 p.m. EDT Sept. 23: Authorities with the California HIghway Patrol said an Amber Alert issued over the weekend for a 2-year-old boy had been deactivated. Authorities did not immediately provide information on why the alert had been canceled. Original report: Authorities are searching for a missing 2-year-old boy who may be with his 'armed and dangerous' father, the California Highway Patrol and Merced County Sheriff's Office said in an Amber Alert released Saturday. According to KTLA, police believe Steven Weir, 32, abducted John Weir from Merced County, where they were last spotted Friday evening. The pair 'could possibly be heading to the Tuolumne or Calaveras County areas,' the Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post. Authorities described John Weir as a blond-haired, blue-eyed boy who was last seen wearing a blue T-shirt with tan shorts. Steven Weir, who is 5-foot-10 and weighs 300 pounds, has brown hair and eyes, the Amber Alert said. He was wearing a blue T-shirt with cargo shorts and may be traveling in a red 2005 Hyundai Elantra with California tag 5SKT544, police said. Authorities are urging anyone who sees the Weirs or their vehicle to call 911. Read more here or here.
  • He's lived almost 100 years and he's a member of the so-called Greatest Generation', having fought in World War II.  Now James South is asking for one thing to make his milestone birthday next month more than just another birthday. South went to Facebook with a simple request, for complete strangers to send him a birthday card -- 100 of them in fact, CNN reported.  He came from a family of sharecroppers. He joined the Army in 1940 and was sent to Normandy a week after D-Day, his son told CNN. Every day during his years of service, his girlfriend Sophie sent him a letter.  Sophie became his wife and they spent 55 years together. She died in 2001.  When he was 65, South retired but stayed active woodworking, gardening, golfing and attending church.  He finally moved into Brookdale Senior Living in the Fort Worth suburb of Watauga, Texas, at the age of 98, CNN reported.  >> Read more trending news  His only child, Jim South, said there are big things planned for his dad's big day including a three-day celebration this year, including a round of golf, dinner of chicken fried steak and catfish and spending time with family. If you want to help mark the occasion, you can send a card that will be hung on the wall in his room. The address is: James South 5800 North Park Drive Watauga, Texas 76148.
  • Federal authorities have arrested a U.S. Army soldier accused of sharing information on how to build explosives online and suggesting attacks against activists, Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke and a major news network. >> Read more trending news  Authorities arrested Jarrett William Smith, 24, on suspicion of distribution of information related to explosives, destructive devices and weapons of mass destruction. Smith joined the U.S. Army on June 12, 2017, and most recently served as a private first class based in Fort Riley, Kansas, investigators said. Officials with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force opened an investigation into Smith in March after receiving a tip about his Facebook page. In an affidavit filed in court, FBI Special Agent Brandon LaMar said Smith shared information on constructing improvised explosive devices in several group chats and spoke about his interest in traveling to Ukraine to fight with a far-right paramilitary group called Azov Battalion. LaMar said authorities uncovered connections between Smith and Craig Lang, a man who traveled to Ukraine to fight from 2017 to 2019 with Right Sector, a group described as similar to Azov Battalion. Facebook communications showed Lang was mentoring Smith as he prepared to join the fighting in Ukraine, authorities said. Smith also spoke about carrying out an attack on the United States, authorities said. He discussed the plans in August with an unidentified, confidential source. 'Smith talked with the (confidential source) about killing members of the far left group, Antifa, as well as destroying nearby cell towers or (the) local news station,' LaMar wrote. Days later, Smith suggested an unidentified major news network would be a good target for a 'large vehicle bomb,' LaMar said. On Friday, Smith shared instructions for creating several explosive devices during a chat with an undercover agent who claimed to be targeting an unnamed Texas politician. 'You got anyone down in Texas that would be a good fit for fire, destruction and death?' the undercover agent asked Smith, according to a transcript shared by LaMar. 'Outside of Beto?' Smith replied, according to LaMar. 'I don't know enough people that would be relevant enough to cause a change if they died.' LaMar said Smith admitted to sharing details for creating IEDs in online chat rooms and that he claimed he did so 'to cause 'chaos.'' 'He told me that if chaos results in the death of people, even through information he provided, it doesn't affect him,' LaMar said.