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    A driver died Sunday morning when a tractor trailer smashed into a firetruck responding to a different car wreck,  Channel 2 Action News reported.  The first wreck happened about 3 a.m. on I-20 one mile east of Ga. 92, Douglas County spokesman Rick Martin told the news station.  A red Mustang had reportedly crashed into a wooded area near the road, he said.  A Douglas County ladder truck was working at the scene of the wreck and had parked in the slow lane of traffic, Martin said. Just before 3:20 a.m., a tractor trailer crashed into the rear of the ladder truck, he said.  The tractor trailer driver was killed at the scene of the crash. None of the firefighters were hurt.  Georgia State Patrol is investigating the cause of the wreck.  The crash had all westbound lanes of I-20 blocked before Ga. 92, according to the WSB 24-Hour Traffic Center. The roadway reopened about 9:30 a.m., after Douglas County officials moved the wreckage to the right shoulder, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.  
  • 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.”
  • For all that Jimmy Carter has accomplished in his almost 95 years, the one thing that almost eluded him was tenure, despite being governor of Georgia, the 39th president of the United States, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and a member of Emory University’s faculty for 39 years “They told me that I had to write a book,” Carter told a crowd of more than 2,000 at Emory University on Wednesday night. “So, I wrote a book. Then 10 books. Then 33 books. After 33 books, they finally gave me tenure.” With Emory President Claire E. Sterk on the stage with him, Carter, Emory’s University Distinguished Professor, addressed first-year students for the 38th time — and the first time since Emory finally granted him tenure in June. At the beginning of the program, students sang happy birthday and presented the former president with a giant card signed by the Emory community. Carter will turn 95 on Oct. 1. His 92-year-old wife, Rosalynn Carter sat in the front row. When he stepped up to the podium, the big toothy smile that carried him from Plains to the White House was on full display. After a brief round of thank yous, the former president told the students: “Now, with some trepidation, I will agree to answer questions.” Carter, as he has gotten older, has been less of a speaker and more of a teacher in his public presentations. Usually, he gives a brief opening, then surrenders to questions from the audience. On Tuesday, at a similar event at the Carter Center, he told the audience that the re-election of Donald Trump would be a disaster. But with the Emory students, the mood was lighter, with topics including animal favorites and nuts. Still, “it was very influential for me,” said Rachel Ding, a 19-year-old Birmingham native and the Student Government Association president at Oxford College. “A lot of his values are idealistic in a good way and we should all adopt the values that Jimmy Carter holds dear.” The students, 18- and 19-year-olds from all over the world, sent in more than 250 questions ranging from what motivates him to the best and worst advice he has ever gotten to the one book that inspired him the most. The book is the Bible, although he has been hooked on Patrick O’Brian novels lately. The worst advice came when he was in the White House and advised to bomb Iran in retaliation for the kidnapping of Americans who were working in the embassy. “I could have killed 10,000 or more Iranians,” Carter said. “And they would have killed the 50 hostages. So, I tried to stay at peace with Iran.” Carter didn’t dig too much into politics and didn’t say what candidate he would support in the Democratic primary. But he did say there was a good chance America could elect a female president when asked about the role of women in politics. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are two of the top five Democratic hopefuls ahead of the 2020 election. “The more women we have in elected office, the better off our country will be, the more peaceful our country will be,” Carter said. “Women, run for office, get elected and if you don’t get elected the first time, run again.” A six-year-old named Eleanor asked what was his favorite animal in Africa, since he has been there so many times with his Carter Center work. The president reminded the crowd that his wife’s first name is Eleanor as well, then asked the child her favorite animal. She said cheetah. “I really think an elephant is my favorite,” Carter said, trying hard to stay out of politics. “I don’t like elephants when they are transferred to be symbols of American policy. But I don’t think you can consider a donkey an African animal.” Carter ended the evening answering a question that took him back to his Plains roots on the farm. “As a peanut farmer, what are your thoughts on almond butter?” someone asked. “I never have tasted it and I don’t intend to,” Carter said to raucous laughter. “We only have peanut butter in our house.”
  • Former President Jimmy Carter took aim at President Donald Trump on Tuesday night, calling him “a disaster.” Carter’s wife, Rosalynn, also criticized Trump, saying he has encouraged racism. The sharp words came as the Carters addressed a crowd at the Carter Center in an update on the Atlanta-based center’s work. Carter, 94, said it could be the last time he and Rosalynn, 92, would address them as he laid out a plan for how the Carter Center could go on without them. » Happy 73rd anniversary, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter The former president said he wanted his namesake institution to focus on ending wars, addressing global warming, securing human rights, working on treating people better and constructively criticizing the United States. Those were also ideas that he wants to pass along to the remaining Democratic candidates vying for the presidency. “If they do those things, I would probably vote for them. I don’t know who I will vote for, but I will vote for one of them,” Carter said. “I voted for Bernie (Sanders) the last time. But one of the major factors I have in my mind is who can beat Trump. Because I think it would be a disaster to have four more years of Trump.” » How you can wish Jimmy Carter a happy birthday as he approaches 95 Carter then added, amid laughter, “This is a non-political meeting.” The meeting was the first in the “Conversations with the Carters” series for the 2019-2020 season. Mary Ann Peters, chief executive officer of the Carter Center, said the event sold out in five minutes. It’s not the first time Carter has criticized Trump. In June, he made international headlines by questioning Trump’s legitimacy, saying he believed Trump only won the 2016 election because Russia interfered on his behalf. Trump, a Republican, responded at the time by saying Carter was “a nice man” but “a terrible president” who is loyal to Democrats. » Guide to visiting the Carter Presidential Center On Tuesday, the Carters updated the crowd, as well as hundreds who were watching online, on what the Carter Center has been doing over the last year. Rosalynn Carter talked primarily about her work in mental health, particularly her mental health task force, as she introduced the program’s journalism fellows. “If the Carter Center had never done anything other than sponsor Rosalynn’s mental health program, we would have done fine,” Jimmy Carter said. The couple also talked about their secrets of staying married for so long, which was one of about a dozen questions tossed at them from the audience. Most notably, never going to bed angry with each other and reading the Bible together every night – sometimes in Spanish. “It is hard to stay mad after you read the Bible,” Rosalynn Carter said. But politics came up more than once Tuesday. Asked about race relations, the former president called for understanding, but the former first lady was more direct. “I think we need a new president,” Rosalynn Carter said. “I am so disturbed about white power. He [Trump] says he is not a racist and maybe he is not. But some of the things he says, encourages racism.” Mapping the future of the Carter Center, Jimmy Carter continued to talk about ending wars. In the 243 years since the Declaration of Independence, he said, the United States has been in some form of war for 227 years. “That means we have been at peace for 16 years. I won’t tell you who had four of those,” Carter said. “That shows you that the U.S. is deeply inclined to go to war.” Carter said that despite Trump’s saber-rattling rhetoric, he appears reluctant to go to war. “Which is something I like about him,” Carter said. “Don’t ask me what else I like.” On the current conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Carter said he is more friendly toward Iran than Trump is, while noting that Saudi Arabia was supportive of many of his policies while he was in the White House. “I think we can resolve the issue diplomatically and that is what the president is inclined to do,” Carter said. “Find someone to talk to Iran with mutual respect. But I don’t have a clear answer on what side we should choose.” Despite his criticism of Trump, Carter said he remained optimistic about America’s future. “I still have complete confidence that the United States, if given time, will resolve its problems,” Carter said. “We have always been able to do that in the past, whenever we faced difficult questions. The United States still has that innate strength.”
  • Rail service was disrupted Tuesday morning at the Chamblee MARTA station after an incoming train hit a man, transit officials said. The man was in an unauthorized area that leads to the tracks when he was hit on his side about 5:50 a.m., MARTA spokeswoman Stephany Fisher told AJC.com. The area is secured by a marked gate. A video shows the man squeezing between a gate and a train as it approached the platform, Channel 2 Action News reported. The train then hits him in the leg. The man sustained injuries to his hip and leg and was taken to a hospital, Fisher said. His injuries are not considered life-threatening.  MARTA police arrested the man and charged him with trespassing, the department said. The man is suspended from the MARTA system for 60 days.  Southbound rail service was temporarily suspended on the Gold line from Chamblee to Doraville before single-tracking was put in place. Normal rail service was restored just before 7:30 a.m., according to MARTA.
  • Two teenagers are each facing a dozen charges after police said they robbed and carjacked a woman with an AR-15.  Quin Wynn, 15, and Johnvonte Stuckey, 16, were both arrested Thursday on multiple armed robbery and fraud charges, Channel 2 Action News reported. The teens are being charged as adults, which is why AJC.com is identifying them. The incident happened at the Wellington Point apartment community near Smyrna, the news station reported. Police said the duo held the woman at gunpoint as they stole her purse, wallet, cell phone and car keys in May. They then drove away from the neighborhood in the woman’s Acura TL, police told Channel 2.  Investigators said the teens drove to Cumberland Mall the day after the robbery and used the woman’s credit cards.  Police are seeking a third suspect in connection with the robbery, Channel 2 reported.  In other news: 
  • Although details were only finalized on Friday, word began leaking out almost immediately about the special guest during services Sunday at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. The influential rapper Kanye West brought his popup series of Sunday performances called “Sunday Service” — drawing members and celebrities alike — to the megachurch in Stonecrest, led by Senior Pastor Jamal H. Bryant.  Lines waiting outside New Birth began forming several hours before the service. West has been making such appearances on Sundays this year, including one in Dayton, Ohio, to help that community in the wake of the mass shooting and on Easter Sunday to bring a message of faith to those attending the music festival Coachella. During Sunday’s worship, West and the choirs provided their own wording twists to R&B favorites to be gospel-centered. He turned Ginuwine's 'So Anxious' into a gospel song, as well as 'Father Stretch my Hands.' The choirs also performed “How Excellent.” A solemn West took the mic to share some of his faith walk, saying being closer to Jesus Christ also brought him closer to his family. “I’ve seen him work miracles in my life,” said West. He also said he’s seen everything the devil can do to lead one astray. Dane Smith of Atlanta, who goes to another church, said he received a text from his roommate about the visit. “I wasn’t expecting him to give his personal revelations as much as he did,” said Smith, a big fan of West’s music. “I thought it was just going to be music. I wasn’t expecting that but I liked it.” On Sunday, combined choirs and musicians numbered 600 people, according to a New Birth spokesman. The event also drew some star power.  There were murmurs of excitement and gasps as T.I. (Tip), Tameka 'Tiny' Harris, Jermaine Dupri, 2 Chainz, Chris Tucker and Nelly. This weekend in Atlanta was a major one for top-notch music performers with Music Midtown and the Revolt Summit, which also provided networking and performance opportunities to young and upcoming artists. The discussions between New Birth and West’s team had been going on for several days and was confirmed on Friday. There was an existing relationship between West’s camp and New Birth, according to a church spokesman. West’s decision to do a popup worship service at New Birth probably raised a few eyebrows. Bryant, the pastor, has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration and even encouraged those in attendance to register to vote to “evict some people from the White House.” West, though, has visited President Donald Trump in the White House and been  photographed wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap. In an appearance last week on ABC’s daytime show “The View,” West’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, was asked about the Sunday Service events. “Kanye started this, I think, just to heal himself and it was a really personal thing … and it was just friends and family,” Kim Kardashian West said. “And he has had an amazing evolution of being born again and being saved by Christ.” She added, “It is a Christian service, like a musical ministry; they talk about Jesus and God.” Caesar Ojile, a Peachtree City-based  music producer and director, said the experience was “pretty cool. I’ve gone to church all of my life, but this was something pretty unique.” He doesn’t always agree with West’s views on politics but  said he remains a fan of West’s music. » RELATED: Kanye West's Sunday Service to honor Dayton shooting draws large crowd » RELATED:  Kanye West gets emotional at Easter Sunday Service at Coachella
  • Here are the live updates from our reporters at the rally today in Dahlonega. Return to AJC.com later today for a recap story and more photos.  FINAL UPDATE 2:35 P.M.: The rally is effectively over. Participants are mainly walking around chanting “USA.” They have the space at the Dahlonega square for about another 30 minutes. Some speakers didn’t show. Principal organizer Chester Doles was on the mic for a second time. - Chris Joyner A little more than 100 counterprotesters — which would be about twice the number of rally attendees — were chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “No Nazis, no KKK, no fascist USA!” - Rosalind Bentley UPDATE 2:25 P.M.:  Yellow ribbons hang outside businesses and on streetlamps and traffic signs to show solidarity against the rally, said Charlotte Arsenault, minister of Georgia Mountains Unitarian Universalist Church in Dahlonega. Arsenault was one of 10 pastors who helped organize parishioners to  gather as a counterprotest to the event billed as a pro-Trump rally but was organized by people associated with white nationalists and supremacists.  Many business owners and residents were afraid to attend the counter rally, Arsenault said, so they decided to hang yellow ribbons as a message that Dahlonega doesn’t welcome white supremacy. There are also messages written on the streets by residents last night. - Rosalind Bentley While some critics questioned the pro-Trump billing of the rally,  at least one speaker known for her support for President Donald Trump was among those speaking to the crowd at Saturday afternoon’s event in Dahlonega. Atlanta internet talk show host Lucretia Hughes brought her pro-Trump, pro-police message to a small but appreciative audience. - Chris Joyner UPDATE 2:05 P.M.: Before the rally began, it appeared it will depend on an old PA system (complete with cassette player) to be heard.  But there were problems. However, law enforcement that was there to keep things peaceful also proved helpful after the rally was underway: A police officer stepped in and fixed the PA by plugging in the mic. Among those at the event: Alt-right celebrity Jovi Val.  He brought his incongruent message to the event that’s supposed to be supporting the U.S. president: “It’s the government that is the enemy of the people.” - Chris Joyner While police and counterprotesters might be more plentiful than those attending the pro-Trump rally, police could be seen earlier apparently detaining two counterprotesters and were holding them near a bus on the back southern edge of the square.  - Rosalind Bentley UPDATE 1:50 P.M.: The main rally includes about 50 people — with nearly as many journalists covering the attendees. The square was decorated by locals with gold ribbon and slogans in chalk protesting the rhetoric of hate.  - Chris Joyner UPDATE 1:07 P.M.: On the counterprotesters' side, people are going through a security checkpoint. Law enforcement isn’t letting in any backpacks, bottled water (full or empty). Firearms, however, are allowed but they can’t be loaded with any ammunition.  Officers are checking people with handheld metal detectors as they enter the South check point. - Rosalind Bentley Charles Lincoln, a rally speaker and white nationalist, flew in from Florida. “I guess I specialize in under-attended events,”  he said as the crowd appeared sparse before it was set to begin.  Lincoln was part of a small group of right-wing protesters in Washington, D.C., last year on the second anniversary of the Charlottesville rally. - Chris Joyner UPDATE 12:35 P.M.: Rally organizer Chester Doles met with about a dozen family members and supporters a half-hour before the rally to discuss strategy and hand out Trump flags. The event has been billed as a rally to show support for President Donald Trump, but Dahlonega officials and Republicans have been wary of the white nationalists’ and supremacists’ ties to the event.  Police officials say there are “500 boots on the ground,” from several statewide agencies today. - Chris Joyner and Rosalind Bentley UPDATE 12:25 P.M.: Some counterprotesters had announced their plan to “occupy” the rally spot reserved by the white supremacist-led group, but with less than an hour to go before the event, the vast majority of people on the square were police and media. - Chris Joyner UPDATE 12:10 P.M.: Law enforcement drones buzzed above the square.  Most streets downtown were empty of shoppers and tourists, who would normally visit the historic Georgia town on a Saturday afternoon. - Rosalind Bentley UPDATE 11:57 A.M.:  A phalanx of law enforcement officers in riot gear are marching and chanting, “Fired up, fired up!” around the square in downtown Dahlonega.  All downtown businesses are closed for the afternoon.  At the historic Smith House bed and breakfast, the basement lobby area was blocked off — even to guests.  A smattering of onlookers including a couple wearing Sons of Confederate Veterans vests watched and took pictures of the marching officers. Metal barricades surrounded most of the blocks immediately adjacent to the Dahlonega Gold Museum.  The visitors’ center, where the rally is expected to occur, is cordoned off by short, interlocking metal barricades. By the size of the area reserved, the city is not expecting a large crowd for the rally.  More than 100 police officers, many in riot gear, are on the square. - Rosalind Bentley and Chris Joyner ORIGINAL STORY: State and local law enforcement have prepared for a gathering in downtown Dahlonega today that was organized by white supremacists who have advertised it as a rally in support of President Donald Trump. The organizer is Chester Doles, a North Georgia resident with decades of experience as a white power activist. Doles is a former member of the Ku Klux Klan and was an organizer for the National Alliance, a mostly defunct white supremacist group with deeply anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant beliefs. » RELATED: North Georgia town braces for rally » RELATED: Rally organizer on probation for 2016 assault in local bar Among those speaking out against the event is U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., who represents the region. “White supremacy and white nationalism have no place in our country, and I will continue to denounce any and all forms of hate,” he said last week. “For that reason, I will not be attending the event in Dahlonega on September 14, which has been organized by known associates of hate organizations.” The rally is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on the downtown square. The chance of rain at that time is forecast for 15% but increases as the afternoon goes on.  Check back here today for updates from our AJC reporters and photographer in Dahlonega.
  • For the first time, Georgia health authorities are confirming mysterious lung illnesses linked to vaping. There are three confirmed cases in the state and another 10 potential cases are being reviewed, the Georgia Department of Public Health said late Thursday. Meanwhile, U.S. health officials have revised the number of people with vaping-related lung diseases, now counting only 380 likely and confirmed cases. The overall number marks a decrease from 450 last week, when officials were also including reported cases under investigation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC said Thursday it will no longer release data on “possible” illnesses. The agency said the change in how cases are counted is “the most accurate way to understand the number of people affected.” The vaping-related lung illnesses in 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands have heightened scrutiny of vaping and prompted President Donald Trump to call for a crackdown on flavored e-cigarettes this week. Six people have died in the outbreak. E-cigarettes, the most common form of vaping, are battery-powered devices that heat liquid typically laced with nicotine for inhaling. Doctors are reporting cases of otherwise healthy patients, many in their late teens and 20s, showing up in emergency rooms gasping for breath and vomiting. The CDC said the outbreak does not seem to be caused by an infection but by chemical exposure, possibly a solvent mixed with nicotine or THC, the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana. Although no single substance or product has been pinpointed for the illnesses, most patients have said they used e-cigarettes with THC, according to the CDC. Many also said they were vaping nicotine, with or without THC. THC is also a common link in the three confirmed cases in Georgia, which involve people in different parts of the state. The cases include one person reporting vaping THC and nicotine, one vaping THC only, and one vaping THC and hash oil. The CDC is urging people to “consider not using e-cigarette products” while it investigates the outbreak. The agency also said people should not buy bootleg products and stop modifying devices to vape other substances. MORE: Marlboro cigarette giant to test ‘heat not burn’ tobacco in Atlanta The illnesses have focused attention on the soaring teenage use of e-cigarettes which has the potential of hooking a new generation on nicotine. Use of e-cigarettes by high-school students soared from 1.5% in 2011 to 20.8% in 2018, according to the CDC. Juul, which controls more than 70% of the U.S. e-cigarette market, has faced sharp criticism and growing scrutiny of its device, which looks like a USB flash drive and can fit in the palm of the hand. Even though Juul vowed not to market to underage users, several studies show many adolescents being exposed to the device through social media. MORE: Vaping related health risks. What you need to know
  • CALHOUN — Fire erupted at an adhesives plant early Friday, lighting up the North Georgia sky with massive flames and spewing fumes which local officials worried could be toxic.  Calhoun City Schools were closed and residents in the area around DHM Adhesives Inc. were evacuated due to public health worries. But by Friday afternoon, environmental experts determined the air was safe and residents were allowed to return home.  “The air quality is good,” Ben Franco, on-scene coordinator for the Environmental Protection Agency, said. Tests were also conducted on runoff water, but the results could take several days, Franco said.  A cause of the fire had not been determined. The plant is located about 70 miles northwest of Atlanta.  One DHM employee was being treated at a local burn unit late Friday, according to Calhoun Deputy Fire Chief Terry Mills. Nine others were working inside at the time of the fire. No firefighters were injured, though Mills said that by Friday afternoon fatigue had set in. Earlier Friday, Gordon and Bartow county firefighters assisted. Crews dumped more than 2 million gallons of water on the fire overnight, Mills said. The Hicks family lives next door to the business and awoke to the sound of police pounding on the front door, alerting them to the flames. Laura and Justin Hicks grabbed their three young sons, but didn’t have time to grab their wallets or change clothes. Blake, 6, had to leave behind the tooth he lost Thursday and stashed under his pillow.  “I was terrified,” Laura Hicks told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The family has rented the home for six years, and Hicks said she often worried about having small children so close to a busy street. She had never given the adhesives business a second thought.  Justin Hicks said the smell in the air was nauseating, similar to a gas smell. Relatives picked up the Hicks family so the little ones could get some sleep.  “I couldn’t sleep because I didn’t know what was going on,” Laura Hicks said. Late Friday afternoon, the Hicks were allowed to return to their home to retrieve clothes and the family van. But the smell of smoke and chemicals was overpowering, so it was likely they’d have to spend the night with family again. Attempts to contact DHM officials were not immediately successful. DHM touts its product line as “environmentally safe adhesive technology.” It also performs contract manufacturing for other companies.  Much of DHM’s product line is used to adhere paper and plastic packaging, including for frozen products, pharmaceuticals, envelopes and the gel-like glue found on new credit and gift cards, according to its website.  One of its adhesives is ethylene-vinyl acetate, the company’s website said. That compound is flammable and short-term exposure can cause eye, skin and lung irritation, according to a material safety data sheet for the chemical.  Kevin Chambers, a spokesman for the state Environmental Protection Division, said the agency dispatched a member of its emergency response team to the fire.  “The runoff was controlled so there is no visible impact to waterways,” Chambers said in an email.  He said there were no signs of a fish kill or stress to aquatic life in a nearby creek, which empties into the Coosawattee River, Chambers said.  Later in the day, a state official issued a statement contradicting part of what Chambers said. The official said late Friday some discoloration was observed in the stream but said no effects on wildlife were noted. During part of the day, the fire department put water sparingly on the scene so that containment systems for runoff could be put in place, the official said.  An AJC review of a state EPD database found only one complaint to state environmental regulators at the DHM plant’s address.  In the 2013 complaint, an unnamed person who self-identified as an employee alleged oils were dumped on part of the property and poor-quality glues were poured into city sewers. State regulators ultimately did not confirm the complainant’s account and found no violations of state environmental rules. — AJC photojournalist John Spink contributed to this article. In other news: