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Latest from Condace Pressley

    A Cobb attorney may soon appear before a jury for an entirely different reason. Romin Alavi faces charges of stealing from one of his clients. Mike Bagan tells Channel 2 Action News Alavi represented him after an accident that left him with $38,000 in medical bills. Recently Bagan learned that Alavi settled his case and apparently cashed his $25,000 settlement check. 'The insurance company sent me a check of the $25,000 settlement that was taken by Mr. Alavi without my approval and was actually forged signatures of me and my wife deposited into his account,' Bagan said. Sheriff's investigators confirmed the money had been deposited into Alavi's account and arrested him. Since then, Alavi has apologized to Bagan via email. 'I know you probably hate me,' Alavi wrote, 'and don't really care what my personal problems may be, but I'm working hard on finding a new career and source of income so that I can pay you everything that you deserve.' Bagan said since the email, Alavi has not returned his calls. 'I still can't believe hos this whole thing happened,' Bagan said.  Who do you go to? What do you do?
  • As many as 10-thousand people may be at risk of identity theft - victimized by a man DeKalb Police have charged with fraud.   Investigators say an alert neighbor tipped them off to Clyde Chavo. The man noticed large stacks of mail that did not belong to him. Police allege Chavo ran a tax return racket out of a home in an upscale Druid Hills neighborhood.  They say he created false businesses using the identities of real people and filed thousands of fraudulent income tax returns. 'I'm surprised that [Chavo chose] this neighborhood because it's just a good neighborhood, Aaron Linzer told Channel 2 Action News. Chavo, 39, allegedly netted thousands of dollars from the scheme.  He faces five counts of fraud, and investigators say they expect the charges against him to grow.
  • Forget Thursday night poker with the guys.  For these Duluth women it was 'ladies night' with a one-armed bandit. Gwinnett Police now confirm to News/Talk WSB that at least six women have been arrested and charged in what appears to be an all female gambling ring. Investigators carried out raids on two houses in Duluth seizing ten slot machines and nearly $20,000 in cash. The first raid Monday on Michael Circle led to the arrest of Mi Hui Yi, 55.  She's charged with keeping a gambling place, commercial gambling, and possession of gambling devices. A second raid at 3927 Old Norcross Road led to the arrests of five other women.   Police identified them as:  Mi Hyang Huh, Shirly Kim, Chung Suk Han, Young Suk Han and Sung Hee Choi. Investigators say house rules were strict.  While men could attend, they could not participate.  Neighbor Cindy Murray tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish she suspected something illegal was going on, but not gambling.  “For about two years there’s been a lot of traffic in and out, in and out and it was mainly always just women,” she said.  Often the women traveled in limousines or town cars.  Murray says at one point this spring she noticed two slot machines in the cul de sac in front of the home but thought the residents were delivering them somewhere else. She said she realized during the raid what was actually going on.  “We saw all the police come down and we saw the slot machines come out,” says Murray.
  • DeKalb County's tax assessor says their budget problems should have been no surprise to school board members. Members have complained they did not know their budget deficit was greater than first reported because of declining home values. 'No that's not the case,' said tax assessor Calvin Hicks. In fact, Hicks shared with Channel 2 Action News documents as recent as May 30 to board members detailing the declines in revenue. 'They're on the distribution list,' he said, 'and we're submitting that data to them.” School board spokesman Walter Woods now says surprised was perhaps not the word to use to describe the board's reaction.  Frustrated is more appropriate. Woods said the board wanted to be certain that the numbers were indeed accurate. 'Because we didn't have a hard number,' he said.  'We want to make sure that we're telling people what they need to hear and what the real numbers are.' The board considers the budget again June 20.
  • Budget problems for the DeKalb County Schools have gone from bad to worse leaving school board members a week to figure out how to erase an $85 million budget deficit.Parents wonder aloud what more could go wrong.'It's pretty scary,' said Kanicka Romero.  'It's sad for the kids because they are the ones who are going to be hurting,' she said.Romero's daughter Isabella will be a second grader next year at Rockbridge Elementary.Monday, just as the board was about to vote on a revised budget came word from the tax assessor that declining property values put the county another $12 million in the hole.'Everything is on the table,' said school district spokesman Walter Woods.'If you look at class size, furlough days, millage rate, everything.' The school district had planned for a six percent decrease in property value.  The deficit is closer to nine percent and may lead to additional furlough days, more layoffs, and possibly higher taxes.'The board will have to make a determination about what's the least impact on student success, the best way to fund the district and get us back to a balanced budget,' said Woods. The school board meets again June 20 to vote on a revised budget plan.
  • DeKalb County lawmakers put up a rare united front against the CEO over one of his pet projects.  On Tuesday, the DeKalb County Commission stopped all work being done to clear land for a soapbox derby track.     The resolution also urges the CEO to detail any money that's already been spent on his pet project. Commissioners have already approved some $700,000 toward the soapbox track north of Lithonia, but they haven't yet approved a contract to start construction for what's expected to be a million-dollar derby track.  Upset that CEO Burrell Ellis has signed off on the clearing of the land, Commissioner Elaine Boyer introduced a resolution to stop the work immediately.  It passed unanimously among the six lawmakers there. 'The commission is the only authority to prioritize capital projects and spending,' said Boyer.Commissioner Jeff Rader was absent from Tuesday's vote. Last week the Atlanta Journal-Constitution discovered CEO Ellis signed off on nearly $100,000 work on his boyhood passion, even though the board had not approved a contract for the work.That contract, $1 million to build the 900-foot track and parking area off Rock Chapel Road, was pulled from Tuesday's board agenda.
  • The president of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce faces weapons charges after trying to board a flight with a handgun in his bag.  TSA agents stopped David Connell and police arrested him when they found a gun and 2 clips in his luggage.  Connell was being held in the Clayton County jail.  As a first offender, he may be eligible to have his record expunged.  'If an individual doesn't have a previous criminal history, and they are caught at the airport with a gun, we give them the opportunity to participate in our pre-trial intervention program,' said Clayton County Solicitor General Tasha Mosley.  'Part of the condition of going in there is that they voluntarily consent to hand over their gun.'  According to the Cobb Chamber's website, Connell joined them in 2010 from Georgia Power.  Connell had more than 40 years of service with the Southern Company.  The Cobb Chamber is among the 10 largest in the Southeast with 5400 individual and 2500 business members.
  • Another group of teens find themselves in trouble with the law after a neighborhood park was vandalized.  This time the target was the Brook Run Community Garden in Dunwoody and five teens have been charged.  'It looked like a tornado hit the garden,' said Amanda Harris.  'Lettuce everywhere. Plants destroyed.'  Harris tends a plot at the Dunwoody garden where the produce is later donated to a local food pantry.  'We had all kinds of food ready to go for that Tuesday over there.  Completely destroyed,' she said.  Dunwoody Police have charged five 16-year-olds with felony damage to property.  Four of the teens are from Dunwoody, while the fifth is from Roswell.  'We're not sure what the motive was,' said Sgt. Mike Carlson, 'probably more mischief - doing something in the middle of the night that they were not supposed to do.   Harris, who once worked in the Juvenile Justice system, thinks the teens should be ordered to do community service for the people who run the park.  Last month a group of teens from East Paulding County High were caught vandalizing the school.  Among them the valedictorian and senior class president Jason Zimmerman who was expelled and banned from graduation.  Zimmerman's scholarship to Georgia Tech is also in jeopardy. 
  • It's time for Dr. Hall to cry.'  So says Georgia State Senator Ralph Long about former Atlanta School Superintendent Beverly Hall who has been implicated but not charged in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal.  Now that tribunals have begun for teachers caught in the scandal, Long, whose district includes Capitol View Elementary School, is ready for District Attorney Paul Howard to declare his plans.  Long said seven months is more than enough time to determine the facts of the case.  He wants Hall prosecuted.  'How many teachers have you seen crying on TV?' he asks.  'How many principals have you seen?  It's time for Dr. Hall to cry.”  Long notes Capitol View was caught in the scandal and now as part of the redistricting plan is scheduled to close.  'Our schools have been decimated,' he said.  'Our property values have been decimated.  It won't be on my watch that we're not going to demand justice for our children.' In a statement to Channel 2 Action News, Howard called the investigation complex, but active saying 'it would be unfair to offer premature public comment on the matter.'  Last year a state investigation found 71-percent of the classrooms at Capitol View were flagged for cheating.
  • Brace yourself for some sticker shock next time you order pine straw for your landscape.  And it's not because there's a shortage of pine straw falling on Georgia's more than 20-million acres of forest land. Landscapers blame their price increases on a shortage of immigrant workers to rake and bale their product.  'I'm having to get some of my stock from Florida because there's not enough labor in south Georgia,' said Jim Satterfield of Four Seasons Pine Straw.  He believes Georgia's new immigration law has scared the workers away.  It's the same complaint heard from vegetable farmers during their harvest.  'We probably have 5,000 bales on order that we cannot fill right now,' he said.  Cobb homeowner Julie Lovell found out about the worker shortage and the price increase the hard way.  'I was taken by surprise,' she said, 'and I know last year we paid significantly less than we did.'  Georgia's immigration law changed in July 2011, requiring employers to check immigrant status before hiring anyone.
  • Condace Pressley

    Condace Pressley is an accomplished, award-winning broadcaster. She anchors news mornings on KISS 104.1 and on B-98.5 in addition to her leadership responsibilities with News 95-5 and AM 750 WSB.  She is WSB’s Manager of Programming Operations and leads Community Affairs for all five CMG Atlanta radio stations.  This UGA alum and Marietta native began her career as weekend anchor.  She is also producer and host of the Sunday show Perspectives.  Profiled in 2014 by The HistoryMakers, Condace is a former President of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Atlanta chapter’s 2012 Pioneer Black Journalist.

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News

  • Northgate High School and Canongate Elementary School in Coweta County were placed on lockdown after school officials said a person with a gun was seen nearby. According to Coweta County School, the school was notified by law enforcement officials that there was somebody walking down Fischer Road in Newnan with a gun Tuesday.  The road is adjacent to the school.  The schools were placed on Code Red Alert, but later downgraded to Code Yellow. Cannongate Elementary was also put on Code Yellow lockdown around 11:20 a.m. Both schools stayed in a Code Yellow lockdown as a precaution until they went home.   Dean Jackson with Coweta County Schools said parents were notified by email, text and letter.  Dean said that some parents came and checked their kids out of school.   The suspect has not yet been caught, officials said.  Northgate High School and Canongate Elementary School are continuing on heightened security at this time, as a precaution only, while law enforcement investigates an incident in northeastern Coweta. Northgate HS moved to a code yellow status at approximately 12:50 p.m.,— Coweta Schools (@CowetaSchools) May 22, 2018 NewsChopper 2 was over the scene. We're working to get updates for Channel 2 Action News starting at 4 p.m. TRENDING STORIES: Patient says she woke up from surgery in hotel room with sandwich in hand 'American Idol' reveals its 2 finalists are dating before announcing winner 2 victims of cougar attack identified, friends grieving death of avid cyclist  
  • Rain and a few storms could put a damper on your Memorial Day plans. Stay weather aware this week with in-depth coverage from Kirk Mellish.
  • The Florida Department of Health has a warning for Florida residents and tourists about a deadly strain of flesh-eating bacteria. Federal health officials have said Vibrio vulnificus infections have increased each year since 2000. As scary as that sounds, though, the likelihood of contracting the bacterium is still pretty small. “You are more likely to die in a car accident on the way to (a) restaurant than from Vibrio,” says University of Florida microbiology professor Paul Gulig. Here are five things to know about flesh-eating bacteria in Florida: 1. It’s the fish, not the water – Most people who die from the bacteria contracted it from eating raw or under-cooked seafood, especially shellfish, like oysters, rather than from swimming in the Gulf. Swimming in salt water with an open wound increases your chances of getting it, but that shouldn’t keep the vast majority of people from getting in the water. 2. Now is the time to be vigilant – Peak season for Vibrio is during the warmer months, between May and October. The warm weather breeds the bacteria, and people are more likely to be swimming in the water and consuming seafood while on vacation or enjoying the scenery.  3. It’s extremely rare, and extremely deadly – According to the CDC, in 2014 there were about 90 total infections of Vibrio in the U.S., including 35 deaths. By comparison, the flu kills between 3,300 and 49,000 people every year. That being said, the bacteria is life-threatening. Vibrio kills one in three people who become infected. 4. It’s not really flesh-eating, it just looks that way – The only bacteria that are officially classified as “flesh eating” belong to the streptococcus A family. Vibrio is called “flesh eating” because it invades the blood stream and causes skin lesions that are similar to streptoccus A.  5. Your risk is pretty low, even if you’re sick – Most people who are truly vulnerable to Vibrio already have a weakened immune system, and suffer from other ailments, like chronic liver disease. There is no evidence of person-to-person transmission. Just to be safe, though, health officials say you should clean any open wounds after you’ve gone swimming in the ocean. 
  • The polls have closed, and Georgia has taken its first steps in voting for a new governor for the first time in eight years.  The Georgia Primary is one of the biggest nights of the election season and will set the stage for the potential runoffs and general election in November.   [CLICK HERE for LIVE real-time election results] Justin Farmer and Jovita Moore will anchor the night’s coverage on Channel 2 Action News, taking viewers to the heart of the political action. Channel 2 reporters and photographers are spread out across metro Atlanta as the results come in for the races that will also narrow down the candidates for lieutenant governor, secretary of state, plus all of Georgia’s 180 House seats and 56 Senate seats. Channel 2 Action News will have every angle covered throughout the evening, on the air and across all digital platforms. SCHEDULE: 10 p.m. - Channel 2 Action News special digital-only coverage on WSBTV.com and in our apps 11 p.m. - The Channel 2 Action News Nightbeat at 11 p.m. with Justin Farmer and Jovita Moore MINUTE-BY-MINUTE:  7 p.m.: Polls close across Georgia
  • A mentally disabled man walked free Tuesday after 20 years in prison for a killing his attorneys say he didn't commit, under a plea agreement that blames him for obstructing justice by falsely confessing to the crime. In exchange for his freedom, Corey Williams accepted a deal that short-circuits a potential U.S. Supreme Court review and requires him to drop all claims against the state of Louisiana, which initially sentenced him to death. 'Moments ago, I had the honor of walking Corey Williams out of prison,' attorney Amir Ali said in a tweet Tuesday morning. 'He spent the last 20 years there, after being wrongfully convicted as a 16 year old child.' Police found Williams hiding under a sheet on a couch at his grandmother's house after Jarvis Griffin was killed after delivering a pizza to another house in 1998. Williams initially denied killing Griffin, but changed his story after police questioned him through the night. 'His confession was brief, devoid of corroborating details,' his lawyers wrote in their March 2 petition to the U.S. Supreme Court. 'Having just assumed responsibility for a homicide, Corey told the officers, 'I'm tired. I'm ready to go home and lay down.'' Defense attorneys said there wasn't any physical evidence linking Williams to the killing, and accused prosecutors of withholding 'staggering' evidence of innocence, in part by sharing only summaries of evidence involving other suspects. As it turned out, witnesses saw several older men steal money and pizza from Griffin, and saw Williams running from the house alone with nothing in his hands after the shooting, according to his lawyers. One of the older men, Chris Moore, was the only witness who identified Williams as the shooter. Fingerprints found on the murder weapon belonged to one of the other older men, and the victim's blood was found on clothing worn by a third older man, according to Williams' lawyers. Williams' lawyers said the prosecutors' summaries were falsified. This was one of the reasons cited by a group of 44 former prosecutors and Justice Department officials, including former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, in a legal brief filed recently urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. The plea 'puts an end to Corey Williams' efforts to get the United States Supreme Court to reverse his conviction,' wrote John Andrew Prime, spokesman for Caddo Parish District Attorney James Stewart Sr., in a news release emailed Tuesday. Williams signed his plea bargain in inch-high printing with big circles over the i's. His lawyers say that before the shooting, Williams was hospitalized for extreme lead poisoning, still sucked his thumb and frequently urinated on himself. His disabilities were cited by a district court judge in overturning his death sentence in 2004. Williams also pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter. In the agreement, he admits being present when Griffin was killed, that he aided and abetted the shooting, and illegally possessed a stolen firearm. He also agreed that he obstructed justice by removing evidence from the crime scene, and that he 'provided a false inculpatory statement to police.' Williams, now 36, also agreed not to raise any legal claims or seek compensation from the state or anyone else in a long list of people and agencies, including any former district attorney. Because of that, his lawyers hope to raise $10,000 to help him get a new start on life. 'Given the prospect of years more time in prison fighting his conviction, and the uncertainty of justice in the courts, ... Corey pled guilty to lesser offenses in an agreement that allowed him to walk out of prison,' his lawyers wrote on a crowdfunding site. State District Court Judge Katherine Dorroh vacated Williams' murder conviction and sentenced him to 20 years for manslaughter, with credit for time served. Prime said the judge also suspended a seven-year sentence for obstructing justice, putting Williams on supervised probation for three years.
  • The NFL has passed a new rule for this season that says any player who initiates contact with his helmets is subject to ejection after an in-game video review that will be decided in New York. Al Riveron, the league's head of officiating, said a foul can be called regardless of where on the body — not just the head or neck area — that one player hits another with his helmet. The rule is not position-specific, so offensive players will be subject to the same criteria as defensive players. 'This is about eliminating unnecessary use of the helmet,' Riveron said Tuesday at the NFL spring meetings. If a player is ejected, Riveron and his staff in New York will use network camera angles to determine if the ejection is necessary. He promised that games will not become 'an ejection fest' every week. 'Immediately when I learn in New York that there's an ejection, I will ask the network to give me everything you've got,' Riveron said. 'I will take a look at it, I will rule on it and I will say yes, he's ejected, (or) no, leave him in the game. 'Play will stop, and we will expedite it. That's why we won't have the referee come over and we're not going to get the replay official involved,' Riveron said. 'The only way the replay official will be involved is he will call it and immediately tell the command center, we have an ejection on 'No. 22 White.'' Atlanta Falcons CEO Rich McKay, the head of the league's competition committee, said the league had conference calls and a webinar with every coaching staff in the league last week to tell them to begin teaching a new, safer technique. McKay said the rule passed after the league looked at tens of thousands of examples on film to determine how to reduce concussions. Contact that's made by leading with the helmet no longer has a place in the NFL. 'We have always learned don't put your neck at risk and everything else,' he said. 'Now we've taken it a step further and said that we need to teach it out of the game and put a rule in and get it out of the game.' The rule applies to linemen, too. They can no longer lower their helmets to initiate contact. 'It's a culture change, and it's something that we take full responsibility' for, Riveron said. 'Prior to training camp we will have position-specific videos done by head coaches such as offensive line play, defensive line play, defensive backs, linebackers, special teams, runners. Why? Because this rule is all-inclusive for all players in all parts of the field.' ___ For more AP NFL coverage: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL