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Latest from Veronica Waters

    A now-fired Atlanta Police sergeant has been indicted on four charges stemming from the February 2017 shooting of a North Carolina tourist near the Georgia Dome.  A Fulton County grand jury handed up an indictment Wednesday against Mathieu Cadeau, 52, on counts of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and two counts of violation of his oath of office.   The man who was shot, Noel Hall, says he is happy to hear about the charges.  'I think it's a good start going forward, and it looks like things are moving in the right direction of what I feel needs to happen,' said Hall.
  • You have probably heard the “Objection! Hearsay!” line in your favorite legal drama.  A Cobb County judge must decide whether alleged hearsay can be used against an accused child molester.  The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously ruled that when the case against Antonio Almanza goes to trial, hearsay evidence identifying him as the alleged abuser is not categorically barred under Georgia’s new rules of evidence.  In May 2014, a Cobb County girl told her mother that a relative had molested her. The mother alerted authorities, who told her to take the child to the doctor for an examination.  At the hospital, the mom told an ER doctor that Almanza had touched and raped the girl. Almanza was indicted for aggravated child molestation, aggravated sexual battery, statutory rape, child molestation, and incest.  Since that outcry, the mom and the little girl have vanished, and prosecutors have not been able to find her. They believe the pair may have left the country. The Cobb County District Attorney sought to have the mother's statements at the hospital, and later to the girl's pediatrician, admitted as evidence.  Almanza's lawyers objected, saying that the testimony from doctors does not fall under the typical medical exceptions to the hearsay rule. Hearsay testimony is usually barred because defendants have the right to cross-examine witnesses, which they cannot do if the speaker is not in court. The trial judge, then the Court of Appeals, said that the testimony was inadmissible hearsay.  WSB legal analyst Phil Holloway says one exception to the hearsay rule is for medical diagnosis and treatment – and what is considered 'pertinent.'  'If a child or a parent goes to the doctor and says the child has been molested or abused, it's important for the doctor to know how the child was molested or abused so the child can be treated properly,' Holloway explains, adding, 'What's not so important to diagnosis or treatment is the alleged identity of the abuser.'  Prosecutors contended, however, that the statements should be allowed under newer federal evidence rules which pushed out Georgia's older ones.  Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds says he is pleased with the justices' 'well thought-out' opinion.  'The mother of that victim had made statements to the treating physicians about what happened to her daughter. We believe that should have been admissible in a court of law based on the opinions that we've read throughout the United States,' Reynolds says.  He adds, 'We were convinced in the end that the Supreme Court would agree with us and rule in our favor, and thankfully, they did.'  Holloway says the justices essentially punted the case back to the trial judge to decide, using the newer federal rules of evidence, whether the mother's statements can be heard by a jury.  'It's like a math teacher telling you got the problem wrong because you worked the equation wrong, even if you may have stumbled onto the correct final answer,' he says. 'The Cobb judge may well reach the same conclusion because under federal precedent, the state has a tough hill to climb.'  Reynolds is confident the statements pass the test, noting that the justices said both the trial court and the Appeals Court were wrong to use Georgia's outdated evidence rules in excluding the mom's statements. He calls the state Supreme Court's ruling a 'strong opinion in favor of all victims of crime.”
  • Dockless scooters dot sidewalks across Atlanta, but that is not always a guarantee that you can find one in a hurry.  Now, Bird is getting ready to launch Bird Delivery, which will drop off a scooter at your personal nest -- home or office -- and reserve it for you to ride all day.  Currently, scooter renters have to do a sort of seek-and-retrieve to hop on one of the rides, using a map on an app to find where the Birds are nested, as they can be ditched wherever a rider wants.  Some riders in midtown Atlanta seem intrigued by the idea, even as Bird has yet to release pricing information for the upcoming service, or a roll-out date.  Matthew Quinn began riding the electric scooters in recent months, and says the time of day affects how difficult they are to locate. He often needs one in the evening hours, when he says Birds seem to be more scarce, but Limes are not. The idea of scheduling a delivery could be worth exploring, he speculates.  'The pros would be getting it; the cons would be we'd probably still have to wait for it,' says Quinn. 'Like, they're driving around Atlanta in a truck?'  Bird charges $1.00 to unlock the scooter, and 15 cents per minute after that. Krysta Silva, a university student, says she's curious to know what the upcharge would be for a reserved rental. She says it could be worth the time saved.  'Where my apartment complex is, there's usually not that many,” says Silva, adding, “Every now and again there will be one, but it's like, 'Oh, I want to go to class [and] get there in five minutes,' and there's not one there. So it would be convenient.” Bird says the vehicle would be dropped off at your doorstep by 8:00 A.M.  The all-day reservation could be a move to give rideshare car services like Lyft or Uber a run for their money.  Dylan Atanasov frequents midtown and Buckhead for work and socializing, and rides the scooters daily.  'I don't drive in midtown, and I take MARTA to work every day, so this is just really convenient when I'm going somewhere besides home,' he says.  He expects that he will be a customer who has a Bird delivered to him, since he's had times when he walked out of his home and spent 20 minutes looking for a scooter. The pricing, he said, is not likely to deter him.  'It's probably still going to be better than an Uber most of the time,' says Atansov. 'This right now, I'm going to a friend's house that's like three miles away, and it's going to cost me about three dollars, or four.  'And I don't have to sit in traffic.'  Andy Watson is a scooter commuter who rides every day, but who would not have much use to schedule a delivery, he says. As he got ready to unlock a Bird off Peachtree Street, he says he usually finds scooters in the same spot daily as he heads back to his car in a parking lot.  'They're always right here, so it's not really a big issue. There's been a few days where there hasn't been one out in front of the building, but it's like 200 yards to walk, so it's not that bad,' he laughs.  As Watson opened his Bird app, there was the invitation to schedule a delivery. He entered his ZIP code and the app promised to let him know when the service was available.
  • Time, pain, and compensation. Those were the themes of attorney Neal Pope's closing arguments at the trial over a botched circumcision in Clayton County.  His first 18 days of life, said Pope, were Baby D.'s only normal ones of his life. 
  • The defense has rested in the Clayton County trial of a lawsuit over a botched circumcision, disputing the idea that the child will face years of mental anguish.The suit seeks damages for the child’s medical bills, as well as for physical and mental pain and suffering, disability, and disfigurement. Much of the defense's case was spent trying to prove to the jury that some of the defendants--the clinic owner, Anne Sigouin, and the boy's pediatrician--should not be held liable for things that happened at Life Cycle clinic in Riverdale.
  • The mother of a boy who suffered a botched circumcision at a Riverdale clinic tells a Clayton County jury about the anguishing aftermath. Stacie Willis contends she was never told a vital piece of information after the bloody procedure--that part of her 18-day-old baby boy's privates had been cut off. At times during the trial she has cried listening to the testimony; the day the nurse midwife who performed the procedure talked about how the sliced-off tissue was kept in a refrigerator and then thrown away, she got up and walked out of the courtroom in tears.
  • WARNING: This story contains mature content that may not be suitable for all readers. The owner of a Clayton County clinic where a baby suffered a botched circumcision five years ago has told a jury that although the on-staff doctor called her at the time, no one told her about the injury.  Anne Sigouin is one of the defendants in a lawsuit brought by a mother who says a nurse midwife at Life Cycle OB/GYN cut off the tip of her son’s penis in October 2013.  Sigouin said that she agrees now that Baby D had a piece of his penis severed, but insists that at the time, she did not believe anything had gone wrong with his circumcision.  When the nurse midwife dealt with an abnormally large amount of bleeding after the laceration, the supervising pediatrician, the mother’s OB/GYN Dr. Brian Register— also a defendant in the case—called Sigouin on the phone. She advised him to call the boy’s pediatrician. She testified that she did not believe anyone was thinking about the possibility of re-attachment of the tissue in that moment.  Sigouin testified that when the mother—whom she described as “hostile” that day—brought in her son during a follow-up, she refused to examine him when the mom took off the boy’s diaper.  “I was like, ‘I don't see anything wrong with this penis.’ I said, ‘It's swollen,’ and I said, ‘It’s going to heal, and you need to not touch it. Don't mess with it. Just pull the foreskin back like [you are] supposed to,’” Sigouin recalled. The plaintiff’s lawyer also pressed Sigouin to acknowledge that despite having done an estimated 4,000 circumcisions over the years, her clinic has no written protocols of what to do in the instance of a circumcision that goes bad.  “We haven’t had any except for one out of 4,000,” Sigouin explained.  She contended that no one told her in the phone call that the circumcision had gone badly. She says she was informed there was extra bleeding, but that no one told her anything had been severed.  The plaintiff’s attorney Jonathan Johnson asked, “They called you up for an emergency situation not to tell you anything?”  “Just that they had everything under control,” replied Sigouin.  He countered, “Do you get a lot of phone calls of circumcisions by your staff that has everything under control?”  “No,” she said.  She also told Johnson that neither the nurse midwife nor anyone else on the staff ever told her the tissue had been kept. Johnson was incredulous, and asked, “Are you disappointed that your employees didn’t tell you they had a piece of a kid’s penis in their refrigerator down there for a while?”  “Absolutely,” Sigouin replied.  The severed glans tissue was salvaged and kept in a biohazard bag inside a clinic refrigerator for months until it was learned that a lawsuit was in the works. Then, it was disposed of, and State Court Judge Shalonda Jones-Parker said the destruction of the tissue, along with the clinic’s returning to service the Mogen clamp used in the procedure, deprived the child’s mother of evidence vital to her case. The ruling struck the defenses of Register and the nurse midwife who did the procedure, Melissa Jones.  The ruling did not apply to Sigouin.  In her deposition, Sigouin said she could tell just by looking at the child’s mother that she is the type of clientele Sigouin often sees on the south side of Atlanta, contending the mom wanted to “blackmail” her for money.  “You just know. You know that type of patient. I know them when they walk in the door, that they're looking,” Sigouin said.  She added, “They’re waiting. They want you to make a mistake. They’re waiting on you to make a mistake because they’re going to jump all over it. They’re hungry.”
  • This week, Atlanta City Councilman Michael Bond introduced an ordinance that would shave dollars from other divisions to get the paychecks of first responders up to par. Bond knows some may balk at the idea. “That is a drastic move, and that would cause service reductions in other areas of the city,” Bond says, adding, “But I’m very serious about public safety as you know, and we’ve got a budget of almost $700 million.  “We have to find a way to pay these people who risk their lives every day.”  This summer, the Atlanta City Council approved a $661.4 million Fiscal Year 2019 budget for the City, the first to be proposed by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.  The budget includes a 3.1% pay increase, plus a one-time $500 bonus for the Atlanta Police Department and the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department.  “If we’re not going to increase taxes – and by the way, I’ve never voted for a tax increase – we have to find a way within our flat budget to make this happen,” Bond says.  In a study cited by The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Mercer – a global consulting firm that specializes in compensation review – compared the Atlanta Police Department to 10 departments nationwide.  The list of department includes Charlotte, Dallas, Nashville, Boston and Phoenix, and four local and state agencies: Brookhaven, Alpharetta, Sandy Springs and the Georgia State Patrol.  The study found that APD’s pay for recruits falls 20 percent below the market ranges. That disparity holds true through the rank of lieutenant:  “In each case, APD’s upper-tier pay for a given rank is near or below the low end of the market for the same position.”  APD recruits are paid a flat $34,726, about $8,000 less than Sandy Springs. Nationally, Nashville recruits average about $6,000 more and in Seattle, the median recruit pay is $58,902.  Bond says they have introduced this legislation to promote a healthy debate over how to better pay the city’s public safety officials. He adds, “I can tell you as a person who’s needed to call 911 for myself, I don’t want anybody having a debate as to whether or not the police or the fire department’s gonna show up.”
  • A Clayton County jury has received a tutorial in circumcision from an expert in the field.  Dr. Fred Kogen is a general practitioner and mohel (rhymes with “boil”)—a person trained to perform the Jewish ritual of circumcision. The jury is hearing a lawsuit from a mother who says nurse midwife Melissa Jones cut off the tip of her two-week-old son’s penis during his circumcision at Life Cycle OB/GYN in Riverdale in 2013, and that the staff, their doctors, and the clinic owner did not inform her what had happened so that she could take the steps to have the severed piece reattached.  Using attorney Jay Hirsch’s arm tucked inside the dangling sleeve of a hoodie as a teaching prop, Dr. Kogen showed the jury how proper circumcisions are done. He says the number-one lesson emphasized in training is, “You have to protect the head of the penis.”  He detailed the steps to make sure the foreskin to be cut is separated and laid flat and high as far as possible from the glans, drawing chuckles from the courtroom with an inadvertent double entendre.  “If I’m pulling on my penis, it’s going to stretch,” explained Kogen.  Kogen says there is nothing else on the body like glans tissue and once it's cut, it is catastrophic -- so everything possible should be done to save it and get it reattached. Doctors say there is a narrow window of no more than 12 hours in which that tissue is viable.  “Once there’s damage to it, and you lose a part of it, there’s no going back,” he said. “I mean, it’s really literally Humpty Dumpty. You cannot get him back together again.”  The lawsuit says the clinic put the severed piece in saline in biohazard bag, and kept it in a refrigerator for months—disposing of it when they got word that the mother had hired a lawyer.  “If I had a piece of glans that was taken off, there’s no doubt in my mind I would do the best I can to save that, and I would get in touch with someone who could use it to potentially help this baby,” said Kogen.  He acknowledges that it is a very small target.  “I’ve performed six, 7,000 circumcisions and this has never happened to me. I’ve never had a complication like this,” said Kogen, standing in front of the jury box. “This is something that —it’s not even a complication. It’s an injury that should never, ever occur if the technique is done properly.” **An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Dr. Kogen as a pediatrician, not a general practitioner. **
  • The first 18 days of DJ's life were the only normal days he would have for the rest of his life.'  With those words, attorney Neal Pope let a Clayton County jury know the magnitude of the lawsuit they will be considering over the next several days in State Court as they decide who's liable and what damages, if any, should be awarded.  DJ, 4, suffered a botched circumcision at a Riverdale clinic on October 21, 2013. The procedure amputated the tip of his penis, leaving him disfigured, with medical bills that have run into the tens of thousands of dollars, and in a repeated cycle of healing after five major surgeries to date, relegated to removing scabbing to do the simplest of things, like urinate, Pope told the jury in opening statements.  The jury of seven women, five men includes parents and grandparents – and at least two of them had tears in their eyes at the end of Pope's open.  DJ's mother, Stacie Willis, is suing Life Cycle OB/GYN, as well as Certified Nurse Midwife Melissa Jones, who did the procedure; supervising physician Dr. Brian Register; the boy's pediatrician, Dr. Abigail Kamishlian; Anne Sigouin, the clinic owner; and the businesses Life Cycle Pediatrics and Daffodil Pediatric.  The circumcision was performed with a hinged metal instrument called a Mogen clamp, which Pope showed the jurors. He says despite heavy bleeding, no one told the boy's mother that part of the penis had been cut off. Register told Jones to stop the bleeding, and called clinic owner Anne Sigouin to consult with her. Sigouin advised them to call the pediatrician.  Jones contacted DJ's pediatrician, Dr. Kamishlian, telling her that the tip of the glans--the rounded tip of the penis--had been cut off. The pediatrician advised her to have Willis take her son home for the night and to report to the emergency room if there was any sign of continued bleeding -- but otherwise, to come to see Kamishlian the next day.  'When she said that to Melissa Jones, it stopped the show,' said Pope. The lawsuit contends two acts of major negligence: the severing of the tissue itself, and failing to save the tissue so that it could be reattached within 6-12 hours, when it was still viable.  'It began to die the moment it was severed,' he said.  Willis took her son to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta that night because of continued bleeding; and was referred to a pediatric urologist the following day. Subsequently, the complaint says, the mother was alerted about the amputation.  As Pope began to tell jurors about the ramifications of the amputation, he held up a flexible medical school model of an adult penis in front of the jury box. 'The male penis...is a marvelous thing,' said Pope. 'It is a gift from God. It governs much of who we are and what we do.'  He detailed DJ's 'severed pee hole' and said the little boy has seen doctors in six states since 2013. The day after the tip was severed, he said, no one wanted to disturb the gauze on the boy's pelvis; because Willis had not been told what had happened the afternoon she heard her baby scream, no one could visualize the injury, and no one knew how bad it was.  The jurors were shown a series of easel-sized color photos of the boy's pelvis, including how it looked as recently as last month. Willis wept as Pope described the physical and psychological difficulty the child would face as he grows up around his three brothers, into adolescence and adulthood, 'thinking about young ladies, marriage and family.'  As Pope wound down his opening statement, Willis walked out of the courtroom and came back with her young son, with bright, curious eyes, holding her hand. She walked him to the front of the courtroom, where he stood then holding Pope's hand. The lawyer asked DJ if he could say hello to those nice people.  DJ turned and waved, saying, 'Hello.'  The jurors leaned forward and waved back, smiling at him as a chorus of 'Hellos' came back to the handsome little boy.  'He's in your hands. His future life is in your hands,' Pope said. He said DJ's mother would probably face criticism at trial, but says she has already weathered a lot for the young man.  'You've met him. He is worth fighting for,' Pope told them.  As lawyers for the several groups of defendants took their turns, the attorneys tried to impress upon the jury that their clients should not be found liable because they have business relationships with Jones or Life Cycle.  'No way I can compete with how cute and adorable he is,' said Terrell 'Chip' Benton, who represents Life Cycle Pediatrics, the doctor, and the nurse. 'I've got a tough act to follow.  'Everyone agrees he is a cute and adorable four-year-old. Everyone agrees there was an injury...everyone is regretful and sorry, including Brian Register and Melissa Jones,' said Benton.  But Benton urged jurors not to let their sympathy sway their verdict, and to 'fight the urge to find them guilty by association.'  Bob Monyak told the jury that they will be trying three cases side by side. He is defending the pediatrician, Dr. Kamishlian, whom he says, 'undisputedly had nothing to do with it.'  Monyak says Kamishlian wasn't in the building or even in the same town. She got a phone call, he says, and 'that phone call is why she will spend the next two weeks defending herself.'  He contends nothing in the phone call from Jones made Kamishlian believe that emergency reattachment surgery was needed, and listed for the jury the phrases she says she was given about the size of the severed tissue.  ''A tiny sliver' is what she was told,' said Monyak. ''Very, very small. A little small piece of tissue. As thin as two to three sheets of paper.'' He says other pediatricians will tell the jury that the doctor did not commit medical malpractice.  A note Kamishlian scribbled from the phone call refers to a severed piece of glans. The lawsuit seeks millions of dollars in damages.  Penis tissue was kept for 'months'  The first witness in the lawsuit trial was Debbie Person, a medical assistant who helped prep DJ for his circumcision. She says she was concerned about the amount of bleeding DJ suffered, and that Melissa Jones was, too.  The severed tissue was placed in a biohazard bag, then refrigerated, said Person.  'Did you ever hear someone say to Ms. Willis, 'Ma'am, we cut off a small piece of your baby's penis?'' asked plaintiff's attorney M. J. Blakely.  'No,' she said. She said that while boys always cry and are comforted after their circumcisions, DJ was different.  'He cried more,' said Person. 'It was difficult to console him.'  The incident left her so shaken, Person said, she did not want to hold babies for the procedures any longer.  Afterward, no one thought to examine the Mogen clamp or remove it from the supply that Life Cycle had, she says. It was cleaned and put back into service as was customary.  Person also testified that all the other circumcisions she had seen Certified Nurse Midwife Jones do were good ones.  At some point, months later, the severed penis tissue was discarded. The lawsuit says it was done after the clinic knew that legal action was forthcoming.  The judge has already agreed that it was deliberate.  Clayton County State Court Judge Shalonda Jones-Parker ruled in June that destroying the tissue and returning the clamp to service deprived the boy's mother of evidence vital to her suit.  Those defendants are already liable in the case, so the jury will simply have to decide how much to award in damages.  'She threatened me'  Melissa Jones' videotaped deposition was played for the jury on Wednesday morning. In it, she details how she performed the circumcision on the 18-day-old DJ in 2013. At that point, she had been doing circumcisions for about three years, starting months after she began working at Life Cycle, and had trained exclusively on the Mogen clamp.  She said she did not have a distinct reason why the glans was cut, and repeatedly referred to the piece as 'a very small piece of tissue.'  Jones said when she called in Dr. Register, he told her to stem the bleeding, and declared that the tissue was 'too small to do anything with.' She considered the tissue 'too small to run a stitch through,' she said.  As Jones was being asked on the video about the penis tissue being discarded, DJ's mother, who had been quietly crying in the darkened courtroom, got up from the table and walked out. Tears streaked her face.  Jones said on the video that she gave Willis aftercare instructions, but implied that later she was not sure they were followed because the mother was 'in a violent state' that day.  'She was very combative at the time. She threatened me, she told me I was going to pay for this, and she was going to the ER no matter what I said,' said Jones. Jones said it probably took her 10 minutes of applying direct pressure to the boy's penis, along with several sticks of silver nitrate, to stop the bleeding.  She says she told Willis that part of her son's penis had been cut off, and contended that Willis 'knew' because 'she was there when it came off. It was laying right there on the table.'  The video was used as a direct examination of sorts, and Jones then was called to the stand for cross-examination. She testified that she thought the only emergency that day was the bleeding DJ was suffering, and that was her priority.  She says while the severed piece was kept in a refrigerator in case Willis did go to the Emergency Room and there was a call looking for the tissue, she did not believe the tissue, which she described as 'no thicker than a credit card,' was large enough for reattachment.  'I'm not a pediatrician, but I would think two millimeters, three millimeters, or four millimeters,' she said. 'But I wouldn't think that a piece of tissue that if you tried to make a stitch that it would just pull through and dissolve.
  • Veronica Waters

    Reporter

    Veronica Waters is an anchor and reporter for News/Talk WSB. She is also the staff expert on legal affairs and the courts. In 2007, the Radio-Television News Directors Association named Waters' series on "Snaring Internet Predators" best in the region with an Edward R. Murrow award for Investigative Reporting.She has been honored by several professional organizations for news and sports feature reporting, and was named in 2003 as the Atlanta Press Club's Radio Journalist of the Year. Waters has covered an assortment of high-profile cases from Mayor Bill Campbell's corruption trial to the murder trials of activist-turned imam Jamil Al-Amin and of former DeKalb County, GA Sheriff Sidney Dorsey.She served as the station's correspondent for the murder trial of accused "Black Widow" Lynn Turner, and the death penalty case of double murderer Stacey Humphreys. One of the biggest legal cases in Atlanta history involved the notorious Gold Club racketeering trial. Waters covered this unfolding drama not only for WSB Radio and radio stations throughout America, but also for a worldwide audience on BBC Radio. Waters joined WSB in 1997 as an anchor and reporter. She began her journalism career at the Southern Urban Network and Mississippi Network in Jackson, MS. Waters attended Alcorn State University and Mississippi State University, and enjoys cheering for the NFL's Tennessee Titans.

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  • After Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston traded touchdown pass after touchdown pass, it came down to a few wacky flips near the goal line. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers nearly pulled off a miracle. But, in the end, the Atlanta Falcons finally got a much-needed victory to bounce their way. Ryan threw for 354 yards and three touchdowns as the Falcons snapped a three-game losing streak, holding off Tampa Bay 34-29 Sunday in Winston's return as the Bucs' starter. The Falcons (2-4) scored on their first three possessions and held off a wild comeback by Tampa Bay (2-3), avoiding their first 1-5 start since 2007. The Bucs lost their third in a row. 'It was all hands on deck,' Atlanta coach Dan Quinn said. Especially on the final play . Winston and the Bucs drove to the Atlanta 21 but were out of timeouts. With the Falcons dropping nearly everyone toward the end zone, expecting a pass, Winston took the snap and darted straight up the middle of the field. When he was about to be tackled at the 10, he pitched the ball toward receiver Adam Humphries, who was so intent on going for the winning score he couldn't hang on. The ball skipped to Mike Evans, who blindly flung it in the direction of DeSean Jackson along the sideline at the 5. Jackson might've had a chance to dive for the end zone, but he couldn't come up with another bouncing ball. It rolled harmlessly out of bounds to end the game. Jackson ripped off his helmet and kicked the pylon in disgust on his way to the locker room. 'The play is a play you run once,' tight end O.J. Howard said. 'It was a great call. We almost got it.' Winston, who was suspended for the first three games of the season and came off the bench in Week 4, threw for 395 yards and four TDs. His performance, though, was marred by a pair of interceptions, one a deep ball that was picked off at the Atlanta 1 and a deflected pass in the end zone that ricocheted high in the air and was grabbed by Brian Poole to deny a red-zone scoring chance. Ryan's three TD passes gave him 274 in his career, passing Joe Montana for 16th on the career list. 'Obviously it's very special any time your name is brought up with Joe's,' Ryan said. 'But I'm more excited about the win.' He also had a big scramble on third-and-9, powering for a 13-yard gain that set up his final scoring pass. Quinn made a gutsy call with just over a minute remaining, sending on Matt Bryant to attempt a 57-yard field goal with Atlanta clinging to a 31-29 lead. Bryant's kick just cleared the crossbar, extending the Falcons' lead. The 43-yard-old Bryant put everything into the kick and immediately grabbed his right hamstring before hobbling off the field. Quinn's decision forced the Bucs to go for a touchdown. 'I can't say enough about Matt Bryant and the kick he had,' Quinn gushed. 'He's definitely one of the most mentally tough players I've had a chance to coach.' JULIO'S DAY Julio Jones went another game without a touchdown catch. The Falcons didn't mind a bit. Jones had 10 receptions for 143 yards — his third 100-yard game of the season — and constantly drew attention away from his teammates. That allowed Austin Hooper, Mohamed Sanu and Tevin Coleman to haul in scoring passes. Jones has gone 11 straight regular-season games without a TD since a Nov. 26, 2017, victory over Tampa Bay, when he had two scoring catches. BUC-KLING DOWN The beleaguered Tampa Bay defense, which is guided by former Falcons coach Mike Smith, was shredded in the first half for three touchdowns, a last-second field goal and 275 yards. It showed a bit of improvement after the break, actually forcing Atlanta to punt on three straight possessions. But, with the game on the line, the Bucs surrendered a 75-yard drive capped by Ryan's 6-yard TD pass to Coleman and a 36-yard possession that set up Bryant's long field goal. Tampa Bay came into the game allowing 34.75 points per game, more than any team in the league. INJURY REPORT Atlanta's receiving corps took a beating. Calvin Ridley, who was leading the Falcons with six touchdown catches, went out in the first half with an ankle injury and didn't return. Sanu was sidelined in the second half with a hip problem after hauling in a 35-yard touchdown pass. The loss of two receivers forced the Falcons to give more playing time to Justin Hardy, Marvin Hall and Russell Gage. Hardy had three catches and Gage came up with a big catch on Atlanta's touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. The Bucs lost defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who walked slowly off the field in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury. Also, cornerback Ryan Smith was evaluated for a possible concussion. UP NEXT Buccaneers: Return home next Sunday to host the Cleveland Browns (2-3-1). Falcons: Host the struggling New York Giants (1-5) on Monday, Oct. 22, to close out a stretch of five home games in the first seven weeks of the season. ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry ___ For more AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NFLfootball and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • A small plane crashed while taking off at the Gwinnett County Airport on Sunday afternoon, officials said. The two occupants of the plane were able to exit safely before the plane caught fire at about 12:40 p.m., according to a statement from the Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services. The occupants, an instructor and a student, were not seriously injured, the fire department said. One was evaluated and released by paramedics at the scene, and the other said they were not injured. READ MORE: 1 reported dead in plane crash in Paulding County The Cessna 172 “experienced a nose dive and hard landing” while taking off from Runway 7 at Briscoe Field, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. The plane went up in flames, but crews put out the fire shortly after 1 p.m., officials said. The aircraft was deemed a total loss. The crash occurred just a day after another small plane crashed in Paulding County, killing the pilot. In other news:
  • One person in Mississippi is in custody after the Bolivar County sheriff said that a baby was stabbed, WTVA reported. The baby was then placed in an oven at the home and baked, the sheriff told WTVA. >> Read more trending news  The person, whose name and relationship to the baby has not been released, is in the Bolivar County Regional Correctional Facility, according to Sheriff Kelvin Williams. Williams said deputies found the baby, whose age has not been determined, after being called to the home Monday evening, WTVA reported. They are unsure though when the baby died. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the crime lab are investigating.
  • A Massachusetts school employee is under investigation by the Secret Service for allegedly threatening President Donald Trump on social media. >> Watch the news report here The employee, a Fitchburg Public Schools paraprofessional who works with special-needs students, has also been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation. Her husband, a principal at Fitchburg's Longsjo Middle School, spoke only to WFXT about his wife's alleged tweet, which was captured in screen shots and shared multiple times on social media. At first, the tweet caught the attention of the local police force and subsequently of federal agents. 'People have their preferences, but sometimes you should just keep your 2 cents to yourself, you know?' said Roger Valcourt, a parent. The tweet, posted Oct, 10 which read, 'No just kill Trump,' has been generating controversy around town. Parents were shocked to learn what happened, saying both the principal and his wife are star educators. After the tweet was reported to Ashburnham police, the Secret Service launched an investigation, telling WFXT that they are aware of the incident and investigate all threats made against the president. 'I don’t know what was going through her head, I guess, but it’s not a good thing to say you want to kill the president,' said Alex Clemente, a parent. Clemente, a veteran who fought in Iraq, says the tweet went too far. 'Even though you don’t like him, you can’t say that,' Clemente said. >> Read more trending news  The employee's husband told WFXT in an off-camera interview she meant no harm, saying, 'It was lapse in judgment, a mistake. It was a bad choice of words that were taken out of context. My wife is not a malicious person, and has an impeccable work record. She’s embarrassed by this situation.' While Craig Chalifoux spoke to WFXT on the record, his wife isn't being identified because she is not facing any charges. The superintendent told WFXT that the employee has been placed on paid administrative leave, saying, in a statement, this 'is being done to protect her interests as well as the interest of the district [and] it will allow the investigation to conclude and minimize any disruption and distraction and protects her safety and security.
  • A U.S. Customs and Border Protection beagle named Hardy detected a roasted pig’s head in checked luggage at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. >> Read more trending news  Hardy, a six-year-old rescue beagle, alerted his handler to a bag belonging to a traveler from Ecuador. Inside was the pig’s head, which weighed nearly 2 pounds. The director of the Port of Atlanta for Customs and Border Protection, Carey Davis, issued a statement saying the seizure demonstrates “the tremendous expertise of our four-legged K-9 partners in protecting the United States.” >> Related: Beagle rescued from abuse now detects contraband at Hartsfield-Jackson The agency seized the pig’s head and destroyed it, saying pork and pork products from other continents are prohibited from entering the United States to prevent the introduction of diseases like classical swine fever, foot and mouth disease and swine vesicular disease. Travelers are supposed to declare fruit, vegetable and food products to Customs and present them for inspection. Hardy, a member of the Customs and Border Protection “Beagle Brigade,” got his job in 2015 after training at the National Detectors Dog Training Center in Newnan, Georgia. It’s not the first time a beagle has intercepted a pig at Hartsfield-Jackson. In 2016, a K9 beagle named Joey detected a whole roasted pig in the baggage of a traveler from Peru.
  • A man in Cleveland County, North Carolina, was seriously hurt after he was shot by his own booby trap. >> Read more trending news  Edwin Smith booby-trapped a back door with a shotgun and posted an abrasive warning sign for intruders. >> Related: Business booming for man who invented booby-trap to detour package thieves He opened the door at about 11:30 a.m. to feed squirrels. The trap was sprung and he was struck in the arm. He is recovering in a hospital.