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    Atlanta's professional sports franchise history began with the transplantation of the Milwaukee Braves in 1966, followed by the start up Atlanta Falcons and later relocation of the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta's Chiefs brought soccer, but the fan base wasn't ready quite yet, nor for the later indoor arena club. Hockey came, got hot, melted and left with the Atlanta Flames leaving for more northern climes, and lights were out on the Atlanta Knights only a few seasons after they were lit. Atlanta's first major league soccer franchise, the Atlanta Chiefs, won the National Soccer League (NSL) Championship in 1968. Georgia's capital city would then go for 27 years before 'America's Team' and then Ted Turner's Atlanta Braves won their first World Series in 1995, and now, 23 years later, our Atlanta United has just won the Major League Soccer (MSL) Championship Cup. Our Atlanta Loserville curse is finally officially lifted.  Now a top ten metropolitan statistical area, Atlanta is not the city or market with the longest losing streak, nor the longest streak of non-championship winning...but the Loserville label has stuck and stung over time, as combining all the seasons, play-offs, pennant series and titles attempted by the Braves, Falcons, Hawks, Flames and Knights, Atlanta only one national championship once out of 175 seasons  And the challenge was further aggravated by our Atlanta Falcons painful NFL Super Bowl loss, as well as back to back clincher losses to another 'Big A' team, hailing though from Alabama, taking on and then taking down the SEC's Georgia Bulldogs. Not officially an 'Atlanta team,' however the Bulldog Nation's fan base of nearly 100,000 metro Atlanta alumni almost makes them so.  Team owner, Arthur Blank began looking into an MSL soccer franchise in 2014, before finishing construction on his showplace, Mercedes Benz Stadium. The Atlanta United were supposed to open the stadium, however construction delays moved roughly half of their inaugural season in 2017 to Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium. I have to mention that Bobby Dodd has never looked quite so grand, with its stands filled to capacity and every level and concourse draped in red and black. Our Five Stripes fast built out a large family following. An MSL soccer gameday outing is comparatively affordable, at a small fraction of the cost of every other major league franchise. And Blank's acquisition of the MSL team originally had as much to do with 18 more home game days and the resulting parking, concession and merchandising revenues as it did with bringing soccer back to the ATL.  Surprising most, including the team's owner, within only a few home games, Atlanta United jerseys, colors and fanatic groups like the Footie Mob, Terminus and others made each home game a spectacle with the electric energy of a long-established franchise on a winning streak. The talent of the team certainly helped, as the young crew of 18 is a small United Nations, with most players hailing from other countries. Yet at each game there is a surprisingly strong and patriotic moment, as the players, most of whom speak English as their second language, all stand with their hands on their hearts at attention during performance of our national anthem.  As with our 1995 World Series champs, the Braves were welcomed home after beating back a strong challenge by the New York Yankees, with a massive parade down Peachtree Street, a perfect stage setter for the Centennial Olympic Games yet to come. The United will also have a champion's parade down Peachtree, followed by a fan celebration in the Home Depot Backyard, adjacent to the Georgia World Congress Center and MB stadium, attended by dignitaries including Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms.  Savor these moments. United Coach Gerardo Martino is departing the team, MLS League MVP Josef Martinez, also the league's leading scorer and mid-fielder and the team's 'Charlie Hustle' and sometimes hot dog, Miguel Almiron, will reportedly not be returning. American, and team captain, 34-year old Michael Parkhurst, has also not yet had his contract renewed for next season, though negotiations with the team continue.  Whether a one-time wonder, or the beginning of an MSL team dynasty remains to be seen, but for now, let's just all celebrate the glow and the end of the curse. A pretty nice holiday gift to wrap up the year in a town more than once compared to Mudville.
  • I was offered a job on Wall Street by my uncle. But I wanted to get out. Make it on my own kinda thing,' George H.W. Bush (1924-2018), the 41st President of the United States to his biographer.
  • Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!' Benjamin Franklin, (1706-1790), American founding father, author, inventor and philosopher. Ben Franklin was not a fan of pure Democracy. U.S. citizens of that day had no vote or direct voice in the Declaration of Independence, nor later the U.S. Constitution which is the basis on which our constitutional republic is formed. Few amendments to our Constitution were ratified by the states, versus adopted by Congress.  In close election contests, hard feelings often emerge and sometimes linger. It is however quite important at these times to remember that one of our greatest strengths as a nation is the time-proven, peaceful transition of power. That of course also means coming to terms with and accepting outcomes not of our preference or choosing, once the voters have spoken.  And it is also important to note that we are far from alone in this world experiencing these divides. Across the pond in Britain, a Prime Minister is battling her own party to deliver a Brexit deal which other EU countries will swallow, all while her own party plans a divorce from their PM. In Germany, Angela Merkel's ruling majority shrinks with each election, in part fueled by another splinter party and fears that Muslim immigrants are fomenting unrest and economic injury to the Rhineland.  And here, a President who shines brightest (in his mind) during the swings of battle, finds building the divide among his primary comfort zones. But he is still our President.  It has been four Presidential elections since someone I voted for has occupied 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but I also choose to still wish every President success and that they find the will and their best ways to serve and improve the lives of the American people. Some of course do that job better than others.  But these times too shall pass. And just as the Presidential Election of 2000 ended with 532 votes in Florida, with hanging chads and a U.S. Supreme Court intervention, our republic and people are strong enough to weather differences of preference, candidate and opinion. And now is time for healing.  There will be voices who will continue to foment the division. Given the First Amendment, those voices cannot be silenced, but they can and should be countered and responded to. Our nation can suffer fools, divides and strong differences of opinion, as long as the American people do not begin to heedlessly attack one and other. We are not above or beyond mob rule, rioting or even the occasional need for curfews and Marshall Law, but on the whole, we are a more mindful, tolerant and respecting people than that.  This President has flaws, but he did not create this divide, nor is he the anti-Christ. We the voters just selected and voted in a split Congress. As typically happens during a mid-term election, the 'in' party lost more than they won, but it was not the Blue Tsunami which many forecast. The GOP retained the U.S. Senate, a strong majority of Governor's office and state legislatures and will likely further their re-shaping of the federal judiciary.  Democrats in the U.S. House will first fight an early battle among themselves, over their own leadership team, then over the progressive bent of their agenda and then over just how hard to attempt to make life miserable for this President. It will not be pretty, and neither is democracy. Making laws while also building support and public opinion, while finding consensus are each messy, but necessary. As adults, we have examples to set, for our children, as well as our neighbors, co-workers and peers. We can disagree without being disagreeable.  We voters may have tossed or lost the elected moderates in both parties, but just like the well-armed lamb in Franklin's quote, we can still have the will to fight for common sense, compromise and solutions which land in the middle. Yes, democracy is messy, and making the right choices to lead us in a republic are also never guaranteed. But our experiment in self-governance has now survived nearing 250 years, and though I won't be here when we hit 500, I do expect we will get there.  'Democracy is the worst form of government, except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.' Winston Churchill, from a speech by the former British Prime Minister, November 11, 1947.
  • It was a frigid January morning in Washington, D.C., January 2001, I am attending and covering the Inauguration of President-elect George W. Bush, following the longest and most contested Presidential election in U.S. history. Vice-President Al Gore withdrew his early concession after projections and vote totals began to foreshadow a potentially different outcome in Florida. Dozens of lawyers and protests later, and statewide recounts including the 'interpretation of voter intent' and hanging chads, and the U.S. Supreme Court halts the Florida recounts, effectively giving Bush the win and Florida's Electoral College votes, by a margin of 532 ballots. At the White House that Inauguration morn, the Clinton, Gore and Bush families shared a cordial but restrained brunch, and later the stage and front rows of the Inauguration ceremony fronting the steps of our nation's Capitol. While a blizzard paralyzed the federal district, frigid temps did not stop the crowds from attending, nor warm the frosty air between the Bush and Clinton/Gore VIPs on-stage. And yet again, without the nicety of a concession, America completed yet another peaceful transition of power.  Here and now in Georgia, following several acts of litigation and a statewide re-tabulation of absentee ballots not including the required date of birth or matching signatures, the victory margin also narrowed slightly in our hotly contested Governor's race. Both candidates gained votes, and State Representative Stacey Abrams increased her total by 120 votes.  Ms. Abrams made clear, in her press briefing acknowledging that the state and this process would result in the certification of former Secretary of State Brian Kemp as Georgia's next Governor, that she would also not offer a concession, nor her congratulations, due to her belief that the contest was flawed, and the results perhaps gamed, or at best impacted by a wide variety of acts of voter suppression.  Admittedly, this election was not without mistakes and glitches at polling places, long lines and not all of several thousand poll workers being equally knowledgeable and well-trained. As with any day or event involving several million people, doing the same thing, during approximately the same time, played out across a large and geographically diverse canvass...there will be delays, human errors and some poor decision making along the way. Imagine the joy of return travel for your own family this Sunday after Thanksgiving.  That said, a statewide election has thousands of moving parts, more than 3,300 precincts, 159 voter Registrars and county boards of election as well as one Secretary of State. The office of the latter trains registrars (county and municipal), updates those officials on changes in election law, reviews and investigates any irregularities or accusations of ballot tampering/voter fraud and distributes the sample ballot templates. Local registrars and their boards of election manage precinct map lines, distribution of voting machines, staff and ballot tabulations and maintain voter registration rolls. Most of these registrars are career local government employees, some don't even vote, and though I have met hundreds of them over three decades, very few are decided partisans, even when they work in jurisdictions where the local politics are well known and leaning.  The most vulnerable part of our voting system are admittedly absentee ballots. The only requirements of identification are on the application form which includes your date of birth and signature. There is no space on the form to indicate race.  If part of Governor-elect Kemp's campaign strategy and tactics were to in fact suppress the votes of minorities and Democrats during an election which featured record voter registration (more than 1,000,000 new voters and more than 250,000 new registrants since April), record mid-term election turn-out, record votes for the Democratic gubernatorial nominee (more than ANY other Democrat ever running for Governor in Georgia), and minority voter participation surpassing the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections of Barack Obama,...then he certainly did a really crappy job on that front.  By 2020, Georgia most likely will have new voting machines and technology in place, providing a paper trail and poll workers freshly re-trained. Georgia was first with statewide electronic voting in 2004, under a Republican Governor and Democratic Secretary of State.  Georgia has another statewide election in just a few weeks, on Tuesday, December 4th, featuring run-off races for Secretary of State, as well as a seat on the Georgia Public Service Commission. Please demonstrate that interest and turn-out in this last election wasn't a fluke. Do your research, choose and support your candidates, state and local run-offs will be taking place, and go vote.
  • It is November 3, 1992, following a long night of tabulating, and all four major news networks calling the election for incumbent U.S. Senator Wyche Fowler (D-Georgia), when it becomes apparent that none of three candidates have received the required majority of 50 percent, plus one vote Fowler has just over 49 percent, his opponent, former U.S. Peace Corps Director Paul Coverdell (R) is at 48 percent, and the Libertarian nominee, Jim Hudson is slightly above 3 percent. Public polls by the AJC had placed the race in a landslide re-election for Fowler, by as much as 22 percent just weeks ahead of Election Day. But voters decided otherwise, and though most of the state's rural areas and secondary population centers went Blue and for Fowler as well as Democratic Presidential nominee Bill Clinton, the metro Atlanta suburbs were then decidedly Red and went heavily for Coverdell. Three weeks later, Coverdell wins Georgia's first U.S. Senate run-off, and the U.S. Senate Majority for the GOP by 16,344 votes, and a margin of 1.3%, which was even closer on Election Night. Senator Fowler chooses not to concede, nor congratulate, and Coverdell is later sworn in as Senator during the next Congress. Ballot tabulations are first completed at the precinct level, and those results are reported to the County Registrar. Georgia has 159 counties and well over 3,300 precincts, so even with computer tabulation and electronic tally submission this takes time. At the county elections office, advance votes are often tabulated first, as these do not come from precinct captains, as soon as the polls close, and paper absentee, overseas military absentee and provisional ballots are counted last. In the case of provisional ballots, also on paper, a voter did not have required identification present, was not on registration rolls, appeared to not have reached the age of majority, or could not demonstrate citizenship. There have been plenty of instances in the past of voter fraud, and voters casting ballots in more than one jurisdiction, this is part of ballot and election security, not voter suppression.  Absentee and provisional ballots contain no space to indicate race. A tabulating poll worker would have to access county or precinct registration files manually to even cross reference that data point. Not easy to do on Election Night while tabulating or days later in an election offices while certifying or recounting without plenty of poll watchers and witnesses present. In the most recent statewide elections of November 6, 2018, Georgia had record registration, turnout and ballots cast for a mid-term election. Minority voter registration and participation also set records, and Democratic Party nominee, State Representative Stacey Abrams, received only 500,000 less than the ENTIRE voter turnout during the 2014 race for Governor. However with tabulations still underway, former Secretary of State Brian Kemp's margin of victory remains slightly in excess of 59-thousand ballots, and roughly 1.3 percent.  No one questions the importance of each ballot and eventual tabulation of every vote, even when those ballots won't change the outcome of a particular race. But as an example with overseas military ballots, there is no way to predict how many will be received, or by which county, and though absentee ballots did set records this cycle, there are not 25,000 or more still outstanding. State law requires the Secretary of State to certify final results by Tuesday, November 20th. There will be a statewide run-off on December 4th for the office of Secretary of State, and other down-ballot contests, but chances are negligible and shrinking at this point that there will be a run-off for Governor.  During the 2000 Presidential election, perhaps the most suspenseful/long term, recount in our nation's history, deciding the Electoral College and ultimately the Presidency really came down to a split among the 9 votes on the U.S. Supreme Court, ending the ongoing Florida recount (with Bush leading Gore by 536 votes), resulting in then Texas Governor George W. Bush winning Florida's electoral votes, and the Electoral College by a one vote margin. Many said our deeply divided nation would never unify again, until the horrific tragedy of 9/11 came to our shores a short 11 months later. Whatever the outcome of these individual contests, as Georgians, Floridians and Americans, we will survive this. Let's not wait on another act of war, weather or God be required to bring us together. One of America's historic and greatest strengths has been the peaceful transition of power. That strength comes from our people, and not just from the top.
  • Our state capital, Atlanta, has remained in the running with two sites, each with its own strengths, the long under-developed railroad Gulch, south of Five Points in downtown Atlanta, currently a 40-acre mish-mash of railroad tracks, parking lots and under-utilized older buildings.
  • If a man continually blusters, if he lacks civility, a big stick will not save him from trouble, and neither will speaking softly avail, if back of the softness there does not lie strength, power...' President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919).Teddy Roosevelt, or as he often preferred, 'T.R.' is my favorite president by far. The former 'boy Governor of New York' became President in 1901, ascending from the Vice-Presidency, following the fall 1900 assassination of President William H. McKinley.
  • Here in Georgia, with thousands of our residents eligible for these treatments, only several hundred have registered as the products are not cultivated here and must be brought into Georgia in effect illegally to reach patients.
  • I'll just say this...when you are known everywhere, simply by your first name, that say's you are special,' said Georgia State Senator Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody), speaking of former DeKalb County CEO and State Senator Liane Levetan.There almost is not a time in my life that I can't recall Liane, pronounced, Lee Ah Nu. At first, she was part of a well-organized neighborhood car pool, dropping us off at elementary school. Even then I could tell she was somehow different than the other moms...though I wasn't quite sure exactly how.
  • We wonder, what's wrong with him? How does he feel about women? Is he anti-social, homosexual, misogynistic, immature or just plain dweeby?' asked the Orlando Sentinel in a 1990 editorial about Supreme Court nominee, Judge and later Justice David Souter. When President George H. W. Bush nominated confirmed bachelor, Judge David Souter to the Supreme Court in 1990, there were dueling sets of hostile rumors and innuendos flying all over Washington, intended to derail his nomination.    Protesters, primarily women, wore buttons that if Souter was confirmed, 'Women Will Die,' in reference to beliefs that Souter was pro-life and would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. Instead, in 1992, and the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Souter wrote Roe v. Wade should not be overturned because it would be a 'surrender to political pressure'... In Souter’s opinion, to overrule under fire in the absence of the most compelling reason to re-examine a watershed decision would subvert the Court's legitimacy beyond any serious question. The case was decided by a vote of 5-4, and was a divided and plurality opinion, with Justices Souter, Kennedy and O'Connor (all three appointed by Republican presidents) writing the opinion upholding the precedential weight of Roe v. Wade. Other parts of the decision did strike down several more restrictive statutes by the state of Pennsylvania but did uphold state's rights to place 'reasonable' restrictions on access to abortion, such as spousal notification, parental notification for minors, etc... President Dwight Eisenhower appointed five judges to the Supreme Court during his eight years, including a hand-picked conservative in Justice Earl Warren, to lead the court in a directional shift from the 20 plus years of the New Deal and federal government expansion under Presidents Roosevelt and Truman. A bit of Googling will show you that appointment did not quite work out as planned. In the wake of Watergate, President Gerald Ford appointed Justice John Paul Stevens, a former Republican, who became among the most consistently liberal voices on the court until his retirement in 2010. I'm clear that there are larger and unsettled issues framing the Kavanaugh nomination and confirmation hearings, but regardless of whom you believe, is it really fair to hold Justice Brett Kavanaugh literally accountable for all the sins of man over decades and generations? Does it make sense for a body as flawed as the United State Senate and Congress, with members admittedly currently 'guilty' of many of the wrongs being charged against Kavanaugh decades ago, in any position to judge and hold up to scrutiny, without first looking in a mirror? This nation survived a break with its founders (the United Kingdom), the Civil War, the civil unrest on numerous fronts of the 1960s and later the domestic attacks on three different fronts on 9/11, ending the lives of nearly 3,000 Americans. Yes we are a divided nation, but staying that way is an individual choice, not just a political tactic of our leadership. Let's see how Justice Brett Kavanaugh decides and behaves as a jurist on that bench. Let's perhaps start asking those who are selected to lead not to treat every policy or issue difference like the brinksmenship of a nuclear war, even using terminology like 'the nuclear option,' to reconstruct the confirmation process fueling this division. And let's ask our news media and members of the fourth and fifth estates to consider not pouring gasoline on that fire with headlines like 'Kavanaugh War to Continue.' This isn't a war. There have so far been no fatalities or casualties. It is a significant difference of opinion, priorities and assessment of whose truth can be better documented. But this is not the first time nor will it be the last that undisputed facts are murky and very few and far between. We will pass through this valley as American always has. Let's hope it does not require a natural or man-made disaster such as 9/11 to bring us back together. Start by appealing to your own best instincts. Reach out to a neighbor, colleague or family member with whom you have recently argued or disagreed and simply state the obvious...our relationship, family bond, friendship or work relationship means more to me than our differences of opinion. I apologize for over-reacting. The last time I checked you did not have a vote, one way or the other, in the Kavanaugh hearings. Let's all take a deep breath, spend a day taking the high road, and move on.

News

  • For more than 20 years investigators had no idea who killed Lorrie Ann Smith. >> Read more trending news  But they had blood and DNA from the crime scene. And that turned out to be the key evidence. For the first time ever in Georgia, police used an ancestry site to match DNA and arrest a suspect. Smith was killed May 25, 1997, inside her South Fulton County home. According to police, the killer -- identified as Jerry Lee -- lived less than a half-mile from Smith. Lee was in court Tuesday for a bond hearing. During the hearing investigators revealed new details about the crime. When police searched his home, they found a gun that matched the ballistics of the murder weapon but defense attorneys pointed out that wasn't relevant to the bond hearing. 'What we’re here for now today is not for punishment, but to determine will this gentleman return to court? We believe that, between giving you the assurance of the ankle monitor and his history in the community, that he will certainly return to court,' defense attorney Fani Willis said. >> Trending: Stormy Daniels ordered to pay Trump $293,000 in legal fees over defamation suit The victim's family wants Lee to remain behind bars. 'He is so close to where my parents live and he has lived there the entire time. We’re really hoping he’s not granted bond,' the victim's sister, Dana Bogensch, said.
  • After DeKalb County School District officials promised efforts to improve their hiring process, the district hired a teacher this summer who had been arrested in 2013 in New York for meth possession. Carl Hudson was arrested in 2013 for possession of methamphetamine, a felony, a few blocks from Flushing High School, where he was principal. According to the New York Daily News, he pleaded to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct and received a conditional discharge, meaning the whole incident would get wiped from his record if he did not have any other legal run-ins over the following year. Hudson’s case is like the series of hiring blunders that led DeKalb officials to admit to gaps in the district’s hiring processes while promising to correct those flaws. According to his resume, he moved to Atlanta in 2016 and found employment with Atlanta Public Schools, beginning as a long-term substitute before becoming a permanent hire, until he left the district this summer to teach math at Tucker High School. Atlanta Public schools officials said he worked for the district just over a year, ending in November of 2017. His arrest, though, was easily found through a Google search and according to Georgia teaching standards should have kept him from being employed by either school district. Superintendent Steve Green said Tuesday that being previously charged with a crime would not make someone ineligible for a job. District officials said they were not aware of Hudson’s arrest prior to hiring him. TRENDING STORIES: Police ID woman run over, killed at gas station; search for driver underway Michelle Obama extends national book tour, adds stop in Atlanta Officer shot in bulletproof vest during traffic stop, suspect killed Atlanta Public Schools officials did not say whether they were aware of his 2013 meth arrest, but said late Tuesday that results of standard background checks met their guidelines. According to the Code of Ethics for Educators, from the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, unethical conduct includes the commission or conviction of a felony, including a situation where the charge is disposed through diversion or similar programs. On his application, Hudson marked “no” when asked whether he had been convicted of any crimes in the last five years. On his resume, instead of listing the name of the high school where he worked, he wrote “NYC DOE High School,” or New York City Department of Education. Efforts to reach Hudson were not successful. District officials said he “walked off the job” Nov. 26. Bernice Gregory, the district’s human resources chief, said changes to the hiring procedure since she arrived at the district in April include having a second person — either Gregory or the director of employment services — perform a second candidate screening to ensure checks and balances on the district’s hiring checklist have been met. That could include a Google search and verifying a person’s job history for the past 10 years, talking to at least one reference who directly supervised the candidate. “We put another set of eyes on it,” Gregory said about the applications. “Once we put their names in Google, you know everything … is going to come up that’s out there.” The district recently joined the National Association of Teacher Education and Certification, which has a database giving the district access to convictions, arrests and charges against a potential candidate. Her staff is set to begin training this week to use that system. She said they also recently signed up for access to the Child Protective Services Information System, which essentially is a child abuse registry for the state of Georgia and would tell district officials whether someone had had as little as a child abuse complaint against them. A question added to applications will ask applicants if they have been asked to resign from a school district. During peak hiring times, Gregory said someone from her department will ask the question again. The district has gotten into trouble for sloppy hiring in the past, including a teacher hired last summer who had been fired from the Toledo, Ohio, school district on allegations that she assaulted students by putting them in headlocks and pushing them against walls. DeKalb County Schools placed Sandra Meeks-Speller on administrative leave on Oct. 10, 2017 pending an internal investigation, shortly after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution requested her personnel file and told district officials what was uncovered online about her past. Diane Clark was removed twice from the district in 13 months. The first time, in November 2016, she was allowed to retire early after several of her Cross Keys High School students claimed she made threatening comments about getting them deported immediately after President Donald Trump was elected. The second time was December 2017, after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution discovered Clark had been brought back to the district as a substitute teacher.  District officials admitted failing to do internet searches was among critical gaps in their background-check process, and promised changes such as verifying the work history candidates provide on their job applications and making direct contact with references.“Our background-check process certainly needs shoring up,” Superintendent Steve Green said last year. “We need to keep up with the times for ways there are to get information. In the old days, if you were cleared to teach in Ohio, you would be cleared to teach here.” District officials said in an email at the time that they would provide training sessions on interview tips, contact state boards where candidates are licensed and provide annual safety awareness training for some human capital management employees.
  • A Kentucky man is facing murder charges after allegedly slashing the throat of his sleeping 3-year-old niece early Saturday morning, news outlets reported. >> Read more trending news  The toddler’s father heard her screams over a baby monitor around 2:45 a.m. and was attacked by Emanuel Fluter, 33, when he tried to save his daughter, The Associated Press reported. Josephine Bulubenchi later died from her injuries at an Albany-area hospital. Fluter, a veteran, who had been living with the family in their rural Clinton County home, had been suffering from mental health issues, the child’s father and Fluter’s brother, Dariu Fluter, told WKYT-TV. “I want people to know that he loved his nieces and loved his nephews,' Dariu Flutur said. 'He loved us. He loved me and his sister.” The family told WKYT they forgive him for the alleged murder. 'He has a mental condition that he suffers with since he was in the army,' Dariu said. 'It's tough for us to understand because of what happened.' >> Trending: Texas firefighters rescue over 100 snakes from burning house, including pythons, boas There were four other children in the room at the time of the attack, but none of them were injured, police said. Fluter is jailed on $1 million bond and is due back in court on Dec. 18.
  • A metro Atlanta woman is accused of stabbing another woman to death at a Rockdale County motel and firing at officers during a chase. It happened at a Motel 6 in Conyers. Right after the murder, a statewide alert helped authorities in another part of the state catch the murder suspect, 42-year-old Joyce Marie Lewis-Pelzer. The alert also sparked new attention being put on the disappearance of another woman seven years ago. Last November, Channel 2 Action News followed up on the disappearance of Shawndell McLeod out of DeKalb County that is being investigated as a homicide. [READ MORE: 6 years later, this missing woman's case is now a murder investigation] While looking into Lewis-Pelzer, Channel 2's Matt Johnson found DeKalb court records that show McLeod took out a protective order against Lewis-Pelzer two months before the disappearance. Lewis-Pelzer is recovering at a south Georgia hospital after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said she led deputies on a high-speed chase that ended in Turner County. TRENDING STORIES: Police ID woman run over, killed at gas station; search for driver underway Michelle Obama extends national book tour, adds stop in Atlanta Officer shot in bulletproof vest during traffic stop, suspect killed 'Probably eight or nine minutes from mile marker 94 to mile marker 84 -- 10-miles stretch and it reached speeds of 110 miles per hour,' Sheriff Billy Hancock said. Deputies in Crisp County returned fire when she shot at them on I-75 Monday night. Authorities said she tried to head to Florida after stabbing her partner. A statewide alert helped a state trooper locate her car and attempt to make a traffic stop before authorities said Lewis-Pelzer kept going. It took two PIT maneuvers to stop her and the GBI said she fired at least one shot from her car toward deputies. As for the McLeod case, a Conyers police spokesperson said they're working with another department to look at the suspect further to determine her connection to an additional murder. The family of the victim at the motel is out of state and have not been notified of her death as of late Monday night. The accused killer has multiple domestic violence arrests in both DeKalb and Fulton counties.
  • Attorneys for President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn asked a judged to spare him prison time in a memo filed Tuesday. >> Read more trending news  In the filing, Flynn’s lawyers recommended for a sentence 'a term of probation not to exceed one year, with minimal conditions of supervision, along with 200 hours of community service, CNN reported. His attorneys said in the memo that “General Flynn accepted responsibility for his conduct and that his cooperation “was not grudging or delayed.” >> Related: Guilty: Michael Flynn admits in court to lying about Russian communication “Rather, it preceded his guilty plea or any threatened indictment and began very shortly after he was first contacted for assistance by the Special Counsel's Office.” Flynn is scheduled for sentencing next Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials. Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, recommended no jail time for Flynn in a filing last week. Original story: Attorneys for President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn are expected to make a sentencing recommendation Tuesday in a case brought by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office. Prosecutors with Mueller’s team said last week in court filings that Flynn has been cooperative since he pleaded guilty last year to making false statements to the FBI. In light of his assistance, prosecutors asked that Flynn receive little to no jail time for his crime, an argument Flynn’s attorneys are expected to echo, according to The Associated Press. >> Mueller investigation: Report recommends little to no jail time for Michael Flynn Flynn resigned from his post in the Trump administration in February 2017 after serving just 24 days in office. He pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials and agreed to fully cooperate with Mueller’s team.  Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced next week by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, according to court records.
  • A day of shopping at a New Jersey mall took a violent turn for three teenagers, who said they were beaten up by two women over a parking space. >> Read more trending news  The three friends - Taylor McFadden, 18; Tatum Bohanon, 19, and Alexandria 'Allie' DeRusso, 19 – told NJ.com that a car was waiting for their parking spot close to the Deptford Mall entrance, but that they weren’t ready to leave.  The girls think that’s what angered the women, who, at first, walked by their car with two men, and then returned and attacked them, McFadden said. She told NJ.com that one of the women hit Bohannon and the other woman punched DeRusso. “Both of my friends were on the ground at this point, getting punched,” McFadden told NJ.com. “I jumped out of the passenger side and I grabbed my phone so that I could call the police. People started coming over, but I think a lot of people were scared to get involved,” she said. When it was over, all three girls were treated at a local hospital. >> Trending: Father turns in daughter to face charges over starving dogs Authorities are investigating the incident.