On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

cloudy-day
41°
Drizzle
H -° L 37°
  • cloudy-day
    41°
    Current Conditions
    Drizzle. H -° L 37°
  • heavy-rain-day
    Today
    Drizzle. H -° L 37°
  • clear-day
    54°
    Tomorrow
    Mostly Clear. H 54° L 37°
Listen
Pause
Error

News on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

Traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

Weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Deal wants to study DFCS; privatization could be on hold

Gov. Nathan Deal has created a council to study Georgia’s child welfare system and come up with ways to better protect the state’s children.

In a statement Deal said:  “After meeting with numerous stakeholders including former foster youth, juvenile court judges, providers and child advocates, it was clear there was a need for a more deliberate reform process of the child welfare system.”  He goes on to say:  “I am confident this council will produce meaningful and thoughtful reform recommendations.”

Stephanie Blank, former wife of Falcons owner Arthur Blank, will chair the new council and work alongside the Governor’s Office and Department of Human Services.

The move comes after an effort by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and the state Senate to privatize parts of the Division of Family and Children Services.

Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) sponsored the bill that would allow the state to contract with private organizations to provide case management and foster care services.  DFCS would still investigate cases of abuse or neglect.

“The Senate has already had hearings this past summer and fall about foster care and I think the Senate has spoken very loudly that they want changes,” she tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.

Unterman would not comment on the motivation behind Deal’s new council or the effect it may have on the legislation.  She is still hopeful that the House will vote on the measure which has already passed the Senate.

“I’m worried about every day when I pick up the newspaper and there are stories like Emani Moss who was starved to death and then put in a garbage can and then burned,” she says.  “We’ve been in session for three months now and we do not have a piece of legislation that corrects what I think is a bad problem with the Department of Human Services.”

Opponents of the bill say it focuses on an aspect of the agency that is not broken and should instead work on to improve its process of investigating alleged abuse.

Read More

News

  • Ruiz Food Products is recalling certain El Monterey breakfast burritos for plastic contamination, officials said. >> Read more trending news  The company recalled 55,013 pounds of 12-count, value pack “El Monterey signature burritos with egg sausage and cheese with a best buy date of 1/15/2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. Three consumers complained after noticing hard, white plastic in a burrito. There are no reports of injuries. Consumers should return or throw away the burritos if they have them.
  • The House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump Tuesday morning -- abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. >> Read more trending news  The process of marking up, debating, amending and rewriting the articles of impeachment, is expected to begin begin Wednesday by the Judiciary Committee. The charges, if approved, would then be sent to the Senate, where the Republican majority would be unlikely to convict Trump. The Associated Press contributed to this report. 
  • Crews spent Tuesday trying to rescue a manatee with a bicycle tire wrapped around its body at a Florida state park, WFTV reported. >> Read more trending news   Rescue efforts at Blue Spring State Park. were unsuccessful, but SeaWorld Orlando officials said they will continue to try to rescue the animal. If it is captured, the manatee would be taken to SeaWorld for treatment. The rescue team comprises the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, SeaWorld, the Save the Manatee Club and the Volusia County government.
  • All Saudi military trainees have been grounded indefinitely from flight training at air bases across the country after a deadly shooting by a member of the Saudi Royal Air Force at Naval Air Station Pensacola. There are 852 Saudi students across the country. More than 300 Saudi military trainees are stationed at three bases in Florida. >> Read more trending news  The restriction includes 140 students at the naval base in Pensacola; 35 at nearby Whiting Field; and another 128 students at Naval Air Station Mayport, The Associated Press reported. Classroom training will continue this week. Flight training for other students will also resume while military leaders examine the vetting process, The New York Times reported. An estimated 5,100 international students training at U.S. military installations will also be part of the review. The order is in an effort to ensure student safety as they recover from the trauma of the shooting. The Saudi shooter killed three members of the U.S. military and injured eight others before he was fatally shot. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Depending on one’s perspective, pigeons wearing tiny cowboy hats is either an amusing sight or a terrible example of animal abuse. What’s undeniable is that two pigeons were spotted in a Las Vegas parking lot, wearing the miniature head gear. >> Read more trending news  Bobby Lee was heading to the grocery store Thursday when he saw the birds pecking the ground in a parking lot near a dumpster, The New York Times reported. Pigeons are not unusual in Las Vegas, but Lee pulled out his cellphone and began recording video when he noticed two birds with tiny hats -- one red, and one gray, KNVT reported. Lee posted the video to Facebook, the television station reported. The video has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter, the television station reported. “The birds have hats on, bro!” Lee, 26, can be heard during the 12-second video he originally posted on Facebook. “It got a lot of attention fast,” Lee told the Times. “The day after, I had a lot of news people texting me and people trying to buy my video.” Who would put hats on wild birds? Lee said he did not know, but he did say the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo was in town. But the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, which organizes the event, “had nothing to do with the pigeons wearing cowboy hats,” Scott Kaniewski, the editor of ProRodeo Sports News, told the Times. Animal welfare agencies contacted Lee, including Lofty Hopes, a bird rescue organization. The group asked him to be vigilant and report if any more birds had hats, the Times reported. Charles Walcott, a Cornell University ornithologist who has been studying pigeons for 30 years, viewed the video Tuesday and said the pigeons seemed to be OK despite the headwear, the Times reported. “I enjoyed the video,' Walcott told the newspaper. 'I just thought those pigeons with hats were cute. 'I think the thing that I would emphasize is I can’t see that it is causing any great harm to the pigeons. The hats are “certainly light enough. They look like happy pigeons to me. It is hard to know, of course, because they will not talk to us.”
  • Workers at a Bed, Bath & Beyond store in North Carolina were surprised to find a 14-year-old runaway inside, police said. >> Read more trending news  According to Greenville police, the 14-year-old boy ran away from home and hid in the store overnight, WITN reported. When employees arrived to open the store about 8:30 a.m., they saw someone inside and called the police, Kristen Hunter, spokeswoman for the Greenville Police Department, told the News & Observer of Raleigh. Officers responded to the store for a “breaking and entering in progress” and found the teen, the newspaper reported. The teen, whose name was not released, was returned home safely, WRAL reported.