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Local News

    As if this weren’t already a July 4th weekend like no other, there’s a new danger experts are warning the public about, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. “Alcohol and fire do not mix,” National Safety Council spokeswoman Maureen Vogel  told CNN . “You shouldn’t pair flammable items; it’s the proverbial recipe for disaster.” With so many big fireworks displays canceled this year, it’s highly likely more people will stage their own celebrations at home. And with coronavirus cases increasing every day, people are trying to reduce their risk by using hand sanitizer. Doctors say it takes at least 30 seconds for it to evaporate, but the alcohol remains on hands. “It can be a third degree burn because alcohol is potent and flammable,” Dr. Dhaval Bhavsar, medical director of the University of Kansas Medical System’s Burnett Burn Center, told news outlet  KSHB . READ MORE
  • Police are working to find a group of alleged package thieves who broke into an apartment complex's mailroom. DeKalb County police said after entering a code to get inside, three men started grabbing package after package at the complex on June 8. If you recognize the suspects, you’re asked to call DeKalb County police. Do you recognize them? ▶️ These individuals seen in the video are wanted for questioning in the theft of a number of packages from an apartment complex in DeKalb County. If you see them please call 911 or contact North-Central Precinct at 770-724-7780. #WeAreDKPD #SharePosted by DeKalb County Police Department on Thursday, July 2, 2020
  • If you’re making plans for the Fourth, plan on having an umbrella... just in case. There’s a chance for isolated showers and storms Friday, but overall it will be hot. Rain could return Saturday for the Fourth of July. We’ll be updating the timing of the possible rain and storms this weekend, throughout the day on Channel 2 Action News [ Download WSB-TV’s Weather App for storm alerts in your neighborhood ] What you need to know: It will be a very hot weekend with scattered storms Most of the showers will wind down as the sun goes down Saturday Next week will be very wet It will be hot with scattered storms this weekend. Today at noon, I'll break down when we'll see rain. pic.twitter.com/nEtJRMdFBm — Eboni Deon, WSB (@EboniDeonWSB) July 3, 2020
  • There's a faster and more efficient way you can take care of traffic tickets without going to court. DeKalb County is offering online traffic court. Drivers can use their smart phone, tablet or computer to visit the county's Online Case Resolution. There, you can resolve a ticket 7-days a week, no matter the time of day. >> CLICK HERE FOR THE WEBSITE << Once registered, people will be prompted to answer a short sequence of questions to determine the best and most effective next step in the online citation resolution process.  The platform will then allow users to submit any explanation, contributing to the issuance of the citation, along with and any important related documents online in the same manner allowed in a normal court appearance.  Once all information is submitted, the case is then reviewed by the court, a determination is made, and a decision is ruled to resolve the case.  “Now more than ever, access to justice and fairness is at the forefront in our society. We are honored to provide this next level of access to justice and service to our citizens utilizing technology. This option keeps the public safe, our court staff safe and saves our citizens time, anxiety and resources,” said Presiding Judge, Ronald B. Ramsey, Sr.
  • If you're heading to the grocery store to pick up some things for your cookout, you might want to stock up on one particular brand. Atlanta-based Coca-Cola is shutting down the juice and smoothie brand Odwalla at the end of July. The company made the call “given a rapidly shifting marketplace and despite every effort to support continued production,” John Hackett, president of Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid business unit, which includes the company’s juice brands, said in a statement emailed to CNN Business. “This decision was not made lightly,” he added. Coca-Cola acquired Odwalla in 2001. It has been assessing Odwalla’s business for the last several years, according to a company spokesperson, who added that the decision to discontinue the brand is not directly related to the coronavirus pandemic. Health-conscious consumers are less interested in smoothies than they used to be, she explained. Information from CNN was used in this report

News

  • Two suburban Denver officers were fired Friday after they took a photograph showing a chokehold in front of the memorial for Elijah McClain, who died after a confrontation with officers from the Aurora Police Department, officials said. McClain, 23, was pronounced dead on Aug. 27, 2019 -- a few days after he went into cardiac arrest following a struggle with officers from the Aurora Police Department, KUSA reported. The third officer involved resigned on Thursday, the television station reported. Police said photos they were investigating showed officers reenacting a chokehold used on McClain before he died, The Associated Press reported. “I speak for all men and women of APD we are ashamed and sickened over what we have to share with you,” Interim APD Chief Vanessa Wilson said at a news conference. According to documents released by the Aurora Police Department (APD) on Friday, the photos were texted to Officer Jason Rosenblatt, who responded with “HaHa.” Rosenblatt is one of the three officers who responded the night of McClain’s death, and Williams said he has also been fired.  The officers depicted in the photos were identified by APD as Erica Marrero, Kyle Dittrich and Jaron Jones, who resigned from the department on Thursday. Check back for more on this developing story.
  • A recently released study by the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan suggests that the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine helps lower the death rate in hospitalized coronavirus patients. An analysis of 2,541 patients hospitalized with coronavirus between March 10 and May 2, 2020, found that 13% of those treated with hydroxychloroquine died as compared to 26% who died that did not receive the drug, according to The Detroit News. The mortality rate for hospitalized patients ranges from 10% to 30% globally, while the overall in-hospital mortality for the study was 18.1%. The study, which was conducted at six hospitals within The Henry Ford Health System in Southeast Michigan, was published Thursday in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases. “The findings have been highly analyzed and peer-reviewed,” said Dr. Marcus Zervos, division head of Infectious Disease for Henry Ford Health System, who co-authored the study with Henry Ford epidemiologist Dr. Samia Arshad. “We attribute our findings that differ from other studies to early treatment, and part of a combination of interventions that were done in supportive care of patients, including careful cardiac monitoring. Our dosing also differed from other studies not showing a benefit of the drug. And other studies are either not peer reviewed, have limited numbers of patients, different patient populations or other differences from our patients. Last month, the Food and Drug Administration said the drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are unlikely to be effective in treating the coronavirus. Citing reports of heart complications, the FDA said the drugs’ unproven benefits “do not outweigh the known and potential risks.” In a separate announcement, the FDA also warned doctors against prescribing the drugs in combination with remdesivir, the lone drug currently shown to help patients with COVID-19. The FDA said the anti-malaria drugs can reduce the effectiveness of remdesivir, which FDA cleared for emergency use in May. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are frequently prescribed for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, and can cause heart rhythm problems, severely low blood pressure and muscle or nerve damage. The agency reported in June that it had received nearly 390 reports of complications with the drugs, including more than 100 involving serious heart problems. Read more about the study here and here. https://www.henryford.com/news/2020/07/hydro-treatment-study https://www.ijidonline.com/article/S1201-9712(20)30534-8/fulltext The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • There are new rules in place for the holiday weekend if you plan to rent an Airbnb. The company says guests under 25 years old with fewer than three positive reviews will not be able to book an entire home close to where they live Airbnb didn’t reveal how it defines what is “close.” Airbnb said it wants to weed out any potential problems, specifically unauthorized house parties and feels this is the best way to do so. The company says it’s a nationwide policy, but it is most relevant for a handful of cities. The company says its technologies would block that guest from booking. “No one policy is going to stop all unauthorized parties. We’re also conscious that just because you’re 25 or older doesn’t mean that every single person in that group is booking for the right reasons too,” spokesperson Ben Breit told WSB-TV. Guests under 25 with at least three positive Airbnb reviews and no negative reviews won’t be subject to the restrictions. Airbnb began stepping up efforts to ban “party houses” last November after five people were shot and killed during an unauthorized party at an Airbnb rental in Orinda, California. At the time, Airbnb set up a rapid response team to deal with complaints from neighbors and started screening “high risk” bookings, such as reservations at a large home for one night. In a message to hosts, the company said reducing unauthorized parties is even more of a priority right now as states try to avoid coronavirus outbreaks. “With public health mandates in place throughout the country, we’re taking actions to support safe and responsible travel in the United States,” the company said. The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • Jillian Wuestenberg, 32, and Eric Wuestenberg, 42, were charged Thursday with felonious assault after pulling a gun out on a Black mother and her children when a confrontation escalated outside a Chipotle in Michigan. Each of them had a loaded firearm and concealed pistol licenses. Deputies seized the two handguns, Sheriff Mike Bouchard said. On Thursday, the couple was arraigned and were given a $50,000 personal bond.  “As part of the bond conditions, they must turn over all firearms, not engage in any assaultive behavior, and may not leave the state,” sheriff’s officials told The Detroit News. The Detroit News first reported on the three-minute video posted online that shows part of the interaction. Takelia Hill, who is Black, told the newspaper that it happened after the white woman bumped into Hill’s teenage daughter as they were entering the fast food restaurant. The video footage [WARNING: Contains graphic language] starts after that, in the parking lot. A woman since identified as Jillian Wuestenberg is heard arguing with Hill and her daughters. Wuestenberg climbs into the vehicle, rolls down the window and says, “White people aren’t racist,” and, “I care about you,” before the vehicle she was in starts to back away. Her husband, who had led his wife to the vehicle, turns to the camera and asks, “Who ... do you think you guys are?,” using an expletive. Then, as someone is standing behind the vehicle, Jillian Wuestenberg jumps out and points a handgun in the direction of a person who’s recording. She screams at people to get away from her and her vehicle. A woman shouts, “She’s got a gun on me!” and urges someone in the parking lot to call the police. Wuestenberg then lowers the gun, climbs into the passenger seat and the vehicle drives off. Cooper, the prosecutor, told The Associated Press that her office viewed the available video and looked at the facts before filing charges. “It is an unfortunate set of circumstances that tempers run high over, basically, not much of an incident,” she said of the initial alleged spark that caused the confrontation. Bouchard said people are “picking sides” and that threatening calls were made to the sheriff’s office dispatch center after the videos were posted online. “We don’t see sides. We see facts,” he said. “There’s a lot of tension in our society, a lot of tension among folks and people with each other. I would just say this, we are asking and expect our police — and rightfully so — to deescalate every situation they possibly can, and we should be doing that. But I would say that needs to happen with us individually in our own lives and situations, that we interact with each other and deescalate those moments.” The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • The United States Geological Survey reported that a 4.9 magnitude earthquake struck this morning near Puerto Rico around 9:55 a.m. EDT. The quake was felt across the U.S. territory and is the latest in a series of tremors that began in late December and have damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes. Ángel Vázquez, who oversees the emergency management agency in Ponce, said a house collapsed in the town of Lajas. The house was empty and slated for demolition, according to Kiara Hernández, spokeswoman for Puerto Rico’s Department of Public Security. Víctor Huérfano, director of Puerto Rico’s Seismic Network, told The Associated Press that the tremor is an aftershock related to the 6.4-magnitude quake that struck in early January, killing at least one person and causing millions of dollars in damage. The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • With The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race postponed this year, the Atlanta Police Department warned people against running or walking the course on the Fourth of July. APD noted in a tweet Friday that the course will not be closed to car traffic on Independence Day. With hashtags including #MyPersonalPeachtree and #APDCares, the police department said in the tweet that people should avoid running or walking the course on Saturday for safety reasons. >>Read MORE on AJC.com. [Summary]