On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

clear-day
73°
Clear
H 90° L 68°
  • clear-day
    73°
    Current Conditions
    Clear. H 90° L 68°
  • clear-day
    90°
    Today
    Clear. H 90° L 68°
  • clear-day
    90°
    Tomorrow
    Mostly Clear. H 90° L 64°
Listen
Pause
Error

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Local News

    A Cobb County school nurse was arrested Thursday after administrators noticed students’ medications were missing. Lindsey Waggoner, 38, is accused of stealing more than $1,500 of medication from Barber Middle School in Acworth, according to an arrest warrant obtained Monday by AJC.com. Cobb County school police allegedly found her in possession of 209 pills, including Adderall, generic forms of Ritalin and Focalin, and Evekeo. The drugs are commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, known as ADHD. Principal Tia Amlett sent a letter home to parents alerting them to the investigation and arrest of a staff member, although the employee was not named.  “We have made contact with families who were directly affected by this situation and will continue to pursue policies that ensure such behavior does not go unnoticed,” she said. It was not immediately clear if Waggoner was fired following her arrest. As of Monday morning, she was still listed on Barber’s website. Amlett said she was being dealt with “according to district policy and state laws.” Waggoner, who is from Kennesaw, is facing a single felony charge of theft by taking. She was booked into the county jail Thursday afternoon and released a few hours later on a $15,000 bond.  In other news: 
  • A second-year Georgia Tech student was confirmed dead Sunday after a swimming accident in the Chattahoochee River. James Strock was last seen Saturday afternoon swimming in the area of the West Palisades Trail at Paces Mill Park, according to school officials. Teams searched through dusk before turning to recovery efforts Sunday morning, dean of students John M. Stein said in a letter to the Georgia Tech community. A Georgia Tech spokeswoman confirmed Strock’s death Sunday evening. It is unknown if his body was recovered from the river. Strock was pursuing an undergraduate degree in computer engineering and was interested in robotics and quantum computing, according to his LinkedIn page. He was set to graduate in 2022. According to Tech officials, Strock was from Uganda and moved to the United States at age 16. He was an active member of the campus community, attended a campus ministry and could often be found in the recreational center. Strock completed a co-op program with DataPath, a communications and computer software company, in Lawrenceville over the summer. “On behalf of Georgia Tech, we offer our deepest condolences to James’ family and friends during this difficult time,” Stein said in the letter to students, faculty and staff, which was shared on Reddit. “I have been in constant contact with his family and will continue to be there to support them.” Grief counseling is available on campus from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the week at the campus Counseling Center and in the student services building. Students may also call 404-894-2575 for support after hours. — Please return to AJC.com for updates. In other news: 
  • When Tracy Maddux began his campaign to be Chattooga County’s magistrate judge 22 years ago, just about everyone he knew and trusted told him he’d better run as a Democrat. He’s secured five more terms since then, winning comfortably as a Democrat even as the county became more reliably Republican. And he remained a Democrat until last week, when he and three other elected officials bolted the local party, leaving it in disarray. No, it wasn’t the liberal positions by White House hopefuls that triggered Maddux’s decision, though they didn’t help. He switched parties in the aftermath of a recent white supremacist rally in Dahlonega, when the local sheriff was targeted for criticism over a poorly worded social media post. “The party has changed so much now, it’s really hard to tell where the lines are some days,” the judge said in an interview in his office. “But that Facebook controversy put me over the top. Sometimes you just have to make a stand — and you’ve got to own your decision.” The four defections shook up politics in a rural northwest Georgia county where Democrats held surprising sway in local matters, even as Republicans dominate in state and federal elections. In a front-page article, The Summerville News said the exodus “shattered” the Democrats’ century-long grip on county affairs. Jason Winters, the sole county commissioner in Chattooga, doesn’t disagree with that assessment. He won two terms as a Democrat before he was ousted from the local party in 2014. His crime: He was photographed putting up signs for Republican state Sen. Jeff Mullis and then-Gov. Nathan Deal. “I happily became a Republican, and I’ll run again in 2020 as a Republican,” he said, laughing now about the controversy, before conversation shifted to more recent developments. “It’s an extremely small county. Our relationships are strong. We all know each other,” he said. “But things here have definitely changed.” ‘A mess’ It started with a post from Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader shortly after his department helped police a rally in downtown Dahlonega organized by white supremacist activists. A few dozen showed up in support of the rally, along with three times as many counterprotesters and about 600 law enforcement officers. Schrader posted a Facebook picture of himself and three other armed-to-the-teeth deputies with this caption: “Doing our part to help our friends in Lumpkin County (Dahlonega) with the antifa protests,” read the post, which made no mention of the white supremacists. He soon took down the post and apologized, but not before it attracted national attention and hundreds of comments — including some who criticized his officers and their families. Schrader said in an interview that many of the most threatening posts came from Democrats who assumed he was Republican. “The weekend ushered along a decision I’d been pondering for a long time,” said Schrader, who left the Democratic Party days later. “There’s a lot of hate spewed out there. Words don’t typically bother me, but when you start threatening my employees and their families — I can’t handle that.” He was the fourth in a string of officials to leave the party, along with Maddux, Clerk of Courts Kim James and Tax Commissioner Joy Hampton. Some Democrats with deep roots in the community accused the four of seeking an excuse to leave the fold. J.L. Biddle, a Chattooga native and chairman of the Carroll County Democratic Party, said he didn’t regret his searing public criticism of Schrader’s remarks. “Words matter. Inferences matter. Denouncing hate, whether directly stated or inferred, should be a nonpartisan issue,” Biddle said. “The public officials leaving the Democratic Party simply seized an opportunity,” Biddle said. “True Democrats who believe in our all-inclusive platform do not simply leave our party due to the sharing of a social media post. True Democrats call out and fight against hate.” The Chattooga County Democratic Party, meanwhile, tried to stem the revolt with a statement that said its members didn’t “share the post or comment on the post.” “It’s been a mess, that’s for sure,” said Brandon Gurley, the party’s chairman. ‘Honest and fair’ That Chattooga County, home to about 25,000 residents, is so open to Democratic politicians may come as a shock to many. After all, Gov. Brian Kemp won Chattooga last year with 80% of the vote, and no Democratic presidential candidate has carried the county since Bill Clinton in 1996. But the county has a long history of influential Democratic leaders that helped sway local politics, including James “Sloppy” Floyd, a powerful legislator who served 21 years in the Georgia House; Barbara Massey Reece, a former lawmaker known for her advocacy for veterans; and Bobby Lee Cook, a nationally known defense attorney who hangs his shingle in downtown Summerville. The knack for ticket-splitting helped cultivate an environment where Democrats reigned. Before last week’s exodus, seven countywide officials were Democrats, including the probate judge, the coroner and one of four school board members. That might be over now. Maddux has said he would run for another term as a Republican, while the other three haven’t said whether they planned to join the GOP. Another Democrat, Probate Judge Jon Payne, won’t stand for another term for the first time since he was elected in 1975 at the age of 26. “We’ve gradually seen this coming. We’ve seen a swing,” said Eddy Willingham, the local GOP chairman. “But I wouldn’t say it was a cause for celebration. We’re not rejoicing that the other side is losing. I cheer for my team. I don’t root against the other team.” Still, Maddux said local Democrats will continue to struggle with the national brand. “The Chattooga County Democratic Party is not the Democratic National Committee. They don’t represent that. These folks are hardworking, old-school Democrats who really don’t like to play politics,” Maddux said. “But I’m going where my values today are most reflected.” That’s a problem Hampton, the county tax commissioner, is still wrestling with even though she left the Democratic Party. After years of working in local government, she ran for the county post in 2016 as a Democrat because she was promised the party would help her run a clean campaign. She won by nine votes — and has struggled with whether to change her party affiliation since then. “I’ve debated it back and forth for a while but felt OK with where I was. But I finally got to a point where I was sick of national politics playing in,” Hampton said. “And my poor little mama would tell you I’ve never been one to do what the crowd says.” That becomes clear after a few minutes in her cozy office, painted yellow and cluttered with papers. She talked of the time she dropped an extra letter in her name to masquerade as “Joey” in elementary school to try out for the football team — she was quickly caught — and she pointed, admiringly, to a painting of her grandfather on the wall. “It’s hard. I’m either kin to, or I know, everybody here. It’s really hard to choose sides,” she said, pressed on whether she would join the GOP or run as an independent next year. “My grandfather always said, ‘Honest and fair,’ ” Hampton said. “Right now, I’m leaning to fair — I don’t want to do my job based on political affiliations.”
  • So long, summer! It is officially fall.  The temperatures, though, will make it feel like summer lasts throughout the week. Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Monahan is tracking possibly record-breaking temperatures. The timing of when the highest temperatures arrive, on Channel 2 Action News at Noon.  By late Monday afternoon, there could be some isolated showers moving closer to the north Georgia mountains. It's a small chance of rain late today -- but not zero across the entire area, Monahan said. DRY FOR MOST OF US: Good morning and welcome to fall! I'm tracking a sunny day for most of us, with only a slight chance of a shower in the mountains late today/tonight. The heat is building all week long. See you on Channel 2 live now through 7am! pic.twitter.com/uyf2ukp02q — Brian Monahan, WSB (@BMonahanWSB) September 23, 2019   TRENDING STORIES Police searching for 2 men in deadly DeKalb County home invasion Police identify suspect shot, killed by police as wanted gang member Police arrest man they say stabbed Krystal employee 7 times  
  • A new report detailing Atlanta’s recidivist problem blames lenient sentencing by Fulton County judges, echoing a popular talking point by police. The Atlanta Repeat Offender Commission (AROC) study, which examined adjudications of Fulton’s repeat offenders from 2017-18, has drawn criticism. Fulton District Attorney Paul Howard, Fulton’s judges, and even Atlanta Police Department officials have called it incomplete and misleading. Still, the numbers are noteworthy. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained a final draft of the study, which found that 23% of repeat offenders — defined as persons with three or more felony convictions — were sentenced to confinement by Fulton judges. Those recidivists, the report states, were responsible for 18% of felony cases tried in Fulton courts over that same two-year period. “The leniency shown to these bad actors by the judicial system results in recidivistic crimes that prey on the public, often resulting in egregious injury or public fear by citizens and the neighborhoods who feel as if they’ve been terrorized,” the report concludes. The 2017-18 confinement number signals a dramatic decline from 2016, when 37% of repeat offenders were incarcerated. Dave Wilkinson, CEO and president of the Atlanta Police Foundation and chair of the AROC, suggests the drop came because of a lack of oversight of judges’ performance. “I’d have people tell me a judge was tough on crime, and I’ll tell them, ‘How do you know?’” Wilkinson said. Yet more incarcerations would seem out of step in this era of criminal justice reform aimed at reducing the prison population. And is it fair to pin the problem of repeat offender recidivism solely on Fulton judges? The Atlanta Repeat Offender Commission comprises senior officials from each of the law enforcement, judicial, legal and political entities serving Atlanta and Fulton. Fulton Superior Court Chief Judge Robert McBurney, a commission member, said the AROC report seems to conflate repeat offenders with violent criminals. “There is a reason for the community to be concerned,” said McBurney, the Fulton judge who boasts the highest rate of confinement sentences for repeat offenders. “But it gets complicated when one tries to put a label on repeat offenders.” Most were convicted of nonviolent crimes, the AROC study found. About half of all crimes committed by repeat offenders in Fulton from 2017-18 were drug-related, followed by larcenies — the type of offenses, reform advocates say, better served with treatment and rehabilitation. In 2017, 15% of repeat offender crimes were for violent offenses (homicide, assault, battery). That dropped to 7% in 2018. “I don’t know if the numbers tell the whole story,” McBurney said. The confinement rate, he said, does not factor in time served, which is the amount of time a defendant spends in jail awaiting trial. That sentence was handed out in 37% of the cases. “Many will land in court with 27 months in jail under their belt,” McBurney said. “To me, that would be a reasonable sentence” for a nonviolent crime. The average time served on a fourth felony conviction is 95 days, according to the AROC report. “A vast majority of citizens don’t understand how you can commit three felonies and still be walking the streets,” Wilkinson said. “There’s absolutely zero transparency in the Fulton County judicial system,” he said. “There’s no way to tell what the sentencing tendencies of these judges are. They should have to defend their decisions, like any other public official.” Wilkinson said the AROC’s findings are not incompatible with criminal justice reform. “Everybody agrees with a second and even a third chance,” Wilkinson said. “Everybody agrees rehabilitation is a heck of a lot better than incarceration. What we’re talking about is protecting citizens of Atlanta from those individuals who’ve shown they’re not getting it. A lot of these guys have upward of 15 to 20 felonies. “Eventually these folks have got to be held accountable,” he said. ‘Still Gonna Get Out’ The report singles out a few cases. Bobby Thornton, 56, had 10 prior felony convictions and was on probation when he was arrested and charged in a 2015 burglary. He was convicted and sentenced in January 2016 to 15 years of probation. He was arrested again in 2018 for entering an automobile and committing criminal damage to property. Sentence: Two years’ probation. Later that year, Thornton was arrested, tried and convicted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Fulton Superior Court Judge Kelly Lee Ellerbe sentenced him to time served, which was commuted to a sentence of four years of probation and entry to the Tall Pines Estates assisted living program. “Three judges passed sentences on this felon who committed most of his crimes while on probation,” the report states. “The defendant was never sentenced to confinement despite a history of repeated violent offenses, each of which was a serious violation of his prior sentence(s).” But court transcripts reveal the latest sentence, like so many others, was negotiated and recommended by the state. Thornton suffered from a mental illness, which Fulton Assistant District Attorney Jeff Mullis acknowledged at sentencing. “If he is going to stay at this Tall Pine Estates, have assisted living where he is getting meals, I think Mr. Thornton will stay out of trouble and we won’t have any issues with him, particularly with him getting his medication,” said Mullis, according to court transcripts. RELATED: In Fulton County, a revolving door for some repeat offenders Torpy at Large: Fulton’s courts, the Buckhead bad guys’ best friend Buckhead residents confront mayor, police chief about crime Ellerbe, who sentenced 10 of 97 repeat offenders in 2017-18 to confinement — the lowest percentage of any Fulton judge with at least a dozen adjudications — defended her record. “Studies show you lock them up, let them out, and they go back to their old tricks,” said Ellerbe, adding she tends to steer defendants, most of whom are mentally ill or drug addicted, to accountability courts. Created in 2012 by the Georgia General Assembly and championed by former Gov. Nathan Deal, the courts seek to divert nonviolent offenders from prison. “You sentence them to five years, they’re still gonna get out and go straight back to their old behavior, still addicted,” Ellerbe said. ‘Hold Everybody Accountable’ Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos called the report “a good start.” But he said it lacks key data that would illustrate the scope of the problem. “We need significantly more data around convicted felons being arrested with both guns and drugs, which is something our offices are encountering with more frequency,” Campos said. “We believe that data will create a truer picture of the depths of the repeat offender problem and the system’s inability to appropriately cope with it.” Wilkinson said the 2017-18 report is just the beginning. The police foundation plans to publish Fulton judges’ sentencing records on a quarterly basis. They want the district attorney to provide a list, updated monthly, of all repeat offender felony arrests. And they have proposed a pilot program of enhanced electronic monitoring of the most severe repeat offenders, including the imposition of a 10 p.m. curfew and banishment from areas where the offender previously committed crimes. District Attorney Howard has maintained a contentious relationship with Fulton’s judiciary. So it was surprising when the veteran prosecutor said he didn’t agree with the report’s conclusion that the county’s judges are too squishy — an accusation he has leveled in the past. “I’m trying to understand the point the report is trying to make,” Howard said. He produced his own numbers that showed sentences by Fulton’s judges, while on the low end, were generally on par with their counterparts in Cobb, DeKalb, Gwinnett and Clayton counties. “The study needs to be a lot more comprehensive,” Howard said. Wilkinson, anticipating the criticism, said the commission is undeterred. “We want to put the pressure on the system,” Wilkinson said. “Then hold everybody accountable. All of us are accountable, including the police and the district attorney.”
  • Georgia elected officials should cut — not increase — monthly natural gas charges for more than 1.6 million customers in metro Atlanta and elsewhere in the state, regulatory staffers have advised. In June, Atlanta Gas Light asked state regulators to approve a $96 million rate increase, the largest it had requested in recent memory. That would add nearly $4 a month to average residential customers of natural gas marketers served by the pipeline company. But in a filing Friday, Public Service Commission staff recommended that AGL’s rates instead should go down from their current level, decreasing about $42 million. The PSC staff didn’t provide comment on how much that would save the average natural gas customer each month. AGL isn’t the direct natural gas provider for Georgians. But its charges are automatically listed as a portion of the monthly bills of customers served by more than a dozen natural gas marketers in the state. Consumers typically also pay charges for the amount of natural gas used and sales tax. Elected members of the PSC are expected to hold new hearings on AGL’s rate request next month and decide the case in December. Rates changes could go into effect with the new year. AGL spokeswoman Jennifer Golz wrote in an email to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that “it is not unusual for the PSC staff to stake out an extreme position in the early stages of a case.” The company “has made great advancements in safety, reliability and rural gasification over the last 10 years and we look forward to working with the Commission to continue those programs for the benefit of our customers and the communities we serve.” AGL officials have previously said their rates will remain competitive with peers in the region. But the PSC’s public interest advocacy staff, which is supposed to provide independent analysis, differed with the company on more than two dozen financial points. Staffers wrote that the company hadn’t provided sufficient justification showing the benefits of many of the expansions and changes it sought. They recommended a lower rate of return than what AGL requested. And they pushed back against the company for failing to save on costs when its parent company was acquired in 2016 by Atlanta-based Southern Company, the owner of electricity giant Georgia Power and other energy businesses. Staffers also objected to ratepayers covering some other charges, including AGL executive and employee pay-for-performance incentives tied to company profits. Such expenses “should be borne by shareholders, not customers,” staff wrote in the filing. The compensation ultimately rewards greater and more frequent rate increases in order to improve Southern’s profits. “There is an inherent conflict between achieving greater financial performance for shareholders and achieving lower rates for customers.” Georgia energy bills may face other increases in the near future. Georgia Power is also seeking a rate increase that the PSC is expected to act on in December, with some charges potentially rising in January.
  • Police are searching for two men after a deadly home invasion in DeKalb County. We first told you about this as breaking news on the Channel 2 Action News Nightbeat at 11 p.m.  A SWAT team surrounded a condo complex on Waldrop Road off of Flat Shoals Parkway around 8 p.m. Sunday.  Police said they got a call about two men forcing their way into a home.  The SWAT team went into a home and found a man in his 30s dead from a possible gunshot wound. We're talking to police about their search for the killers for LIVE reports on Channel 2 Action News at Noon.  TRENDING STORIES: Grizzly bears duke it out on highway in must-see video Bikers line up at girl's lemonade stand after mom helps them during crash Police say man stabbed female Krystal employee 7 times Many neighbors called Channel 2 Action News to report a SWAT team on their street. They said they saw a bomb squad robot and many can't go back into their homes.  Numerous law enforcement vehicles were at the scene.  Channel 2 Action News spoke to a neighbor who saw some commotion.  'A lady was screaming and hollering, trying to run back there, and I'm not sure what transpired specifically but I know it's bad,' Darice Seegars said.  Police said the incident unfolded just before 8 p.m.
  • Sheriffs have arrested a man they say stabbed a female employee at a Krystal seven times on Sunday. The incident happened at a Krystal on Tara Boulevard in Jonesboro. The victim's condition has not been released. Police released surveillance footage of the suspect and asked for the public's help to locate him.  TRENDING STORIES: Grizzly bears duke it out on highway in must-see video Bikers line up at girl's lemonade stand after mom helps them during crash Police say man stabbed female Krystal employee 7 times Police said Sunday evening that they arrested Kendal Thomas at a Clayton County home after tips poured in.  Police have not said if Thomas knew the woman who was stabbed or what his motive was.   
  • It’s not so much about who’s allowed in, but who’s kept out. That’s how success might be measured by attorneys in the murder trial of former DeKalb County Police Officer Robert “Chip” Olsen as they begin the difficult task of selecting a jury. The process begins today and could last a week, if not more. In a case in which the defendant is a white cop and the victim, Anthony Hill, a young black male, the challenge could be even greater. Race isn’t the only dividing point. Jurors also will decide what constitutes excessive force by law enforcement, an issue that engenders strong feelings often informed by personal experiences. RELATED: Prosecutors, defense spar in advance of DeKalb cop’s murder trial Who was Anthony Hill? DeKalb officer indicted on murder charges in shooting of unarmed civilian State discloses plea offer rejected by ex-DeKalb cop charged with murder The jury pool will draw from one of the most diverse counties in Georgia. A little more than half of DeKalb’s residents are black; whites make up one-third of the populace. “In this case, where you’re defending a police officer and it’s a white-on-black shooting, this may not be the best county for that kind of case,” said Decatur defense attorney Bob Rubin. “You may find a pretty hostile environment in the courtroom for jury selection. And you may hope it goes so badly that you end up getting a change of venue to a different county.” That’s the worst-case scenario in a case that dates back more than four years. On March 9, 2015, Olsen responded to a call about a man, “possibly demented,” walking naked outside a Chamblee apartment complex. Hill, an Afghanistan War veteran, ran towards Olsen, ignoring commands to stop. The former police officer said he feared for his safety and acted in self-defense. Former DeKalb District Attorney Robert James saw it differently, indicting Olsen on two counts of felony murder. He said many prospective jurors will start off with fixed opinions unlikely to change. “A lot of your jurors in DeKalb have had experiences that force them to see law enforcement and government a different way,” he said. When you ask them who has a bad experience with law enforcement officers, “about 90 percent of their hands go up,” James said. “You’re going to have a handful of people that are very conservative and you know that would always always give more credence, more credibility to a law enforcement officer’s version of events and have a bias leaning in that direction,” he said. As with some other issues, race also influences how people feel about police. “You’ve got a white police officer, you’ve got a black victim, and the climate that we have got going on right now in the country in regards to law enforcement officers and deaths, shootings of black citizens … ” said criminal defense attorney Keith Adams, who’s tried cases in DeKalb for years. “That’s going to be an issue for Olsen.” It’s one the defense can’t ignore, he said. “The defense is going to want folks who would sympathize with Olsen,” Adams said. “No one’s going to say this, but they’re going to want some white folks on that jury. They’re going to want some people who will tend to be more law enforcement oriented on that jury.” But Hill’s background, namely his military service, complicates that traditional calculus. “Now, that’s a little tricky because the same folks who are law enforcement oriented are going to be folks who like military folks, and the deceased in this case is a military veteran,” Adams said. In the end, nothing will influence the outcome more than one juror with a closed mind. ‘What I’ve learned from my experience in these high-profile cases, if you get one of those people on the jury you can use every trial tactic you learned in law school or were taught by some of the best lawyers in the world, that person will not budge,” James said. “That person will not budge. And that’s just the reality of it, the social dynamic of it.”

News

  • They take their football seriously in Philadelphia. Even scholarly types can go overboard when their beloved Eagles lose. >> Read more trending news  During the fourth quarter of Philadelphia's 27-24 televised loss to the Detroit Lions, the Fox network handling the broadcast showed an angry Eagles fan shouting as the telecast broke for a commercial. The angry fan was identified as Eric Furda, the University of Pennsylvania's dean of admissions since 2008, according to the The Philadelphia Inquirer. The clip quickly went viral, as it resonated with other angry Eagles fans. Furda admitted he was the culprit on Twitter, but only after he posted Sunday that he was 'not sure what the refs were looking at today.' Furda took a more apologetic tone Monday morning. 'After further review of the play I will take the 15 yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct,' Furda tweeted. 'But I will not lose my passion for Philadelphia and Penn sports!' The Eagles, who have lost two straight games after beating Washington in their season opener, travel to Green Bay to face the Packers at Lambeau Field on Thursday night.
  • A Michigan toddler died last week after authorities said her head became stuck in a car's power window in Detroit. >> Read more trending news  According to WXYZ-TV, Kierre Allen, 2, was inside the parked 2005 Mazda 3 with her father, who had fallen asleep, last Monday when the window somehow closed on her head, authorities said. The 21-year-old man awoke to find the child caught in the window, he told police. Kierre's uncle took the pair to a nearby hospital as the father tried to revive the girl, WJBK-TV reported. Doctors said she was dead when she arrived. Police arrested the girl's father, who had outstanding traffic warrants, authorities said. He has not been charged in connection with Kierre's death, the Detroit News reported.
  • A Cobb County school nurse was arrested Thursday after administrators noticed students’ medications were missing. Lindsey Waggoner, 38, is accused of stealing more than $1,500 of medication from Barber Middle School in Acworth, according to an arrest warrant obtained Monday by AJC.com. Cobb County school police allegedly found her in possession of 209 pills, including Adderall, generic forms of Ritalin and Focalin, and Evekeo. The drugs are commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, known as ADHD. Principal Tia Amlett sent a letter home to parents alerting them to the investigation and arrest of a staff member, although the employee was not named.  “We have made contact with families who were directly affected by this situation and will continue to pursue policies that ensure such behavior does not go unnoticed,” she said. It was not immediately clear if Waggoner was fired following her arrest. As of Monday morning, she was still listed on Barber’s website. Amlett said she was being dealt with “according to district policy and state laws.” Waggoner, who is from Kennesaw, is facing a single felony charge of theft by taking. She was booked into the county jail Thursday afternoon and released a few hours later on a $15,000 bond.  In other news: 
  • The 178-year-old tour company Thomas Cook has shut down, potentially stranding hundreds of thousands of travelers who booked their trips with the company stranded across the globe. Thomas Cook was known for the package tour industry, The Associated Press reported. It had four airlines and 21,000 employees in 16 countries. All of the employees have been laid off and will lose their jobs. The ripple effect of Thomas Cook's collapse is expected to be felt across all of Europe and North Africa, the AP reported.  Officials at hotels are now worried about confirmed bookings that had been made for winter. About 600,000 people had been scheduled to travel with Thomas Cook through Sunday. Some subsidiaries were trying to get local connections to get people home, the AP reported.  The British government has stepped in to get 150,000 U.K. customers back to their homes starting Monday. The government has hired charter planes to get people home free of charge, and officials expect the process to fly everyone back to the U.K. will take about two weeks, the AP reported. >> Read more trending news  There are 50,000 people stranded in Greece, up to 30,000 in Spain's Canary Islands, 21,000 in Turkey and 15,000 in Cyprus all trying to find a way home, the AP reported. Thomas Cook officials blame competition from budget airlines and travelers booking their trips themselves though the internet as to why the company struggled financially and eventually shut down, the AP reported. The uncertainty also was brought on by Brexit and the drop in the pound that made it more expensive for British travelers to afford trips abroad, the AP reported. Despite the fact they no longer are being paid for their work, some Thomas Cook employees are still reporting for their shifts to help make sure those who are stranded can return home, Metro reported. One now-former employee said on Twitter that she will be at her post to help stranded customers. Employees at a different Thomas Cook location also posted a sign on their location saying they would open Monday morning to help customers, Metro reported. 
  • A second-year Georgia Tech student was confirmed dead Sunday after a swimming accident in the Chattahoochee River. James Strock was last seen Saturday afternoon swimming in the area of the West Palisades Trail at Paces Mill Park, according to school officials. Teams searched through dusk before turning to recovery efforts Sunday morning, dean of students John M. Stein said in a letter to the Georgia Tech community. A Georgia Tech spokeswoman confirmed Strock’s death Sunday evening. It is unknown if his body was recovered from the river. Strock was pursuing an undergraduate degree in computer engineering and was interested in robotics and quantum computing, according to his LinkedIn page. He was set to graduate in 2022. According to Tech officials, Strock was from Uganda and moved to the United States at age 16. He was an active member of the campus community, attended a campus ministry and could often be found in the recreational center. Strock completed a co-op program with DataPath, a communications and computer software company, in Lawrenceville over the summer. “On behalf of Georgia Tech, we offer our deepest condolences to James’ family and friends during this difficult time,” Stein said in the letter to students, faculty and staff, which was shared on Reddit. “I have been in constant contact with his family and will continue to be there to support them.” Grief counseling is available on campus from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the week at the campus Counseling Center and in the student services building. Students may also call 404-894-2575 for support after hours. — Please return to AJC.com for updates. In other news: 
  • A federal judge will hear the arguments Monday for the first time from opponents of Georgia’s new anti-abortion law as they ask him to stop the measure from going into effect. Gov. Brian Kemp in May signed one of the nation’s strictest abortion laws, outlawing the procedure in most cases once a doctor can detect fetal cardiac activity. It is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1. The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia has asked U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones to stop the law from going into effect while the case makes its way through the court system. The ACLU argued in a June complaint that the law violates a woman’s constitutional right of access to abortion until about 24 weeks of pregnancy, as established in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade. The ACLU has argued that “politicians should not be second-guessing women’s health care decisions.” In its response, the state said Georgia’s new anti-abortion law is “constitutional and justified” and asked Jones to dismiss the lawsuit challenging the measure. “Defendants deny all allegations in the complaint that killing a living unborn child constitutes ‘medical care’ or ‘health care,’” attorneys wrote. The state hired Virginia-based attorney to represent Gov. Brian Kemp, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, Department of Public Health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey, members of the Georgia Composite Medical Board and its executive director. ACLU is representing SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, Feminist Women’s Health Center, Planned Parenthood Southeast and other abortion rights advocates and providers.