On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

cloudy-day
45°
Partly Cloudy
H 55° L 43°
  • cloudy-day
    45°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 55° L 43°
  • cloudy-day
    55°
    Today
    Partly Cloudy. H 55° L 43°
  • cloudy-day
    56°
    Tomorrow
    Mostly Cloudy. H 56° L 36°
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

Local News

    More than 20,000 tons of sediment are set to be removed from a Brookhaven lake over the next six months for a project aimed at improving the health of the local ecosystem. The Brookhaven City Council last week voted to pay about $1.8 million to a contractor for the dredging project at the lake at Murphey Candler Park. The lake is owned by the city and is considered “one of the jewels” of Brookhaven, the city said in a statement. Portions of the park will be closed during the work, which began recently. The contractor is expected to eventually remove about 13,700 cubic yards of sediment from the lake using three large barges in the lake and two large excavators on the shore. Dredging is the removal of debris from the bottom of lakes and other waterways, in order to prevent sediment from accumulating and possibly contaminating the water, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. At Murphey Candler, the city said, the project is necessary due to a sedimentation that was promoting the growth of invasive species. The lake is home to largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish and channel catfish, as well as Canadian geese, mallards and beavers, the city said. Councilwoman Linley Jones said the project could take up to six months to complete, “depending on the amount of sediment they will be able to remove each day and the weather conditions.” Workers are expected to be onsite during the day every Monday through Saturday. “I am sure the beautiful end results will outweigh any temporary inconveniences,” Jones said in a statement. The parking lot on the east side of the lake and a portion of the walking path along the east side are closed to public access while crews work on the lake, officials said. The sediment removed from the lake will be shipped in trucks to landfills in metro Atlanta. Follow DeKalb County News on Facebook and Twitter  Wouldn’t you like to support our strong journalism? Your subscription helps us cover your communities in a way that no one else can. Visit https://subscribe.ajc.com/hyperlocal or call 404-526-7988 to begin or renew your subscription.
  • Over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, Hotel Indigo in Downtown Athens opened its doors to host 100 participants from Extra Special People for an extra special night.  The hotel provided a limo and dance complete with a DJ and dinner buffet Sunday evening, but the night didn't stop there. The participants enjoyed a pajama party with movies and hot chocolate before heading off to their hotel rooms. Monday morning, the participants enjoyed a breakfast spread provided by the hotel.  With a priority to serve its community, Hotel Indigo put together this event at no cost to ESP, and in return, the staff was inspired and encouraged by ESP's mission to create an inclusive community for people of all abilities.  More photos from the fun night:
  •   A little more than six years ago, Maria Owens was convicted of killing Jaylen Kelly just three days shy of his first birthday.  This week, Owens, 51, was sentenced to life in prison following an appeals process that reversed an earlier conviction on lesser charges, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.  An hour before the 11-month-old was injured, Kelly’s parents had told Owens, who ran an unlicensed day care, they would be putting him and his 3-year-old sister in “a more structured day care environment,” according to the release. Shortly after learning about their decision on June 1, 2011, Owens called 911 to say the baby was not breathing.  The 11-month-old was rushed to the hospital, then flown to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta-Egleston, where he died from his injuries, the Fulton DA’s office said. An autopsy revealed he had a fractured back and lost nearly half his blood.  The Fulton DA’s office said Owens admitted to striking the baby, but only to relieve Kelly’s cough related to bronchitis. The Fulton County Medical Examiner disputed the claim, saying an immense amount of force would be required to fracture the child’s back, according to the release. Owens was later charged with two counts of felony murder, aggravated assault, first-degree cruelty to children and felony involuntary manslaughter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.  Fulton County Superior Court Judge Henry Newkirk vacated the murder charge, and Owens was sentenced to 10 years in prison, according to the release. The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office appealed the conviction, and the Georgia Supreme Court ruled an error on the verdict form affected the jury’s verdict.  The conviction was reversed, and Owens was given a new trial, which Newkirk also presided over, where she was convicted of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and first-degree cruelty to children, according to the release.  Like Intown Atlanta News Now on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter In other news:
  • The Atlanta City Council on Tuesday approved a resolution calling on state lawmakers to repeal a prohibition on cities and counties to impose rent controls. The measure is merely a request and has no binding effect. But it notes that affordable housing is a critical need in the city and that from May 2013 to May 2019, the median rent for a one-bedroom rental unit increased just over $1,100 per month to over $1,600 per month. The resolution was sponsored by Councilman Antonio Brown.
  • Injured and shaken, a husband and wife are out $4,000 and their home trashed after having suffered a terrifying run-in with three unidentified suspects. Atlanta Police Department officers responded to a robbery inside a home on Lockwood Drive SW early Wednesday morning on Jan. 15. The first victim, Norris Owens, had just dropped his daughter and son off at school. Officers spoke with Owens, who revealed that he and his wife, Kerschelle Baldwin, were attacked after he returned home. The three suspects, believed to be older juveniles or young adults, pistol-whipped the couple, before ransacking their house and fleeing with $4,000. Police believe the suspects may have known the couple’s daughter, since they asked for her by name.  At this point, they don’t think the three are responsible for other home invasions but they’re still investigating.  Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers Atlanta 404-577-TIPS or online at www.StopCrimeAtl.org. You can remain anonymous.
  • They are fishing but fishing with the 'ph'-fishing word, where they're 'phishing' for information...including social security numbers, drivers license numbers, things like that.'  It's a warning from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources - if you are looking to apply and buy a state fishing or hunting license, do NOT enter any information on the website with the address 'georgiafishinglicense.online' - it's a scam. Mark McKinnon with Georgia DNR's Law Enforcement Division says online users are coming up on the fake site when doing a Google search. 'The incorrect site does have the word Georgia Fishing License in it.'  'They're really looking for information and trying to steal the identity of people is what we believe,' McKinnon says.  'If you do feel like you've been scammed by this website, we'd like for you to call the DNR law enforcement division and investigative unit, and that number is 770-918-6408,' says McKinnon. The scam website has been active for at least the past few days, with DNR getting calls about it from north Georgia and the coast. While other Georgia agencies have had to deal with fake websites in the past, McKinnon says this is the first of its kind that he can remember, that DNR has had to deal with. Officials are working to have it shut down. McKinnon stresses the only legitimate online site to apply for Georgia fishing and hunting licenses, is gooutdoorsgeorgia.com 
  • Georgia’s Chris Carr is among 21 state attorneys general who have filed a letter describing House Democrats’ attempt to impeach President Donald Trump as unconstitutional. The letter filed to the U.S. Senate encourages its members to dismiss the charges and clear Trump of any wrongdoing. “This impeachment proceeding threatens all future elections and establishes a dangerous historical precedent,” the attorneys general wrote. The 14-page letter lays out a legal argument against impeachment and is essentially a “friend of the court” brief filed when a person or entity is not part of a case but asks to weigh in with additional information or insight. In addition to Carr, Republican attorneys general from the following states signed the letter: South Carolina, Louisiana, Utah, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia. It accuses House Democrats of impeaching Trump for partisan reasons and says the rationale behind the two charges the president faces is weak and contrary to the vision of the Founding Fathers. Read the entire letter on the Republican Attorneys General Association website.
  • Dunwoody-based Krystal, one of the nation’s oldest fast-food chains, had big plans to grow its business of tiny square burgers. It didn’t work out: The chain filed for federal bankruptcy court protection in Atlanta over the weekend, with a hearing slated for Wednesday. As it attempts to right its financial troubles, Krystal said in an emailed statement that it “will remain open and operating as usual.” It said it “plans to pursue an orderly sale of its business and assets as a going concern.” The chain has shuttered dozens of restaurants in recent months and now has just shy of 300 corporate and franchise locations, primarily in the Southeast. In its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, the company asks to be released from lease obligations for as many as 78 restaurant sites, some where it had already shut down operations, such as one in the Buford area, and others that remain open, including certain locations in Cartersville, Brunswick and Dawsonville. “We look forward to emerging from this process as quickly and efficiently as possible with the support of our valued customers, team members, franchisees and suppliers,” Krystal president Tim Ward wrote in a release. Founded in 1932, the chain touts itself as the nation’s second oldest fast-food brand. In recent years, it moved its headquarters from Chattanooga to Dunwoody, where it has about 50 employees. In 2018, Krystal unveiled a revitalization effort to boost sales and profits that had been declining for years. Armed with fresh funding and a newly hired chief executive, Krystal rebuilt nine restaurants and launched a new marketing pitch — “Live a little” — that highlighted its thin-burgers. It sought new franchisees and offered a limited-time, $5.99 All-You-Can-Eat Krystals and fries option. “Fundamentally, in this business, if you’re not growing, you’re dying,” then-CEO Paul Macaluso told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2018. The company was profitable, he said, but without a planned reinvestment, “it’s scary. … Is it really going to be here five or 10 years from now?” Krystal offers inexpensive food at a time when many fast-food consumers are demanding better ingredients, improved taste and more premium offerings. Though the company boasted about sales gains less than a year into the remake, it still had financial issues. It failed to comply with stipulations tied to borrowed money, even as it needed to borrow more, according to court filings. Last fall, Macaluso left. The company brought in its fifth chief executive officer since locally based Argonne Capital Group bought the company eight years ago. Leaders continued to cut costs, eliminating jobs, shedding senior executives and shuttering more restaurants, according to the company’s court filings. Krystal filed for bankruptcy protection the day that one of its agreements with lenders expired. In the midst of its financial troubles, the chain also said it was hit by “a security incident” involving a payment processing system used at some of its restaurants. The issue may have involved payment cards used at certain Krystal restaurants between July and the end of September last year, according to court filings. The investigation is continuing, and the company said it is trying to determine which restaurants and dates were involved in the attack. Krystal chief restructuring officer Jonathan Tibus said the restaurant industry has faced “headwinds due to a combination of shifting consumer tastes and preferences, growth in labor and commodity costs, increased competition and unfavorable lease terms. The proliferation of fast casual restaurants, as well as online delivery platforms, has created new competition for traditional quick-service chains. Moreover, quick-service restaurants have faced increasing difficulty finding and retaining qualified employees in the current labor market.” Krystal employs nearly 5,000 employees, mostly part-time workers. It listed assets in a range of $10 million to $50 million, and liabilities in a range of just more than $50 million to $100 million. Among its biggest creditors listed in court documents are Radiant Systems in Atlanta and Flowers Baking in Thomasville, Ga., which makes buns for the chain. The company has a hotline for information about its restructuring efforts, 888-249-2792, and additional information is available at http://www.kccllc.net/krystal.
  • DeKalb County residents still have several opportunities this month to get familiar with the state’s new voting machines. The county is hosting a number of events to let the public try out the machines, which state officials are pushing to have in place for March’s presidential preference primary (which, in DeKalb, also includes a special election for sheriff). The new machines involve a combination of touchscreens, printed ballots and scanners.  MORE DEKALB COVERAGE: Elections board agrees to cooperate with long-sought review Upcoming voting machine demonstrations are listed below, as provided by the DeKalb elections office.  Jan. 22: 6 to 8 p.m. at Shy Temple, 2030 Wesley Chapel Road, Decatur Jan. 25: 9 to 11 a.m. at Stephenson High School, 922 Stephenson Road, Decatur Jan. 28: 9 a.m. to noon at DeKalb County Board of Commissioners meeting, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur Jan. 29: Noon to 2 p.m. at Lou Walker Senior Center, 2538 Panola Road, Stonecrest Jan. 30: 1 to 3 p.m. at Flat Shoals Library, 4022 Flat Shoals Road, Decatur

News

  • A pilot was killed Saturday morning when a small plane crashed into the side of a north Florida home, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. The family inside the home managed to escape the home without injury, the Sheriff’s Office said. A picture a viewer sent to Action News Jax shows the moment when a plane crashed into the front yard of the Lake City home.In the picture, a man in an orange shirt can be seen running across the yard to try to help the pilot, but he had to retreat because the flames were too extensive. Neighbors watched as a ball of fire flared up in their neighbor’s yard. Kristy Amato said she hears many small planes and often worries about them. “I was sitting on my couch watching a movie with my daughter, and I heard a plane take off like all of the planes take off,' Amato told Action News Jax. “Then I heard a backfire, then a loud kaboom, so I ran out front and there was a plane in my neighbor’s yard on fire.” Columbia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Murray Smith told Action News Jax that after crews put the fire out, the pilot’s body was found underneath debris. “Shortly before 10, we received about 59 911 calls,” Smith told the television station. Smith said he believes the plane was a single-engine aircraft. The National Transportation Safety Board is now working to find out where the Piper PA-32 was going and the name of the pilot who died. Officials believe he was the only person on the plane. “There is an airport nearby, but so many neighbors have come over and gave so many stories, so we’re just going to wait for NTSB to get all of the facts straight,” said Smith. The Federal Aviation Administration and the NTSB are investigating what caused the plane to crash, but the investigation likely won’t be complete for months.
  • Three people — including two teens — are in custody and police are looking for a fourth after an armed robbery at a Sandy Springs jewelry store.  Antonio Collier, 40, Antwan DeKarlos Robinson, 17, and a 16-year-old juvenile were arrested after the incident, which happened about 4:20 p.m. Saturday at a business on Abernathy Road near Roswell Road, officials said.  Witnesses to the robbery and the store owner were able to subdue two of the suspects until police arrived, Channel 2 Action News reported.  Three men walked into the business and tried to steal items from the display case, Sandy Springs police spokesman Sgt. Sam Worsham said.  “They had hammers and were breaking everything and grabbed Rolexes,” a witness told Channel 2.  The owner, who was returning from lunch, saw the robbery in progress, the news station reported. He told Channel 2 he hit the robbers over the head and in the face with a bag full of glass pickle jars.  Two bystanders then tackled one of the suspects, Worsham said.  Two other suspects drove off in a car, he said. The incident turned into a police chase that ended in a crash on Glenridge Road.  One of the suspects was arrested at the scene, and the fourth suspect ran away into a wooded area, Worsham said.  Collier, Robinson, and the juvenile are all charged with armed robbery, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, felony criminal damage to property, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, obstruction and two counts of battery.  Read the full story from Channel 2 Action News here.
  • Tamra Judge is leaving “The Real Housewives of Orange County” after 12 seasons, the star of the Bravo series said in an Instagram post Saturday. “It’s been a wild 12 years. But it’s time for me to move on,” Judge wrote on Instagram. “I’m sad to go but I’m very excited about my future.” Judge is currently the longest-running full-time cast member in “Housewives” history, People reported. She joined the show during its third season in 2007, according to the magazine. Judge’s announcement comes a day after fellow co-star Vicki Gunvalson also announced she was leaving the reality television show, E! Online reported. Judge said she was looking forward to life after the series. “It’s been a wild ride, and after all these years, I’m looking forward to life away from the cameras,” Judge told People. “I was offered a chance to come back to the show in a limited role, but would prefer to walk away on my own terms.” Judge has been part of the show’s most memorable moments, including the show’s first wine toss, People reported. She also starred in a three-episode spinoff of the series, “Tamra’s OC Wedding,” which documented her June 2013 wedding to Eddie Judge. “I want to thank all the fans who have offered me their support over the years,” she told People. “It’s meant a lot.”
  • Margaret Mackie is not a household name in the music industry, but she’s getting there in a hurry. The 83-year-old dementia patient from Scotland has gone viral on YouTube with her heart-melting duet of “My Way” with her caregiver, Jamie Lee Morley. The pair recorded a single of the song, with proceeds going to Dementia UK and the Alzheimer’s Society. People with elderly parents will have a tough time avoiding the tissues after watching the sweet, sentimental ballad made famous by Frank Sinatra. But Mackie is not ready to face the final curtain just yet. She’s content to keep singing. Morley, a musician who works as a food server at the Northcare Suites Care Home in Edinburgh since it opened last fall, told The Washington Post he was walking past a lounge at the center when he heard a lovely voice singing Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Morley told the newspaper he thought someone had left the radio on, but then he saw Mackie singing the song in perfect pitch. “I was stunned,” Morley, 31, told the Post. “I’ve loved singing and music since I was a little lad, and I could just tell that Margaret did, too. Her voice is amazing.” Morley and Mackie sang “My Way” at the care home’s Christmas party in December, CBS News reported. A video of the duet was posted to YouTube and quickly went viral. “Every day in work we sing this song together and I do whatever I can to brighten her day and all the other residents,” Morley wrote on YouTube. 'For those close to me will know this was my Grandad’s funeral song who our family sadly lost to Alzheimer’s last year. I’ve never really sang this song, as it’s a classic, but I knew how much Margaret and her family would love it.” Mackie’s family attended the Christmas party and enjoyed the duet, CBS News reported. They are even more delighted with the response to the video. “It has brought her back to life. The dementia was taking a hold of her and she was getting sad with it, but this has given her a new lease of life,” Mackie’s daughter, Mairi Hunter, told the BBC. “It’s quite remarkable how she can remember the lyrics. It just seems to come back to her. “She wants everyone to be happy. People cry when they hear the song and she’ll say ‘No don’t cry, I want you to be happy.’” Meanwhile, the recording of “My Way” is No. 6 on the United Kingdom’s Amazon download chart and at one point reached No. 27 on iTunes’ Top 40 in the U.K., the Post reported. That’s ahead of Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran, the newspaper reported. Morley filmed his excursion with Mackie to the recording studio and released the single and a music video to go with it Dec,. 28, CBS News reported. The music video has had nearly 200,000 views since its release. Mackie, a former whiskey distillery worker, rarely remembers one day from the next, the Post reported. She came to Northcare Suites in October from another care center, Jordan Simpson, manager of Northcare Suites, told the newspaper. While Mackie might be forgetful, she never forgets the lyrics to her favorite songs, Simpson said. “Singing is something that makes Margaret happy. She has a great singing voice,” Simpson told the Post. “And although she has dementia, she has a great memory for song lyrics. She and Jamie sing together most of the day.” Mackie said she wouldn’t mind recording another song, and joked about recording an entire album, the BBC reported. “It’s great seeing your face in all those newspapers,” Mackie told the BBC. “It’s nice to have a busy life like that, every now and then.” The single can be purchased on iTunes here.
  • A FedEx driver in upper Michigan went beyond the call of duty while delivering a package Thursday morning. The delivery man was dropping off a package for Jodi LaFreniere in Manistique around 11:42 a.m., WLUC reported. Instead of just leaving the package on the snowy stoop, the delivery man grabbed a shovel and cleared off the area, the television station reported. “Shout out to this guy! He shoveled my stoop while I was gone,” LaFreniere wrote on Facebook. LaFreniere, who is a kindergarten teacher, told WLUC she received an alert on her phone from her doorbell camera. When she checked the video, she saw the delivery man shoveling off her porch. “I was wondering who was at my house since my fiance was away in Alaska, teaching,” LaFreniere told CNN. LaFreniere hadn’t spoken to the delivery driver -- Melvin J. Marlett, who has worked for FedEx for 23 years -- but said her fiance, Rodney Riesland, has spoken with him since he is usually home when deliveries are made, CNN reported. “There are good people out there who do selfless acts,” LaFreniere told WLUC. LaFreniere decided to post the video to Facebook as a way of saying thanks. “FedEx is proud of the many contributions our team members make to the communities we serve every day,” FedEx spokeswoman Heather Wilson told CNN. “We commend our courier, Mel Marlett, who went above and beyond to help shovel snow for our customer while making a delivery.” Marlett told CNN he thought shoveling the snow was the right thing to do. “I would hope it’s something that anybody would have done,” Marlett told the cable network. “If you take care of your customers, they take care of you.”
  • Sophie Yazzie, the longest-living veteran in Arizona and a member of the Navajo Nation, died Saturday. She was 105. Yazzie died at her Tucson home, according to Facebook posts by Women Warriors and the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services. Yazzie, who was born in Canyon de Chelly in 1914, enlisted in the Army when he was 28 and served during World War II, KPNX reported. She was a Women’s Army Corps Technician Grade 4 and was honorably discharged after the war, according to Navajo Times. Yazzie graduated from Wingate Boarding School in 1934, the website reported. She returned to her alma mater after the war and worked there until she retired at 70, KPNX reported. Wanda Wright, the director of the Arizona Department of Veterans Services, released a message of condolences, KNXV reported. “I am blessed to have met Sophie and hear about her service to our country. Last summer we were honored to be able to present Sophie with Governor Ducey’s Arizona Women Veteran’s Week proclamation,' Wright said. 'We send our deepest condolences to her family and friends, and will always remember her legacy.” Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey tweeted a tribute to Yazzie on Saturday afternoon. She had four children, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.