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    Police are investigating a shooting that left one person dead and two hurt in a South Fulton County apartment complex.  Channel 2’s Kristen Holloway is at the scene, where she talked to neighbors who say they heard about 12 gunshots.  The shooting happened at the Avery Park Apartments in the 2600 block of Charlestown Drive in College Park Monday. We’re at the scene talking to police about the shooting and the victims, for LIVE reports on Channel 2 Action News This Morning. BREAKING: Just got the scene of shooting at an apartment complex in College Park. Stay with @wsbtv for updates. pic.twitter.com/HE0HjejFRP — Kristen Holloway (@KHollowayWSB) June 24, 2019  
  • Past versions of Freaknik made a mess of some important moments in Shaikia Burch’s young life. Like the day she was born. Her father told her how he had to abandon his car in gridlocked highway traffic and walk to Crawford Long Hospital to witness her birth. Then there was her 15th birthday party. Almost none of her friends made it through the traffic jams and parental worries to the roller skating rink. “It was horrible,” Burch, now 24, remembered. Yet she was on the lawn at Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood on Saturday afternoon happy to experience what was designed to be a far tamer variant of Atlanta’s most celebrated and criticized urban street party. “This is supposed to be my Freaknik resolution,” she said, looking around the crowd. “People used to be getting nasty. Now everybody looks like they’ve got some sense.” Her friend, 30-year-old Shay Davis, noted that some of the music was similar. But everyone in the crowd seemed to manage to keep their clothes on, a marked distinction from what she heard about and saw from the windows of her Atlanta home as a child. FreakNik Atlanta ’19 - The Festival, with its updated changes including a capitalized “N” in the name, centered on a concert lineup, including some old school music among the hip-hop artists. Organizers said as of Saturday afternoon about 15,000 tickets had been sold for the event. The venue’s capacity is nearly 20,000. It seemed far different from what had begun in the 1980s as a gathering of Atlanta University Center students and grew into an uncontrolled party in the 1990s that drew mostly young African Americans to Atlanta from all over the nation. Eventually, growing complaints about massive traffic jams, public nudity and crime led city leaders to squeeze out the spring urban party. RELATED:  AJC gallery looking back at Freaknik through the years “The old Freaknik, anything goes,” said Charles James, a gray-haired 48-year-old Atlantan who paid $100 for festival tickets for himself and his wife. “It was a movement then. This is a concert now.” He wouldn’t mind seeing some of the old party atmosphere reborn, he said. But he recalled how his 30-year-old daughter asked what it was like. “I said, ‘Baby, you don’t want to know.’” Marsha Thomas of Douglasville seemed just fine dancing to the music of the more mellow and mini version of FreakNik on Saturday. “At my age,” the 46-year-old said. “I’m not looking for what it used to be.” RELATED: Return of FreakNik makes fest a trending topic on Twitter Jgenisius Harris, a 27-year-old firmware engineer from Atlanta, showed up at the event wearing her uncle’s 1995 Freaknik T-shirt. She came for the music but had versed herself in Freaknik’s history. She had heard about the gathering’s ability to bring people together. She also had heard stories about sexual exploitation. “I feel good and bad emotions,” she said. She wished she could experience some of the past revelry, but the concert festival was good, too. “I’m OK with this because at least we know we are safe.”
  • It’s been less than 24 hours, and a truck has already tested the new warning system Cobb County installed to alert drivers that their too-tall vehicles will not fit through the Concord Road covered bridge.  A truck took out at least one of the PVC pipes suspended from mast arms installed Thursday. County spokesman Ross Cavitt said a truck traveling on the Smyrna side of the bridge north of Nickajack Creek hit one of the pipes “at a high rate of speed.” “But the good news is the truck did turn around and not venture down to the bridge,” Cavitt said.  A Facebook user, Kellie Meckes shared a photo with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of one of the missing pipes installed on the mast arm just before the bridge over the East-West Connector. The mast arms and pipes installed on both ends of the bridge join the existing protective metal beams that sit much closer to the structure and have prevented almost two dozen collisions since they were installed in late 2017. Cavitt said the Cobb Department of Transportation is exploring a way to make sure the pipes don’t spin over the mast arm when they are hit. Any pipes that are damaged or knocked off will be replaced with others the county has in stock, he added. RELATED | Cobb’s covered bridge has new tool to protect it from stubborn drivers The new pipes are suspended at a seven-foot clearance, which is the same maximum height for the one-lane bridge spanning the creek. After drivers see existing bridge height warning signs, vehicles that are too large to pass under the bridge will smack the pipes and follow signs directing them to turn around to avoid crashing into the protective metal beams. GALLERY | The new warning devices County commissioners in April approved a contract with Detection Engineering Technology, Inc. to install the mast arms and pipes at a cost not to exceed $19,540. Cavitt said the work will be paid for by sales tax dollars set aside in the county’s budget for Concord Road improvements.  The covered bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a centerpiece of Cobb’s Concord Covered Bridge Historic District, which features homes and mills dating to the 1800s. READ | Explore the history and beauty of Georgia's covered bridges While it has a long and treasured history, the covered bridge is best known for repeated accidents as inattentive drivers keep trying to fit tall vehicles under its low rafters. It has been the victim of 22 close calls since December 2017 when the county installed the protective metal beams at both ends of the bridge as part of an $800,000 taxpayer-funded rehabilitation. The beams are designed to absorb the blow, protecting the historic wooden bridge. Like Cobb County News Now on Facebook | Follow on Twitter
  • Dunwoody police are looking for three men who broke into a drug store in the Dunwoody Village area Thursday. The burglary at Carlton's Concord Pharmacy comes about a week after three men crashed a truck into a CVS across the street and tried to steal an ATM. During the incident Thursday, the three men broke the front door window with a rubber hammer before pushing it in about 4:15 a.m., according to surveillance video.  They entered Carlton’s and took “a few items” before running away, Dunwoody police said in a statement. Officers patrolling the area heard the business’ alarm sound before the police department received a 911 call, spokesman Sgt. Robert Parsons said. The burglars ran away just before officers arrived, Parsons said. They were seen on the surveillance video wearing blue hoodies, gloves and coverings over their faces. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Detective Robert Barrett at 678-382-6934 or robert.barrett@dunwoodyga.gov. About one week ago, surveillance video from the CVS on Mt. Vernon Road — essentially across the street from Carlton’s — showed three men back a pickup truck through the front entryway and attempt to steal an ATM. They ultimately fled before officers arrived and did not get away with the ATM. Parsons said investigators do not know whether those same men also targeted Carlton’s, “but it’s certainly possible.” » WATCH: After crashing into CVS, 3 men try (and fail) to steal ATM Follow DeKalb County News on Facebook and Twitter 
  • If you’re not able to make it to the beach for a vacation this summer, worry no longer. On Friday, June 21 from 5-11 p.m., Decatur Square will transform into a beach for the annual “Decatur Beach Party” to celebrate the first day of summer. Admission is free this year. About 80 tons of sand will be dumped on part of Ponce de Leon Avenue in downtown Decatur, according to the Decatur Business Association, which is putting on the celebration. MORE DEKALB NEWS: » DeKalb’s Latino population declines while Asian numbers rise » Health inspector docks DeKalb McDonald’s for ‘pink slime’ on soda machine There will be a DJ, live music, food trucks, frozen treats, local craft beer and more, the DBA said. Kids can play in a boardwalk area, on a rock climbing wall, in a dunk tank and in a bounce house. Admission to those larger activities costs $5 each or $15 for unlimited use. “Come for the beach, stay for the party!” organizers wrote. Proceeds from the event benefit the DBA. Follow DeKalb County News on Facebook and Twitter  In other news:
  • A bear was hit by a car in Norcross on Friday morning, police said. The bear was crossing Peachtree Industrial Boulevard near the intersection with Holcomb Bridge Road when it was struck by the car. The bear didn’t appear to be injured and ran into the woods as an officer arrived, Norcross police said in an e-mail alert to residents. READ | Driver charged in Gwinnett crash that killed 2 kids had DUI conviction The department urged residents to monitor pets in light of the bear sighting. People should not approach a bear or attempt to capture it if they see one, the department said. Police and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources cannot remove bears or take any other action against them, as they are in their natural habitat. Bears are generally more active in the summer due to warm weather and cubs growing and becoming more independent.  Like Gwinnett County News on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter and InstagramStay up to the minute with breaking news on Channel 2 Action News This Morning
  • The latest U.S. Census Bureau data indicates Fulton County’s population has topped 1 million, and is becoming more diverse.   According to the data, the number of county residents has grown by 13% between 2010 and 2018: from 925,651  to 1.05 million. Its fastest growing populations were the black and Asian communities.  According to the census data, the Asian population grew by 47% between 2010 and 2018. In 2010, the Asian population was 53,392, and it grew to 78,463. As a percentage of the county’s total population, in 2018 Asians accounted for 7.5% of Fulton’s residents.  RELATED| U.S. Census: Atlanta’s population could reach a half-million by 2020 ALSO| Census: Which cities in Fulton are growing the fastest? READ | Georgia’s small towns continue to shrink, new census estimates show MORE| We full yet? New census numbers say metro Atlanta is still growing Fulton also saw an increase in its black population by 13% during the same time frame. In 2010, there were 404,877 black residents. The population has since swelled to 457,994, making up almost 44% of the county’s total population. The county’s white population increased by 10% from 2010 to 2018. In last year’s count the Census found 432,008 white residents.  Fulton County’s white population as a percentage of the county’s total population has changed little over the past decade. Whites fell from 42% of all county residents in 2010 to 41% in 2018. The Latino population increased by 5% to reach 76,333 in 2018.  Latinos of all races now make up 7% of Fulton County’s total population.  Hispanic and Latino population counts can overlap with other demographic groups because they are considered ethnic identifiers, not a race; you can mark on Census forms that you are a race like white or black and also denote that you are Hispanic or Latino. The Native American population saw a decrease in population size. In 2010, the county had 1,646 residents that were Native American; now there are 1,403.  — Newsroom Data Specialist Jennifer Peebles contributed to this report. Like Intown Atlanta News Now on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter In other  news:
  • A man suspected of committing a string of home invasions in south Fulton County turned himself into authorities early Friday morning. Jacquez Antonio Walker, 22, is now being held in the East Point jail and will be charged with a number of burglaries related to recent home invasions in the city’s Heritage Park subdivision, Deputy Chief Russell Popham said. Walker turned himself in around 3 a.m., Popham said. “We’d been looking for him,” the deputy chief said. “He’s now in custody.” Walker was identified as a suspect in the break-ins a few days ago when East Point police released his photo. Residents of the subdivision had described the suspect as “creepy” because he would enter the homes and just stand there. Police have said that in all but one of the break-ins, nothing was stolen. Tiffany Wiseman’s home in the Heritage Park neighborhood was hit twice in one week, she said in an interview with Channel 2 Action News. “When I screamed he didn’t move, and he just needs to be caught,” Wiseman said. Wiseman said the incident was unnerving. Afterward, she barricaded herself inside her home and armed herself, she told the news station. Two days later, the man was back again, she said.
  • As Atlantans, we all have a bit of a sweet spot for vintage Coca-Cola merchandise. Who doesn’t love those classic metal signs, clocks and bottles? Now’s your chance to own some of it, thanks to an estate sale running this weekend in Atlanta. The assortment accrued by Thomas Eskew is considered one of the largest Coca-Cola collections in the Southeast, and possible the nation. People camped overnight outside of 843 Springdale Road in Druid Hills to be the first in the door at the sale, Channel 2 Action News reported. Eskew amassed the collection during his time as an executive for an aluminum company. The home now has Coca-Cola signs, dispensers, clocks, thermometers, bottles and trinkets, gas pumps and globes, according to a press release about the estate sale. Some of the rarer items include two Coca-Cola bakelite radios from the 1930s and a Coca-Cola metal tire holder from the 50s. “This is probably the most intense, largest sale we have done,” Pam Bulman with Estate Sales over Georgia told Channel 2. “We have been mobbed.” Prospective buyers can also check out the Empire and Victorian furniture from the 1800s, antique chandeliers, early 1900s glass, antique mantle clocks and many more antique treasures. Oh, and don’t forget about the four caskets going for $500 a piece. Thursday was the first day of the sale, which runs through Sunday. You don’t have to sign up before going. Follow DeKalb County News on Facebook and Twitter  In other news:
  • Have you gotten your driver’s license renewed lately? If so, you’ve likely noticed some changes. The Georgia Department of Driver Services is rolling out the new licenses in parts of the state including its location in Canton which was part of the pilot project. “It’s a polycarbonate card and it’s one of the most secure cards we’ve ever had here in Georgia,” says Shevanda Leslie, director of Governmental Affairs and Communications. The new card is green with a larger peach, has laser-printed engraving which can be felt by running your finger across it, and includes a hologram in the lower right corner. The license holder’s picture has also changed. “The picture is now black and white instead of color. It’s just a more secure feature and it’s harder for criminals to try and duplicate,” she tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish. When drivers go in to get their license for the first time or get it renewed, they will now receive a full sheet of paper containing their information and picture. Their new license will then be sent in the mail. Terry Holzclaw, of Canton, didn’t know about the new license until he went to get his renewed. But he likes the copy of a new one he was shown. “It looks more difficult (to duplicate)—so many different features to it that are not on the other one,” he says.  Leslie says various DDS locations began rolling out the new license last month and all should have them by next month. But there’s no need to run out and get a new one just yet. “What they have in their wallet right now is sufficient. Your license is good until it expires,” she says.

News

  • Romance author Judith Krantz, best known for writing 'Scruples' and nine other best-selling novels, has died at age 91, multiple news outlets reported Sunday. >> Read more trending news According to The Associated Press, Krantz died of natural causes Saturday afternoon at her home in Los Angeles' Bel-Air neighborhood, said one of her sons, producer Tony Krantz. Before she published the racy 'Scruples' at age 50 in 1978, Krantz wrote for women's magazines such as Cosmopolitan, McCall's and Ladies' Home Journal. She eventually wrote 10 novels that sold more than 80 million copies around the world, CNN reported. She also published a memoir, 'Sex and Shopping: The Confessions of a Nice Jewish Girl,' in 2001. Several of Krantz's books, including 'Scruples,' 'Princess Daisy' and 'Mistral's Daughter,' were adapted into television miniseries in the '80s and '90s. A remake of the 'Scruples' miniseries was 'still in the works' when she died, Tony Krantz told the AP. Krantz was preceded in death by her husband, producer Steve Krantz. She is survived by their two sons and two grandchildren, the AP reported. Fellow authors took to Twitter after learning of Krantz's death, calling her a 'legend.' Read more here. – The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Police are investigating a shooting that left one person dead and two hurt in a South Fulton County apartment complex.  Channel 2’s Kristen Holloway is at the scene, where she talked to neighbors who say they heard about 12 gunshots.  The shooting happened at the Avery Park Apartments in the 2600 block of Charlestown Drive in College Park Monday. We’re at the scene talking to police about the shooting and the victims, for LIVE reports on Channel 2 Action News This Morning. BREAKING: Just got the scene of shooting at an apartment complex in College Park. Stay with @wsbtv for updates. pic.twitter.com/HE0HjejFRP — Kristen Holloway (@KHollowayWSB) June 24, 2019  
  • The search for a missing New York girl came to a sad end late Sunday when authorities found her body in Ontario's Casey Park. >> Read more trending news According to New York State Police, Zyvette Marquez-Rivera, 3, was found dead 'in a small body of water' about 11:43 p.m., nearly five hours after she was reported missing. Emergency crews, including an underwater rescue unit, responded to the park to look for the girl. The Monroe County Medical Examiners' Office will perform an autopsy on the child to determine her cause of death, authorities said. The investigation is ongoing.  If you have information about the case, call New York State Police at 585-398-4100. Read more here.
  • A New York man died unexpectedly while visiting the Dominican Republic last week, becoming the latest of at least 11 Americans who have died in the popular tourist destination since June 2018. According to Fox News, 56-year-old Vittorio Caruso, a recently retired pizzeria owner from Glen Cove, Long Island, died June 17 after he fell sick at Santo Domingo's Boca Chica Resort.  >> Read more trending news 'We found out he was brought by ambulance to the hospital in respiratory distress after drinking something,' Lisa Maria Caruso said of her brother-in-law, who had gone to the island nation alone. She said family members learned of Caruso's death via phone just minutes after officials had called to say he was sick, News 12 Long Island reported. However, Dominican Republic National Police told CNN that Caruso had begun 'receiving medical attention' six days earlier, on June 11. Caruso 'was not a sick person' and had been in good health, Lisa Maria Caruso told Fox News. A doctor said Caruso's cause of death was respiratory failure, but officials are still awaiting autopsy results, CNN reported.  Caruso's case appears to be similar to the other American deaths reported recently in the island nation. Most of the travelers died from respiratory failure, pulmonary edema and/or a heart attack, officials said. Some had taken drinks from a hotel minibar before falling ill, family members told multiple news outlets. According to CBS News, the Federal Bureau of Investigation 'is assisting Dominican authorities' as they look into the deaths. So far, investigators reportedly have not found any evidence that the incidents are connected.  'There are no mysterious deaths here,' Dominican Republic Tourism Minister Javier Garcia told Fox News. ''Mysterious' implies that things happened that science cannot explain.' Although the U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory in April urging American tourists to 'exercise increased caution in the Dominican Republic due to crime,' officials have not revised the notice to include any health warnings. In fact, the department said last week that it has 'not seen an uptick in the number of U.S. citizen deaths' in the popular vacation destination, ABC News reported. 'The overwhelming majority travel without incident,' a department spokesperson said of the 2.7 million Americans who go there each year.
  • Cardi B, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Childish Gambino and the late Nipsey Hussle won top honors at the 2019 BET Awards, held Sunday night at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. >> Read more trending news Here's the complete list of winners:  Album of the year: Cardi B, 'Invasion of Privacy' Best new artist: Lil Baby Best female hip-hop artist: Cardi B Best male hip-hop artist: Nipsey Hussle Coca-Cola viewers choice award: Ella Mai, 'Trip' Best collaboration: Travis Scott feat. Drake, 'Sicko Mode' Best international act: Burna Boy (Nigeria) Viewers' choice: Best new international act: ShoMadjozi (South Africa) Best female R&B/pop artist: Beyoncé Best male R&B/pop artist: Bruno Mars Young stars award: Marsai Martin Best group: Migos Video of the year: Childish Gambino, 'This Is America' Video director of the year: Karena Evans Best actress: Regina King Best actor: Michael B. Jordan Dr. Bobby Jones best gospel/inspirational award: Snoop Dogg feat. Rance Allen, 'Blessing Me Again' Sportsman of the year: Stephen Curry Sportswoman of the year: Serena Williams BET HER award: H.E.R., 'Hard Place' Best movie: 'BlacKkKlansman' Lifetime achievement award: Mary J. Blige Ultimate icon award: Tyler Perry Humanitarian award: Nipsey Hussle
  • Plans to develop thousands of acres of Ohio farmland to take advantage of the sun’s energy — but not for growing food — have divided area rural communities. >> Read more trending news  Solar energy development companies are seeking approval from the Ohio Power Siting Board for construction of large solar farms in the state’s rural areas. Some land owners have agreed to long-term leases with solar companies, while their neighbors who oppose the massive electric-generating facilities are hoping to stop the projects from going forward. The recent increase in solar arrays in Ohio is partially because solar power technology has improved to make it more competitive with other energy sources, according to Doug Herling, director of business development at Open Road Renewables. >> Related: Greene landowners concerned over potential solar farm “Until recently, solar did not make sense in Ohio,” Herling said. “The technology is vastly more efficient and can now compete with wind and coal. It comes down to the economy of producing power. We can’t build one of these if it’s not competitive on the power market.” Open Road Renewables has applied to install two solar arrays in Preble County. A grassroots effort is underway to try to block the projects. Among residents opposing the projects is Rachel Vonderhaar, who farms thousands of acres as a family business. Vonderhaar questions the transparency of the process, saying few people took notice of the flyer that came in the mail two weeks prior to the first public meeting. “When it comes to transparency, there’s a real problem with how the system operates,” Vonderhaar said. “Two weeks before a meeting is not enough notice for someone to figure out what their rights are, let alone to participate, to prevent an application from being submitted.” >>Trending: Cops pose as utility workers to catch distracted drivers Daniel Sawmiller, Ohio’s energy policy director for the Natural Resource Defense Council, said solar is becoming more prevalent in Ohio as coal plants are shutting down. Sawmiller, who was formerly with the Sierra Club, said he worked on the settlement with American Electric Power, which resulted in a commitment by AEP to add 900 megawatts of renewable energy sources, including 400 megawatts from solar power. Projects in Highland and Brown counties, where the local economy has been hit hard by the decline in the coal industry, are a direct result of that settlement, Sawmiller said. Sawmiller said adding solar and other renewable energy sources to the grid will ultimately result in “lower wholesale energy prices,” which leads to lower electric rates for consumers. Solar farms as big as a lake Six solar electric generation facilities have been approved in four Ohio counties, amounting to 12,573 acres, according to records on file with the Ohio Power Siting Board. By comparison, Grand Lake St. Marys is 13,500 acres across Mercer and Auglaize counties. Three proposed projects are pending approval by the OPSB, including two in Preble County that would occupy about 1,800 acres of farmland, according to records. >> Trending: 7 motorcycle riders killed in fiery crash identified; range in age from 42 to 62 The three pending applications were filed with the state in December 2018; among the approved projects, the first application was in March 2017 for approximately 1,200 acres in Vinton County, according to the records. Greene County property owners near Yellow Springs and Cedarville have also been approached about lease agreements for a solar farm there. Open Road Renewables is an Austin, Texas-based company that has applied for the two solar projects in Preble County, called Alamo and Angelina. Herling said the solar arrays proposed in Preble County would result in $1.7 million annual tax revenue, $9,000 per megawatt generated, that would benefit the county, school district and other taxing jurisdictions. ‘Animosities with neighbors’ Concerned Citizens of Preble County is a grassroots effort aimed at stopping the projects. The group of residents who live or own land near the proposed sites say they were not aware of the projects until late last year, despite representatives from Open Road Renewables beginning talks with local officials and land owners years earlier. The group has myriad concerns beyond what they said will be negative effects on the aesthetics of their farming community and their property values. Among the group is Joe DeLuca, former superintendent of Eaton schools. DeLuca said he’s always been an admirer of solar power, but it’s concerning when out-of-state companies looking to make a profit on large projects can go to the state level for approval and not worry about local opposition. >> Trending: Exonerated 5, formerly Central Park 5, bring crowd to their feet at BET Awards “The big picture for me: why would anyone want to take some of the best productive farm land in the state or anywhere and put solar panels on it to take it out of production?” DeLuca said. In Oregon, a commission for land conservation and development has implemented a temporary ban on installing solar arrays on prime farmland. Resident Marja Brandly’s home on Fairhaven College Corner Road is surrounded by hundreds of acres used for growing soy beans and corn. Brandly, who is the fifth generation to inherit the property, pointed to the horizon where one of the proposed solar arrays would be within sight. “It really has torn us apart and created animosities with neighbors, because we feel by their secrecy and not letting the rest of us know that they really set out to knife us in the back,” Brandly said. “If these same people had come to us two years ago, I would have had a lot more respect for their openness and forthrightness. Now, nobody trusts them. We don’t want them on our property … That’s how far down the relationship has descended.” Greene County next? The groundwork preparing for other potential solar farms is also happening in the state before any official applications are filed. The Dayton Daily News reported in May about farmers in Greene County who are being solicited for lease agreements by a law firm working on behalf of Australia-based Lendlease, which has plans to install solar arrays on more than a thousand acres around Yellow Springs and Cedarville. Greene County resident Mark Pinkerton said he is bothered by what he described as the sneaky way in which solar development companies are securing lease agreements. Pinkerton said he also questions the efficiencies espoused by solar array proponents after he invested in a project that wasn’t profitable in Colorado. “Certainly there needs to be some land use policies put in place. There needs to be public hearings ahead of time,” Pinkerton said. “I want people to use the land how they feel is appropriate, but those of us who have invested in the community want to protect our investment and property as well.” Cedarville resident Ryanne Rinaldi, an environmental biology and chemistry student at Grace College, said a neighbor’s field behind her family’s home is one of the areas where the solar array would be installed. She said her research has given her concerns for the toxins that are inside the solar panels, the impact to wildlife and the environment. “This will ultimately reduce our property value, and we won’t be able to either sell or enjoy the space that we live in anymore,” Rinaldi said. >> Trending: SEE: Hot air balloon crash-lands into crowd at Missouri festival Lendlease has not submitted a formal application with OPSB. Messages left with the company have not been returned. Approval, but no construction yet The OPSB technical staff has recommended approval of the Preble County projects, with conditions, according to Matt Schilling, spokesman for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Though the power siting board has approved six projects in the state, no construction has begun on any of them, Schilling said. An evidentiary hearing is scheduled July 26 for the projects in Preble County. The Preble solar projects could come up for the state board’s consideration before the end of the year, according to Schilling. State approval is required of energy projects that produce 50 or more megawatts. By comparison, the village of Yellow Springs’ solar array sits on a little more than 6 acres and is designed to produce 1 megawatt of power. Ohio House Bill 6 has passed the Ohio House of Representatives and could come up for a Senate vote this week. If the bill becomes law, electric rates for Ohio consumers would be raised to pay for subsidies on two nuclear power plants owned by FirstEnergy Solutions as well as two coal-fired plants owned by Ohio Valley Electric Corp. >> Trending: Former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak jumps into crowded Democratic primary The proposed legislation also seeks to remove existing renewable energy and energy efficiency standards established since 2008. Proponents of HB 6, including Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Alliance, say it’s needed to keep jobs from disappearing with the closure of two nuclear power plants within the next two years. Opponents, including Americans for Prosperity, say the bill is a bailout for the company operating the nuclear power plants, First Energy Solutions, which filed for bankruptcy protection last year.