Broken Clouds
H 51° L 44°
  • cloudy-day
    Current Conditions
    Broken Clouds. H 51° L 44°
  • rain-day
    Showers. H 51° L 44°
  • rain-day
    Showers. H 51° L 44°

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00


Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00


Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

National Govt & Politics
California governor brings personal touch, fresh focus

California governor brings personal touch, fresh focus

California governor brings personal touch, fresh focus
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Eric Risberg
California Governor Gavin Newsom holds his son, Dutch, while speaking during his inauguration Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

California governor brings personal touch, fresh focus

Gov. Gavin Newsom held his toddler son during his inaugural address, spent nearly two hours discussing his state budget with reporters and engaged in two Twitter spats with the president.

Newsom, 51, took office Monday and quickly dove into governing the nation's most populous state, but with a different focus and touch than his 80-year-old predecessor, fellow Democrat Jerry Brown.

Newsom, a father of four, placed expanding early education and paid leave at the center of a family-friendly platform he outlined in his inaugural address, which delivered a signature image when Newsom's 2-year-old son, Dutch, wandered on stage. Newsom didn't miss a beat, picking up his son and continuing to talk as he cradled him.

Three days later, when he announced his budget plan, Newsom seemed to enjoy his lengthy dialogue with the media and showed a deep grasp of the facts and figures.

"Wait 'til next year, you'll have to sit here for four hours," he told reporters. "I love this stuff."

Brown usually kept the media at arm's length. When his budget plans were announced, he would appear briefly but let his finance director delve into details.

Newsom "has a style that's much more interactive," said Kim Nalder, a professor of government at California State University-Sacramento. Newsom's on-stage moment with his son, she said, "sort of broke the mold for what we think the gravitas of the office requires."

Newsom, like Brown, so far isn't releasing a daily schedule of his whereabouts. On Friday, he made an unannounced trip to the Central Valley to discuss clean drinking water with residents. His budget proposes a new tax to help clean up contaminated water. 

After eight years as lieutenant governor, Newsom won the governorship in a landslide over Republican John Cox. In his inaugural address, he said he would work to gain the trust and support of rural Californians, millions of whom didn't vote for him.

Newsom's first public appearance after the inauguration was in Placer County, which he lost in November. He wore jeans and sneakers as he discussed wildfire safety and stressed his personal connection to the Sierra Nevada foothills county where his father had lived.

Brown was a harsh critic of Trump but picked his battles. Newsom overtly blasted the White House's "corruption and incompetence" in his inaugural address and in his first week hit back twice, on Twitter, at Trump's threats to withhold emergency money for fire victims and flood projects.

"The President of the United States is trying to take funds away from California communities devastated by natural disasters to pay for an immoral wall that America doesn't need or want," Newsom tweeted Friday.

Newsom showcased his policy chops when he discussed details of his budget plan, which pledges to pay down California's debts while investing in housing and education. Whether his projection for a gigantic $21.5 billion surplus comes to bear and allows him to do it will become clear in coming months.

While Brown often warned the Legislature was too quick to spend money or pass new laws, Newsom has eagerly engaged lawmakers.

"This budget, I think, reflects a lot of their priorities in advance in ways that, with respect, the previous administration's budget didn't," Newsom said.

Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting, the chair of the budget committee, said he appreciates Newsom's willingness to tackle big issues. But lawmakers still plan to give the budget a critical eye.

"We'll be dissecting every piece of that budget," he said. "The devil's all in the details and we'll figure out whether we agree with what he put in."

Newsom frequently stressed his respect for his predecessor and that he understands the need to guard against an economic downturn, but he hinted he'll make major changes to some of Brown's top priorities.

"I pledge more transparency, more accountability," Newsom said of the troubled high-speed rail project. "I'm going to be more honest about what is it, what it isn't."

He even said he'll engage on a third-rail of California politics: tax reform, a topic Brown wasn't eager to take on. Newsom has no immediate proposals, but said he hopes a 2020 ballot measure to restructure property taxes will be a jumping-off point for a wider conversation.

California relies heavily on income tax on the top earners and, through Proposition 13, limits what local governments can collect in property taxes.

"Gov. Brown had no interest in this even at the peak of his power and influence with all his history, so I'm not suggesting I'm going to walk in here and we're going to get new tax reform," Newsom said.

The biggest question going forward is whether he can deliver on his promises, said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a political scientist at the University of Southern California.

As she put it, "Gavin's on his honeymoon."

Read More


  • Pop star Miley Cyrus took to social media Wednesday night to deny rumors that she is pregnant. >> Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth married, reports say 'I am not 'egg-xpecting' but it's 'egg-celent' to hear everyone is 'so happy for us'... We're happy for us too! 'Egg-cited' for this next chapter in our lives... Now can everyone leave me alone and go back to staring at an egg?' Cyrus, 26, tweeted in response to a Daily Mail report that claimed she and husband Liam Hemsworth 'are expecting their first child together.' >> See the tweet here >> Egg photo tops Kylie Jenner post as most-liked Instagram snapshot The post featured an altered photo of the 'Malibu' singer with a smiling egg covering her belly – an apparent reference to an egg photo that went viral this week. >> Read more trending news  Cyrus married the 29-year-old Hemsworth last month.
  • Maine's giant spinning ice disk that quickly gained international fame seems to have met its end. The formation in the Presumpscot River in Greater Portland stopped rotating Wednesday, two days after a video of its mesmerizing movement was widely shared on social media. The roughly 100-yard (91-meter) wide disk is lodged against the river's edge, preventing it from moving. Meteorologist Ryan Breton tells the Portland Press Herald if the disk freezes into place, 'that might be the end of it.' The ice formation is believed to have formed naturally where there's a circular current that creates a whirlpool effect. Social media users compared it to an alien spacecraft and the moon, and ducks used it as a big raft.
  • A star athlete at a high school in Douglas County, Georgia, is being held in jail without bond after police arrested him on murder charges. >> Watch the news report here Police arrested Jalen Morgan, 17, on the Alexander High School campus last week because they said he was part of a conspiracy to commit murder in May of last year. Investigators said seven people were involved, and Morgan, along with his cousin LeAndrea Morgan, acted as the lookouts for the crime. “Two of these individuals had pre-existing issues with each other, and they showed up in an attempt to commit this act,” said Sgt. Jesse Hambrick, with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. WSB-TV’s Tyisha Fernandes learned that the intended target for the crime was not the person shot and killed. The documents say that during the robbery, one of the suspects fired a shot at the intended target – Kenneth McClary – but McClary shot back and killed the suspect. Now, all seven suspects are being held in jail without bond. >> Read more news stories  Police arrested the suspects just a few weeks after the slaying, and last week they arrested the Morgan cousins. They've wrapped the case. “These last two were the last two that they expect, and they’re ready to move forward from there,” Hambrick said. Each suspect is facing several charges, and one is accused of being a gang member. Investigators said he's part of the Bloods. They're saying he committed the crime with the intent to maintain and increase his status as a known gang member.
  • Crews are on site this morning to repair damage caused by a MARTA train derailment.  The derailed cars are still stuck on the tracks more than a day after the accident.  MARTA officials say two cars on an out-of-service train derailed around 9 p.m. Tuesday at the airport station, causing train service to stop on the red and gold lines. No passengers were on board and the rail operator was not hurt.  We're at the scene as crews prepare to bring in a giant crane to the scene and we'll have the impact for travelers, on Channel 2 Action News This Morning Passengers trying to get to the airport must get off at the College Park station, where a shuttle train and buses are taking people back and forth. The agency is investigating what caused the issue. TRENDING STORIES: Forsyth County man charged with plot to attack White House, FBI says High school football star arrested at school on murder charges Boy suspended for unintentionally using counterfeit money in lunch line
  • A Tennessee schoolteacher is accused of sex crimes involving a teen. >> Watch the news report here Jasmine Edmond, 24, was arrested Monday. She is charged with sexual battery by an authority figure. Edmond, who is a teacher at Power Center Academy High School in Memphis, began working at the school in August 2018, according to a letter sent to parents. She taught several different math classes. The alleged incident happened in November 2017, prior to Edmond’s employment with PCA High. She was employed by Shelby County Schools at the time, according to the letter, which was written by PCA High Principal Antonio Ryan. >> On Fox13Memphis.com: Man accused of attacking woman he forcibly held into prostitution, police say Ryan said the school completed a background check on Edmond, but it didn’t show anything about the alleged crime. Edmond is accused of engaging in sexual contact with someone between the ages of 13 and 17. At the time of the unlawful sexual contact, she 'had supervisory power over (the victim) by virtue of her occupational status and used the power to accomplish sexual contact,' according to the indictment. Edmond was released from jail on bond. WHBQ reached out to both Gestalt Community Schools – which operates PCA High – and Shelby County Schools for comment.  SCS confirmed Edmond was placed on administrative leave on March 27, 2018, to conduct an investigation into the allegations. She did not return to the district.  >> Read more news stories  Below is the statement given by SCS officials regarding her arrest: 'Following the reported allegations, the employee was placed on administrative leave on March 27 so that the District and law enforcement could conduct a thorough investigation. This is standard District procedure. The employee did not return to the school for the remainder of the year and is no longer employed by the District.' Gestalt Community Schools also responded with the following statement: 'We were shocked and disappointed when Jasmine Edmond was arrested. She was a new teacher at Power Center Academy, and we performed a thorough background check last summer, which showed no indication of such behavior. She is currently on administrative leave from Gestalt Community Schools pending further investigation. Although we have no knowledge at this time that her behavior impacted any of our scholars, we are doing our own internal due diligence. We will fully assist the Memphis Police Department with their investigation.' Read more here.
  • Phoenix police are looking for answers after a dead newborn baby was discovered at an Amazon fulfillment center Wednesday. According to KTVK, the body was found about 8:30 p.m. in a women's bathroom at the facility on West Lower Buckeye Road, authorities said. Officials said the baby was inside a garbage can, KNXV reported. >> Read more news stories  Amazon called the incident 'terribly sad and tragic' in a statement. 'We are working with local authorities to support their investigation,' the statement read, according to KTVK. 'The safety and wellness of our team is our top priority.' Read more here or here.