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    The adventure far from over for Cobb County Grand Princess Cruise Ship Passenger Howard, 78 years old, who's been in isolation in his cabin on the fifth floor for the past five days. He tells WSB Radio in an exclusive interview, 'The only contact we've had is opening the door to let food and other stuff in and out so we really have no way of knowing what other people on the ship have been dealing with.
  • Pete, who are you ? Where are you ? Peachtree City Police Spokesman Sgt. Chris Hyatt tells WSB radio there’s a $1,000 dollar reward being offered for information leading to the arrest of Graffiti Artist “Pete.”
  • “So what is this like for you Greg when you are boxing ? Tiring.”    Carrying my tape recorder, I get into the boxing ring with Greg Eggert, a Cobb County resident who has Parkinson’s Disease. He wears his shiny red boxing gloves as he pounds a black punching bag like a champ. At 72 years young Greg has great stamina despite a tremor in his right hand.    “My neurologist tells me exercise exercise whether you want too or not. Exercise since I retired has not been top of the list to do, but with a Parkinson’s diagnosis, if you’re going to do well and have a good life for the rest of the time you have left, and you see some results, exercise just becomes part of the day.”    Greg was diagnosed three years ago, and takes medication, but he and his team of doctors are finding exercise, specifically boxing classes at the YMCA in Kennesaw are helping to build strength in his muscles and keep his balance in check when he walks.    Greg tells WSB Radio “The Parkinson’s classes have done wonders for me, the boxing is good strength movement, it teaches you different numbers, and the different numbers go with certain punches, so the boxing instructor will say, give me a one, four, five, seven and you have to remember that and tie it to movement which helps your balance, and it’s a lot of fun too.” The verbal commands in conjunction with the physical activity appear to really help, “you have to put both together, and my biggest problem is balance, so this helps me work and concentrate.”   Abby Price, Wellness Director at the Northwest YMCA in Kennesaw watches Greg work out during our interview, “it’s a great feeling, I love to see the progress. It’s amazing, there is no better feeling when you get to see someone be successful that maybe had lost hope when they were first diagnosed, and then they come and find this whole community, people who are struggling just like they are, and they are able to be successful through the classes that we offer here at the Y.” Price says, “It’s very inspirational, if somebody like Greg, who is diagnosed with Parkinson’s is able to come and be committed to the classes they are taking, then it gives us the ability to let all our other members know who aren’t struggling with this disease, that they are able to succeed as well.”   Director of Program Management at Metro Atlanta YMCA, Jennifer Rewkowski tells WSB Radio the Y has a variety of activities Parkinson’s patients can do depending on the progression of the disease, “we started about five years ago with basic movement classes, stretching, strength work with dumbbells, small balls, bands, a little bit of cardio work, just things to get our participants up and moving.” From there a Parkinson’s cycling class was added, and then in just the past three months the Parkinson’s boxing program offered. Rewkowski says the feedback has been tremendous “it not only works on hand-eye coordination, and motor skills, but also the brain, remembering movement patterns and punching patterns. It’s a great workout and the repetitive motion appear to be key in preventing the disease from progressing.” The YMCA welcomes Parkinson’s patients who are newly diagnosed to people who are in wheelchairs. Rewkowski say patients in wheelchairs are able to participate in a Parkinson’s movement class designed to use the upper body.  Greg says “exercise, absolutely is part of my daily life and I have grown to enjoy it, it’s become fun.” Greg says the Instructors and other Parkinson’s patients in his classes are his support group, “there are people in the classes who have the same diagnosis, and we talk about it and discuss symptoms, it’s important for motivation, knowing there is support here at the Y, it’s good to know there are other folks out there just like yourself.”   The classes including Boxing are free with a YMCA Membership.
  • Almost 25 years ago I had testicular cancer, it's very emotional, I'm humbled by this experience,' Fayetteville Resident George Joseph who participated and volunteered Friday night for the 2019 'Relay for Life” tells WSB radio 'doing the Relay for Life is something I've been doing since I've been cancer free and I will continue as long as I am able too.
  • There is a plan to build a new military monument in Patriot Park on Redwine Road in Fayetteville, to honor the families of those who have served in all wars.  The woman behind this effort, Fayette County resident Fairy Wortham, a military wife and mother, tells WSB Radio, 'we're about faith, family, and freedom.” The black granite memorial will cost an estimated $45,000.  Worthham says 'we're erecting a monument to honor all families and children of our military heroes and we're taking it back from 1821 to present - that’s 198 years. The women and children of our military have never been honored.” Wortham is in the process of raising the money by selling bricks so local military families can have their names engraved on them. The bricks will surround the black granite “homefront families of military heroes monument.” You can buy a brick for $100 dollars or donate to the monument fund by clicking on non-profit organization www.homefrontfamilies.org. Wortham first presented her military monument concept to the Fayetteville city council back in February of 2018, and is currently working with local veterans groups, churches and politicians to raise the money.
  • “We’re absolutely excited for her!” Dan Roberts, owner of Mike & C’s Family Sports Grill in Peachtree City, tells WSB Radio. Roberts says he was thrilled to watch Kelly O’Hara play in France and beat the Netherlands 2-0 in the Women’s World Cup final Sunday.  “We have her jersey here, because she was a staple here at Mike & C’s for a long time – former Starr’s Mill graduate (Fayetteville native), just a great person in general…we’re super excited.”   O’Hara’s signed jersey is framed and hangs underneath a large American flag in the restaurant. Roberts tells WSB Radio, “we have it sitting down under our large American flag here in the restaurant, and that’s because she really is a patriot.”   
  • Atlanta is now the third city in America where Mercedes Benz will offer a pilot program for you to subscribe and drive off in a luxury car. It follows in the footsteps of Amazon Prime and Netflix, which offer subscription services you can cancel at any time without penalty. Mercedes Benz is now offering a subscription service to drivers, with no long-term commitment, as the company looks to lure younger drivers to the brand. While more expensive, this new option allows flexibility so drivers don't have to get locked down in a long term lease or purchase. You sign up with your credit card, the company runs a credit check and you can drive off in a luxury car. You can trade for a different model as many times as you want and cancel your subscription at any time. Adam Chamberlain, Vice President of Sales for Mercedes Benz USA based in Atlanta, Georgia, tells WSB Radio “for example you can be driving a two seater convertible for the weekend, the sun is out and it’s nice and warm but then you realize you need to pick up a big parcel from home depot during the week, so you simply schedule it with in the app that you would like a bigger car, an SUV, the app will then provide you a date and time that’s convenient for you, and one of our concierge drivers will come out and meet you either at work or at home, change the car over, you’re all set, and off you go to home depot to pick up your parcel.”  There is a one-time $495 fee for the credit check and to sign up for the subscription service. Then, once approved, you pick the tier of service you want. Currently there are three tiers, starting with the entry level tier of $1,095 a month. The fee includes the car, title fees, insurance, 24-7 road service, and all maintenance costs.  Chamberlain tells WSB Radio 'what we have seen so far for the new subscription service is the average age of customers who have signed up is 42 years old, which is significantly lower than our traditional customer for purchase and lease, and 85 % of those drivers are new to the Mercedes Benz brand, so this is bringing is a different younger demographic.'  Mercedes Benz is also testing this program in Philadelphia and Nashville.   
  • For the past six months 10 and 11-year-old girls, members of Girl Scout Troop 17129 in Cobb County collected thousands of plastic grocery bags. As part of a service and recycling project the girls then weaved the bags into braids to make soft mattresses for homeless people. Girl Scout leader Kimberly Heiple says this took many months to execute, “It took from October all the way to April, the girls collected the bags, people donated the bags, it showed commitment.” Heiple says each plastic mattress is made from approximately 800 to 1,000 plastic grocery bags. Heiple telling WSB Radio “I’m super overjoyed and proud of the girls, to see kids this age 10 and 11 years old with a selflessness to give to others like the homeless, that are in need, who are deserving, and at the same time recycling for the world, we are moving a generation to become adults, to carry these qualities and ethics with them into their adulthood.”
  • “You have Cancer.” Georgia Resident Brenda Sims tells WSB Radio she remembers the exact moment in time she hears these three horrible words. It was five years ago. The telephone call from her Doctor confirming she has breast cancer. “When I got that call, you have Cancer, the thought of having to tell my husband, you immediately think, I’m going to die.” Sims deciding to get treated at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. When she first arrived at the facility in Newnan she was determined on day one to fight the potentially deadly disease. She spotted a wall near the lobby with names of Cancer survivors on plaques. “I stood in front of this wall with names on it, I had my picture taken in front of that wall, and I said one day, I’m going to have my name on this.” Sims accomplished her goal. As part of National Survivorship Day her name has been added to the new Line Creek Mural. The design painted by artist Ed Buonvecchio, inspired by the Line Creek Nature Area located on the Coweta-Fayette County line, honors and celebrates patients reaching the milestone of treatment at CTCA for 5 years. Trees are also planted in their honor. Brenda Sims takes nothing for granted and believes it is her calling to inspire and pray with other cancer patients including her daughter who has been fighting kidney cancer for the past two years. Sims remains strong and determined, she tells WSB Radio “today that tree has my name on it, I am a 5 year survivor, this morning was very emotional for me.”
  • Allan Sweat continues treatment for his injuries at the “Share Military Initiative” at Atlanta’s Shepherd Center.The program has more than 700 success stories for treating Veterans with TBI Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and a record of zero suicides.Sweat who is 34, says the Share center has changed his life. Sweat who lives in Locust Grove, was injured in Iraq back in 2007 by multiple I-E-D blasts. He has a spinal injury and back pain, as well as TBI and PTSD.

News

  • A group of protesters ignored a stay-at-home order so they could gather in front of a North Carolina women’s clinic. The city of Charlotte received complaints Saturday morning about people possibly not following Mecklenburg County’s stay-at-home order. There was a protest at a preferred women’s health center in the Grier Heights neighborhood. “They’re putting our first responders at risk if they have to show up,” Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Julie Eiselt said. “I just think it’s unconscionable. You can agree or disagree with reproductive health care, but it doesn’t matter. It’s legal. It’s deemed an essential business.”
  • Residents of several communities have come up with a fun way to keep kids entertained while school is out. Cities and towns such as Boston, Walpole, Haverhill, Leominster and others have organized “bear hunts,” where residents place teddy bears in their windows so kids can drive or walk around spotting the bears. “As we take our daily walks, we look at everybody’s windows to see if we can find a teddy bear,” said Candida Shepard, a mother. Shepard’s 4-year-old twins, Payton and Ayden, have taken up the fun activity in their Hyde Park neighborhood as more neighbors join in on the fun. “We saw the teddies in the window,” said Payton. The “bear hunts” are inspired by a children’s book, and residents can add their streets to a map on social media that parents use to trace the route they will take their kids on walks or drives, looking - at a safe distance - for the bears displayed in the windows. “It’s something nice to chime in about rather than something dismal, which is going on right now,” said Mary Francis, who put a teddy bear in her window. The Shepard twins’ grandmother placed teddy bears in her window, enjoying the cheer they bring to the youngest neighbors who have been home from school and stuck in the house. “People are actually walking by with a big smile on their face,” said Francis. Kids and adults alike are entertained and uplifted by the sight of the bears in the windows, a heartwarming illustration of how communities are doing everything they can to take care of each other. As volunteers step up to produce masks and donate supplies to medical workers, initiatives like the bear hunt aim to help keep people’s mental health strong. Something as simple as a teddy bear on a windowsill can be the light in someone’s day. As the twins write encouraging messages for others to stay hopeful during a scary time with their mom, a health care worker, they’re also thinking of their family in Italy. The country has been hit the hardest by the virus, where the outbreak has been the most rampant. “Stay safe from the ‘Canola’ virus,” Ayden wrote. If you want to participate, just search in your local community’s Facebook group to find a bear hunt near you.
  • With more states imposing “safer at home” and quarantine orders because of the coronavirus, families and friends are searching for ways to stay connected. Sure, the telephone works, but more people are using video apps for face-to-face contact. It’s a good way for older citizens to connect with grandchildren without worrying about coming in contact. While hugs may be precious, people are becoming more aware of staying isolated. There are plenty of ways to connect. Here is a look at 12 video-chatting applications: Zoom: This app appears to be geared toward business, but families can use Zoom too. Users initiating a meeting are taken to a virtual room that looks like a table in a conference room. Personal groups of up to 100 people can meet online for free. Business options include packages for sale that allow up to 1,000 participants. Facebook Live: Viewers can connect in real-time from their cellphones, computers and even through their television set. FaceTime: This app, though the Apple store, allows users to make video and audio calls to groups of up to 32 people. FaceTime is available on Apple products including iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Facebook Messenger: Similar to FaceTime, Messenger allows free video calling around the world for individuals or groups of up to six. It can be used on cellphones, tablets and computers. Skype: This app has been around for a while. Skype can accommodate groups of up to 50 people worldwide, It can be used on computers, mobile devices, XBox One and even smartwatches. WhatsApp: More than 2 billion users take advantage of the WhatsApp. The mobile app works on Android and iOS platforms, making it a good choice for people with friends owning diverse types of devices. The free app allows groups of up to four users per session. Tango: You know the old phrase. It takes two to Tango, and this app restricts video contact to two people. This free app is good but only two! The free app is good for video calling one other person at a time. You can also make voice calls, send messages and play games using Tango. Google Hangouts: This app is free in its basic form. Google Hangouts allows up to 10 participants at a time. You can even video chat through your Gmail accounts. Instagram: Up to six people can video chat at once via Instagram. Houseparty: This video chat app is owned by Epic Games, which developed Fortnite. Houseparty allows people to play video games or test trivia skills through its interface. It is available through Android, iOS, MacOs and Chrome. Snapchat: With Chat 2.0, Snapchat users can use a full, featured video chat service. Snapchat is free to use, but can chew up a lot of data time. It is recommended to connect to a wireless network before making your call. Viber: The Viber app is good for international calls and one-on-one video calls. Calls between Viber users are free, but a fee will apply for calling people without the app.
  • More than a fifth of Detroit's police force is quarantined; two officers have died from coronavirus and at least 39 have tested positive, including the chief of police. For the 2,200-person department, that has meant officers working doubles and swapping between units to fill patrols. And everyone has their temperature checked before they start work. An increasing number of police departments around the country are watching their ranks get sick as the number of coronavirus cases explodes across the U.S. The growing tally raises questions about how laws can and should be enforced during the pandemic, and about how departments will hold up as the virus spreads among those whose work puts them at increased risk of infection.  »Sign up for our new coronavirus newsletter “I don’t think it’s too far to say that officers are scared out there,” said Sgt. Manny Ramirez, president of Fort Worth Police Officers Association. Nearly 690 officers and civilian employees at police departments and sheriff’s offices around the country have tested positive for COVID-19, according to an Associated Press survey this week of over 40 law enforcement agencies, mostly in major cities. The number of those in isolation as they await test results is far higher in many places. Anticipating shortages, police academies are accelerating coursework to provide reinforcements. Masks, gloves and huge volumes of hand sanitizer have been distributed. Roll call and staff meetings are happening outside, over the phone or online. Precinct offices, squad cars and equipment get deep cleaned in keeping with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. Yet, many are worried it's not enough. This week, groups representing American police and fire chiefs, sheriffs, mayors and county leaders asked President Donald Trump in a letter to use the Korean War-era Defense Production Act to ensure they have enough protective gear. “We’re in war footing against an invisible enemy and we are on the verge of running out' of protective supplies, said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. “We’ve got hospitals calling police departments, police departments calling each other, and it’s time to nationalize in terms of our response.” Police are accustomed to meeting staffing crunches by canceling vacations and leave, putting officers on 12-hour on, 12-hour off schedules and, when necessary, by shifting detectives and other specialized personnel to patrol. And officers are used to risk. It's part of the job. But at a time when Americans are being advised to stay six feet from each other to combat an insidious virus that can live on surfaces for days, the perils and anxieties are new. This crisis is unlike any American police forces have dealt with before, said former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. “We're in unprecedented territory here,” said Davis, who led the police department when the Boston Marathon bombing happened in 2013. Streets are less crowded as people hunker in their homes. But police must prepare for the possibility of civil unrest among people who become anxious or unhappy about government orders or hospitals that get overrun with patients, he said. In New York, which has rapidly become the American epicenter of the pandemic, more than 500 NYPD personnel have come down with COVID-19, including 442 officers, and the department's head of counter-terrorism was hospitalized with symptoms. Two NYPD employees have died. On a single day this week, Friday, 4,111 uniformed officers called in sick, more than 10% of the force and more than three times the daily average. Leadership at America’s largest police department maintains that it’s continuing enforcement as usual. But they’ve also said that if the disease continues to affect manpower the NYPD could switch patrol hours, or pull officers from specialized units and other parts of the city to fill gaps -- steps also taken after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. But the U.S. is now leading the world in the number of confirmed cases; more than 100,000. Over 1,700 people have died in the country. And doctors say cases are nowhere near peaking. Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, based in Washington, D.C., said police can't just go out of business. “They need to have ways so that if one person goes down, who’s going to back that person up, so departments are having to be innovative,” he said. In big cities and remote areas alike, officers are being told to issue tickets or summons rather than making arrests for minor crimes. More crime reports are being taken by phone or online. These steps to limit exposure come as police must beef up patrols in shuttered business districts and manage spikes in domestic violence. In Detroit, officials say many of those quarantined should return to duty soon. In the meantime, an assistant chief recently released from quarantine is heading up day-to-day operations while Chief James Craig is out. Many officers are also worried about whether they'll be able to draw workers compensation benefits if they get sick, since the coronavirus is not spelled out in the list of covered conditions. “No one really knows,” said Robert Jenkins, president of the Florida State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police union, which covers 22,000 officers. “Unfortunately, we have to be out there. We don’t have a choice.” While the pandemic has so far hit American cities hardest, rural law enforcement agencies with few staff are in some ways most vulnerable. In the tiny West Texas community of Marfa, Police Chief Estevan Marquez instructed his four officers not to pull over cars for minor traffic infractions, especially if they're passing through from areas already hit by the virus. He can't afford for anyone to get sick.
  • Tom Coburn, a former U.S. senator from Oklahoma known as a conservative political maverick, died after a battle with prostate cancer, according to The Associated Press. He was 72. Coburn retired from the Senate in 2015 after being diagnosed with cancer. He served two terms from 2005 to 2015, KOKI reported. “Oklahoma has lost a tremendous leader, and I lost a great friend today,' U.S. Sen. James Lankford said in a statement. “Dr. Coburn was an inspiration to many in our state and our nation. He was unwavering in his conservative values, but he had deep and meaningful friendships with people from all political and personal backgrounds. He was truly respected by people on both sides of the aisle.” In the Senate, Coburn was the ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security and also served on the committees on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; and Intelligence. From 1995 to 2001, Coburn represented Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. A family physician, Coburn was a member of the Committee on Commerce, where he sat on the subcommittees on Health and Environment as vice-chairman, Energy & Power, and Oversight and Investigations. Coburn was also selected co-chair of the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS in 2001. Services for Coburn have not been announced, KOKI reported.
  • Florida senior citizens who live in a downtown Orlando high-rise flickered the lights of their apartments Friday in a show of support for the doctors and nurses who are trying to thwart the spread of the coronavirus. Residents of Westminster Towers flickered their apartment lights at 9 p.m. to show support for the medical professionals working at Orlando Health. “Tonight, we flashed all of our lights to show our thanks to the hero health care workers at Orlando Regional Medical Center as they work hard to treat the sick and keep us safe from COVID-19,” Westminster Towers said on Facebook. “Thank you.” The display could be seen from the hospital campus, which is near the apartment building. “Thank you (Westminster Towers) for lighting up the night and our hearts,” the hospital network said on Facebook. “We’re all in this together.”