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WSB Reporter Stories

    More than 200 officers from every police department in Gwinnett County, the Gwinnett Sheriff’s Office as well as state and federal agencies took part in the raids.
  • Abraham says her son struggled with drug abuse during high school. But he was doing well and had plans to enter technical college when the unexpected happened.
  • Youth Suicide is being called an epidemic. Two million kids last year attempted suicide.Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for youth ages 15-17 and 3rd leading cause of death for youth ages 10-14. 23 children have taken their own lives in Georgia already this year. The GBI along with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and the Division of Family and Children Services have released a series of public service announcements aimed at helping kids in crisis. The video includes real stories from local families. There's an emphasis on listening and looking for the warning signs.
  • Can Amazon change the way you buy groceries? That's what they are trying to do. The online retailer wants to take a big bite out of the $800 billion-dollar grocery market. On Amazon Prime Day, July 16th Whole Foods Market will offer discounts to try and get shoppers to switch from brick and mortar stores to on-line shopping.
  • Independent voters in Georgia who want to take part in the state's biggest races will have to pick a party for the May 22 primary.
  • Gas prices are on the rise across metro Atlanta, and could shoot up even more this week due to the conflict in Syria. Even though Syria is not an oil-producing country, AAA spokesman Garrett Townsend tells WSB, “Anytime there are issues in that Middle East region you're going to start seeing some type of effect at the pump.' He adds, 'Motorists should expect a 15-cent increase at the pump in the short term.'  Gas prices in Georgia already average about $2.63 per gallon and $2.67 in metro Atlanta. Townsend says, 'That's the highest since July of 2015.'  Prices at the pump have increased 6-cents in the past week, and are 35-cents more expensive than last year at this time.  Georgia now has the most expensive gas since last September, when prices were recovering from Hurricane Irma.  The highest prices in the state are in metro Atlanta, Brunswick and Savannah. The lowest prices are in Augusta and in Walker and Dade County, in northwest Georgia, where prices average $2.54. The predicted increase this week could be even more depending on how the crude oil market responds to the crisis in Syria. Crude prices jumped more than $5 last week, which was the largest weekly increase in over eight months.
  • The Atlanta Fulton Public Library System has a novel approach to bring technology to people while its Central branch is under renovation.  'Library on the Lawn' is in its second week at Woodruff Park. It consists of 10 Chromebooks, set up on tables under a tent on the shady north side of the park, with the water wall cascading nearby.  The occasional fire engine siren passing on Peachtree Street is also part of the backdrop, if Tuesday afternoon was any indication. But the hubbub of the city didn't seem to bother the people who were taking advantage of the laptops.  The computers have a 30-minute use period – if there is a wait. However, if there is no wait, the user can surf as long as they want.  'The library isn't just about books anymore,' says Amanda Densmore, Community Engagement Librarian at Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System. 'It's about technology, and bringing Internet to people who may not necessarily have it. We just want to make sure that everybody has equal access, and ways to get what they need done.'  Densmore says no library card is needed to sign up to use a laptop, but they are also providing library cards for anyone who wants to get one. She says the AFPLS has a lot of features that people may not know about, including free downloadable movies, TV shows, books, comics, and music streaming, as well as access to the New York Times and digital magazines. She says just four days in, it seems clear that Library on the Lawn is a hit.  'I've seen regulars since I've been here,' she says. 'Definitely, people are coming back.'  Carol Land is one person who's stopped by the tent more than once to sign on. Most of the time, her Internet access is through her phone--except days like today, when her connection seems like it's 'in outer space,' she says. She last logged on to dump all the unnecessary e-mail in her inbox.  'I just use Facebook on my phone. I talk to my kids on Facebook, and I looked for a job,' says Land.  Densmore says the library has also brought with it the capability to provide Wi-Fi access to people there upon request, if they don't want to log on to a laptop.  Mustafa El Ahmiyd was scrolling through Facebook early Tuesday afternoon, and watching a video about the late singer Prince. He, too, uses Facebook to connect with his children, who live abroad.  'I get online here and go onto Facebook and I'm in their country instead of this country,' he smiles. He hopes the library expands the outdoor computer program, he says; he often uses the library or a coffee shop to get online.  'Besides being out in the air, you're out in nature, you're hearing the waterfall behind you, so that's cool. It’s soothing,' says El Ahmiyd. 'Then you want to take a break, look at a bird or whatever. A good distraction. A lot of positives there.'  Jayantkumar Sutaria sat at a table across from El Ahmiyd, clicking through a Yahoo! screen. He says the outdoor laptops make him think of a modern version of the ancient open-air schools in his home country of India, and admits he likes the idea of surfing outside more than being indoors on a pleasant day.  'In the presence of nature, I would like to work,' says Sutaria. 'Coming out here, this is far better. I am checking for the news, my e-mails, what is happening in the world.'  Land pointed out that some things, however, she still must do on her phone.  'Alls you can do is apply for a job, send a resume. Everything's blocked from the public library and everything's blocked from this Wi-Fi--you can't gamble or anything like that from this,' she notes. 'It's just to help your business life out.' Densmore says the Chromebooks are going to be available Mondays-Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., weather permitting, 'til further notice. The Central library branch's renovations are expected to take about two years.  'I think a lot of times librarians are getting outside of the buildings, because that's just where we need to be,' says Densmore.
  • WSB has learned details about the allegations facing a Cobb County man whose arrest led authorities to evacuate part of his subdivision when an apparent homemade explosive was found. Arrest warrants tie Brent Christopher Allsup’s false statement and theft by taking charges to his job as a financial analyst at Quikrete.  The warrant Cobb County Sheriff’s Office swore out before a magistrate judge on July 9, 2018, alleges that when his position was terminated in late February, Allsup used the power of attorney he held in his role of buying and selling company vehicles to sign a title for a white 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe over from the company to himself.  'Said accused did sign a vehicle title, as seller and purchaser, using his Limited Power of Attorney, and deliver it to a Department of Motor Vehicles to transfer a vehicle from Quikrete to himself for personal use after his termination from employment on 02/21/2018,' the warrant reads. 'There was no authority to do this.'  Tuesday morning, Acworth families spent hours evacuated from their homes while a bomb squad got to work on their block. Cobb Sheriff's investigators arrived on Zachary Court around 7:30 a.m. to arrest Allsup on the theft and false statement charges. As deputies took him into custody and took inventory of the 2017 Tahoe which they also came to seize, they spotted what looked like a bomb.  “It was described as a plastic PVC pipe with a cap on the end, with the wires out of it,” Cobb Sheriff's spokesman Glenn Daniel told WSB Radio’s Veronica Waters.  Daniel says investigators immediately cleared the area and called in the Cobb County Police Bomb Squad. Officers neutralized the device and took it to a different location to assess whether it was explosive. Families in the subdivision were evacuated for about five hours.  Allsup resigned his part-time professorship at Kennesaw State University last October after he was found passed out with an open container of beer in the student center; he blamed his condition on a medication mix-up. Assorted pills were found in his truck.  Allsup is jailed in Cobb County. The bond on the theft and false statement charges is $55,000. Allsup is also facing additional charges related to the explosive in the Tahoe.
  • Gwinnett County Police Corporal Wilbert Rundles says the man came into a gas station on Rockbridge Road near Stone Mountain with a specific brand in mind.
  • Officer Taylor Saulters, who hit Timmy Patmon, a convicted felon, who was running from police, with his patrol car, has been hired as a sheriff's deputy in neighboring Oglethorpe County. WSB legal analyst Phil Holloway, who is also representing Saulters, says this wasn't his first offer, days after being fired from the force.

News

  • Police are investigating a domestic-related shooting in the city of South Fulton County. The victim told police that her ex-boyfriend came to her home on Montilly Place and kicked down her front door. According to investigators, she repeatedly warned him that she was armed and that she would shoot him. Police said the man continued into the house and the woman fired three shots, hitting him once in the chest. The man was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in unknown condition.   We're working to learn of other times police have been called to the home on Channel 2 Action News at Noon TRENDING STORIES: Judge credits divine intervention with helping him find missing child floating in pool 25-year-old UGA grad missing after leaving work at metro Atlanta Publix Copperhead bites home buyer then tries to strike pregnant realtor Channel 2's Darryn Moore at the scene saw crime scene technicians taking pictures of a bullet hole in a window and recovered a round that hit a pole. She also collected a bag of evidence from the house.
  • Four people were injured Thursday morning after an apparent explosion and subsequent fire at the Letterkenny Army Depot in Pennsylvania, officials said. >> Read more trending news Update 11 a.m. EDT July 19: Letterkenny Army Depot Commander Col. Steven Ledbetter said a small explosion happened around 7:20 a.m. in a paint area at one of the depot’s production facilities. “In this particular production facility, it’s vehicles and some major end-items (and) large pieces of equipment,” Ledbetter said. “No munitions.” He said four people were taken to hospitals with injuries after the incident. Authorities do not believe the blast was connected to terrorism. Officials continued to investigate the cause of the explosion on Thursday. Update 10:20 a.m. EDT July 19: Col. Steven Ledbetter, the commander at Letterkenny Army Depot, told WPMT that a small explosion and fire Thursday morning left four people injured. Three people were flown to a Maryland hospital in serious condition, the news station reported. A fourth person was taken to Chambersburg Hospital with unknown injuries, according to WPMT. Original report: Authorities at Letterkenny Army Depot confirmed in a series of since-deleted Facebook posts Thursday morning that an explosion was reported at the depot. The incident happened around 7:15 a.m., according to WPMT. Officials with the volunteer Franklin Fire Company said three people were flown from Letterkenny after firefighters responded Thursday morning to an “explosion with burn victims.” The Franklin County Office of Emergency Management also told Fox News three people were flown from the Army depot after the blast. It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion. A spokesman for Letterkenny Army Depot told WHTM-TV that authorities do not believe the blast was the result of a terrorist attack. Employees told the news station that the explosion happened in an area of Building 350 used for painting and that they were “worried about peers who ran out of (the) building screaming (and) on fire.” Established in 1942, the 18,000-acre Letterkenny Army Depot employs more than 3,600 people in Franklin County. Its mission is to “deliver superior maintenance, manufacturing, logistics, life cycle support and service worldwide to the Joint Warfighter and our International partners.”
  • A gas station owner was arrested after shooting a man who left the store with $36 worth of Natural Ice beer, police say.  >> Read more trending news Rennie Defoe Jr. walked into a Shell gas station Tuesday night and walked out with three 18-packs of Natural Ice beer without paying, according to WFLA.  Mehedeun Hasan, 22, who co-owns the gas station with his father, grabbed a 9mm handgun and walked out in order to confront Defoe, according to WFLA.  Defoe, 43, is seen in surveillance footage loading the beer into his car, then getting in and shutting the door. Hasan then arrives and appears to be pointing a gun.  Defoe was shot in the left arm and chest as he reversed to leave. He drove a short distance before crashing. He was taken to a hospital, where he is in critical condition, according to WFLA. Hasan, who has no prior criminal history, was arrested and charged Wednesday with shooting into an occupied vehicle and attempted second-degree murder, according to WFLA.  Defoe has 12 previous felony charges and nine previous misdemeanors, including firing a missile into a dwelling, battery, grand theft and grand larceny, according to WFLA. He was most recently released from prison June 12.
  • The home featured in the opening and closing scenes of 'The Brady Bunch' is for sale for $1.885 million. Records show George and Violet McCallister bought the two-bedroom, three-bathroom split-level home in the Studio City neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1973 for $61,000. Real estate agent Ernie Carswell tells the Los Angeles Times the house has been updated and upgraded, but the interior layout does not resemble what was featured on the show, which ran from 1969 to 1974. Interior scenes were shot in a studio. Carswell says a rock-wall fireplace, wood-paneled walls and floral wallpaper are vintage touches of what homes looked like in the 1970s. The agent says the home attracts 30 to 50 visitors a day. The owners died, and their children are selling the property. ___ Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/
  • A person familiar with the situation says the Atlanta Falcons won't renegotiate Julio Jones' contract this season, casting doubts on whether the star receiver will be in training camp next week. The Falcons informed Jones several weeks ago that they didn't have room under the salary cap to offer him a new deal for this season, according to the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because the contract talks have not been made public. Jones dipped on the NFL's list of highest-paid receivers during the offseason when several players received huge new contracts, including Tampa Bay's Mike Evans and Cleveland's Jarvis Landry. Jones is set to make $10.5 million this season, $12.5 million in 2019 and $11.4 million in the final season of a six-year, $71.3 million contract he signed in 2015. The current deal includes $47 million in guaranteed money. Atlanta's decision not to renegotiate Jones' contract was first reported by The Athletic. ___ For more AP NFL coverage: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • A 16-year-old girl was struck by a vehicle driven by her sister Wednesday night in Pittsburgh’s Fineview neighborhood, authorities said. >> Read more trending news The girl jumped on the hood of the moving vehicle, fell off and was hit shortly after 10 p.m. on Belleau Drive, according to investigators. Police said the teenager was taken to a hospital in critical condition. She was later upgraded to serious condition. As the girl was being taken to the hospital, a crowd started gathering and people were separated by officers because they were about to fight, according to a criminal complaint. Officers then attempted to talk with the driver, 23-year-old Breyanna Fields. She was uncooperative and was handcuffed, police said. Fields kicked two officers and pushed a third, the complaint said. She tried to bite another officer. Witnesses told police Fields was seen speeding up and down the street before the 16-year-old was hit, and the car was moved before police arrived, the complaint said. Charges against Fields include driving under the influence, aggravated assault, resisting arrest and driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked.