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Latest from Bill Caiaccio

    Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said he is 'beyond frustrated' and it's 'ridiculous' there is still no agreement on federal disaster aid to help Georgia farmers and others impacted by hurricanes, floods and wildfires. Speaking to WSB’s Scott Slade on Atlanta’s Morning News, Governor Kemp said its time to put politics aside and “get something done.” >>LISTEN TO SLADE’S FULL INTERVIEW WITH THE GOVERNOR BELOW. More than 200 days after Hurricane Michael devastated Georgia and Florida, Kemp wonders what’s taking so long. “The longest disaster bill we’ve ever had before was Hurricane Sandy, up in New Jersey. It took a little over 55 days, now we’ve been over 200,” Kemp said. Despite the lack of an agreement, Kemp said Georgia’s delegation is doing its part. “I know Senator Perdue and Senator Isakson have been working for over a month, probably closer to two, to get something done in the Senate,” he told WSB. Kemp and nine other governors in states affected by natural disasters have written a letter to the president and congressional leaders in Washington D.C. requesting “urgent attention” to help their states recover. Kemp vowed “To keep the pressure on them up there and hopefully they can get something done.” Unfortunately, he said “politics is at play there, which is very frustrating to our farmers.” WSB’s Jamie Dupree reports the U.S. House approved a $19 billion measure for disaster relief Friday, but Congress may be no closer to a final agreement because President Trump objects to extra disaster relief for Puerto Rico. It remains to be seen what happens next to the bill. Democrats are hopeful the Senate will approve it, despite the president’s opposition.
  • It may be the most anticipated Initial Public Offering this year. Ride-sharing company Uber begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange Friday, but should you add it to your portfolio? WSB Money Matters host Wes Moss said, “Investors are really playing Hail Mary economics,” if they decide to buy Uber stock. “It might, might, might work out. Hail Mary’s happen but not very often,” Moss said. The concern for WSB’s money expert is Uber’s lack of profitability. Moss said, “It’s hard to know what a fair price is for a company that’s bleeding money.” He said Uber may be the most unprofitable company to ever go public. While it could turn a profit one day, Moss said “A lot of things have to go right for that to happen.” He said it could take a decade. “If you’re an investor with an iron stomach, this might be for you, Moss said, but if you’re a more conservative investor that can’t handle lots and lots of years of maybes, then I’d probably stay away from it.” Uber announced on Thursday it was pricing its IPO at $45 per share, which was at the lower end of its targeted price range. Uber’s main rival, Lyft, went public six weeks ago with an IPO price of $72, but has lost about a quarter of its value since. Uber has a market value of $82 billion, which is five times more than Lyft.
  • Stacey Abrams decision not to run for the United States Senate in 2020 could have a major ripple effect on Georgia’s political future. First and foremost, it may be good news for the incumbent, Republican Senator David Perdue.  WSB Political Analyst Bill Crane said, “There are probably a lot of Georgia Republicans smiling, with David Perdue possibly having the biggest toothiest grin.” He said Perdue “would have faced a substantial challenge if Stacey Abrams had gotten into the race.” Abrams is considered by some as a rising star in the Democratic party. She narrowly lost the election to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp last year, and she delivered the Democratic response to President Trump’s State of the Union address. When asked what would have made Abrams a difficult opponent for Perdue Crane said, “Her name recognition, and though we don’t know how lasting it will be, the passion she inspires among her voters.” He said, “Ms. Abrams has an organization, financing and quite a list in place already to make that challenge more formidable.” With Abrams out of the Senate race, it opens the door for other Democrats considering a run but who have been waiting to see what Abrams decided. A likely candidate is former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, who said she will make a formal announcement on Wednesday. Crane said others who may get into the race include former Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, who is currently CEO of Dekalb County and U.S. Representatives Sanford Bishop and David Scott.  No matter who challenges Perdue Crane said, “It is difficult to oust sitting U.S. Senators regardless of their party.” As for what’s next for Abrams, she may still be weighing a run for president or vice-president, but Crane said, “She might be better suited to a rematch against Governor Kemp in 2022.” 
  • Once again, the Masters proves why it is the best golf tournament in the world, and it’s not even close. Some will argue they like seeing pros struggle, as is the case at the U.S. Open or the uniqueness of links golf at the Open Championship, but I’ll take the drama at Augusta National any day. I kept hearing the word “wow” uttered on TV during the CBS broadcast and in the press room during the final round Sunday.  Tiger Woods’ dramatic win may go down as the best Masters since Jack Nicklaus won his sixth green jacket in 1986, but it wasn’t just the fact Tiger won that made this Masters so special. The golf course proved once again why it’s also the star of the show every year, no matter who’s battling for the green jacket. How many times have we seen Masters dreams die on the 12th hole. With all the talk of making holes longer, the 150-yard par-3 continues to confound the best players in the world. The same hole where Jordan Spieth lost the 2016 Masters is where Italy’s Francesco Molinari lost the lead it seemed he would never let go this year. On the par-3 16th hole, the same hole where Nicklaus came within inches of an ace on the way to his 1986 victory, Tiger nearly did the same. And who can forget Tiger’s chip in on that famous hole leading to his win in 2005. I dare you to find a better set of par 3’s on any course in the world, and the par 5’s on Augusta’s second nine aren’t too bad either. Because it’s the only one of golf’s major championships played at the same venue every year, we’ve come to know the holes so well. The same holes that can produce eagles and birdies also produce train wrecks, like the double-bogey made by Molinari on the par-5 15th. As far as Tiger is concerned, two of the biggest moments in his comeback have now occurred in Georgia. He won at East Lake in the Tour Championship last fall and now Augusta National. Some have said this is the greatest comeback in sports, after multiple back surgeries and his well-documented personal problems. While that is debatable, what Tiger proved Sunday is that he could still have a chance at beating Nicklaus’ record of 18 professional major titles. He most certainly has a good chance of matching the record six Masters titles by Nicklaus. His game may not the same as it was in his prime, but what Tiger has is his intelligence, and I believe he still carries an intimidation factor.  It seems by their reactions Sunday some of the best players in the world were affected by Tiger’s presence. How else do you explain four contenders going in the water on the 12th hole on Sunday? Whether you like him or not, Sunday’s scene of Woods hugging his kids after leaving the 18th green was a special moment. Even Woods, not one who gets choked up easily, got emotional when remembering hugging his own father after winning his first Masters 22 years ago.  Tiger Woods is good for golf and good for sports in general. He’s one of only a few athletes who makes most people stop what they’re doing to watch. And the Masters proves once again why it’s must-see TV each April.
  • Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is not saying when he may sign the controversial “heartbeat” bill, which would restrict abortions in Georgia. The governor supports the bill passed by Georgia lawmakers during the recently completed legislative session. “We value life in our state,” Governor Kemp told WSB’s Scott Slade on “Atlanta’s Morning News.” The governor said he is not concerned about talk of an economic boycott, if he signs the measure. “I don’t believe there will be dire consequences for supporting life in our state,” Kemp told WSB. >>LISTEN TO THE GOVERNOR’S FULL INTERVIEW BELOW. Some in Hollywood are threatening to stop film shoots in Georgia to protest.  Actress Alyssa Milano is leading the effort. She says the measure is “unconstitutional.” As for when he may sign it, Governor Kemp said, “We really haven’t set a date for any of the bills to sign yet.” He told AMN, “We’ve got a thorough review process that we go through on every bill just to make sure there’s nothing in there that we missed.”  While Kemp said he’s “In no real hurry” to sign any piece of legislation, he told WSB the deadline is May 10. The bill would ban most abortions in Georgia, as soon as a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat, which usually occurs about six weeks into a pregnancy. “The abortion issue is a very tough issue,” Kemp said. “Even if you don’t agree with the legislation that was passed, you can certainly agree we value life in our state.” After the bill was passed, The Writers Guild of America released a statement saying if Kemp signs the law “It’s entirely possible that many of those in our industry will either want to leave the state or decide not to bring productions there.”  
  • President Trump and his Republican friends on Capitol Hill are declaring victory after the much-anticipated Mueller report found no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election. WSB political analyst Bill Crane said, 'The president's legal troubles and challenges are not over, but I think he has a lot to kind of claim victory about.' One of the first to see the report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller was Republican Congressman Doug Collins of Gainesville, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee. 'The special counsel’s investigation was long, thorough and conclusive: There was no collusion.' Now that the report is out it remains to be seen how much the American people will get to see. In an exclusive interview with WSB's Monica Matthews, Collins said 'The public should see everything they can see.' Collins said 'This is something that is very important. Democrats talking point is just to dump everything. You can't do that.' Collins said Attorney General William Barr 'has made it very clear he will put out as much as possible, so that the American people can have assurance what Bob Mueller found is the actual truth.' That way 'Nobody can go looking for shadows behind the curtain,' Collins said. Democrats have a different view. U.S. Representative Hank Johnson of Lithonia, one of the top Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, says the full Mueller report should be made public. Johnson told the Atlanta Journal Constitution 'There are a whole lot of questions that need to be answered and we certainly can’t answer those questions by relying on the conclusions that Barr says Mueller reached.' Another one of President Trump's supporters on Capitol Hill, Republican Congressman Jody Hice of Monroe, tweeted 'We knew this two years ago: Zero collusion.
  • As bad as the damage is in Georgia from Sunday's tornado outbreak, Governor Brian Kemp says we're very fortunate. 'It is a miracle we haven't had a loss of life,' the governor told Atlanta's Morning News. More than 20 people lost their lives just across the state line in Alabama, but so far there are no reports of fatalities in Georgia. A day after touring tornado damage in west-central and South Georgia, Governor Kemp told WSB the State of Emergency will remain in place for as long as needed in Talbot, Harris and Grady counties.  'We see the damage, and some of the folks I talked to that rode the storm out in their home that was devastated it's amazing,' Kemp said. The governor has also been impressed with the way people are pitching in to help those in need. He said, 'A lot of folks there are already serving food and helping their neighbors.' LISTEN TO GOV. KEMP’S FULL INTERVIEW WITH WSB RADIO’S SCOTT SLADE BELOW: Kemp said he's not sure yet if the damage in Georgia will qualify for federal disaster assistance. The governor did speak to President Trump who Kemp said, 'Offered his full support and the help of the federal government.' While folks are cleaning up from this latest natural disaster, Governor Kemp is also concerned about South Georgia farmers who are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Michael last fall. The governor will travel to southwest Georgia Tuesday along with Agriculture Secretary Gary Black to get an update from farmers and provide an update on efforts to get them federal aid. 'This should have been done already.' Kemp said, 'The president continues to offer his full support.' Governor Kemp is calling on members of congress to pass a bill proposed by Georgia Senators David Perdue and Johnny Isakson.  'We're hopeful we can get this done, but we cannot continue to wait. Our farm families need that done right away,' Kemp said.
  • A Kentucky teenager has hired a big time Atlanta attorney in a lawsuit over a face-to-face showdown with a Native American at the Lincoln Memorial in January. 16-year old Nicolas Sandmann is suing the Washington Post for $250-million in damages, claiming the paper wrongly accused the Covington High School student of instigating the confrontation. The video of the showdown went viral leading to outrage on social media.  Sandmann is seen in the video standing face-to-face with Nathan Phillips, a Native American activist.  Sandmann stares at Phillips, who is singing and playing a drum.  The lawsuit has been filed in U.S. District Court in Kentucky. It claims the newspaper wrongfully targeted and bullied Sandmann because he was wearing a Make America Great Again cap. The teen was on a school field trip to the March for Life anti-abortion rally in Washington D.C. when the incident occurred.   A private investigation has found Sandmann and his classmates did nothing to provoke a confrontation. Sandmann's attorney is Lin Wood of Atlanta. Wood said in a statement to expect similar lawsuits soon. A statement from the Washington Post says they are reviewing the lawsuit and will mount a vigorous defense.  Wood, whose nickname is 'Attorney for the Damned,' rose to fame when he represented Richard Jewell, the security guard falsely accused in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in 1996. Wood also represented John and Patsy Ramsey, who were investigated in the death of their daughter JonBonet in Boulder, Colorado.
  • A snow day no longer means an off day for many students in metro Atlanta. More school districts are following the lead of Forsyth County, and now use digital learning days when they cancel classes.  Jennifer Caracciolo, director of communications with the Forsyth County School District, told WSB 'This is our fifth year, for Forsyth County Schools, for doing an online learning plan for school closures.' She said Forsyth was the first district in Georgia to make this available on snow days. Once students login, 'They have the ability to complete their work now, or they can complete it later on during the day,' Caracciolo said. She said it's another way to offer school to students. Caracciolo told WSB 'School is not the life of our students. School fits into their lives.'  Caracciolo said she believes it teaches kids a valuable life lesson. 'Even in the workforce they could be working virtually, so this is just how our students do school in Forsyth County,' she said. The school district is able to provide devices to students who don't have them thanks to a partnership with the Morrow Family Foundation. Other counties are also offering digital learning to students on snow days. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports it's worked so well in Gwinnett County, the district has only two inclement weather days built-in this year.
  • Atlanta Public Schools is launching an effort to help families facing financial hardship due to the partial government shutdown. APS has a goal of raising $25,000 through a Go Fund Me donation drive. Atlanta Public Schools Chief Human Resources Officer Skye Duckett told WSB Radio 'If we don't get to $25,000 fine, we'll take whatever we get.'  APS estimates 300-500 of its employees are affected by the shutdown. 'We have a very large workforce that have spouses, domestic partners, household members that are in this situation,' Duckett said. They are employed by one of the federal agencies that have been closed. Many are on the verge of missing a second paycheck.  Superintendent Meria Carstarphen has donated $1,500 of her own money. The Christian Coleman Foundation donated another $500.  'Many federal employees and contractors, some of them family members of APS employees, are facing the impacts of the federal government shutdown, and we want to do all we can to help,' said Carstarphen.  The school district is also encouraging furloughed spouses of APS employees to work as substitute teachers until the shutdown is over. 'We are doing a fast track process for federal employees so that we can get them moved through the process a little more quickly,' Duckett told WSB.  APS has identified a number of other ways employees can help co-workers impacted by the shutdown:  Consider setting up Meal Train accounts.  Drop off food to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.  Take advantage of APS' employee discount program on goods and services.  Utilize APS' Employee Assistance Program.
  • Bill  Caiaccio

    Anchor/Reporter

    Bill Caiaccio has been working for WSB since 2014. 

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News

  • The Grant County Sheriff's Office released drug bust numbers Tuesday from the 2019 Paradiso Festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre.  Paradiso is an annual electric arts music festival that began in in 2012. >> Read more trending news  According to the Grant County Sheriff's Office, 38 drugs busts were made on 97 felony charges. The office said none were simple possession busts.  In addition to the busts, deputies also seized LSD, mushrooms, cocaine, steroids, ketamine, the drug known as 'Molly,' money and a firearm.  The Moses Lake Police Department, Yakima City, the Columbia River Drug Task Force, the Washington State Patrol and Adams County were also involved. 
  • Texas police arrested a man they said was using fake identification to cash checks, KHOU reported. >> Read more trending news  The Fort Bend County Constable's Office, Precinct 2, posted photos of the suspect, who was not identified, in a Facebook post. The man was arrested at a Regions Bank in Katy on Wednesday, KHOU reported. He was charged with using a fraudulent ID and theft, the television station said.  Police said $6,200 in cash was recovered. According to authorities, the man had 'multiple fake IDs' and had gone to several banks in the area. 'This is a rare occurrence but our quick response caught him in the act,' the Constable's Office posted on Facebook.
  • Authorities arrested an 11th person Tuesday in connection with the ambush shooting last week of former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz in the Dominican Republic. >> Read more trending news  Prosecutors are expected to release more information at a news conference scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to CNN. An unidentified official told The Associated Press that Franklin Junior Merán was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of renting one of the cars used in the June 9 shooting in Santo Domingo. Ten other suspects have already been ordered to spend a year in preventive detention as the investigation continues, including the accused shooter. Authorities say they are looking for at least three other suspects, including the man they believe paid the hit men. Ortiz continued recovering Wednesday in the intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Ortiz’s wife, Tiffany Ortiz, said doctors upgraded Ortiz’s condition to good Tuesday. “We remain grateful to everyone who has helped David through this ordeal, both in the Dominican Republic and here in Boston,” Tiffany Ortiz said in a statement released by the Red Sox. “David’s journey to good health has been bolstered by the many expressions of love that have come to us from across the globe. Your support has lifted his spirits tremendously during this challenging time.” Authorities continue to investigate. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • A warning about a popular payment app used by big banks like Capital One, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and PNC Bank. Many people are seeing their money disappear and the banks are doing little or nothing to get your money back.
  • Three Arizona teenagers are accused of setting off fireworks that sparked a brush fire in north Phoenix, police said. >> Read more trending news  The teens, all 16, were questioned by police Tuesday, KNXV reported. According to Phoenix Fire officials, the two-alarm fire burned up and over a nearby mountain, KSAZ reported. However, crews were able to put out the fire before it threatened a nearby neighborhood, according to KNXV. The teens admitted to lighting the fireworks, Phoenix Fire Capt. Rob McDade told the television station. “The first thing I thought was oh my God is that my house? Is it my dog? What’s going on?' Jordan Sims, who lives nearby told KNXV. 'It puts you kind of in like a panic mode, like am I going to have to pick everything up and get out of here within the next 30 minutes? We probably would not have been prepared for that.” It is illegal in Arizona to set off fireworks until June 24. “It’s illegal to set them off, it’s illegal to start a fire. They did admit to it pretty early so I think right now we are working with their parents and the fire investigators trying to figure out what really should be done out here,' McDade told KNXV. “I'm sure the thrill of lighting off fireworks sounds pretty good -- but you have to understand --- I mean even at the age of 16, this is a high brush(fire) season. All everything wants to do is catch on fire right now.”
  • A Wisconsin man allegedly told police it was 'a beautiful ride.' >> Read more trending news  Authorities, however, were not amused when Matthew R. Wilson, 51, took a sailboat from the Sheboygan Yacht Club for a joyride, the Sheybogan Press reported. According to a criminal complaint, Wilson, who is homeless, was charged Tuesday with theft of more than $100,000 and criminal damage to property, the newspaper reported. Sheboygan police were called to a Coast Guard station Saturday regarding the theft of the 40-foot Tartan 4000.sailboat, which is valued between $400,000 and $450,000, WITI reported. According to the criminal complaint, Wilson told police he had been kicked out of the Salvation Army because he was intoxicated, WISN reported.. He went from boat to boat in the marina until he found one open. the television station reported. According to police, Wilson found the keys and started the boat's engine before driving it away from the marina. Wilson said when he went to roll a cigarette, the boat ran ashore, WISN reported. Wilson was identified as the only person on the boat. The sailboat was ultimately towed back to the Coast Guard station. According to court documents, Wilson told police 'It was a beautiful ride. It was a beautiful ride, at least,' when he was taken into custody, the Press reported. An officer said there were scuff marks on the boat's hull, a gouge on the stern and partially consumed beer cans on deck, according to the criminal complaint. Wilson's preliminary breath test registered at .162, which is double the legal limit in Wisconsin, WITI reported. Wilson made a court appearance Tuesday. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 26, the television reported.