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Latest from Marcy Williams

    The Butts County Sheriff's Office warns Georgians not to fall for a bogus Facebook headline reporting a fiery fatal crash.   The Macon Telegraph reports the headline is designed to grab your attention by mentioning multiple casualties involving women and children, but if you click to read more, a virus or malware infects your account.  The sheriff's office has been so besieged by calls about this phony fatal accident, it's posted about it on its Facebook page.   'This is FALSE information,' the post reads. 'We are being told the link on Facebook may be some type of virus. PLEASE DO NOT click on or 'share' the link as it apparently hacks your Facebook account after doing so.'   The Telegraph reports similar scams have popped up mentioning other counties in and out of Georgia. They typically feature a 'breaking news' graphic and a reference to 'NEWSROOMS.INFO' in the text.   If you do end up taking the bait, change your password and follow other web security precautions.
  • The success of Ponce City and Krog Street Markets in Atlanta inspires developers in Marietta.   The Marietta Daily Journal reports Concordia Properties and partners file plans to build an 18,000 square foot food hall just off the Marietta Square.   Marietta Square Market will be built in a converted warehouse on North Marietta Parkway.   The Daily Journal reports the food hall will feature three anchor restaurants, a central restaurant and bar, and smaller kiosks for food and shopping.   The hall's design is patterned after an old-fashioned railroad depot and there are plans to incorporate a fully-restored 1920s streetcar.  Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin's excited about the project and hopes it will be in business by the summer of 2018.   '[That area] used to be just car places and stuff, real dirty,' Tumlin tells the MDJ. 'You can put a shine on that area, especially with this.
  • A Columbus teen files suit in Muscogee County State Court after an incident at school results in the loss of his leg.   'We feel pretty good about this case,' Renee Tucker, the attorney representing Montravious Thomas, tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The suit seeks $25 million in damages.   The AJC reports Thomas was injured by a contract teacher at an alternative school last September. Behavioral specialist Bryant Mosley allegedly threw the 13-year-old boy to the floor at Edgewood Student Services Center several times.   Tucker alleges Thomas had to be carried to the school bus and the district failed to notify his family about the severity of his injury.   Mosley, who is named in the suit, is no longer working for the school district.   Thomas ultimately had to have his right leg amputated at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. His attorney tells the AJC, he continues with physical therapy but will require additional surgery on his leg.   Tucker says Thomas no longer lives in Columbus.   A school district spokeswoman states the system does not comment on pending litigation.
  • The family of a female inmate who died of pneumonia at the Gwinnett County jail files suit against the sheriff, jail health care provider and staff.  'This was such an avoidable, preventable death,” attorney Mark Begnaud tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Begnaud says Denise Forte begged a jail nurse to send her to the clinic after she was found in her cell too sick to go to breakfast on a Saturday in February, 2015.   The nurse noted Forte's resting heart rate was high and she complained she hurt all over.  Forte had a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The nurse administered a standard cold protocol of Tylenol, an antihistamine and an expectorant and told Forte she could see a doctor Monday.    Forte died in her cell.   Begnaud alleges negligence.  The lawsuit filed in Gwinnett County State Court claims Forte's pneumonia should have been caught and treated earlier had medical decisions outweighed cost. The AJC reports Corizon Health, the private health care provider for the jail, is the largest for-profit provider of correctional health services in the country.   Corizon spokeswoman Martha Harbin will not comment on pending litigation but defends the quality of health care.  'One of the greatest misconceptions about our company is that we somehow benefit from providing lower quality care,” Harbin tells the AJC in an email.   'It is important to emphasize that the existence of a lawsuit is not necessarily indicative of quality of care or any wrongdoing,” Harbin adds in her statement to the AJC.  The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.   An inmate at the Gwinnett County jail died last month after what is described as a medical emergency. The sheriff’s office denies claims by the inmate’s family that he was not fed properly.
  • A Lawrenceville woman and her husband stand trial in Gwinnett Superior Court for child cruelty and false imprisonment after allegedly starving the woman's 15-year-old autistic daughter.  The Gwinnett Daily Post reports Jade Jacobs and William Anthony Brown allegedly made the child live in a closet in the basement.   'Not only was it tiny, but it was disgusting,” Assistant District Attorney Bobby Wolf tells jurors in court. 'There was feces on the wall and a urine-stained mat where she was supposed to sleep on a hard floor.' The Daily Post reports the alleged abuse came to light after Jacobs brought her daughter to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite in August 2014.   According to the police report, a clinical social worker at the hospital said the teen only weighed about 60 pounds.      The girl's current foster father testifies she squirreled away food for months after coming to live with his family.   'She would fill her cheeks full of food, then spit it under the pillow or hide it under the pillow,' Todd Moog testifies.   He says she is now at a healthy weight.   Defense attorneys argue the overwhelmed couple tried desperately to get help to address the autistic girl's disabilities, but were stymied. 'All the resources my client begged for months, now they’re suddenly all available,' Jacobs' defense attorney Lawrence Lewis tells jurors.
  • Protesters show up at Tuesday's Gwinnett County commission meeting but embattled Commissioner Tommy Hunter does not.    Commission Chair Charlotte Nash explained Hunter was out of town.  The Gwinnett Daily Post reports the board, in Hunter's absence, votes unanimously to name Herman Pennamon to the ethics panel hearing a complaint against Hunter.  An Atlanta resident filed the complaint after Hunter referred to Congressman John Lewis as a 'racist pig' on Facebook.  Hunter has apologized but resists calls to resign.  Three of the five ethics panel members have now been appointed.  Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter chose Terri Duncan as his representative and the Gwinnett Bar Association tapped David Will.  Hunter and the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia must still make their picks.  County Attorney Bill Linkous advises commissioners Hunter can be censured or reprimanded for his behavior but state law does not grant the Board of Commissioners authority to suspend or remove him.  Linkous explains citizens have the option to organize a recall effort.  Provisions of state law prevent a recall within 180 days of an elected official's term.  The Gwinnett Daily Post reports a campaign against Hunter could not begin in earnest until summer.  For the first time this week, protesters also turned up at Hunter's employer in Norcross. United Consulting distances itself from Hunter's comments and has apologized to Lewis.
  • Over the protests of some parents, Atlanta's Board of Education votes to close Adamsville Primary School and Whitefoord Elementary School this summer.  Superintendent Meria Carstarphen's plan also repurposes Miles Intermediate School as an elementary school.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports dozens of parents urged the board Monday night to vote down the restructuring, arguing the upheaval is not in students' best interest.  Carstarphen maintains the system must streamline to cut costs and maximize efficiency.  'We're not rolling in the dough,' she tells the AJC.  Board members expressed concern about class size and potential blight from empty buildings.  Steven Lee and Byron Amos cast both no votes.  'I do not think merging two struggling schools into one larger school is what's best for children,' Lee stated at the meeting.   While there had been some early discussion of combining Benteen and D.H. Stanton Elementary Schools, that was not included in the final plan the board voted to approve.   Carstarphen says she is evaluating future uses of the buildings that will be vacated. 'I don't ever want to close schools or consolidate but we're in a special situation,' she tells parents and the board.  'I'm hopeful these changes are going to make a difference for our district.' 
  • Atlanta parents protest plans set forth by Superintendent Meria Carstarphen to close and consolidate under-attended elementary schools in east and southeast Atlanta. The Atlanta Board of Education votes on the proposal today and is expected to give Carstarphen the go-ahead, with some tweaking.   The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports opponents of the restructuring fear classroom overcrowding as students are absorbed into other schools.  They also worry about neighborhood blight if buildings are left vacant.  In a letter to parents earlier this year, Superintendent Carstarphen explained the consolidations are part of her overall strategy to promote academic progress while making operations more efficient.  The AJC reports the plan calls for Benteen Elementary School to close with students moving to D.H. Stanton Elementary.  Whitefoord Elementary students would be divided between Toomer Elementary and Burgess-Peterson Academy. Miles Intermediate School would be converted to elementary while Adamsville Primary would close.  Some current Adamsville students might be sent to West Manor Elementary. Carstarphen acknowledges teachers at affected schools would have to reapply for their jobs.  Approved changes by the school board will take place before the new school year. Stay tuned to WSB for updates.  
  • Metro Atlanta's becoming a mecca for professional soccer.  The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports First Team SC announces plans to bring two professional teams to play in DeKalb County.  WSB's Edgar Treiguts reported this week, ground breaks in May for a huge soccer and sports complex near Stonecrest Mall in DeKalb.  Developers compare Atlanta Sports City to Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports in Florida.  These new teams, men and women, will play at Atlanta Sports City, according to the Chronicle.  The men's team will begin competing in 2018 with the women's team in competition the following year.  Atlanta United MLS opens its season next week against the New York Red Bulls at Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium.  Ultimately, it will play home games at the new Mercedes Benz Stadium.  Atlanta United President Darren Eales tells the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the area is hungry for soccer. 'With over 40,000 tickets sold for our home opener, the excitement and momentum is building quickly as we near our first match on March 5,' he tells the Chronicle. The Atlanta Silverbacks of the National Premier Soccer League also call Atlanta home.  More details about the new teams should roll out within the next few weeks on atl2018.com.
  • Forsyth County commissioners vote unanimously to deny a permit for a Hindu temple near Lake Lanier.  The Forsyth News reports the landowner pursuing the conditional use permit (CUP) may go to court.  Dr. Sumaltha Satoor's attorney believes the refusal was on religious grounds.  'The issue of religious use basically neutralizes this issue of zoning, so I think there's really no reason for denial of this,' attorney Stuart Teague tells the Forsyth News.  Commissioner Laura Semanson insists religion is not the issue at all. She says building a temple and adjoining priest's residence in a residential community is prohibited by neighborhood covenants and the increased traffic would affect other homeowners. Dr. Satoor applied last summer for a permit to build an 11,200 square foot temple and priest's residence on 8 acres she owns on Pilgrim Point Road. Plans call for 109 parking spaces.  Hundreds of residents have turned out at various hearings to object to the plans.  'They shouldn't be discriminating against one particular religion and that's what I felt like happened,' Dr. Satoor tells the Forsyth News. Longtime residents of Bald Ridge and Shady Shores near Lake Lanier disagree. 'It makes me sad that Dr. Satoor is pursuing this on religious grounds,' Bald Ridge resident Paula Chambers tells the Forsyth News.  'This is so not what that's about.' 'This is about our way of life,' she adds. 
  • Marcy  Williams

    Atlanta's Morning News Anchor

    Marcy Williams has co-anchored Atlanta's Morning News with since 1993. Marcy started working at WSB in 1992 after news stints at KLAC-Los Angeles and KNEW-San Francisco. A 1984 graduate of Princeton University, Marcy is married with 3 children.

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  • According to many polls, Americans – especially those who say they are Democrats -- are not that fond of the Electoral College. Neither are many of the Democratic candidates for president. >> Read more trending news  With just over 14 months until the 2020 presidential election, a movement to change the way electoral votes are awarded and who will be elected president has gained some steam. The National Popular Vote Compact (NPV), which has its roots in the most contested presidential election in U.S. history, sets in state law a policy that awards all a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who wins the national popular vote. Under the Electoral College system used today, 48 states have a “winner-take-all” system that awards all the state’s electoral votes to the person who gets a majority of votes in that state. The Electoral College does not take into consideration that national popular vote. Sixteen states, along with the District of Columbia, have passed the NPV agreement. They are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island. While legislation has been passed in the 16 states and the District of Columbia, the agreement would not go into effect until states with a collective 270 electoral votes — the number needed to win the presidency — agree to join. Currently, the District of Columbia and the 16 states in the agreement hold a combined total of 196 electoral votes, meaning the pact would need enough new state members to get 74 electoral votes.Supporters say the system would give the person who got the most votes country-wide the presidency he or she deserves. Opponents say states would be forced to hand over electoral votes to a candidate who did not win that state. For instance, in the 2016 election, a state such as Florida, in which President Donald Trump earned more votes, would have had to pledge its 29 electoral votes to Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, who won the national popular vote in the 2016 election. The Electoral College of today was established by the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution which replaced the method for electing the president and vice president provided in Article II, Section 1, Clause 3. Under the system, when voters cast a ballot for president, they are actually choosing members of the Electoral College, called electors, who are pledged to that presidential candidate. Following the election for president, electors then meet to choose the president. Electors almost always vote for their state’s popular vote winner, and some states have laws requiring them to do so. However, electors are not bound by federal law to vote for a specific candidate – for instance, the one who won the popular vote in their state. In 29 states and the District of Columbia, electors are bound by state law or by a pledge they sign to vote for the candidate who won the popular vote of the state they represent. Five men have won the presidency in the Electoral College while not winning the country’s popular vote: John Quincy Adams in 1824, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, George W. Bush in 2000 and Donald Trump in 2016. The National Popular Vote campaign goes back to Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore's loss to Bush in 2000, according to The Associated Press. Gore won the popular vote but lost the election over a vote count in Florida.
  • Fans of all things Disney are in Anaheim for the D23 Expo. And news of future development for the properties at the Disney Parks around the world has already started being released. Inside the Disney Parks 'Imagining Tomorrow, Today' Pavilion at the 2019 D23 Expo visitors will be able to see what is coming next to the Disney Parks around the world. While there are a lot of cool things to share, in this post we are going to focus on the upcoming additions coming to Walt Disney World! There is an all-new Star Wars vacation experience coming to Walt Disney World!  >> Read more trending news  The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will be a new, first-of-its-kind vacation experience where guests will check in for a two-night adventure aboard a glamorous starship called the Halcyon.  Once onboard, guests will interact with characters and become active participants in stories that unfold around them on their galactic journey.  Also in the pavilion is a model of the multi-year transformation of Epcot complete with new experiences, 'that will make the park more Disney, more family, more timeless, and more relevant.' The reinvention of Epcot will include several new additions, and the first one we learned about was a new attraction called Journey of Water which is inspired by 'Moana.' This first-ever attraction based on the Walt Disney Animation Studios film, 'Moana,' will let guests interact with magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting. And this October, guests will be able to visualize all the exciting plans for Epcot at a new experience center in the Odyssey Events Pavilion called Walt Disney Imagineering presents the Epcot Experience. Inside this first-of-its-kind offering within a Disney park, guests will discover engaging and interactive exhibits that allow you to step inside excitement to see some never-before-revealed details driving the future of Epcot during this unprecedented period of transformation. The Disney Parks pavilion also features other upcoming Walt Disney World attractions including TRON Lightcycle Run coming to Magic Kingdom Park as well as Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios. On Sunday, August 25, we'll find out more details on these and other announcements during the Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products presentation at D23 Expo 2019!
  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has undergone radiation therapy to treat a malignant tumor discovered during routine blood tests in early July, according to a statement from the court. >> Read more trending news  Ginsburg, 86, began a three-week course of radiation therapy Aug. 5 at New York's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. 'The Justice tolerated treatment well,' Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said in a statement. 'She cancelled her annual summer visit to Santa Fe, but has otherwise maintained an active schedule.' Arberg said doctors noted an abnormality during a routine blood test in early July and that a subsequent biopsy on July 31 confirmed a 'localized malignant tumor' on her pancreas. After Ginsburg underwent treatment, Arberg said, 'There is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body.' 'Justice Ginsburg will continue to have periodic blood tests and scans,' she said. 'No further treatment is needed at this time.' In January, Ginsburg missed arguments in the Supreme Court for the first time since joining the court in 1993 while recovering from surgery to remove cancerous growths from her left lung. She previously underwent surgery for colorectal cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009, according to the Associated Press. Ginsburg is the eldest person serving on the Supreme Court and leads its liberal wing.
  • A service is set for next week for the three members of a prominent Atlanta family killed in an apparent double murder-suicide.  Marsha Edwards, 58, and her two children, 24-year-old Christopher Edwards II and 20-year-old Erin Edwards, will be remembered during a memorial Wednesday in southwest Atlanta, according to a spokesman for the family.  The service is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at Cascade United Methodist Church, which is at 3144 Cascade Road.  Investigators believe Marsha, the former wife of surgeon and civic leader Christoper Edwards, shot and killed the couple’s children before turning the gun on herself. Their bodies were found by police Wednesday inside her upscale Vinings townhouse after officers were asked to perform a wellness check. RELATED: Ex-wife of Atlanta Housing chairman killed 2 children, herself, police say Lots of questions remained unanswered Friday. Among them: • Who requested the wellness check? • When did the shootings take place? • What kind of gun was used? • Who is the registered owner of the gun? • What evidence prompted authorities to classify the investigation as a double murder-suicide? It could be weeks before autopsy and toxicology results shed light on those and other questions. “Dr. Edwards, his extended family and friends are in a state of grief and shock, and privacy of the family is paramount as arrangements are being made,” spokesman Jeff Dickerson said Thursday in an emailed statement. A longtime fixture in the Atlanta medical community, Edwards serves on the board of trustees of the Morehouse School of Medicine and was formerly on the board of Grady Memorial Hospital. He is the chairman of the Atlanta Housing Authority board. As news of the deaths spread, condolences poured in from those who knew the family and strangers touched by the tragedy. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and her husband were among the mourners.  Erin Edwards, a Boston University student, was an intern in the mayor’s communications office last summer. Christopher Edwards II joined the Atlanta film and entertainment office in 2018 as a digital content manager.  Both were Woodward Academy graduates. They were “promising young adults and budding NABJ media professionals,” said Sarah Glover, the former president of the National Association of Black Journalists. Glover said on Twitter she met the siblings at a conference in 2017.  Their mother, a medical equipment provider, was also a member of the organization, which advocates for and supports black journalists.  AJC.com has reached out to Cobb police for additional information about the deaths.  — Please return to AJC.com for updates.
  • Volkswagen AG has issued a recall of 679,000 cars sold in the U.S. since 2011. >> Read more trending news  The recall deals with electrical issues where a driver could take out the key after coming to a stop, even if the car was not in park. Silicate can build up on the shift lever micro switch and cause the problem, Reuters reported. The car will show that it is in park but it is still in gear, CNET reported. The car could then roll away, according to Reuters. The recall involves the following Volkswagen models: Jetta Beetle Beetle Convertible Golf Golf SportsWagen GTI. The cars affected come from various model years, from 2011 to 2019. Dealers will turn off a micro switch, install a different switch outside of the gear lever housing and add a new circuit board, CNET reported. Owners of affected vehicles will be alerted about the issue on or after Oct. 11, according to CNET.
  • Health officials in Illinois said Friday that a person who was hospitalized with lung problems after vaping has died in what might be the first death linked to e-cigarettes and similar devices in the United States. >> Read more trending news  The Illinois Department of Public Health said in a statement that the unidentified individual, who was between 17 and 38 years old, had been hospitalized with a severe respiratory illness shortly after vaping. 'The severity of illness people are experiencing is alarming and we must get the word out that using e-cigarettes and vaping can be dangerous,' Illinois Department of Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike said Friday. In Illinois alone, health officials said at least 22 people between the ages of 17 and 38 have experienced respiratory illnesses after vaping. Officials with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention arrived Tuesday in Illinois to help state health officials investigate, Ezike said. In a statement released Wednesday, officials with the CDC said that between June 28 and Aug. 20, nearly 150 cases of severe lung illnesses linked to e-cigarettes were reported in 15 states. Health officials continue to investigate the illnesses. According to the CDC, no specific product or compound has been linked to all of the cases and it remained unclear Friday whether the cases shared a common cause. Poison control officials have been concerned about exposure to vaping products, including e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine, in recent years due to the high concentration of nicotine when compared with other tobacco products, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Association officials said that as of July 31, poison control centers have managed 2,439 cases connected to e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine this year. Last year, officials fielded 2,470 such cases, according to figures from the association.