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Latest from Sandra Parrish

    One person is dead after his car crashes into a Lawrenceville gas station convenience store.Incredible surveillance video shows the car barreling through the parking lot of the Exxon station at the corner of Hwy 29 and Johnson Road traveling between 60-70 miles per hour. It just barely misses the gas pumps before crashing into the store. Demetrius O’Brien was sitting at the red light here when he saw it happen.
  • The newest high school sport for girls in Gwinnett County begins its first games next week.  Each of the school district’s high schools now has a flag football team thanks to a $110,000 donation from the Atlanta Falcons that pays for the equipment and customized uniforms.  The district is among only a handful of school systems in the country to offer the sport.  The demand among girls wanting to play was so high that the county’s largest high school, Mill Creek, had 400 girls try out for the 20-member team. Duluth High School had more than 70 interested.  “I immediately had enough for a Varsity, JV, and 9th grade team,” says Duluth head coach Brett Wilson.  He tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish he’d like to see the sport approved by the Georgia High School Association and sanctioned statewide.  All the girls on his team play at least one other sport including Senior Morgan Noil who hopes to get a basketball scholarship in college.  “I think it’s amazing because girls have always wanted to play football, but felt like they couldn’t because it’s a masculine sport,” she says.  Kimberlee Mankin, coach at Collins Hill High, believes it will have a lasting impact on the players.  “Anytime you can be a part of a team and be part of something, that’s beneficial the rest of your life,” she says.  Each Gwinnett team will play 14 regular season games with an end of year tournament. The first games begin next Tuesday.
  • One of the top haunts in the country opens its doors this weekend at its new home in Gwinnett County. After 20 years at its old location along I-85 in Norcross, the attraction now sits along West Park Place Road in Stone Mountain.  “We think that the new location is going to be incredible both for the show and for our patrons. It’s a much bigger location (and) we own the building, so we can make the modifications we need to really do this justice,” says co-owner Ben Armstrong.  He tells WSB Radio’s Sandra Parrish parking will be much better too with three lots available at no charge. And having queue lines both inside and outside is expected to move guests through faster.  Just like at the old location, there will be two shows this year: one with scary mummy-type monsters and the other a science-fiction thriller. As always, expect monsters to scare patrons as they wait in line or walk through the midway.  Armstrong, who was known to dress up himself through the years, says he now takes a supervisory role due to the size of the attraction.  “In a week or two I’ll know what I like and what I want to change. Right now, I just want them to see it,” he says.  Netherworld employs more than 400 people including 125 actors during its month-long season. Armstrong says the old location would typically see 75,000 visitors during that time and he hopes they’ll see as much, if not more, at this new one.  After this weekend’s preview on Friday and Saturday nights, the show will close for the week and then open nightly from Oct. 5 through Nov. 4.  The new location also includes three escape rooms which are open year-round.
  • A Gwinnett County woman, who reported to police she had been kidnapped at knifepoint, is now facing felony charges for making it all up.Detectives with the Gwinnett Police Department are waiting for 33-year-old Hillary Black to turn herself in on charges of falsely reporting a crime.Cpl. Michele Pihera says she told investigators a Hispanic man used a box cutter to threaten his way into her car after she withdrew money from the ATM at the Publix on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road.
  • Lawrenceville Police investigators say a man arrested for the fatal hit and run of an elderly woman last week has an address less than a mile from the scene.  Tran Hong, 79, was hit and killed by someone driving a small U-Haul truck as she walked along Johnson Road to go the grocery store September 10th.  Lt. Jake Parker says 51-year-old Leonard Decouto ditched the U-Haul truck with front-end damage within two days of the accident. U-Haul recovered the vehicle in Duluth and notified police.
  • An East Ellijay police officer is back on the job after being placed on paid leave over allegations he supported racist remarks on social media. Officer Tommy Long was accused by the Atlanta Antifa of liking posts on Facebook connected to the KKK. Police Chief Larry Callahan says he was placed paid leave two weeks ago, as standard policy, while an internal investigation was conducted. But they were unable to substantiate the claims.
  • The 25-year-old victim had just returned to the Oakwood Vista Apartments off Jimmy Carter Boulevard after a night out when he was severely beaten outside his car.
  • If you normally travel through downtown Lawrenceville, you better pick a different route for most of this week.A DC Comics streaming series called Doom Patrol has three downtown streets tied up through Thursday. Lawrenceville City Manager Chuck Warbington says Perry Street will be closed all four days while Crogan Street will be closed during non-rush hours and Pike Street only intermittently.
  • The city of Lawrenceville has broken ground a major development project in the heart of its downtown.  The 32-acre site, to be called SouthLawn, will include 600 single family houses and townhomes and 15,000-square feet of retail space. “The SouthLawn development means a new residential sense of purpose for the city,” says Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson. She tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish the live, work, play community will be within walking distance of restaurants and businesses in the downtown square, the new town green, the Aurora Theatre and the police department.  “It will provide residents with a diversity of housing and a cultural atmosphere that you’re not going to find anywhere else except in the city of Lawrenceville,” says Johnson. It’s the latest effort to redevelop the downtown which will also include turning the city’s first school for African-American children, Hooper Renwick, into a museum that will also house Lawrenceville’s relocated public library. A future expansion of the Aurora Theatre is also planned. “When I look at these kind of developments and these kind of commitments by the city, by private development, (and) by retail, it is literally overwhelming,” says theater co-founder Ann-Carol Pence. She believes some of the 80,000 patrons Aurora attracts every year will be among those buying the new homes and businesses in the development. Developer Jim Borders, with the Navare Group, has worked on similar projects in downtown Atlanta and Buckhead.  “It doesn’t have to be in the city center, it can be in a city that’s in the suburbs of a large city like Atlanta,” he says. Borders expects the first buildings to be up by the end of next year with completion in 2021.
  • Manley says family members of the victim told him Delkic was beaten and tortured at a Bosnian prison before immigrating here. He calls the death senseless.
  • Sandra Parrish

    News Anchor Reporter

    Sandra Parrish has been a reporter for WSB Radio since 1995 and covers political, legislative, transportation, and educational news. She graduated from the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism in 1989 and worked as an anchor/news director for WPLO in Lawrenceville, an anchor/assistant news director for WNGC in Athens and an anchor/reporter for WDUN in Gainesville before joining the WSB news team. Over the years, she has received over a dozen Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for "Best Use of Sound", "Best Series", and "Best Sports Reporting". She's also received numerous awards from the Associated Press, Georgia Association of Broadcasters, Society of Professional Journalists, and National Association of Black Journalists. Sandra is a former member of the board of the Georgia Associated Press Broadcast Association. She is married with two daughters.

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News

  • After Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston traded touchdown pass after touchdown pass, it came down to a few wacky flips near the goal line. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers nearly pulled off a miracle. But, in the end, the Atlanta Falcons finally got a much-needed victory to bounce their way. Ryan threw for 354 yards and three touchdowns as the Falcons snapped a three-game losing streak, holding off Tampa Bay 34-29 Sunday in Winston's return as the Bucs' starter. The Falcons (2-4) scored on their first three possessions and held off a wild comeback by Tampa Bay (2-3), avoiding their first 1-5 start since 2007. The Bucs lost their third in a row. 'It was all hands on deck,' Atlanta coach Dan Quinn said. Especially on the final play . Winston and the Bucs drove to the Atlanta 21 but were out of timeouts. With the Falcons dropping nearly everyone toward the end zone, expecting a pass, Winston took the snap and darted straight up the middle of the field. When he was about to be tackled at the 10, he pitched the ball toward receiver Adam Humphries, who was so intent on going for the winning score he couldn't hang on. The ball skipped to Mike Evans, who blindly flung it in the direction of DeSean Jackson along the sideline at the 5. Jackson might've had a chance to dive for the end zone, but he couldn't come up with another bouncing ball. It rolled harmlessly out of bounds to end the game. Jackson ripped off his helmet and kicked the pylon in disgust on his way to the locker room. 'The play is a play you run once,' tight end O.J. Howard said. 'It was a great call. We almost got it.' Winston, who was suspended for the first three games of the season and came off the bench in Week 4, threw for 395 yards and four TDs. His performance, though, was marred by a pair of interceptions, one a deep ball that was picked off at the Atlanta 1 and a deflected pass in the end zone that ricocheted high in the air and was grabbed by Brian Poole to deny a red-zone scoring chance. Ryan's three TD passes gave him 274 in his career, passing Joe Montana for 16th on the career list. 'Obviously it's very special any time your name is brought up with Joe's,' Ryan said. 'But I'm more excited about the win.' He also had a big scramble on third-and-9, powering for a 13-yard gain that set up his final scoring pass. Quinn made a gutsy call with just over a minute remaining, sending on Matt Bryant to attempt a 57-yard field goal with Atlanta clinging to a 31-29 lead. Bryant's kick just cleared the crossbar, extending the Falcons' lead. The 43-yard-old Bryant put everything into the kick and immediately grabbed his right hamstring before hobbling off the field. Quinn's decision forced the Bucs to go for a touchdown. 'I can't say enough about Matt Bryant and the kick he had,' Quinn gushed. 'He's definitely one of the most mentally tough players I've had a chance to coach.' JULIO'S DAY Julio Jones went another game without a touchdown catch. The Falcons didn't mind a bit. Jones had 10 receptions for 143 yards — his third 100-yard game of the season — and constantly drew attention away from his teammates. That allowed Austin Hooper, Mohamed Sanu and Tevin Coleman to haul in scoring passes. Jones has gone 11 straight regular-season games without a TD since a Nov. 26, 2017, victory over Tampa Bay, when he had two scoring catches. BUC-KLING DOWN The beleaguered Tampa Bay defense, which is guided by former Falcons coach Mike Smith, was shredded in the first half for three touchdowns, a last-second field goal and 275 yards. It showed a bit of improvement after the break, actually forcing Atlanta to punt on three straight possessions. But, with the game on the line, the Bucs surrendered a 75-yard drive capped by Ryan's 6-yard TD pass to Coleman and a 36-yard possession that set up Bryant's long field goal. Tampa Bay came into the game allowing 34.75 points per game, more than any team in the league. INJURY REPORT Atlanta's receiving corps took a beating. Calvin Ridley, who was leading the Falcons with six touchdown catches, went out in the first half with an ankle injury and didn't return. Sanu was sidelined in the second half with a hip problem after hauling in a 35-yard touchdown pass. The loss of two receivers forced the Falcons to give more playing time to Justin Hardy, Marvin Hall and Russell Gage. Hardy had three catches and Gage came up with a big catch on Atlanta's touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. The Bucs lost defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who walked slowly off the field in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury. Also, cornerback Ryan Smith was evaluated for a possible concussion. UP NEXT Buccaneers: Return home next Sunday to host the Cleveland Browns (2-3-1). Falcons: Host the struggling New York Giants (1-5) on Monday, Oct. 22, to close out a stretch of five home games in the first seven weeks of the season. ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry ___ For more AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NFLfootball and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • A small plane crashed while taking off at the Gwinnett County Airport on Sunday afternoon, officials said. The two occupants of the plane were able to exit safely before the plane caught fire at about 12:40 p.m., according to a statement from the Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services. The occupants, an instructor and a student, were not seriously injured, the fire department said. One was evaluated and released by paramedics at the scene, and the other said they were not injured. READ MORE: 1 reported dead in plane crash in Paulding County The Cessna 172 “experienced a nose dive and hard landing” while taking off from Runway 7 at Briscoe Field, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. The plane went up in flames, but crews put out the fire shortly after 1 p.m., officials said. The aircraft was deemed a total loss. The crash occurred just a day after another small plane crashed in Paulding County, killing the pilot. In other news:
  • One person in Mississippi is in custody after the Bolivar County sheriff said that a baby was stabbed, WTVA reported. The baby was then placed in an oven at the home and baked, the sheriff told WTVA. >> Read more trending news  The person, whose name and relationship to the baby has not been released, is in the Bolivar County Regional Correctional Facility, according to Sheriff Kelvin Williams. Williams said deputies found the baby, whose age has not been determined, after being called to the home Monday evening, WTVA reported. They are unsure though when the baby died. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the crime lab are investigating.
  • A Massachusetts school employee is under investigation by the Secret Service for allegedly threatening President Donald Trump on social media. >> Watch the news report here The employee, a Fitchburg Public Schools paraprofessional who works with special-needs students, has also been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation. Her husband, a principal at Fitchburg's Longsjo Middle School, spoke only to WFXT about his wife's alleged tweet, which was captured in screen shots and shared multiple times on social media. At first, the tweet caught the attention of the local police force and subsequently of federal agents. 'People have their preferences, but sometimes you should just keep your 2 cents to yourself, you know?' said Roger Valcourt, a parent. The tweet, posted Oct, 10 which read, 'No just kill Trump,' has been generating controversy around town. Parents were shocked to learn what happened, saying both the principal and his wife are star educators. After the tweet was reported to Ashburnham police, the Secret Service launched an investigation, telling WFXT that they are aware of the incident and investigate all threats made against the president. 'I don’t know what was going through her head, I guess, but it’s not a good thing to say you want to kill the president,' said Alex Clemente, a parent. Clemente, a veteran who fought in Iraq, says the tweet went too far. 'Even though you don’t like him, you can’t say that,' Clemente said. >> Read more trending news  The employee's husband told WFXT in an off-camera interview she meant no harm, saying, 'It was lapse in judgment, a mistake. It was a bad choice of words that were taken out of context. My wife is not a malicious person, and has an impeccable work record. She’s embarrassed by this situation.' While Craig Chalifoux spoke to WFXT on the record, his wife isn't being identified because she is not facing any charges. The superintendent told WFXT that the employee has been placed on paid administrative leave, saying, in a statement, this 'is being done to protect her interests as well as the interest of the district [and] it will allow the investigation to conclude and minimize any disruption and distraction and protects her safety and security.
  • A U.S. Customs and Border Protection beagle named Hardy detected a roasted pig’s head in checked luggage at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. >> Read more trending news  Hardy, a six-year-old rescue beagle, alerted his handler to a bag belonging to a traveler from Ecuador. Inside was the pig’s head, which weighed nearly 2 pounds. The director of the Port of Atlanta for Customs and Border Protection, Carey Davis, issued a statement saying the seizure demonstrates “the tremendous expertise of our four-legged K-9 partners in protecting the United States.” >> Related: Beagle rescued from abuse now detects contraband at Hartsfield-Jackson The agency seized the pig’s head and destroyed it, saying pork and pork products from other continents are prohibited from entering the United States to prevent the introduction of diseases like classical swine fever, foot and mouth disease and swine vesicular disease. Travelers are supposed to declare fruit, vegetable and food products to Customs and present them for inspection. Hardy, a member of the Customs and Border Protection “Beagle Brigade,” got his job in 2015 after training at the National Detectors Dog Training Center in Newnan, Georgia. It’s not the first time a beagle has intercepted a pig at Hartsfield-Jackson. In 2016, a K9 beagle named Joey detected a whole roasted pig in the baggage of a traveler from Peru.
  • A man in Cleveland County, North Carolina, was seriously hurt after he was shot by his own booby trap. >> Read more trending news  Edwin Smith booby-trapped a back door with a shotgun and posted an abrasive warning sign for intruders. >> Related: Business booming for man who invented booby-trap to detour package thieves He opened the door at about 11:30 a.m. to feed squirrels. The trap was sprung and he was struck in the arm. He is recovering in a hospital.