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Atlanta United

    At this point, Atlanta sports fans should be numb to the disappointment. They've been through it so many times. Yet, somehow, this city's teams keep finding ways to take the misery index to new heights. A 10-spot in the very first inning? Can you believe it? Returning home with another chance to claim their first postseason series victory since 2001, the Braves were wiped out in the decisive game of the NL Division Series before many in the sellout crowd of more than 43,000 had even settled into their seats at SunTrust Park. The St. Louis Cardinals scored 10 runs their first time up — the first time that's ever happened in a big league postseason game. 'Very disappointing,' said Braves manager Brian Snitker, sounding a bit numb after a 13-1 rout. 'We all had such great expectations coming into today. Everybody was looking forward to it. I think everybody was ready. And you can't plan for that.' Indeed, no one saw it coming. Then again, maybe they should have. After all, this was an Atlanta team and a big-time game. That's rarely a good combination. 'Everything went wrong,' said Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, who made a key error that helped open the floodgates in Wednesday night's debacle. To be fair, the A-T-L has managed two major professional championships: the Braves in the World Series way back in 1995 and soccer's Atlanta United, which captured the MLS Cup title last December. But the failures far outweigh those rare successes. The NFL Falcons, who've been around since 1966, have managed just two Super Bowl appearances — and both ended badly. Very, very badly. During the 1998 season, a team known affectionately as the 'Dirty Birds' reached the title game against John Elway and the Denver Broncos. Unfortunately for the Falcons, one of their most respected players, Eugene Robinson, was arrested the night before the big game on charges that he solicited an undercover police officer for sex. Thoroughly distracted, Robinson was beaten for a long touchdown and the Falcons staggered to a 34-19 loss. Of course, that was nothing compared to the Falcons' most recent Super Bowl appearance. Three seasons ago, Atlanta held a 28-3 lead over the mighty New England Patriots late in the third quarter. But Tom Brady led a furious comeback that culminated with the first overtime in the game's history. Of course, the Patriots won the OT coin toss and drove the length of the field for a 34-28 victory. The NBA Hawks have never even reached the finals, but at least they're still around. Atlanta's two NHL teams both moved to Canada due to financial problems — the Flames going to Calgary in 1980, the Thrashers following suit in 2011 by relocating to Winnipeg. Neither franchise won a single playoff series. And let's not forget college football's Georgia Bulldogs, who are essentially an Atlanta team. They were dealt excruciating losses the last two seasons by Alabama, which rallied from a pair of 13-point deficits to win the 2018 national championship game with a 41-yard touchdown pass in overtime, and then pulled off another comeback in last season's Southeastern Conference title game to deny the Bulldogs a return trip to the national playoff. Both games were held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, in the shadow of the Atlanta skyline. When it comes to postseason disappointment, no one can match the Braves. The franchise is well known for its record 14 straight division titles from 1999 through 2005, but just as much for having collected only one World Series title with all those playoff appearances. The most bitter loss came a year after its biggest triumph: the Braves easily won the first two games of the '96 Series at Yankee Stadium and were up 6-0 in Game 4, seemingly assured of building a 3-1 lead. But New York's Jim Leyritz tied the game with a three-run homer, the Yankees won in extra innings and would go on to take the title, four games to two. The Braves have never come so close again to winning a title. Even worse, they've now lost 10 straight playoff rounds since their last triumph in the 2001 NLDS, tying the ignominious record for postseason failure set by the Chicago Cubs from 1908 to 2003. Rubbing even more salt in the wound, eight of those series setbacks have ended with a loss on Atlanta's home field. It happened again Wednesday. The Cardinals celebrated in the middle of the field before gathering on the pitcher's mound to pose for a triumphant picture with the Braves logo serving as a backdrop on the enormous center-field video board. 'I think it was more of a shock than anything,' Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson said. 'You don't expect something like that to happen, especially with how well we played all season.' He might as well have been speaking for the entire city. Then again, it wasn't really a surprise. ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 His work can be found at https://apnews.com ___ For more AP college football coverage: www.collegefootball.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • The wives of two of English soccer's most high-profile players got embroiled in a spat on Twitter on Wednesday about the leaking of information to a tabloid newspaper. In a post to her 1.3 million followers, Wayne Rooney's wife, Coleen, accused Rebekah Vardy — or somebody with access to Vardy's account — of informing The Sun about details of her private stories written on Instagram. Rebekah Vardy is the wife of Leicester striker Jamie Vardy, who used to play for England's national team alongside Wayne Rooney. Coleen said she spent five months attempting to work out who was sharing the stories, going as far as blocking everyone from viewing her Instagram page except for one account and then posting 'a series of false stories to see if they made their way into' the newspaper. Coleen finished her tweet by saying her private investigation showed 'just one person has viewed them. It's ..........Rebekah Vardy's account.' Vardy, who has 90,400 Twitter followers of her own and is well known for appearing in a reality TV show in Britain, denied leaking the information. Vardy replied to Coleen on Twitter, saying she 'never' speaks to journalists about her and that she recently discovered that 'various people have had access to my insta.' 'I'm disgusted that I'm even having to deny this,' added Vardy, who said she was 'upset' at being accused by Coleen, especially because she is pregnant with her fifth child. Wayne Rooney, a former Manchester United striker who has been playing in the United States for MLS team D.C. United since July 2018, is returning to English soccer in January as player-coach of second-tier club Derby County. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Josef Martinez and Julian Gressel scored second-half goals and Atlanta United beat the New England Revolution 3-1 on Sunday in a playoff preview. Defending champion Atlanta (18-12-4) finished second in the Eastern Conference to set a first-round game against New England. The Revolution (11-11-12) finished seventh, clinching their first playoff berth in four years with a victory over New York City FC a week ago. Darlington Nagbe tapped in a center from Gressel three minutes in before Christian Penilla knotted the score five minutes later. After intermission, Martinez recorded his 27th goal of the year off an assist from Gressel in the 49th. Martinez set up Gressel eight minutes later. Atlanta finished 4-0-2 against the Revolution this season and outscored New England 15-3.
  • Julian Gressel scored for Atlanta United in a 1-1 tie with Montreal on Sunday that ended the Impact's playoff hopes. Gressel scored in the 53rd minute, and Bojan Krkic tied it for Montreal in the 81st. Defending champion Atlanta (17-12-4) has already clinched a playoff spot. Clement Diop made five saves in his MLS debut for Montreal (11-17-5). Evan Bush was on the bench for the first time since the end of the 2017 season, a streak of 66 consecutive league matches. Brad Guzan made three saves for Atlanta.
  • NEW YORK (AP) - Alexandru Mitrita had a hat trick to lead New York City FC to a 4-1 victory over Atlanta United on Wednesday night. Mitrita gave NYCFC (17-5-10) a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute with a shot 25 yards away from the edge of the box, assisted by Ismael Tajouri. Mitrita put NYC ahead 2-0 in the 23rd on a shot 21 yards away from the right side of the penalty box, assisted by Maxi Moralez. Mitrita gave NYC a 3-0 advantage in the 34th on a shot 16 yards out from the left side of the penalty box. Gonzalo Pity Martinez scored for Atlanta United FC (17-12-3) on a penalty kick in the 53rd. NYC midfielder Heber scored in the 87th on a shot 16 yards out from the right side of the penalty box. NYC outshot Atlanta 16 to 10, with eight shots on goal to four for United. NYC drew three corner kicks, committed 15 fouls and was given five yellow cards. Atlanta drew three corner kicks, committed 16 fouls and was given four yellow cards. Both teams next play Sunday. NYC visits New England and Atlanta visits Montreal. ___ The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.
  • Atlanta United star Josef Martinez is expected to miss at least one game after injuring his right knee and ankle, a better-than-expected diagnosis that sets up the dynamic striker to be available for the MLS playoffs. The team feared Martinez was seriously injured over the weekend in a 3-1 victory over San Jose. But coach Frank de Boer said after a training session Monday that nothing was broken and there was no ligament damage. Still, Martinez is likely to miss Wednesday's game at New York City FC, a showdown at Yankee Stadium between the two top teams in the Eastern Conference. He is using crutches and still in a lot of pain, according to de Boer. 'Hopefully, he can return quicker than we expected,' the coach said. 'We are working day to day.' Martinez is one of the league's biggest stars, setting a record with 31 goals last season and winning MVP honors while leading United to the MLS Cup championship in just its second year. The 26-year-old Venezuelan ranks third in the Golden Boot standings this season with 26 goals, trailing Carlos Vela of Los Angeles FC with 29 and Zlatan Ibrahimovic of LA Galaxy with 27. Over his MLS career, he has 76 goals in 82 games. Martinez set another MLS record this season by scoring a goal in 15 straight games, a streak that ended Saturday when he was injured against the Earthquakes. The striker went down in the 79th minute after colliding with a teammate and landing awkwardly on his right knee. He was able to walk off the field and returned to action before being subbed off. He was carried to the locker room on a stretcher. Atlanta is second in the Eastern Conference, trailing NYCFC by four points with three games left in the regular season. De Boer said Brandon Vazquez or Héctor Villalba will take over the striker duties while Martinez is out. United already has clinched a spot in the playoffs for the third year in a row and at least one home game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. If the team can pass NYCFC in the East, it would earn a first-round bye. Otherwise, United would open the playoffs with a game on either Oct. 19 or 20. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Atlanta United captain Michael Parkhurst will retire after the season, ending a 15-year career in which he was one of the top defenders in Major League Soccer, played in the Olympics and won an MLS Cup championship. Parkhurst announced his decision Monday before the team trained for a crucial match at New York City FC. Atlanta trails first-place NYCFC by four points in the Eastern Conference with three games left in the regular season. 'It's something I've been thinking about for a long time,' said Parkhurst, whose playing time dwindled this season. 'I just wanted to get it off my chest. Talking to the staff, figuring out when the best time to get it out there was, we decided today was — before the last game and before the playoffs start. I don't want to be a distraction at all.' The 35-year-old defender was picked as captain after joining Atlanta for its first season in 2017. He helped the expansion team win the MLS Cup last season, as well as the Campeones Cup and the U.S. Open Cup this year. 'We want to congratulate Michael on an illustrious career and thank him for immense contributions to Atlanta United,' technical director Carlos Bocanegra said. 'His career accolades speak for themselves, but during his time in Atlanta, he was a consummate professional and played an integral role for us, both on and off the field.' Parkhurst, born in Providence, Rhode Island, was the 2005 MLS Rookie of the Year and 2007 Defender of the Year with the New England Revolution. He also played in the Danish Superliga and spent one season with Augsburg in the German Bundesliga before returning to this side of the Atlantic with the Columbus Crew in 2014. He was a member of the U.S. national team for eight years, notably competing at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. FC Nordsjælland tweeted a congratulatory message to Parkhurst. He made 107 appearances with the team over four seasons in Denmark, a stint that included one league championship and two Danish Cup titles. 'What a player. What a person. Thanks for giving us some of the best years of your life and career,' the club said. 'We wish you the best in the next chapter off the pitch and will always remember your contribution here.' Asked how he wanted to be remembered, Parkhurst paused for a few seconds before answering: 'First and foremost, I was a good teammate, somebody who was fun to be around in the locker room and was dependable on the field. Those are the most important things. That I made an impact on the field and off the field wherever I was.' Parkhurst finally won his first MLS Cup last December, having fallen short four other times. But after finishing in the top five in Defender of the Year voting in 2018, his playing time diminished significantly with the emergence of Miles Robinson. Parkhurst has only 14 starts and 18 appearances in 31 league games. 'Honestly, the way it has gone for me personally here lately, it makes it a little easier' to retire, Parkhurst conceded. But he also said: 'I can tell you the thought had entered my mind long before I wasn't playing anymore. Even coming into the season, as you get a little older, the thoughts are there. So it was definitely something I imagined and thought was possible at the end of this year.' Even as his playing time dwindled, Parkhurst remained an important figure in the locker room and never complained about sitting on the bench. 'In addition to solidifying our back line for the 2018 MLS Cup championship run, he was also an influential figure in building our club's culture and we're forever indebted to him for that,' Bocanegra said. 'He'll always be welcome back at Atlanta United.' Parkhurst said he hasn't decided what to do next. He's not ruling anything out, including a move into coaching. 'I want to stay involved in soccer somehow,' he said. With Atlanta United already clinching a spot in the playoffs for the third straight season, Parkhurst has a shot at one more trophy before he retires. No matter how his final season ends, he's proud of what he accomplished in Atlanta, helping chart the course for a franchise that has set numerous MLS attendance records and quickly become a flagship team. 'This is a great organization, a great team,' Parkhurst said. 'The support we've gotten from the city, just what Atlanta United means to the city, is just amazing. To be a big part of that is special. I'm happy to be able to retire as an Atlanta player.' ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • ATLANTA (AP) - Emerson Hyndman scored the go-ahead goal in the 90th minute and Atlanta United defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 Saturday. Justin Meram struck first for Atlanta United (17-11-3) in the fourth minute with a shot 19 yards out from the edge of the box. Brad Guzan put San Jose (13-13-5) on the scoreboard with an own goal in the 27th minute. Emerson Hyndman gave Atlanta United a 2-1 advantage in the 90th minute with a shot 13 yards away from the left side of the box, assisted by Darlington Nagbe. Gonzalo Pity Martinez finished off the victory for Atlanta United in the second minute of second-half stoppage time with a shot 10 yards out from the center of the box, assisted by Brandon Vazquez. Atlanta United outshot the Earthquakes 18 to two, with 12 shots on goal to two for San Jose. Atlanta United drew five corner kicks, committed eight fouls and was given two yellow cards. San Jose drew four corner kicks, committed 15 fouls and was given three yellow cards and one red card. Both teams next play Wednesday. Atlanta United visits New York City, and the Earthquakes host the Union. ___ The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • It’s the last official weekend of Summer for Metro Atlanta, but “Road Construction Season” continues! Lane restrictions are planned by the I-285/Georgia-400 corridor project. More road work and delays are expected in Gwinnett and Barrow Counties during overnights along I-85 between Hamilton Mill Road (Exit 120) and Highway 211 (Exit 126). Paving work along I-75 between Highway 155 (Exit 216) and SR-36 Exit 201) in Henry and Spalding Counties, and on the west side of I-285 in Atlanta are also planned for overnight hours.  Traffic to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Downtown Atlanta will grow in volume Saturday as Atlanta United hosts San Jose Earthquakes in Major League Soccer action. Later Saturday expect more traffic to Alpharetta’s Ameris Bank Amphitheater with Kid Rock in concert, and to Atlanta Symphony Hall with the return of violin sensation Joshua Bell. Traffic by SunTrust Park will be busy all weekend with the playoff-bound Atlanta Braves hosting the San Francisco Giants, and expect a heavy flow of traffic to Athens, as the Georgia Bulldogs host Notre Dame for an epic showdown in college football Saturday evening! *All construction is as GDOT reports it and is weather-permitting. All times, lanes blocked, and locations could change. >>Listen to 95.5 WSB for live traffic updates all weekend and download the TRIPLE TEAM TRAFFIC ALERTS Mobile App for automated audio alerts. ROAD CONSTRUCTION ZONES: Sandy Springs: Georgia/400 North past Abernathy Rd. (Exit 5) to Northridge Road (Exit 6). Sandy Springs: Georgia/400 North ramp to I-285/East (Exit 4A) blocked, at times, during overnight hours. Sandy Springs/Dunwoody: I-285 East and West, between Glenridge Drive (Exit 26) and Chamblee-Dunwoody Road (Exit 30). Multiple lanes blocked during overnight hours. Cobb Co.: I-75/North at Chastain Road (Exit 271) left lane blocked during overnight hours. Fulton Co.: I-285/North from Washington Road (Exit 1) to Camp Creek Parkway (Exit 2), and Langford Pkwy. (Exit 5, Hwy. 166) to Cascade Road (Exit 7), in two lanes during overnight hours.  Fulton Co.: I-285/South near MLK, Jr. Drive (Exit 9) in right lane during overnight hours. Henry/Spalding Co.: I-75/North, before SR-16 (Exit 205) to Bill Gardner Parkway (Exit 212) in two lanes, during overnight hours. Douglas Co.: I-20/East from Hwy. 5 (Exit 34) to Fairburn Road (Exit 37) in two lanes, during overnight hours.  Gwinnett Co.: I-85/North past Hamilton Mill Road (Exit 120) in one lane, during overnight hours.  Fulton/Clayton Co.: I-285/East before the Airport Tunnel to Jonesboro Road (Exit 55) in right lanes through the weekend. Sandy Springs: Peachtree Dunwoody Road closed between Lake Hearn Drive and Concourse Parkway, overnights throughout the weekend. Roswell: Holcomb Bridge Road (SR-140) from Mansell Road to Georgia/400 during overnight hours. Alternating lane restrictions. WEEKEND EVENTS:  Atlanta: Mercedes-Benz Stadium- MLS Soccer: Atlanta United vs. San Jose Earthquakes…Sat. 9/21, 3:30 PM. Atlanta: Symphony Hall- Violin Sensation Joshua Bell Returns…Fri-Sat. 9/20-21, 8:00 PM; Sun. 9/22, 3:00 PM Cobb Co.: SunTrust Park- Major League Baseball: Atlanta Braves vs. San Francisco Giants. Fri-Sat. 9/20-21, 7:20 PM; Sun. 9/22, 1:20 PM Athens: Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium-NCAA College Football: Georgia vs. Notre Dame. Sat. 9/21, 8:00 PM Kickoff. Cobb Co.: Cobb Energy Centre- Atlanta Ballet Presents: “Love Fear Loss”. Fri.-Sun. 9/20-22. 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM daily. Atlanta: Georgia World Congress Center- Power Up Summit 2019, Sat. 9/21; Empire Mock Trials, Fri-Sun. 9/20-22.  Atlanta: Fox Theatre – Lexus Presents: “Oktoberfest Brunch” in Marquis Club. Sat. 9/21, 11:30 AM. Atlanta: Cellairis Amphitheater at Lakewood- Meek Mill and Future…Sun. 9/22, 7:00 PM. Alpharetta: Ameris Bank Amphitheater- Kid Rock in Concert…Sat. 9/21, 7:00 PM  Gwinnett Co.: Infinite Energy Arena- Pepe Aguiar in Concert…Fri. 9/20, 8:00 PM. Gwinnett Co.: Infinite Energy Center- JapanFest. Sat.-Sun. 9/21-22, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM. Atlanta: Atlanta Track Club- “Atlanta Meaningful Miles/5K”. Old Fourth Ward Park, Dallas Street NE. Sat. 9/21, 8:00 AM. Cherokee Co.: Atlanta Track Club- “Express Yourself Superpower 5K”. Etowah River Park, Brown Industrial Pkwy., Canton . Sat. 9/21, 8:00 AM. DeKalb Co.: Atlanta Track Club- “Taste of Health 5K”. Samson’s Health and Fitness, Woodrow Road, Stonecrest. Sat. 9/21, 8:00 AM. Forsyth Co. (Cumming): Atlanta Track Club- “2019 21st Annual Dream Mile/10K/5K. The Collection at Forsyth, 410 Peachtree Pkwy. Sun. 9/22, 7:00 AM.
  • San Jose Earthquakes (13-12-5, sixth in the Western Conference) vs. Atlanta United FC (16-11-3, third in the Eastern Conference) Atlanta; Saturday, 3:30 p.m. EDT BOTTOM LINE: Atlanta United FC plays San Jose after Josef Martinez registered two goals against FC Cincinnati. Atlanta United FC is 10-2-3 in home games. Atlanta United FC is 8-1-0 when it scores two goals. The Earthquakes are 3-9-3 in road games. San Jose ranks second in the MLS with 183 shots on goal, averaging 6.1 per game. The matchup Saturday is the first meeting this season between the two teams. TOP PERFORMERS: Julian Gressel leads Atlanta United FC with nine assists. Martinez has 13 goals over the past 10 games for Atlanta United FC. Chris Wondolowski has 14 goals and one assist for San Jose. Magnus Eriksson has three goals and one assist over the last 10 games for the Earthquakes. LAST 10 GAMES: Atlanta United FC: 7-3-0, averaging 2.2 goals, 1.3 assists, 5.3 shots on goal and 6.4 corner kicks per game while allowing 1.1 goals per game. San Jose: 4-5-1, averaging 1.6 goals, 1.1 assists, seven shots on goal and 8.1 corner kicks per game while allowing 1.5 goals per game. NOT EXPECTED TO PLAY: Atlanta United FC: Ezequiel Barco (injured), Brek Shea (injured). San Jose: None listed. ___ The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.

News

  • Kenny Dixon, the longtime drummer for Georgia-raised country music star Kane Brown was killed in a car accident, the band confirmed Sunday. >> Read more trending news  Dixon was from Dalton, Georgia. It's unclear where the crash happened but his bandmates say he died Saturday. 'It is with profound sadness and disbelief that we confirm we lost our drummer Kenny this weekend in a tragic car accident,' the band wrote in a statement. 'Kenny was a member of our family from the very beginning, and our hearts are with his fiancée Sarah, his son and everyone who knew and loved him. He was truly one of the greatest and kindest people on and off stage we’ve ever known.” Dixon's fiance, Sarah Hendrick, also confirmed the musician's death in an Instagram post on Sunday. 'I’m at a loss of words. I don’t even know how to write this or ever thought I would have to. Kenny passed away last night in a car accident. I know I have to be strong for Levi and God is gonna pull us through this. We have a forever guardian angel watching above us now. Please keep Levi, my family, and Kenny’s family in your prayers,' she wrote. Dixon and Hendrick were set to wed Nov. 30 in Dalton, according to the couple’s wedding website on The Knot. They were parents to a son, Levi. Brown also commented on the drummer’s death on social media.
  • A former University of Georgia student pleaded guilty Friday to running a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors, including fellow students and their families, from his Athens fraternity house. >> Read more trending news  Syed Arham Arbab, 22, of Augusta, admitted to defrauding 117 people in a scheme that attracted about $1 million from investors, prosecutors said. A news release said Arbab spent funds on clothes, shoes, adult entertainment and gambling trips to Las Vegas. “The defendant engaged in a pattern of deceit to gain the trust of unwitting investors who gave him their hard-earned money for what they believed was a sound investment,” Charlie Peeler, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, said in the release. From May 2018 to May of this year, Arbab sought investors for Artis Proficio Capital Management and Artis Proficio Capital Investments. Prosecutors said Arbab issued false account statements and misrepresented the size of the funds and returns. Among his false claims, prosecutors said, Arbab said a former UGA athlete and NFL star was among his investors. Arbab pleaded to a single count of securities fraud. He is scheduled for sentencing in January. In late May, the Securities and Exchange Commission initiated a civil complaint against Arbab, which is pending. In June, a federal judge froze Arbab’s assets and those of his investment funds. At the time, the SEC alleged Arbab defrauded at least eight investors of $269,000, but warned that the size of the scheme could be larger. In text messages, Arbab allegedly told investors his firm was “different because we target young investors/college kids,” and he charged lower commissions, the SEC complaint said. Arbab allegedly told investors he guaranteed investments of up to $15,000. The SEC said Arbab also sold “bond agreements,” which were like loans. Instead, Arbab allegedly deposited funds in his bank account and used new proceeds to pay off previous investors who sought money. A bio on the website for Artis Proficio stated that Arbab graduated cum laude from UGA with a degree in cellular biology, and that at the time, he working on a masters of business administration at UGA’s business school. Prosecutors said Arbab had in fact been rejected from the MBA program at UGA’s Terry College of Business.
  • When Stoneham firefighters arrived at a two-alarm fire around 12:30 p.m. Saturday, a woman living at the single-family home was on her roof overhang escaping the flames. >> Read more trending news   Stoneham police officers instructed her to jump from the overhang, and she was caught by Stoneham police officers Stephen Aprile and John Burton. She was the only person at the home at the time of the fire. 'Today marks the last day of Fire Prevention Week and the theme for this year covered how important it is for people to have an escape plan to get out of their home,' says Stoneham fire Chief Matthew Grafton. 'The resident who was at home at the time of (Saturday's) fire is an excellent example of someone who knew to find an available escape route and got herself safely out of the house as quickly as possible.' The fire was in the kitchen on the first floor and smoke was billowing from all windows. Crews from the Woburn, Melrose, Wakefield, Winchester and Reading fire departments helped on scene while Saugus, Medford and Malden firefighters helped with station coverage. Firefighters prevented the flames from spreading to the rest of the house, but the home sustained heavy damage from smoke and water, estimated at $150,000 to $200,000. The family of six who lived at the home is being helped by family and friends in the area. One dog was rescued and taken to a vet for evaluation. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
  • The final day of the Atlanta Air Show is canceled after a pilot ejected from a plane Sunday afternoon. The airshow began Saturday and was scheduled to continue Sunday afternoon at Tara Field near the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton.  >> Read more trending news  Capt. Kevin Domon-Grenier, a pilot with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, ejected from his aircraft shortly before the squadron was due to perform, the Snowbirds announced on Twitter on Sunday.  Domon-Grenier’s CT-114 Tutor crashed prior to the show’s opening, Airshow officials said. He made it safely to the ground and is OK, the CF Snowbirds said.  Nobody was injured when the plane crashed in an unpopulated area, according to the Snowbirds.
  • New Birth Missionary Baptist Church plans to redirect a donation it received from rap artist Kanye West to Atlanta’s Morris Brown College, officials said.  Rev. Jamal Harrison Bryant on Sunday announced a financial contribution to the HBCU’s general scholarship fund, according to a New Birth spokesman.  The announcement came during the 9:30 a.m.  church service. Bryant, senior pastor of New Birth in Stonecrest, said the funds  will be used to make a financial contribution in honor of the Grammy Award-winning artist’s late mother Donda West, who previously served on the faculty at Morris Brown.  The size of the donation wasn’t immediately announced. Morris Brown College has struggled financially since losing its accreditation in 2002. Only a few dozen students attend the college, down from as many as 2,700 in the mid-1990s. Among Historically Black Colleges and Universities, it is the only one in Georgia founded by African Americans. Kevin James, the college’s interim president, told New Birth’s congregation Sunday that Morris Brown was approved Friday as a higher learning institution by the Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission. He called it a “major step” toward accreditation.  “When you lose your accreditation, you close,” James said during the Sunday service. “But for some reason, for the past 17 years, Morris Brown College has been able to survive. We will be the first historically black college in history ... since 1837 to actually come back and be fully accredited under these circumstances.”   Kanye West visited New Birth Sept. 15 for a popup Sunday performance as a part of his “Sunday Service” series. Lines waiting outside New Birth began forming several hours before the service. RELATED: Kanye West brings ‘Sunday Service’ to Atlanta West has been making such appearances on Sundays this year, including one in Dayton, Ohio, to help that community in the wake of a mass shooting and on Easter Sunday to bring a message of faith to those attending the music festival Coachella. The announcement from New Birth came a day after West brought his Sunday Service series to Howard University, a prestigious HBCU in Washington, D.C.  It also came weeks after West defended his endorsement of President Donald Trump, whose support of HBCUs has been mixed.  MORE: HBCUs and Trump: up and down relationship “I went into prayer, and it dawned in me in prayer that Dr. Donda West, who was the mother of Kanye West, is a former professor at Morris Brown College,” New Birth’s Bryant said during Sunday’s service.  Donda West started her teaching career at Morris Brown College as an English instructor in the 1970s, and later became the department chair, according to an obituary. “I know what Dr. Donda West represented while at Morris Brown, and her mind for African American literature, was to empower, equip and engage students to be something radical that can change community and change society,” Bryant said.  In other news: 
  • Robert Downey Jr.'s first film since leaving the Marvel Universe still involves CGI, but of the animal variety. The former Iron Man is the title character in Universal Pictures' 'Dolittle.' It's the latest movie version of the story about the doctor who can communicate with animals. >> Read more trending news  Antonio Banderas appears to have a role in the film as an antagonist to Dolittle, while Octavia Spencer, Kumail Nanjiani, Ralph Fiennes, Emma Thompson, John Cena, Selena Gomez and Downey Jr.'s Marvel co-star Tom Holland lend their voice talents. Downey Jr. executive produces the film, which will be released Jan. 17, 2020. Watch the trailer below.