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Golfing with a Goal of $100,000 for Toys for Tots The 3rd disc golf tournament benefiting Toys for Tots was a huge success! Thanks to its sponsors and all of the players who participated, more than $8,000 was raised! Thank you to organizers Steve Winslow of the traffic team and Mike Haney, traffic trooper ‘Disc Golf Driver’ for their dedication to this fundraiser!  Some of our fellow Cox Media Group coworkers recently participated in the 2019 Toys for Tots Golf Tournament at Chateau Elan Golf Club. The goal of this tournament was to raise $100,000 for children in our communities! Way to go golfers, and Alex Williams of Triple Team Traffic, Steve Gehlbach of Ch. 2 Action News, Drex Rener from the Tad & Drex Morning Show on B98.5 and John Frasca! Our events, in memory of Captain Herb Emory, support the Marine Toys For Tots Foundation. There are 800 local Toys For Tots campaigns across the United States, collecting and distributing toys to less fortunate children. Their goal is to deliver a message of hope, through a new toy during Christmas that will assist children in becoming responsible, productive and patriotic citizens. Fred’s Bar-B-Q House continues to support the mission of Toys for Tots and is a drop off location for toys this year. Please visit them in Lithia Springs. We’d also ask you to consider supporting the 2019 Buddy Christian Memorial 5K Run/Walk in Winterville, coming up on Friday, November 29th. This run/walk raises money for the Buddy Christian Foundation, which works to protect law enforcement officers by preventing line of duty deaths and serve the surviving family members of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. If you’d like to get involved, please email melissachristian@buddychristianfoundation.org Call our traffic center with traffic incidents at 404-897-7358. You can also get through to us using the “Triple Team Traffic Alerts” app, free in your phone’s app store! The app provides real-time, traffic incidents recorded by WSB radio traffic reporters. Powered by Cool Ray Carrier.

The Gridlock Guy- Doug Turnbull

  • I’ve been blessed with incredible opportunities to travel the world. And when I’ve gotten to see Italy, Aruba, Great Britain, Turkey, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and Morocco in recent years, I’ve always tried to observe how traffic flows, how people drive, and how road systems work. » RELATED: Faced with congestion by I-285, city can now control all traffic signals I don’t normally experience another country behind the wheel, and my recent mission trip to Costa Rica was no different. For my entire week-long excursion to San Jose, my commute to our volunteer site has been as a passenger on a small bus. My group and I also took about an hour as pedestrians in the downtown area. But I did observe one thing noticeably different in San Jose than Atlanta. Some traffic signals on main drags in Costa Rica’s capital have timers or warning flashes on the green lights. These impulses work as a “yellow before the yellow.” As the green cycle nears an end, some lights state how many seconds remain inside the bulb itself. The numbers easily display for motorists and countdown from 30, before the light turns yellow. Other signals simply have the green light flash as a warning before the yellow. A local motorist told me that these dynamic green lights are a relatively new feature. San Jose added them only in the last couple of years and only in bigger intersections. Absent my normal contacts and tools I would have in Atlanta, I don’t have as much empirical data to share about these lights’ success in San Jose. But I think they would be a good addition in Atlanta. Major Metro Atlanta intersections often have problems with people blocking the box — i.e. staying stopped in the middle of an intersection when a signal turns red. A potential green-light timer or warning could give people some more leeway or margins for error when attempting to squeeze across to the other side. Of course, that could back fire and give people even more confidence to pull off an inconsiderate move. Green-light timers could also give motorists the same satisfaction — or dread — as trip times give. If someone is waiting through a long traffic light, they can at least gauge if they are going to make it past. A timer could even tip motorists off more specifically as to when a light is mistimed. We already have plenty of experience with warning lights and timers as pedestrians. Many crosswalks tell those crossing the street exactly how much time they have to do it. And people plan on “going for it” accordingly. Can they make their way across in 5 seconds? Maybe not. But in 15 or 20 seconds? Speed walk and give it a shot. Green-light timers and warnings aren’t revolutionary enough to warrant replacing good, working traffic signals. But they definitely are worth studying and exploring for when municipalities replace older ones. They actually could decrease the amount of blocking in intersections or, at the very least, give drivers a little more peace of mind about when they will advance. Thanks to Costa Rica for the inspiration. Pura vida.  » RELATED: Atlanta's traffic mess: More solutions from our readers Doug Turnbull, the PM drive Skycopter anchor for Triple Team Traffic on 95.5 WSB, is the Gridlock Guy. He also writes a traffic blog and hosts a podcast with Smilin’ Mark McKay on wsbradio.com. Contact him at Doug.Turnbull@coxmg.com .
  • As Atlanta reels and ruminates over the Braves-tomahawks imbroglio, another lower key story recently came across the wire in the traffic world. With Pride Weekend on the horizon, the City of Atlanta made a point last week to tell its residents that the rainbow crosswalk at the Midtown Piedmont Ave. at 10th St. intersection would remain. But why would there be any question about that? Apparently, the Federal Highway Administration has deemed these crosswalk paint schemes below their safety standards.  » RELATED: Federal government says rainbow crosswalks could be unsafe Recently, the city of Ames, Iowa received a letter from the FHWA asking they remove their rainbow crosswalks because the colorful markings did not meet government safety standards. FHWA says that crosswalks can only use white paint.  “Crosswalk art has a potential to compromise pedestrian and motorist safety by interfering with, detracting from, or obscuring official traffic control devices. The art can also encourage road users, especially bicycles and pedestrians, to directly participate in the design, loiter in the street, or give reason to not vacate the street in an expedient or predictable manner,” FHWA wrote in a letter to an Ames official. The letter continued: “”It also creates confusion for motorists, pedestrians, and other jurisdictions who may see these markings and install similar crosswalk treatments in their cities. Allowing a non-compliant pavement marking to remain in place presents a liability concern for the City of Ames in the event of a pedestrian/vehicle or vehicle/vehicle collision.” While Atlanta hasn’t gotten a request yet, other cities besides Ames have. Ames declined to change the crosswalks back to their normal white gridding. When asked about it, the City of Atlanta gave a clear response. “While we have received no such request, Atlanta’s rainbow crosswalk is located on city-owned streets,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ spokesman Michael Smith told the AJC. “Much like glitter, the crosswalk is here to stay indefinitely. The Bottoms Administration wishes Atlanta a safe and fabulous Pride.” The assertions by the feds that these crosswalks are dangerous is questionable at best. First, the letter to Ames said that the rainbow colors interfere with a traffic control device. While technically true, the rainbow patterns do not hurt the functionality of a crosswalk; people can still walk across on them. The FHWA also stated that the rainbow crosswalks encourage people to loiter around the design and put themselves in danger. While these crosswalks draw attention, there are very few, if any, people who are actually taking dangerous steps to snap pictures or observe the designs. Tourism liability is a weak argument to force the designs to change. FHWA’s most erroneous claim is that the designs create confusion for those using them. If anything, changing a crosswalk design to something more brilliant and familiar draws more attention to there even being a crosswalk in the first place. Doesn’t the government want people aware of the crosswalk? White has a great contrast to pavement, but so do bright rainbow colors. People are mighty aware of where to cross the street at Piedmont and 10th. In defense of the federal government, this does create a slippery slope. How much should cities change standard road and sign designs to fit themes? That is a good question. But it is one that local jurisdictions should answer. That holds especially true if the street is locally maintained and not a U.S. highway. The public has much more of a say in how policy is made on granular issues like these when we go to city council meetings and petition our leaders. A pencil-pushing bureaucrat a thousand miles away shouldn’t affect policy of this kind on this level. And citizens’ powers against federal bureaucrats is far less than it is against city governments. Ames decided to keep its crosswalks and likely will not face recourse. Atlanta has preemptively done the same. Hopefully these and other cities like them will keep this fun aesthetic under control and not try to make each crosswalk become a statement or novelty. There are certainly cultural and practical benefits to repainting crosswalks, but changing too many of them is too costly. Rainbow crosswalks are a good thing of which there certainly can be too much. But forbidding them for being unsafe is laughable — and probably makes people want to jaywalk even more. » RELATED: Why did parts of Midtown Atlanta's $196K rainbow crosswalk disappear? Doug Turnbull, the PM drive Skycopter anchor for Triple Team Traffic on 95.5 WSB, is the Gridlock Guy. He also writes a traffic blog and hosts a podcast with Smilin’ Mark McKay on wsbradio.com. Contact him at Doug.Turnbull@coxmg.com .
  • Most commercials, promos, movies, or TV shows that portray traffic use sounds that have lots of horns. These stock sounds have enough horns that seemingly every fourth car would be laying on the horn. This dramatization of traffic is fairly far from reality and even further from the legal use of a car horn. » RELATED: Gridlock Guy: The keyless car craze goes mobile I started thinking about what exactly the law says about the proper use of a car horn. The instrument is obviously important, as every vehicle has one and state law says operating a car without a working horn is illegal. But there is a very specific parameter that people can use them. State law (O.C.G.A. 40-8-70 [2010]) is very clear and basic about how motorists should deploy their horns. “The driver of a motor vehicle shall, when it is reasonably necessary to ensure safe operation, give audible warning with his or her horn but shall not otherwise use such horn when upon a highway,” Georgia code says. So horns are meant to help ensure safety, nothing more. The reason I began analyzing the proper use of the horn is because of a recent bad experience. A car turned right in front of me and into my lane one Sunday morning on Clairmont Road in Brookhaven. I briefly hit my horn to both let them know I was close to hitting them and as a sign that doing so was inappropriate. I did nothing more. I then pulled into the next lane to the right and proceeded on at a slightly quicker speed. The car that I honked at pulled up even with me and stayed right at my speed for the next mile or so. I could tell they were upset, but decided to look straight ahead. I didn’t want to engage them and inflame the situation even more. I could see from the corner of my eye that the upset driver was looking at me and mouthing something. This surprised me, as I had only briefly hit the horn one time and done nothing else. So in analyzing what I did then and what the law says, the only illegal thing I may have done with the horn could have been intent. After the person had completed the tight maneuver in front of me, my hitting the horn may have been a bit late and I certainly did it at least partially out of aggravation. But I also, as a matter of safety, wanted to let them know that I was there. And letting them know in a corrective way about how dangerous that was could be seen as another matter of safety. Legal or not, they were mad and I tried to stay above reproach after the initial incident. It was over to me. Now let’s all think about how we all use our horns. Are we using them in the spirit of the law? Popping the horn to let a person know a light is green is appropriate. It gets traffic moving and keeps a car from being stopped in the middle of the road. Tooting the horn when a vehicle drifts into a lane is good, because the other driver can correct themselves before contact. When a car is driving the wrong way down a one-way street or blows through a red light, a stout horn push lets them know at the very least that they are in the wrong and more importantly that there could be oncoming, dangerous traffic. When the car horn becomes an extension of road rage, it becomes both a weapon and ineffective for its intended use. I have been criticized in the past for not using my horn enough; I was hesitant to, since I didn’t want to seem angry. Thinking back, I should have shed some of that trepidation and used my horn more. As long as the car horn is a tool for safety, it is a very useful thing.  » RELATED: Gridlock Guy: My ultimate pet peeve behind the wheel Doug Turnbull, the PM drive Skycopter anchor for Triple Team Traffic on 95.5 WSB, is the Gridlock Guy. He also writes a traffic blog and hosts a podcast with Smilin’ Mark McKay on wsbradio.com. Contact him at Doug.Turnbull@coxmg.com .
  • If the summer vacation wasn’t over before, it is now. With Labor Day having come and gone, all schools are back and many people have returned from their long-term vacations. Post-Labor Day Atlanta traffic has been bananas, with high volume in some areas reaching greater heights than seen in the spring. And Gwinnett and DeKalb commuters last Wednesday morning saw a new height in the High Occupancy Toll lane on I-85/southbound.  » RELATED: Are toll lanes really the answer to Atlanta’s traffic mess? WSB Triple Team Traffic’s Mark Arum first reported the record as it jumped to $16.60, then $16.90, then finally the height of $17. The previous record was $15.50 for the long trip from Old Peachtree Road to Shallowford Road. Most drivers, however, do not take trips that length in the lanes.  Arum (who is the original Gridlock Guy, by the way) easily noticed the record, he told me, because the lane regularly hit the $15.50 mark for over a year. He monitors the I-85 toll pricing each day, as that is his normal sector he covers on 95.5 WSB and because he updates the ticker information with toll pricing on Channel 2 Action News. The State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) adjusts the pricing in the lane, based on volume. So when the price crossed the $16 barrier, his brow furrowed: I-85 did not seem worse to any worse to him on Wednesday.  “It stunk. But it was a normal day,” Arum told 95.5 WSB listeners on The Von Haessler Doctrine daily talk show. There were big issues on I-285 earlier in the morning, which definitely affected I-85/southbound. But those kinds of things also happened in the $15.50 era. So what made Wednesday a record-breaking day? “If volume in that lane increases significantly, the toll system will try to put pricing in to try and keep that lane flowing,” SRTA executive director Chris Tomlinson explained to Channel 2 Action News. “Our goal is to try and keep that lane moving at an average (speed) of about 45 mph.” But maintaining that reliable speed is hard and there does come a point where no reasonable price will thwart enough people from the lanes to keep them at 45 mph. More than likely, SRTA realized that with a new traffic season underway and an ever-increasing population, they needed to attempt to set a slightly higher water mark to at least try to lighten the volume in the lane. SRTA (not GDOT) opened the I-85 Express Lanes in 2011 to a great outcry, and the board has changed certain pricing rules multiple times. People remain outraged that the formerly free H.O.V. lanes, which allowed in only carpools, buses, and motorcycles, suddenly cost money. With the now-toll lanes hitting a record price, the same complaints flashed brighter than brake lights again. “Why do we have to pay for a lane that our taxes already built? That’s theft!” There are several things wrong with that argument. First, the toll lane is technically less exclusive now than it was as an H.O.V. lane. Before, vehicles had to have multiple passengers or meet other requirements to drive in those lanes. Now, cars with three or more passengers and buses can still use the Peach Pass lanes on I-85 for free, as long as they change the toll mode to note that status on their Peach Pass accounts. Both they and any paying driver can use the lanes. That taxed lane is now open to more people. Another foil on these complaints is the idea that the money charged for the lane only goes to paying for it or that the lane was done being paid for. The money from the H.O.T. lane (and other new toll lanes around the state) is used for multiple transportation initiatives, as gas tax revenues have decreased with more fuel-efficient vehicles. Even though the gas tax has raised, Georgia needs more funding for roads that the growing population is wearing down. That wear and tear also means a road is never really done being totally paid for. Paving needs to be done on freeways every seven or so years; that money has to come from somewhere. Arum, the late Captain Herb Emory, and I met with SRTA officials when these H.O.T. lanes opened, and they said the purpose of the lanes was to relieve congestion in the general purpose lanes and provide a separate lane with more reliable trip times. Arum told Von Haessler that the lanes have provided some reprieve: “If the population had remained the same, they definitely would have helped.” Arum himself has used his Peach Pass on a Friday afternoon when heading north out of town and finds them totally worth the cost. Added capacity improves the ride for all commuters, even those who choose to ride for free in the general lanes. “The only people that should be mad about the H.O.T. lane are the people that used to carpool in the old H.O.V. lane,” Arum said, since I-85 carpools with only two passengers are not exempt from the cost. Some cities have tolls that literally are dozens of dollars for each trip. I had to pay a handful each time I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco on my June trip there. We still have far lighter tolls than most places. So while $17 is more than even I would pay on a normal day, and the increase in cost may seem arbitrary, it’s not really that bad. And drivers can skip the cost by choosing a different lane. This is the government using a free-market approach to a growing traffic problem.  » RELATED: New record toll rate set on I-85 express lanes in Gwinnett County Doug Turnbull, the PM drive Skycopter anchor for Triple Team Traffic on 95.5 WSB, is the Gridlock Guy. He also writes a traffic blog and hosts a podcast with Smilin’ Mark McKay on wsbradio.com. Contact him at Doug.Turnbull@coxinc.com.
  • Of the different automobile innovations in recent times, using an app to start a car may not be the most astonishing. But this convenience is starting to become standard on newer vehicles, as most major automakers offer apps that can connect to their newer models. The existence of such makes the hands-free experience much more seamless and eliminates the extra clutter of keys. » RELATED: Georgia’s distracted driving law turns 1: Has anything changed? Lincoln’s 2020 Aviator SUV  is one of the latest to offer this feature. Lincoln offers The Lincoln Way app, which already allows users to monitor tire pressure and oil life, look up navigation information, and schedule service appointments. That app will have an adjacent Phone As A Key app that allows some next-level features. This latest update will allow users to also start and lock their vehicles within a certain range of them. The driver will no longer need the key fob in their pocket, purse, or armrest to start it. This technology will work off of the Lincoln’s Bluetooth network within 130 feet of each automobile and then can work off of wifi or the cell network outside of that range. It will also allow different drivers to save seat and mirror settings. These features match perfectly with Lincoln’s luxury branding. But some may wonder about the safety concerns with such an effortless technology. First, only four digital keys are allowed per vehicle, and each one has its specific driver profile settings. This prevents anyone with that same app from syncing up to that car and taking off with it. There’s also a valet mode that allows others to drive it and automatically disables when the drivers gets back into it. There is a backup plan for if a driver loses their phone. The Aviator has a place to enter a code on the door to unlock it and another ignition code inside the car. Inputting codes on car door locks has been in place on cars since at least the 1990s. These passcodes are probably helpful things to bury somewhere in the wallet, just in case. Another safety concern that already exists for keyless-ignition, push-start vehicles is remembering to turn them off. This happened back in June to an Illinois couple, when they got out of their car and mistakenly left it running in their garage. The fumes seeped into their house and became a silent killer. Not only are fumes silent, but newer cars are far quieter than before. When drivers no longer have to physically take their keys out of the car, leaving it running is a possibility. Now with no physical push-start button requirement, that hazard potentially increases. Electric vehicles are almost silent, but also do not emit fumes. And arguably the most cutting edge of those, Tesla, has deployed this phone-centric innovation. “I absolutely love it,” Tesla owner Jon Godwin told the AJC. “Don’t have to pull out the phone and open the app either. Just walk up to the car and go.” Godwin said that he can also remote-start the car from anywhere in the world, if someone is borrowing it. And he can even honk the horn from the app, which may be more useful for practical joking than anything else. Godwin does explain one drawback: forgetting to bring along more analog technology. “Because I didn’t need the keys for the car, I kept forgetting to bring them to open other things! (My wife Charissa and I) ended up getting a keyless lock for the house, too. And I keep my keychain in the glovebox for any other time I may need them. But now I only reach for a set of keys once in a blue moon.” Godwin said that Tesla provides two sleek credit cards to use as physical keys, but he has only used them once in his 10 months of ownership. And the Tesla pretty much works like a glorified golf cart; its engine doesn’t actually turn on until the driver presses the pedal. And it turns off when it’s motionless and the driver exits. This means that it won’t just stay activated by mistake and run out of battery. App-starting a vehicle may not solve many traffic issues, but the convenience makes the driving experience better. Drivers potentially can take better care of their vehicles with all of the diagnostic data available in the app. They can can transfer navigation destinations between the app and the digital dash infotainment center (which also is available via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with other compatible mapping apps). And being able to start and lock the car a bit quicker can at least shorten the commute by a few seconds. As long as people remain mindful enough to turn off their cars and aren’t using the app with their hands behind the wheel, there really aren’t many downsides to phones replacing keyfobs.  » RELATED: Don't make this huge mistake with your car key fob Doug Turnbull, the PM drive Skycopter anchor for Triple Team Traffic on 95.5 WSB, is the Gridlock Guy. He also writes a traffic blog and hosts a podcast with Smilin’ Mark McKay on wsbradio.com. Contact him at Doug.Turnbull@coxinc.com.

News

  • A West Virginia man is accused of attacking his brother and other family members at a home in Ohio after they said they were not going to support him entering 'America's Got Talent,' according to WFMJ-TV. >> Read more trending news  Gregory Rarey, 25, became irate and left the home in Warren, Ohio, near Youngstown, before he came back and started screaming, authorities said. Police said Rarey then punched his brother in the face.  Rarey's brother then put him in a choke hold, authorities said. Rarey tried to force his way out of the hold, biting his brother multiple times before he passed out, according to police. Police said Rarey told officers he would kill his brother if he filed charges because that would automatically eliminate his chances of trying out for 'America's Got Talent.' He was arrested and charged with domestic violence.
  • Police in Georgia said a group of teens stormed a school bus Monday and attacked elementary school children. It was so serious that one child was taken to the hospital, officials said. >> Read more trending news  It happened on a school bus on Hollyhock Terrace, just about 1 mile from Snapfinger Elementary School in DeKalb County. Parents told WSB-TV’s Tom Regan that they are stunned. They told him they didn’t get word of the vicious bus assault until they were in line to pick their kids up. “That is outrageous,” said parent Alexis Clarke. The parents are speaking after learning children came under attack by four older students.  School officials said they climbed onto the bus when it made a stop this morning.  Monday afternoon, the school sent a voice mail message to parents that said in part: “During the morning ride to school, a group of middle and high school student boarded the bus to assault an elementary school student.” School officials told WSB-TV that several students were attacked and one was taken to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta hospital.  Police arrested an 18-year-old non-student, a high school student and two middle school students on assault charges. “This is my kid's second week at school. This is ridiculous. This is why I don't have my kids on the bus; I drive them to school, and I drive them back home,” said parent Latrice Lewis.  “I think that's really bad, and if they did beat up some elementary school students, they definitely deserve to go to jail,” Clarke said.  School officials released the following statement: 'The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority. On Nov. 18, an incident occurred on a school bus on Hollyhock Terrace involving Snapfinger Elementary students. Two middle school students, one high school student, and an 18-year-old non-student attacked elementary students, which resulted in one elementary student being transported to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA).  'DeKalb County School District Police responded immediately, investigated and obtained warrants for the high school student and the 18-year-old non-student. Two middle schools students were arrested and taken to Juvenile Intake.
  • President Donald Trump is expecting a busy 2020, so he checked into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Saturday for portions of his annual physical, the White House press secretary said Saturday. >> Read more trending news  Here are the latest updates: Update 11:33 p.m. EST Nov. 18: In a memorandum, President Donald Trump's physician said Monday the president's visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Saturday was merely part of a 'routine, planned interim checkup, several media outlets reported. 'This past Saturday afternoon the President traveled up to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for a routine, planned interim checkup as part of the regular, primary preventative care he receives throughout the year,' Sean P. Conley wrote in the memo, CBS News reported. 'Due to scheduling uncertainties, the trip was kept off the record. 'Despite some of the speculation, the President has not had any chest pain, nor was he evaluated or treated for any urgent or acute issues,' Conley wrote. 'Specifically, he did not undergo any specialized cardiac or neurologic evaluations.'  Update 2:05 p.m. EST Nov. 18: White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham deflected rumors about President Donald Trump's health, saying it is “absolutely not” true that the president's visit to a doctor Saturday was anything other than a routine procedure, The Washington Post reported. Grisham also said the President is “healthy as can be,' the newspaper reported. In a statement Saturday, Grisham said Trump, 73, had “a quick exam and labs” and “remains healthy and energetic without complaints, as demonstrated by his repeated vigorous rally performances in front of thousands of Americans several times a week,” the Post reported. Grisham said rumors about the president 'are always flying.' 'He is healthy as can be,' Grisham told Fox News Channel host Jeanine Pirro on Saturday. 'I put a statement out about that. He’s got more energy than anybody in the White House. That man works from 6 a.m. until, you know, very, very late at night. He’s doing just fine.” Update 12:56 a.m. EST Nov. 17: Trump took to Twitter early Sunday, just hours after his visit to Walter Reed Medical Center. 'Visited a great family of a young man under major surgery at the amazing Walter Reed Medical Center,' he tweeted shortly after midnight. 'Those are truly some of the best doctors anywhere in the world. Also began phase one of my yearly physical. Everything very good (great!). Will complete next year.' According to The Associated Press, the two-hour appointment did not appear on the president's public schedule like his previous annual physicals.  Original story: 'Anticipating a very busy 2020, the President is taking advantage of a free weekend here in Washington, D.C., to begin portions of his routine annual physical exam at Walter Reed,' Stephanie Grisham, White House press secretary, said in a statement, CNN reported. Trump’s last physical was in February at Walter Reed. He weighed 243 pounds with a body mass index of 29.9, and 30 is considered obese, USA Today reported. He also had increased his use of a statin that helps control his cholesterol. 'I am happy to announce the president of the United States is in very good health and I anticipate he will remain so for the duration of his presidency, and beyond,' Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s physician, wrote at the time.  The visit Saturday is different than the president’s previous physicals. The last two physicals were announced beforehand and noted on the president’s calendar. Trump usually takes the Marine One helicopter to Walter Reed, but this time, a motorcade dropped him off unannounced, CNN reported. 
  • A soup kitchen in Michigan will not be serving a free Thanksgiving dinner because of a lack of money, officials said. >> Read more trending news  God's Kitchen on Kalamazoo, a nonprofit that has held a Thanksgiving dinner the past eight years, made the announcement Monday, MLive reported. 'This is the first time in our eight-year history that God's Kitchen of Michigan has canceled a holiday event,' Rev. William Stein, co-founder and chairman of the kitchen, said in a statement. God’s Kitchen officials said the Kalamazoo location will temporarily close after Wednesday night’s dinner until it can raise more money to resume operations, WOOD-TV reported. The Thanksgiving dinner was scheduled for Nov. 27, MLive reported. Officials said lack of money threatens the status of the free Christmas dinner Dec. 18 at the soup kitchen, MLive reported. The soup kitchen has set up a GoFundme page as a way to raise money.
  • Police in Jacksonville, Florida, captured an inmate escaped during work release, authorities said. Monday. >> Read more trending news  Update 10:47 p.m. EST Nov. 18: Escaped work release inmate Victor Nash was taken into custody and booked into jail, according to a tweet from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on Monday. Original report: Police in Jacksonville, Florida, are searching for an inmate who escaped during work release, authorities said. Victor Nash, 36, removed his GPS ankle monitor and has not returned, police said.  He was in the area of Hogans Creek near North Catherine Street, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.  Nash was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and black sneakers.  ActionNewsJax looked into his criminal background and found Nash was arrested in August, accused of burglary at AA Auto Parts on Beaver Street.  If you know of his whereabouts or have any information, you are asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or send an email to JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org.
  • Four people died Sunday night after at least two gunmen opened fire at a family party in a backyard in Fresno, California, according to police. >> Read more trending news  Police continue to search for suspects in the shooting, which left six other people injured with gunshot wounds. Pao Yang, chief executive officer for the nonprofit community group The Fresno Center, said the victims included two people who were well-known in the local Hmong community. Here are the latest updates: Update 10:20 p.m. EST Nov. 18: Fresno police identified the four men killed as Xy Lee, 23; Phia Vang, 31; Kou Xiong, 38 and Kalaxang Thao, 40, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. All four were Fresno residents, the newspaper reported. Lee was a musician who was notable in the Hmong community, The Fresno Bee reported. Lee ran a YouTube channel with more than 90,000 subscribers, the newspaper reported. Update 3:15 p.m. EST Nov. 18: At a news conference Monday, police Chief Andrew Hall said Sunday's shooting 'was not a random act.' 'It appears that this incident was a targeted act of violence against this residence,' Hall said. Police were investigating a possible connection between the shooting and an incident involving some people who were at the family party on Sunday night. 'We do have information that possibly some people at this party were involved in a disturbance earlier this week,' Hall said. He later added that 'everybody that (was) at this event are truly victims, however, we don't know everybody that was there.' At least two gunmen used an unlocked side gate to get into the backyard Sunday night. Hall said they appeared to have fired into the crowd in the backyard at random. 'It does not appear that they were targeting any individuals,' Hall said. 'Once they fired their rounds, they left.' He said it was pure luck that no women or children were injured in the attack, as temperatures had cooled shortly before the shooting and prompted them to go inside. About 16 men remained outside to watch a football game, Hall said. Bullets struck 10 people between the ages of 28 and 40. Hall identified the slain victims as a 23-year-old man, a 31-year-old man, a 38-year-old man and a 40-year-old man, though he declined to release their names until after all family notifications were completed. Pao Yang, chief executive officer for the nonprofit community group The Fresno Center, said the victims included two people who were well-known in the local Hmong community. He said the 40-year-old victim, 'came out almost every month to sing to our mental health clients.' Officials are offering a $5,000 cash reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest of the people responsible for Sunday's shooting. Update 2:20 p.m. EST Nov. 18: Authorities in Fresno are holding a news conference to update the public on Sunday night's deadly shooting. Update 3:23 a.m. EST Nov. 18: According to the Fresno Bee, the shooting occurred shortly before 8 p.m. outside a home on East Lamona Avenue.  'Everyone was watching football this evening when unknown suspects approached the residence, snuck into the backyard and opened fire,' Fresno police Lt. Bill Dooley said late Sunday. The slain victims were all men in their mid-20s to mid-30s, the Bee reported. Five others who were shot are being treated at Community Regional Medical Center, while a sixth victim who suffered 'a graze wound' was taken to a different hospital, CNN reported. Police have not released any information about possible suspects or a getaway vehicle, the outlets reported. Original report:  A family gathering was disrupted by gunfire when a shooter opened fire, striking at least nine people during a backyard football watch party in California, police say.  An unknown suspect snuck into the backyard and started firing indiscriminately while multiple people were watching a football game around 7 p.m., KMPH reported.  Several people were taken to the hospital.  This is a developing story. Check back for updates.