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Traffic Team Remembers Captain Herb Emory Captain Herb loved so much. He loved his family, his job, his colleagues and his community. Recently, the Traffic Team remembered Herb on the 5th anniversary of his untimely passing. You can hear Doug Turnbull, Mark Arum, Ashley Frasca and Smilin’ Mark McKay share memories of their mentor on the Traffic Podcast HERE. We invite our Traffic Troopers to WSB for lunch once each year, to thank them for their commitment of giving us great traffic information throughout the year! A good time was had by all! Thank you to Williamson Bros Bar-B-Q for catering. COMING UP! The Traffic Team along with ALL of their WSB Radio colleagues take part in the 19th annual Care-a-thon. This 36 hour fundraiser benefits the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta! Broadcast dates are July 25th and 26th. Stay tuned for ways you can help, and thank you for your continued support! Call our traffic center with traffic incident 24/7/365 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 BriteBox Electrical.

The Gridlock Guy- Doug Turnbull

  • There are many “bad traffic days” on Atlanta’s roads, but an 18-hour stretch from Thursday, May 16th, and into Friday, the 17th, was absurd. In particular, the subsequent closures of I-75/northbound between McDonough and Stockbridge on Thursday almost entirely proved Murphy’s Law. This was a period for the ages, and the horror also broke out elsewhere. » RELATED: Gridlock Guy: When traffic is stopped and you need to go The gridlock started at approximately 10 a.m. Thursday, when a tractor trailer overturned on I-75/northbound at I-675 (Exit 227) in Henry County. The big rig stretched perpendicularly across the lanes and completely shut down I-75/nb. “(Thursday) was one of the most unusual middays I’ve ever worked,” WSB Triple Team Traffic’s Alex Williams said, still a bit aghast after processing the day. “We had a total of roughly four traffic RED ALERTS.” As we have covered here before, the WSB Traffic Team defines a RED ALERT as an interstate’s or major highway’s entire closure for an extended duration. For four such closures to happen near or at the same time is not a common thing. The first I-75/nb closure was bad enough, but just as it started clearing, a far bigger RED ALERT unfolded around noon. “I-75/nb south of Highway 20/81 in McDonough, which is south of the first RED ALERT, was shut down with a deadly crash & big rig fire,” Williams explained. The WSB Jam Cam showed a tractor trailer sliced open and engulfed in flames, obviously necessitating all of I-75/nb’s closure. The breadth of the wreckage made clear very early that this closure would last for hours. Then we learned that two big rigs actually collided and smashed a car between them, killing two. That meant an investigation extended the closure even later. There was correlation between the two wrecks, as the extreme backups from the first wreck created the traffic changes that galvanized the other. The Atlanta roads mirror NASCAR: cautions breed cautions. The I-75/nb shutdown in McDonough drilled traffic back into Butts County, before Highway 36 (Exit 201). Police diverted traffic off on the exits south of the crash and the side roads, especially Highway 42/23, became jammed. The extreme northbound commotion jammed I-75/southbound with onlooker delays all the way back to I-675. » RELATED: Gridlock Guy: How we decide where the WSB Skycopter flies The South Metro Express/Peach Pass Lanes stayed pointed in the northbound direction all the way through Friday morning. Crews near the crash before Hwy. 20/81 forced some traffic into those toll lanes, which worked effectively like an open freeway lane. Both the rubbernecking and the lack of relief the reversible lanes usually bring made for an evening commute that was an hour worse than normal on I-75/sb. And this was in the direction opposite of the closure. “What an unbelievable day for Henry County commuters,” WSB’s Veronica Harrell stated, after working those wrecks from the WSB 24-Hour Traffic Center. “I-75 northbound was shut down from 10:30 a.m. until well into the evening rush. I felt so sorry for everyone involved.” From the WSB Skycopter, I watched I-75/nb finally re-open just before our 6 p.m. Non-Stop News Feed. The cleanup of the two mangled and charred trailers on the right shoulder didn’t completely clear until around 10 p.m., WSB’s Steve Winslow observed. When monitoring major problems, like those on I-75 on the south side, losing sight of other problems is easy. Thankfully, Williams and Harrell did not. “I-285/northbound shut down at LaVista Road, so we had three RED ALERTS at once,” Williams recalled. “Luckily I-285 opened shortly after. Then, less than an hour later, I-20/eastbound shut down at I-285 in Fulton County.” But Williams and Harrell, and then WSB’s Smilin’ Mark McKay and Mike Shields, kept scouring the WSB Jam Cams and updating our Triple Team Traffic Alerts App with new problems. As soon as I-75/nb finally opened in Henry County, a vehicle flipped over on GA-400/northbound south of the Glenridge Connector. We arrived in the WSB Skycopter, just as a HERO unit spent about five minutes towing it to the right; traffic was awful back before Lenox. And to top off the rush hour, a devastating wreck shut down I-285/southbound at Atlanta Road (Exit 15) around 7 p.m. Thursday, keeping Shields busy through the evening. The wee morning hours of Friday saw Atlanta Police shut down I-85/northbound at Cleveland Avenue and I-75/85/sb at Highway 166, for crash reconstruction scenes. Those opened quickly. Then the south side got hit again with a three-hour RED ALERT at about 5:30 a.m. on I-675/northbound at Highway 42. The last hour of that closure saw half of I-75/northbound in Morrow, the main I-675/nb alternate, get blocked with its own wreck. McKay watched I-675/northbound open from the Skycopter after 8 a.m. We spell this all out to say that bad traffic happens with very little rhyme or reason. Drive alert and always prepare before your commute by checking our app, wsbradio.com, and keeping in tune with our live reports on News 95.5/AM750 WSB and Channel 2 Action News. If you don’t, you may find yourself saying, “Ohhh-ah,” as Harrell often does when the, uh, traffic hits the fan.  » RELATED: Gridlock Guy: WSB Triple Team Traffic App helps navigate commute Doug Turnbull, the PM drive Skycopter anchor for Triple Team Traffic on News 95-5 FM and AM-750 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.
  • The Atlanta road system is in construction parallax; it has to be. Our population continues to grow and the externalities of this expansion manifest themselves in the way of trucks, cones, barrels, bulldozers, barriers, and paint. The most ostensible and cumbersome of these projects is the immense Transform 285/400 project in Sandy Springs. That interchange redesign came on the heels of the massive I-75/I-575 Northwest Metro Express Lanes construction in Cobb and Cherokee counties, which concluded last September. » RELATED: Gridlock Guy: Treating the right of way the right way Even small road adjustments and improvements can cause closures, but more subtle construction changes can cause intense delays without actually blocking lanes. One such side effect of big-time road work is a lane shift or lane restriping. An avid WSB listener who wishes to be called “Traffic Trooper Squirrel” (they love squirrels, in case you’re wondering) asked me a great question, as they approached one of these work zones on I-75 in Butts County: What is a lane shift? Squirrel is from another country and isn’t familiar with certain American vernacular. That question put the presence of these slants in travel lanes front and top of mind for me. When construction crews have to build bridges or build out lanes next to roads, they often have to take some capacity from the regular through lanes. Instead of blocking an entire lane for weeks and months, they restripe the lanes. Usually, crews will paint the lanes with a slant to the left or right, and sometimes they make the lanes skinnier, to allow for this construction. This causes problems. Any time the environment changes, traffic cringes. When just a bit of rain falls, people make wrecking look easy and traffic automatically moves more slowly. So certainly when travel lanes suddenly juke left or right and constrict, the travel flow slows. And this ripple in the “trip time continuum” causes more wrecks as well, which then cause even more delays. Take the pain that Cobb commuters felt on I-75 for the several years leading up to the completion of those new toll lanes. The lane shifts between I-285 and Marietta slowed traffic at very unpredictable times of day. And this happened simply because a few more variables (lane shifts and restriping) joined the commuting equation on that stretch. In recent weeks, the I-285/westbound ramp to Peachtree Dunwoody Road and exit lanes to GA-400 have been restriped. Crews there did eliminate a net lane of capacity, taking the left exit lane to Peachtree Dunwoody and making it an exit lane to GA-400. That has made the exit to “Pill Hill” a nightmare, which backs up the right lanes of I-285 even worse during both rush hours. Add in the lane shift on I-285 in that same area and lane shifts on GA-400 in that spot and “slower than normal” has become the new normal. The new Peach Pass lanes on I-75 and I-575 have brought plenty of relief to the northwestern suburbs. I-75 used to be awful, but has instead moderated greatly with the addition of the two reversible lanes during each rush hour. However, a new lane shift just last week on I-75/northbound north of Chastain Road, combined with construction equipment sitting off to the right, has done to Marietta-Kennesaw traffic what a pugilist did to Jared Leto’s beautiful face in “Fight Club.” The lane shift and restriping on I-75/northbound in Kennesaw has turned what had decreased to a sub-20 minute ride from I-285 to Chastain into a 30-minute-plus trek. No lanes are blocked; conditions simply changed. There are many more examples of what restriping, lane shifts, and lane constriction can do to traffic. But there aren’t really many great solutions on how to minimize their impact. As motorists, we need to drive with more awareness and with more authority. We can still be cautious and decisive; those are not mutually exclusive traits. And let this serve as a reminder to always drive at our best in work zones, because mistakes in these areas are more costly. Construction areas often leave less room for drivers to correct themselves or pull to a shoulder, and crashes and inattentiveness have higher chances here to cost lives. Construction is with us for years to come — please be careful.  » RELATED: Gridlock Guy: Getting around roundabouts shouldn’t throw you for a loop Doug Turnbull, the PM drive Skycopter anchor for Triple Team Traffic on News 95-5 FM and AM-750 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.
  • The last Saturday in April, regardless of the weather, is a beautiful day in Atlanta. April 27th saw the 28th running of the Georgia Police Memorial Ride: a congregation of hundreds of motorcycles, police cars, and other vehicles that travel in formation to salute Georgia officers that have fallen in the line of duty. Blue Knights Georgia chapter VII, a fraternal, non-profit motorcycle club of current and retired law enforcement, hosts this massive event each year. The late Captain Herb Emory was heavily involved in the memorial ride for more than 20 years. “Every year when this ride comes up, I stop to hear the Blue Knights’ and other’s stories about Captain Herb’s perpetual involvement in this big event!” WSB Triple Team Traffic’s Ashley Frasca exclaimed. “I believe he became involved by the second or third annual ride, and was there every year since.” In the spirit of Captain Herb, Frasca volunteers with C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors) and helps host and put together C.O.P.S. events the night before the Memorial Ride and for other times during the year. Her relationship with Captain Herb and his widow, Karen, sparked her interest in this cause. “A cool thing for me each year is seeing his memorial flag flown on a bike in the ride,” she explained. “Our great friend Karen usually brings the Mayberry Patrol Car out, too.” » RELATED: Gridlock Guy: Community service years after losing Captain Herb Emory Captain Herb was an honorary Douglas Co. Sheriff's officer and, as we talked about a few weeks ago, died of a heart attack after rescuing crash victims and then directing traffic in front of his house. He also was simply a huge police geek. Captain Herb went to police roadblocks in the middle of the night. He also loved police memorabilia, scanners, and “The Andy Griffith Show.” When Karen surprised Herb with that restored Ford Galaxie years ago, Herb was in rare form: speechless. “Aunt Bea,” as the license plate says, is always a favorite at auto shows and at this annual ride. Frasca said that over 1,000 motorcycle riders showed up from all over Georgia and even Kentucky and the Carolinas. The procession, that started on Jonesboro Rd. in southeast Atlanta at about 11 a.m. was some kind of spectacle. The current and vintage police cars, hundreds of bikes, and two MARTA buses carrying the surviving families roared and paced like a majestic lion that demanded attention and respect. It also created a huge traffic interruption. “I think the word got out in a big way about closing the Downtown Connector around lunch time on a Saturday,” Frasca said. Frasca and I, along with others on the Traffic Team, warned people on News 95.5/AM750 WSB of the impending closure Friday. And the ensuing gridlock warnings and traffic jams themselves were front and center in Jill Nelson’s and Floyd Hillman’s reports Saturday morning. I actually helped Hillman send out some tweets and Triple Team Traffic Alerts App push alerts from the backseat of the Mayberry Patrol Car during the ride. But the warning effort didn’t stop there. “I also want to commend GDOT for working with the Blue Knights for this ride. They helped spread the word using the overhead matrix boards in the city,” Frasca said. HERO drivers and law enforcement sealed off entrance ramps and intersections to allow the mile-long parade to pass. And as Frasca on the back of an officer’s bike and myself, Karen Emory, Triple Team Traffic’s Mike Shields, and Douglas Co. S.O. First Lt. John Jewell in the Mayberry car saw, people respectfully took notice and paused to remember the fallen officers. The Georgia Police Memorial Ride gallops each year up I-285/westbound, to I-75/northbound, to I-75/85/northbound. Then it exits on the Piedmont Avenue HOV ramp and into Midtown, turns left on 14th Street, and left on Spring Street. After passing Centennial Park and the Five Points Station and Underground Atlanta, the long mass of metal and flags re-enters I-75/85/sb just below I-20 and goes back. Traffic stayed jammed on I-75/85 in both directions for over an hour - well after the lanes opened. And people certainly are upset each time. The traffic RED ALERT - as we call it on WSB - stopped Downtown Atlanta traffic for longer than President Trump’s motorcade did earlier that week. And while that is a major inconvenience, it provides a mandatory pause to think about the gravity of it all. Just as we got to stop and remember Captain Herb and other fallen heroes in the patrol car, those stuck in traffic got to see how many people care about and/or were affected by the loss of an officer. Headlines sometimes become just that; they can lose their meaning. The Georgia Police Memorial Ride is a list of dozens of headlines, suddenly gleaming to life, and passing by with guttural realness.  » RELATED: Gridlock Guy: What our Traffic Troopers mean to us Doug Turnbull, the PM drive Skycopter anchor for Triple Team Traffic on News 95-5 FM and AM-750 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.
  • This column has gotten emotional and spiritual this month, as spring sinews into summer and Atlanta’s traffic patterns are really rush-hour Rorschach tests. The morning and afternoon drives, once very much accentuated from the other, now bleed together. That sets up just about the right imagery for the painful commutes most of us share. With so many moving pieces on the Atlanta traffic-scape, a return to practicality in this space of prose is in order — but not this week. We must color outside of the lines once again, which more than likely is a subconscious emulation of how this metro area’s traffic behaves. This week sees the end of National Poetry Month. So to stay thematically relevant, let’s celebrate, malign, mourn, chide, deride, mimic — and maybe even enjoy — our complicated journey on the streets of Metro Atlanta. Will this amateur poem feature Perimeter pentameter, crash-filled couplets, or maybe a sluggish sestina? Let’s keep adding sentences to the setup to shorten this painful attempt. » RELATED: Where to hear poetry in Atlanta One finds little refuge In this mass of cars. That pile in to every open space Landing near and very far. For every quixotic attempt To scratch a way out Is met with too many others lost On your secret alternate route. The Inner Loop is jammed, Maybe head Downtown. Seven lanes of relief on the Connector — But a bus has broken down. Why didn’t I know this? Waze has failed me! Stupid technology sent me out of my way. Should have checked with WSB. Patience left last half hour, Hands clench the wheel. How does 5 mph take this much energy? We move and the tires squeal. Finally passing the bus, Off to the side, unloaded. The pedal hits the mat, the race has begun. All participants have emoted. The horde gallops, flailing, Trying to compose its fury. Furious lane changes and brake checks Signal everyone’s hurry. Conflicting goals breed contempt. Hasty, sweaty humans clash. For their communal suffering for minutes on end Has just bred the newest crash.  » RELATED: Listen: Poetry in Atlanta shows another side of city culture Doug Turnbull, the PM drive Skycopter anchor for Triple Team Traffic on News 95-5 FM and AM-750 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.
  • Pushing my deadline back for this Gridlock Guy column was a good idea this week. Procrastination allowed me to attend Buckhead Church’s Good Friday service before sitting down to write. The story of Easter really put me on a thought train about our vehicular travails. So even if you don’t track with Judeo-Christian traditions, there is a theme that is both very powerful and disarming from Holy Week that could ease the painful Atlanta commute. Sacrifice. Selflessness. » RELATED: Atlanta among America’s best places to celebrate Easter 2019 Even if you only believe that the crucifixion-resurrection story is just a fairytale, it is about as lopsided and unjust as they come. Jesus, the blameless and deified Messianic rabbi, got sentenced to death for blasphemy. He predicted and preached that his death was the solvency to save all of humankind from the damnation of their sins. A perfect man willingly died because all other humans are imperfect. This isn’t exactly fair for Him. In the lead up to the terrifying and stultifying events of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter, Jesus of Nazareth selflessly took his time investing in a group of mentees. The Apostles had no idea of the gravity of the yoke they chose to wear. They learned it after the great sacrifice and miracle of Easter. The lesson pushed them into lives of self-sacrifice and eventually on to grizzly deaths for their cause. Yes, this is a heavy consequence, especially when weighed against Atlanta rush hours. By the time of the Last Supper, the last night Jesus was alive, his followers knew he was special. Yet He got down on His hands and knees and then washed their nasty feet. He deserved exactly the opposite treatment, but acquiesced to prove a greater point about sacrifice. » RELATED: 12 hopping ways to celebrate Easter in metro Atlanta Now, imagine being hell bent on an arrival time. You are leading the meeting. You are driving the carpool. You are coaching the soccer game. Your goals are certainly more important than the person you are cutting off or not letting in in front of you. In fact, if that (insert mean moniker here) had any idea how important you were, they wouldn’t drive like such a (insert mean moniker here). The above example may be an exaggeration, but many of us drive in selfish, complacent bubbles. I, for one, find myself drunk with selfishness and apathy behind the wheel when I’m trying to, say, get to my Captain Herb Ballroom in Chamblee in time for my 2:30 p.m. traffic shift. All of these unsavory characteristics cause bad traffic and ill will. Our commutes are hard enough, even when traffic is just sluggish and we are having a great day. But when the clouds of angst, selfishness, apathy, and complacence gather, we end up driving in a metaphorically stormy commute. We know that driving and thunderstorms do not mix. The examples of Messianic sacrifice and bullish self-centeredness may seem extreme, but they illustrate and juxtapose major underlying solutions and problems to our crazy traffic system. An array of secular and spiritual motorists should agree: a little bit of “You first, then me” can go a long way. And that compromise and sacrifice can make going a long way take less time. And even if selflessness saves you zero time, the spread of goodwill can make all parties happier.  » RELATED: Adult things to do on Easter in Atlanta Doug Turnbull, the PM drive Skycopter anchor for Triple Team Traffic on News 95-5 FM and AM-750 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

  • Today is designated “Don’t Fry Day” to encourage sun safety awareness and to remind everyone to protect their skin while enjoying the outdoors. Because no single step can fully protect you and your family from overexposure to UV radiation, follow as many of the following tips as possible:
  • The release date for the 'Sonic the Hedgehog' movie has been delayed so the titular character can be redesigned, following backlash from fans over Sonic’s look in the trailer. >> Read more trending news  Jeff Fowler, director of “Sonic the Hedgehog,” tweeted Friday that the movie’s new release date is Feb. 14, 2020. It was previously set for a November 2019 release. “Taking a little more time to make Sonic just right,” Fowler tweeted, along with a picture of Sonic’s cartoon hand holding a sign announcing the new release date. Fans on Twitter reacted to the news with excitement and support. Fan criticism of the design for the Sonic character followed immediately after the April 30 release of the movie’s trailer. Most seemed dissatisfied with Sonic’s teeth, which resembled those of a human, and long, slender legs. Fowler responded via tweet May 2, saying, in part, “Thank you for the support. And the criticism. The message is loud and clear... you aren't happy with the design & you want changes. It's going to happen.” Based on the video game series, the live-action 'Sonic the Hedgehog' movie follows Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz, perhaps best-known for playing Jean Ralphio on the TV show “Parks and Recreation”) as cop Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) helps him escape capture from the government, which is being aided by supervillain Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey).
  • House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said he was OK on Friday after he appeared to nearly faint during a news conference in New York City. >> Read more trending news Nadler, D-N.Y., was appearing Friday at a news conference about plans to expand the city’s use of speed cameras in school zones when New York Mayor Bill de Blasio appeared to notice he looked pale, WABC-TV reported. Video from the news conference showed Nadler looking ill and weak as the mayor asked him if he wanted some water. The New York Daily News reported that paramedics called a code blue emergency after Nadler appeared to suffer from a brief dizzy spell. He was given water and an orange and later taken by ambulance to Lenox Hill Hospital, according to the Daily News. “Appreciate everyone’s concern,” Nadler said in a statement posted later Friday on Twitter. “Was very warm in the room this morning, was obviously dehydrated and felt a bit ill. Glad to receive fluids and am feeling much better. Thank you for your thoughts.”
  • A Colorado man arrested in Utah earlier this year for threatening to “kill as many girls as (he saw)” has been sentenced to serve up to five years in prison, despite prosecutors’ recommendation that he serve probation.  Christopher Wayne Cleary, 27, of Denver, pleaded guilty to a charge of attempt to make a terroristic threat as part of a plea deal with Utah County prosecutors, according to The Deseret News. Cleary, who was arrested in Provo in January, was already on probation in Colorado on two previous convictions of stalking women, the newspaper reported.  Cleary expressed remorse over his words. “I’m just sorry for what happened,” Cleary told the court, according to the News.  Prosecutors in Utah negotiated a plea deal with Cleary for a third-degree felony charge instead of the second-degree felony with which he was initially charged, the News reported. In exchange for his plea -- which would let them secure a felony conviction -- they agreed to recommend no jail time. The plea bargain was aimed at helping Colorado authorities send Cleary to prison for violating his probation in the stalking cases, the News reported.  >> Related story: Man upset over not having girlfriend accused of mass shooting threat to girls Fourth District Judge Christine Johnson on Thursday declined to take the state up on its recommendation, citing her uncertainty of whether Cleary would serve any jail time for probation violation in Colorado, the newspaper said. “I don’t want to be in the position of guessing what Colorado is going to do,” Johnson said during Cleary’s sentencing hearing.  Cleary was arrested Jan. 19, the same day multiple women’s marches were being held in Utah and throughout the country, based on an alarming Facebook post he wrote the night before, the News said. In the post, he bemoaned his lack of romantic prospects and, like several mass shooters who have targeted women, blamed the opposite sex for his plight. “All I wanted was a girlfriend,” Cleary wrote, according to a police affidavit obtained by The Denver Post. “All I wanted was to be loved, yet no one cares about me. I’m 27 years old and I’ve never had a girlfriend before, and I’m still a virgin. This is why I’m planning on shooting up a public place soon and being the next mass shooter ‘cause I’m ready to die and all the girls the turned me down is going to make it right by killing as many girls as I see.” Another post stated, “There’s nothing more dangerous than (a) man ready to die,” the Post reported.  Cleary’s threats alarmed state and federal authorities in Colorado and neighboring Utah, where they traced his cellphone the following day. He was arrested at a McDonald’s in Provo and charged with making a terroristic threat.  Following his arrest, Cleary told investigators he was “upset and not thinking clearly” when he wrote the Facebook posts. According to the Post, he deleted the threats after other people called him and threatened him. Court records obtained by multiple newspapers paint a disturbing portrait of Cleary, who was accused of stalking and harassment by at least eight women and girls dating back at least seven years. The News reported that Cleary was also accused of threatening to bomb a grocery store in 2013 and threatened to commit a mass shooting at a mental health facility in 2016.  >> Read more trending news An 18-year-old Arvada woman called police on New Year’s Eve 2015 and reported that Cleary, with whom she’d been chatting on Facebook, began harassing her online and over the phone after she declined to go on a date with him. According to the Post, the woman told detectives he would use aliases, including one alias on Facebook named John Coleman. “I’ve been watching you,” the person claiming to be Coleman wrote to her on Facebook. “Soon here, you’ll be lying in your deathbed.” During that investigation, Arvada detectives found details of a previous criminal investigation in which Cleary told another woman who spurned his advances she should kill herself, the Post reported. He also posted her name and phone number in an online sex ad, offering her services for $20, court records show. In a prior misdemeanor harassment case from earlier in 2015, Cleary was convicted after talking a woman into posing naked for him and then posting the picture to a fake Facebook page in her name, the newspaper reported.  A harassment case from Denver found Cleary accused of writing threatening messages to a 17-year-old girl, including a message that said, “I own multipul (sic) guns. I can have u dead in a second. One day I’ma snap and kill everyone,” according to court documents. A second Denver case involved a 19-year-old woman who said she lived with Cleary in a hotel room for two weeks, during which time he choked her and urinated on her, the court documents said.  Cleary was convicted in October 2016 on two counts of stalking and harassment involving two of the three alleged victims in Arvada, the Post said. He was sentenced to two years of probation.  Cleary was arrested in yet another stalking case less than a year later. A 43-year-old Lakewood woman who had dated him called 911 Aug. 5, 2017, to report Cleary was stalking her. He was arrested outside the woman’s house. According to the Post, Cleary told investigators the woman was the only person who loved him and he was lonely without her. The woman told police she and Cleary had a sexual relationship -- contradicting Cleary’s claim earlier this year that he was a virgin. The victim told police Cleary, who began stalking her when she broke off the relationship, had called her 45 times that day, threatening her and telling her he hoped she would die.  “I am going to burn your house down,” Cleary told her, according to court records. “I am going to send people to your house to kill you.” Cleary also posted her phone number and address on Craigslist “soliciting sexual acts and rape,” according to a probable cause statement in the case. The woman said she’d received multiple phone calls from strangers due to the ad. The woman told police she lost 20 pounds and began having nightmares and anxiety attacks because of the stalking, the Post reported.  Cleary pleaded guilty to charges of felony stalking and making threats, the newspaper said. A judge in Jefferson County sentenced him last May to three years of probation.  Despite having violated his probation on the Arvada cases, he was not jailed following his guilty plea in the case involving the Lakewood woman, the Post reported. Pam Russell, a spokeswoman for the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, said Cleary’s mental health played a part in his sentencing in that case, as well as in his 2016 stalking conviction, which was handled in Adult Mental Health Court.  “The courts decided to let his mental health issues be a big component of his treatment,” Russell told the Post.  Cleary’s defense attorney in the most recent case, Dustin Parmley, said this week that his client’s violent words are related to his mental illness, which he was reportedly diagnosed with at age 10. Cleary told investigators he takes medication for an impulse control disorder.  Parmley said Cleary’s words have never turned to action. Investigators found no evidence that Cleary had weapons or attempted to obtain any, the Post said.  The newspaper reported that four of the criminal investigations into Cleary ended without charges filed against him.  Cleary will serve his time in Utah before being transferred to Colorado to face probation violation charges there, the News reported. An official with the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole told the paper his earliest hearing could take place as soon as September. The News said the board could potentially set a release date at that time, or members could decide to keep him in prison. Cleary could serve the entire five years of his sentence before being returned to Colorado. 
  • As tensions between President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi escalated Thursday, the president shared video of the California Democrat stumbling over her words in spliced together clips from a news conference earlier in the day. >> Read more trending news “PELOSI STAMMERS THROUGH NEWS CONFERENCE,” Trump wrote in a Twitter post sharing the video, which first appeared Thursday night on Fox Business Network’s “Lou Dobb’s Tonight.” The video included several instances from Thursday’s news conference in which Pelosi stumbled over her words and an instance in which she referred to “three things” while holding up two fingers. “I’m 76 years old. She’s a couple of years older than I am. We all age a little differently,” Fox Business Network political analyst Ed Rollins, who according to The Washington Post also leads a pro-Trump super PAC, said in the shared clip. “My sense is she has a very big job. I think she’s getting worn down.” >> Trump says he won't work with Democrats until investigations end The video was separate from another edited clip that made the rounds Thursday in which Pelosi appeared to be slurring her words during an appearance at the Center for American Progress, Politico reported. The second doctored clip appeared to be slowed down about 25 percent with the pitch of her voice altered to seem more natural, according to the Post. Speaking with reporters Thursday, Trump called Pelosi “crazy Nancy” and declared, “She’s a mess,” The Associated Press reported. As for himself, he said, “I’m an extremely stable genius.” >> Trump: 'We're fighting all the subpoenas' In a response posted Thursday to Twitter, Pelosi said, “When the ‘extremely stable genius’ starts acting more presidential, I’ll be happy to work with him on infrastructure, trade and other issues.” The growing feud between Trump and Pelosi came to a head Wednesday when he abruptly walked out of a meeting to discuss infrastructure with congressional leaders, including Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Officials told CNN the president was upset after Pelosi said in a closed-door meeting with Democrats earlier in the day that she believes Trump is “engaged in a cover-up.” In a surprise appearance in the Rose Garden, the president insisted he would be unable to work with Democrats until after the investigations into his presidency are over.
  • Missouri’s governor signed a bill Friday barring women from getting abortions once they’ve reached eight weeks of pregnancy. >> Read more trending news  The bill made Missouri the sixth state to pass a bill that would all but outlaw abortions in most cases after a fetal heartbeat is detected. Update 12:45 p.m. EDT May 24: Gov. Mike Parson signed the bill in a private ceremony in his office, the Kansas City Star reported. “By signing this bill today, we are sending a strong signal to the nation that, in Missouri, we stand for life, protect women’s health and advocate for the unborn,” Parson said in a statement obtained by the Star. “All life has value and is worth protecting.” The bill provides no exceptions for women who are victims of rape or incest. It would make abortions illegal after 8 weeks of pregnancy for all women, except in medical emergencies. The ban is scheduled to go into effect Aug. 28, barring a court challenge, according to the Star. Update 1:25 p.m. EDT May 17: Missouri’s House lawmakers passed a bill Friday that would make abortions illegal beginning once a woman reaches 8 weeks of pregnancy. The Republican-led House voted 110 to 44 in favor of the ban, The Kansas City Star reported. Republican Gov. Mike Parson is expected to sign the bill, according to The Associated Press. Like the stringent bill signed into law in Alabama earlier this week, the Missouri bill provides no exceptions for women who are victims of rape or incest. It would make abortions illegal after 8 weeks of pregnancy for all women, except in medical emergencies. It is one of several measures aimed at overturning the 1973 landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide, through a Supreme Court challenge. Original report: The state’s Senate passed a bill early Thursday morning that would make abortions at 8 weeks of pregnancy or after illegal, NBC News reported. It also outlaws an abortion based only on the sex or race of the baby or if tests of the baby indicate Down syndrome or the potential of the genetic condition, The Associated Press reported. In cases of a minor seeking an abortion, both parents must be notified, if both parents share joint legal or physical custody of the minor, according to the AP. The bill, called Missouri Stands With The Unborn, passed 24 to 10.  >>Read: Roe v. Wade faces challenges in several states. Here they are Like measures recently passed and signed in Alabama, and other states, the bill allows an exception for an abortion if there is a medical emergency, but not if there is a case of rape or incest. Doctors could be sentenced to five to 15 years in prison if caught and convicted performing an abortion after the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. The woman undergoing the procedure would not face prosecution, the AP reported. It is a part of a push by pro-life activists to enact tougher restrictions on abortion hoping the bills will be challenged in the Supreme Court and could end with the overturn of Roe v. Wade by a conservative-trending U.S. Supreme Court, NBC News reported. The Alabama bill was designed to go against the landmark case, the AP reported. >>Read: Alabama abortion bill: 5 things to know about the legislation Missouri’s bill still has to pass the state House before it can be signed by Gov. Mike Parson. The Republican governor has supported the bill. The bill will only go into effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned, the AP reported.