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Kirk Mellish's Blog

    Our dew points are in the upper 60s and lower 70s in Atlanta right now and as the COPD Foundation graphic above shows, and as it feels... the air is thick out there.  The old saying is “it’s not the heat it’s the humidity” and that will be quite true this week into next weekend. In fact, temperatures will be lower than normal for this time of year through Wednesday (we are in the Dog Days of Summer July 3-August 11) then temperatures will rebound to about normal by the weekend.  The good news is any extreme heat wave now looks off the table at least for now, just regular summer heat coming back by the weekend and next week. The sticky, muggy air is best measured by dew points. The higher the dew point the greater the amount of evaporated moisture in the air.  Another good measure of total water vapor in the air is PWAT (precipitable water). The higher this number and the higher above average it is the more moisture is available for discomfort but also for clouds and rain.  This will be aided by a potential tropical depression or storm moving with low pressure moving from the NE Gulf to off the NC shore by Thursday. In this type pattern rain is possible anytime of the day or night but the higher odds and heavy rain with thunder and lightning come in the late afternoons and early evening.  The high humidity will keep the air conditioning humming even when it’s not hot. There tends to be more clouds than sun but also more clouds than rain in this type pattern, despite a shower or thunderstorm being likely at times. Thunderstorms and showers also tend to be efficient rain makers with large raindrops and slow moving cells allowing real gully washer frog strangers, but also plenty of dry hours before and after any rain.   DEW POINTS: PRECIPITABLE WATER (PWAT): PRECIPITABLE WATER ANOMALY (PERCENT ABOVE OR BELOW NORMAL): 5-DAY RAINFALL MONDAY-FRIDAY ESTIMATE AVERAGE: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • Nothing really out of the ordinary weather-wise today through Sunday. Hazy hot and humid with potential for typical summertime hit and miss thunderstorms afternoon or early evening next three days. The coverage does not look all that great, but they will be slow movers from North to South so they can dump a lot of rain where they do form and have plenty of lightning.  But the good news is at least partial sunshine each day and more dry hours than wet even where it does rain. Many of us will be missed completely.  Remember, if you can hear thunder you are close enough to be struck by lightning even if its not raining or you don’t see any lightning.  Temperatures next three days a couple degrees either side of the normal 89 for this time of year. The Heat index will be in the low to mid 90s though the weekend, then below-normal temperatures early next week as the rain chance and cloud amount both go up. So pretty routine summer weather next few days with the chance of a “pop-up” thunderstorm, mainly sometime between 2pm and 10pm with a smaller risk before and after that time frame.  The odds at any given spot about 3/10 today, tomorrow, and Sunday. They are random hit or miss in where they pop, so no way of knowing in advance where, so just watch the sky and radar.  Showers and thunderstorms are expected to become more numerous the first half of next week as moisture levels increase while an upper-level trough of low pressure moves over the Southeastern U.S. This will also bring lower temperatures with highs in the 80s. By the end of next week the thunderstorm coverage is supposed to decrease and the temperature will subsequently increase. Have a happy and safe 4th of July weekend and thanks for reading, and for listening on 955 WSB Radio at home, in the car and anywhere you stream audio across all platforms. For more Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB. FRIDAY: SATURDAY: SUNDAY:
  • We have thus far escaped any real hot weather this spring and summer, with just a day or two here and there. In fact, June temperatures averaged below-normal and our first official 90 degree day came weeks late.  The next 5-10 days or so temperatures will be NORMAL or lower than normal on average with highs in the 80s but the humidity will make up for it a lot of the time.  The average or normal high temp this time of year is 89. However, there have been suggestions of a heat wave in the models for a week or two now for the longer range, and now there are other non-model  signals (such as ENSO/AAM/PMM ) that have joined to indicate that our first true heat wave of the summer is foreseeable but in the distance, starting around July 10th give or take a couple days.  There’s nothing unusual about hot weather in the summer. The question is always is it NORMAL level heat or ABOVE normal level heat and does it last longer than typical. Research shows that as heat waves go beyond 3 days heat-related deaths and illness increase especially for vulnerable groups. Warm nights and high humidity of course increase the stress on everyones bodies and increase our air-conditioning bill. To qualify as a true “heat ridge” aka subtropical high pressure area (anticyclone) at the 500mb level (about 18,000 feet) it must have a height/pressure of at least 588dm. Once readings measure at that level high temperatures at the surface will often be above 90F and typically last from many days to sometimes many weeks in a row. If the 500mb level reaches or exceed 594dm then a critical heat wave is probable with readings of 95-100 if it’s not cloudy, which it usually won’t be under that kind of strong ridge.  To date the jet stream has been too active for much heat with frequent upper-level troughs of low pressure over the Southeast part of the nation. These type patterns favor more clouds and thundershowers and more humidity preventing temperatures from soaring. For more sun and heat you need to be under an upper-level ridge of high pressure: NOTE the forecast change in the upper-level pattern prognosticated by the two primary Global NWP Models the American GFS and the European ECMWF: Both (above) show an expansive conjoined Sonoran-Sargasso Sea/Bermuda heat ridge with upper-level highs of 591 in our area and 594 or above to our West and North which is where the worst of the hot and dry weather would be centered. So the real blow torch looks to be in the Great Plains and Midwest/Great Lakes.  The trend is supported by the GWO/AAM and the PMM correlations for July: The temperature departures from normal shown above are pretty consistent with the GFS ensemble analog derived guidance: The expectation would be for a streak of 5 or more days in a row with a max temperature of 90 or higher. Analog guidance is indicating an 85% chance of air temperatures above 90 and a 74% chance of a Heat Index above 100F during the hot spell.  The operational deterministic GFS model is projecting widespread 100s across the Southeast including Georgia with a max one day of 103F in Atlanta.  I am not ready to go that far yet, I think the model is way too hot. I’ll let ya know if I change my mind. HEAT FORECASTING SYNOPTIC PATTERN GUIDE: Dew point is a measure of the moisture content of the air and is a better indicator of comfort or discomfort than relative humidity, because relative humidity is RELATIVE to the temperature so it goes down as the temp goes up even if the moisture level holds constant.    For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The first month of Summer temperatures have averaged cooler than normal and rainfall has on average been near-normal as you can see in the charts below: Temperatures this week will be within 3 degrees or so of the normal high of 88 with a typical Summertime Atlanta chance of an afternoon or evening thunderstorm today, then a little higher than normal chance of a shower or storm tomorrow through Saturday the 4th of July. High humidity will make up for the lack of extreme heat with cloudy and sunshine intervals interspersed the next 7 days.  The hottest weather compared to normal will be West and North of Georgia on average for the first part of July: MODEL BLEND TEMPERATURE ESTIMATE: RAINFALL AMOUNTS 5-DAY AVERAGE ESTIMATE: MY EXCLUSIVE 5-DAY FORECAST HERE.  Keeping an eye on potential tropical development this week as well: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • By now you’ve probably heard about the SAL or Saharan Air Layer which is a layer of dry stable air with high concentrations of dust from the deserts of North Africa.  We talked about it on WSB Radio in the news and weather reports and I posted an in-depth blog about it the other day here. Here is the updated model timing for the plume coming our way.  NASA GEOS-5 MODEL... WEDNESDAY 6PM: NOON THURSDAY:  7PM SATURDAY: NOON SUNDAY: NOON MONDAY: TUESDAY MORNING: NEXT WEDNESDAY MORNING: Dust plume forecast loop animation.  For more Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • It happens from time to time every year in the Summer, just to varying degrees. But the plume of dust coming off North Africa is unusually large, bigger than the U.S. and Europe. The latest satellite image of the huge dust plume is shown above from Africa to the Caribbean.  The dry dusty air mass can hinder tropical storm development and produce hazy skies and spectacular sunrises and sunsets (especially vivid reds) when it reaches your area. Known as the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) the dust plume will make the 5,000 mile journey to parts of the Southern United States this week, carried by the East to West moving Trade Winds, reaching the Atlanta area by the coming weekend and lasting into early the following week.  Sometimes a portion of the dust can be mixed down to earth by vertical air currents and of course rained out by showers and thunderstorms. On the other hand if there is enough dust it can help inhibit the formation of thunderstorms and increase sunshine. As seen from space: As seen from earth (Puerto Rico): SAL FORECAST FROM NASA GEOS-5 DUST MODEL FRIDAY/SATURDAY: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • Downgraded to a tropical depression after going on land, the broad circulation and moisture from Cristobal is expected to drift slowly North over the next 5 days with the center of the storm expected to move onshore somewhere in central or Eastern Louisiana by early Monday morning as a moderate tropical storm. Texas impact minimal, confidence fairly high it will not be a hurricane but could become a strong T.S. for a small area of the La coast. Peak wind forecast around 60 MPH.  But thanks to the broad circulation it will have significant impacts in rain, storm surge, and waves from Eastern Texas to Western Florida along with rip currents. Strong winds and isolated tornadoes can be expected even away from the center of the storm. Overall, it will be rain not wind that will have the greater impact. The storm is lopsided so the strongest will be on the East or right-hand side of the system, so lesser effects for Texas and more effect on LA, MS, AL, FL.  As the remnants of the system head Northeast it will drag some of its enhanced moisture into our area by Tuesday and Wednesday of next week increasing our cloud cover and chances of showers and thunderstorms.  SATURDAY: SATURDAY NIGHT: SUNDAY MORNING: SUNDAY AFTERNOON: SUNDAY NIGHT: MONDAY EARLY MORNING: MONDAY AFTERNOON: SUNDAY MORNING: MONDAY MORNING: TUESDAY MORNING: WEDNESDAY MORNING: NHC OFFICIAL TRACK FORECAST: EUROPEAN MODEL TROPICAL STORM FORCE WIND PROBABILITY: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • No impact on our local weather from the remnants of the tropical storm until next week when some of its moisture will be drawn into our area Monday-Wednesday. I am NOT a fan of getting too excited about track or intensity UNTIL an organized entity is over water, it is on land now.  Meanwhile it is not hard to see all the rain in the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent states the next 5 days as the tropical cyclone circulation drifts North over the weekend into early next week: MODEL BLEND TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • I previously posted my outlook for the coming summer and gave it on the radio. Here is what the major models show for June-August. TEMPERATURE DEPARTURE FROM AVERAGE OVER THE 3-MONTH PERIOD: Clearly the greatest consensus is for the hottest summer weather on average to be over the Western third to half of the country, for our area most models match my outlook derived from analogs: a summer where the 3-4 month temperature average June-September is not far from normal one way or the other.  RAINFALL DEPARTURE FROM AVERAGE OVER THE 3-MONTH SUMMER PERIOD: The greatest model consensus on precipitation is for a somewhat wet summer in the Central and/or Northern states. Drought is most likely out West.  In our area the verdict is more split between wet and dry, but with a slight lean toward a little above-normal rainfall on average.  For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • A slow but steady warming trend along with an extended week long dry spell in the cards.  High pressure ridging in the jet stream takes over a good chunk of the nation for a good spell creating the change in the weather. A welcome break in the high humidity, too.  But gradually the humidity will return longer range, and scattered thunderstorms will too in a week or so. But precipitation looks only near normal or even a little below normal the next 2-6 weeks, PROVIDED any tropical weather systems stay away. I’ve already tweeted and blogged about that previously. MULTI MODEL BLEND TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.

News

  • Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson said he “didn’t intend any harm or any hatred toward any people,” after posting an anti-Semitic message on social media. Jackson posted video on his an Instagram story feed and two other posts that included a screenshot with quotes attributed to Hitler and Louis Farrakhan. The social media posts have been deleted according to ESPN. Jackson later apologized after receiving backlash for sharing the posts. “My post was definitely not intended for anybody of any race to feel any type of way, especially the Jewish community,” Jackson said in a video he posted on Instagram on Tuesday. “I post things on my story all the time, and just probably never should have posted anything Hitler did, because Hitler was a bad person, and I know that.” The team issued the following statement: We have spoken with DeSean Jackson about his social media posts. Regardless of his intentions, the messages he shared were offensive, harmful, and absolutely appalling. They have no place in our society, and are not condoned or supported in any way by the organization. We are disappointed and we reiterated to DeSean the importance of not only apologizing but also using his platform to take action to promote unity, equality, and respect. We are continuing to evaluate the circumstances and are committed to continuing to have productive and meaningful conversations with DeSean, as well as all of our players and staff, in order to educate, learn, and grow. - Eagles statement on WR DeSean Jackson - Philadelphia Eagles The NFL also issued a statement, saying: DeSean’s comments were highly inappropriate, offensive and divisive and stand in stark contrast to the NFL’s values of respect, equality and inclusion. We have been in contact with the team which is addressing the matter with DeSean. - National Football League Jackson, a three-time Pro Bowl pick, is in his second stint in Philadelphia, returning last season to the team that drafted him in the second round of the 2008 draft. The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, who has consistently dismissed the threat posed by the novel coronavirus and encouraged residents to flout social distancing measures, announced Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with COVID-19. The 65-year-old populist announced his test results during a television interview in the country’s capitol, Brasilia, according to The Associated Press. He told reporters he had begun to develop COVID-19 symptoms over the weekend and that he went to a doctor Monday after his condition worsened. “I’m, well, normal. I even want to take a walk around here, but I can’t due to medical recommendations,” Bolsonaro said, according to the AP. “I thought I had it before, given my very dynamic activity. I’m president and on the combat lines. I like to be in the middle of the people.” The Brazilian president tested negative for COVID-19 in March after several of his aides contracted the viral infection following a visit to President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Reuters reported. He added Tuesday that he's been taking the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine to treat his illness, though the drug has no proven positive effect on COVID-19 patients. Despite his diagnosis, Bolsonaro on Tuesday continued to downplay the threat of the virus, which has infected more than 11.6 million people and killed over 539,000 worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Echoing comments previously made by President Donald Trump, Bolsonaro emphasized the impact virus-mandated business closures could have on the population’s well-being and framed his diagnosis as inevitable. “Everyone knew that sooner or later it would affect a good part of the population,” he said, according to Bloomberg News. “Life continues. But if the economy doesn’t work it will bring new forms of death and suicide.” Public health experts have criticized Bolsonaro’s approach to dealing with the coronavirus, which he described as a “little flu” in March. He’s urged Brazilians to ignore local orders for residents to self-isolate or for businesses to close and has pushed to keep the country’s economy open, The Washington Post reported. Bolsonaro fired his health minister over a disagreement about the need for isolation to curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to the Post. He pushed out his next health minister, who was skeptical about using hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus patients, the newspaper reported. Since then, Bolsonaro has installed a military official who is not a doctor to serve as his health minister, according to the Post. Brazil has the second-worst coronavirus outbreak in the world behind the United States with more than 1.6 million people infected, according to information compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 65,000 people have died nationwide due to the viral infection.
  • Antonio Arnelo Smith was walking along a Georgia roadway in February when the first Valdosta police officer approached him. As Officer Dominic Henry questioned Smith about panhandling reported outside a nearby Walgreens, a second officer, Sgt. Billy Wheeler, came up behind Smith and, without warning, placed him in a bear hug. Moments later, Wheeler slammed Smith to the ground. “Oh my God, you broke my wrist!” Smith, 46, cried out as two more officers arrived and helped Wheeler hold down Smith. As Smith cried and screamed in pain, Wheeler advised him he was under arrest for outstanding felony warrants. The only problem: Wheeler had the wrong man. The entire interaction was captured on body camera footage. The allegations against Wheeler and the other officers are laid out in a federal lawsuit Smith’s attorney filed last month. “When you see that video, you can’t help but say this is a travesty,” Nathaniel Haugabrook, one of Smith’s attorneys, told The Associated Press. “Nobody should be done that way.” The civil rights lawsuit names as defendants the four officers involved in the stop, the police chief, the mayor, city council members, the city itself and the police department. Haugabrook said he believes his client was stopped simply because he is Black. Though Henry is Black, Wheeler and the other two officers named in the suit are white. “Obviously it has some racial tones to it,” he told the AP. Valdosta police Chief Leslie Manahan argued in a statement last month that officers did their jobs and, despite no charges being filed against Smith, that they had the right person regarding the panhandling. “We did have the right guy stopped that was causing the problem at Walgreens,” Manahan told WALB in Albany. “It’s just unfortunate he was not the one with the felony warrants.” She cited miscommunications in radio traffic as the cause of the problem. “Those are things that yes, we can work on that as an agency, and work to continue training our officers better and better communication skills with each other,” the chief said. A Black man in a hoodie Smith’s violent encounter with police stayed below the public radar until Haugabrook filed the federal lawsuit June 19. Valdosta police officials issued a lengthy statement a few days later, along with one officer’s body camera footage. That footage, taken from Wheeler’s camera, fails to show the actual takedown of Smith because when Wheeler placed him in a bear hug, Smith’s back was pressed against the lens. The AP reported that additional body camera footage was not released until after the Valdosta Daily Times published footage obtained from Haugabrook. See the initial body camera footage released by Valdosta police officials below.  Read the Valdosta Police Department’s entire statement here.  Smith was at Walgreens around noon Feb. 8 awaiting some money his sister was sending him via Western Union, according to a March 20 letter, called an ante litem notice, Haugabrook sent to Valdosta city officials warning of the impending lawsuit. Both Henry and Officer Rachel Hinton had gone to the pharmacy in response to the call about a panhandler bothering customers. Each would encounter a man fitting the description given by employees: a Black man wearing a brown hoodie, according to police. Court documents state that Hinton stopped a man for questioning on the north side of the pharmacy. She asked Henry to check the west side of the building for anyone else who could be the alleged panhandler. En route to the side of the building, Henry encountered a customer who told him the man had walked south out of the parking lot. Read attorney Nathaniel Haugabrook’s ante litem notice to Valdosta city and police officials below.  “While (Hinton) was running the identification provided by the (first) subject, it was learned that he had active felony arrest warrants,” Valdosta police officials said. “This police band communication between the first officer and dispatch was overheard by other officers arriving at the location. “At approximately same time, (Henry), on the opposite side of the store, located (Smith) walking in a southern direction away from Walgreens. The officer made contact with the subject, explaining to him that he was investigating a report of a suspicious person at Walgreens.” Smith gave Henry his identification and explained why he was in the area, according to the letter submitted with the federal lawsuit. In the video, Smith questions why he was stopped and appears upset but does not appear to pose a threat to the officer. “I’m waiting for the Western Union,” Smith tells Henry. “Call my sister right now in Florida. You have a cellphone. Call her.” “Call who?” Henry asks. “Call my sister in Florida,” Smith responds. He pleads with Henry: “Don’t do this.” ‘Oh my God, what are you doing?’ At that point, Wheeler, who had quietly come up behind Smith, grabs him by both arms from behind and puts him in a bear hug. Wheeler never announced his presence to Smith. “What are you doing?” a startled Smith says. “Oh my God, what are you doing?” Wheeler tells him to put his hands behind his back, a command he cannot follow because his arms are pinned at his sides. “Put your hands behind your back like you’re told,” Wheeler says, his face resting on Smith’s back as he holds him in place. A bewildered Smith again asks what Wheeler is doing, crying out as the officer picks him up and slams him onto the ground. Moments later, as the other two officers, identified in the lawsuit as Patrick Barrett and Hudson Durden, try to help get Smith into handcuffs, Smith cries out that Wheeler has broken his wrist. “Yeah, he might be broke,” Wheeler is heard saying. Watch the body camera footage obtained by The Associated Press below.  About a minute later, the officers remove the handcuffs and call for an ambulance. Smith questions why he is being arrested. “We have a warrant for your arrest,” one officer tells him. Henry corrected the officer, indicating that the man with active warrants had been taken into custody by Hinton. “The other guy is over there,” Henry says, pointing toward the pharmacy. “They pointed out two different people. They got the guy with a warrant.” He points down at Smith. “This guy, I just got contact with him,” he says. The video shows that the officers let Smith up off the ground. According to court documents, he left before the ambulance arrived. “As the video clearly demonstrates, each of the officers’ facial expressions and comments confirm that a grave and serious error had taken place when Sgt. Wheeler arrested and slammed Mr. Smith to the ground,” Haugabrook’s letter to Valdosta officials read. “Although an ambulance was called to the scene, Mr. Smith, scared and wanting to get away from the officers, refused treatment and walked away from the scene holding his arm.” He later went on his own to South Georgia Medical Center, where doctors confirmed that both his radius and ulna, the long bones of the forearm, were fractured at the wrist, court records show. According to Haugabrook, the fractures did not heal properly because Smith was unable to find transportation to the specialist he was referred to. Inconsistencies Smith’s lawsuit accuses Wheeler and Henry of falsifying their reports on the incident. Wheeler’s report stated that Henry asked Smith to put his hands behind his back, which the video proves was not the case. The statement from Valdosta police officials also contains inconsistencies with the video footage that paint Smith’s encounter with the officers in a false light. “The responding officer (Wheeler) approached the subject and advised him to place his hands behind his back,” the statement read. “The subject did not and began to resist by pulling his arms forward and tensing his body.” The video shows that while Smith questioned what Wheeler was doing, he did not try to resist or pull away. The city’s statement also stated that officials there are “fully committed to transparency,” though at that time, they released only a portion of the existing body camera footage. The lawsuit argues that neither Henry nor Wheeler had justification for physically restraining Smith because they had not determined whether he had committed a crime or if he had outstanding warrants. At one point in the footage, Wheeler asks Henry whether Walgreens wanted to obtain a criminal trespass warrant against Smith, the lawsuit states. “I don’t know. I had, I hadn’t even asked them,” Henry responds, according to the document. Manahan defended Wheeler’s actions to WALB last month. “He still thinks the subject has felony warrants. When you are dealing with someone with felony warrants, you kinda want to move quick, really for the safety of everyone involved,” Manahan told the news station. Read Antonio Arnelo Smith’s federal lawsuit below.  Wheeler has been on the Valdosta police force for nearly 23 years, the lawsuit states. In that time, he has taken “use of force” courses annually. “Since 2017, Defendant Wheeler has also received training in the Governor’s Initiative – De-Escalation Options for Gaining Compliance,” the document states. Haugabrook is arguing that the Valdosta Police Department routinely receives calls about suspicious people, many of whom have committed no crime. In those situations, officers’ actions are restricted by constitutional rules. “Here, Defendant Wheeler violated those rules whereas Mr. Smith had committed no crime that would justify his arrest. Defendant Henry, the lead investigating officer on the scene was simply checking Mr. Smith’s identification and questioning him to determine if he was the suspicious person complained about at Walgreens,” the lawsuit states. “Even if Mr. Smith had been the suspicious person, the consequences would have been a criminal trespass warning to stay off Walgreens’ premises.” The lawsuit claims illegal seizure, unlawful detention, excessive force, assault and battery by excessive force, false arrest/false imprisonment, negligent hiring and training on the part of the department, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress and conspiracy to violate Smith’s rights. Smith also accuses Henry of failure to intervene. “Defendant Henry had a realistic opportunity to prevent Defendant Wheeler from grabbing and slamming Mr. Smith to the ground. It would have been as simple as holding out his hand or saying, ‘Stop,’ the lawsuit states. “Defendant Henry did neither.” The lawsuit does not specify the monetary damages being sought. In the March letter to Valdosta officials, however, Haugabrook presented a settlement demand of $700,000. Haugabrook is seeking more than money for his client, however. According to the AP, the attorney wants to see meaningful change in the Valdosta Police Department. “We will cross the next bridge as it comes and hopefully we get this matter solved in a manner that prevents these sorts of mistakes, this sort of conduct from happening in the future,” the attorney told WALB.
  • Monday evening was a “peaceful” experience for the Georgia National Guardsmen who have been dispatched in response to last weekend’s surge of violence in Atlanta and the ransacking of the Georgia State Patrol’s headquarters, according to their commander. So far, they have not made any arrests and no Guardsmen have been injured.  Riding in Humvees, the troops — who are armed — will be out on duty again Tuesday evening in keeping with the emergency declaration Gov. Brian Kemp issued following the fatal shootings that left four dead in Atlanta, including an 8-year-old girl. Set to expire July 13, Kemp’s order empowers the Guardsmen to apprehend lawbreakers.  Related: Kemp to deploy 1,000 National Guard troops after violent weekend On Monday evening, the Guardsmen stood watch at the state Capitol in downtown Atlanta, the Governor’s Mansion in Buckhead and the recently vandalized Department of Public Safety building in southeast Atlanta. The troops are seeking to free up police for other law enforcement duties, said Maj. Gen. Thomas Carden Jr., Georgia’s adjutant general. Citing security concerns, Carden declined to say precisely how many Guardsmen have been deployed, though Kemp’s order calls for up to 1,000.  “At the end of the day,” Carden said, “we are primarily staffed, trained and equipped to protect our nation – our citizens – against foreign adversaries. It is disappointing to me that once again we are having to use our personnel, equipment and training to protect Americans and their property from other Americans.”  At least 93 people were shot in Atlanta between May 31 and June 27, roughly double the number from the same span a year ago. On Sunday, a crowd of at least 60 busted out the windows of the Georgia State Patrol headquarters, and someone threw a homemade grenade into a supervisor’s office in the building, authorities said.  >>Read MORE on AJC.com.
  • An 80-year-old golfer was accidentally struck by a bullet intended for a groundhog in Lomira, Wisconsin Monday. Law enforcement officials are describing the event as an accidental shooting. When a 50-year-old man was shooting at a groundhog on his property, one of several rounds that he fired hit a tree and then struck the golfer while he was on the course at.The Golf Club at Camelot, according to WITI. The golfer was taken to a nearby hospital and his injuries are not considered life-threatening. The Dodge County Sheriff, Dale Schmidt, urged people to be cautious when using firearms. “When shooting firearms, it is always very important to know your target and beyond. Firearms are capable of shooting long distances and it is always necessary to have a backstop that can sufficiently stop a bullet from traveling beyond that which is desired,” Schmidt told WITI. Police are still investigating the incident.
  • You may be seeing social media posts promoting #BlackOutDay2020, but what is Black Out Day? Here are five things to know. 1. Blackout Day is persuading Black Americans to not spend money today, to show their economic power. If something needs to be purchased, the movement urges spending money at Black-owned businesses, CNN reported. It’s called a “day of solidarity in America where not one Black person in America spends a dollar,” unless it is spent at a Black-owned business, USA Today reported. Nielsen reports that Black Americans spent more than $1 trillion in 2018, according to CNN. 2. The day was promoted by Calvin Martyr, a social media personality/activist, for about two months. 3. Martyr and those taking part are hoping the day helps to end institutional racism that they have said lead to the deaths of Black Americans, CNN reported. It started after the death of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, but before the death of George Floyd. 4. Martyr likened to the spending boycott to the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott when the Black community refused to ride buses until they were allowed to sit wherever they wanted. 5. My Black Receipt is a related movement that urges for people to upload receipts of money spent at minority-owned businesses, USA Today reported.