Local

Local
6:57 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Tyson Foods Announces Expansion For Vienna Plant

Tyson Foods Inc. is nearly doubling the size of its plant in Vienna, Georgia.
Credit Danny Johnston / Associated Press

 Perhaps Georgia should change its nickname from “Peach State” to “Poultry State.”

After all, Georgia is the number one poultry producer in the nation.  

And that title won’t be threatened anytime soon.

Tyson Foods Inc. already has a plant in Vienna, Georgia, and it will soon almost double in size.

“Tyson couldn’t have chosen a better place,” City Administrator Michael Bowens said.

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Local
6:31 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Suspect Denied Bond For Allegedly Killing Marietta Couple

Ronnie ''Jay'' Towns is charged with the deaths of Bud and June Runion.
Credit Telfair County Sheriff's Office

A McRae man is accused of killing an elderly Marietta couple after deceiving them with a fake online ad.

Ronnie “Jay” Towns is charged with the deaths of Bud and June Runion.

Authorities say the 28-year-old posted a Craigslist advertisement for a non-existent 1966 Mustang.

Police say the Runions drove about 200 miles to McRae, Georgia, last week, where they expected to discuss possibly buying the vintage vehicle.

That was the last they were heard from.

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Breaking
8:20 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Ga. Executes Inmate Despite Claims Of Mental Disability

Credit Georgia Dept. of Corrections

Officials say 54-year-old Warren Lee Hill was executed at 7:55 pm Tuesday night, after his final appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied. 

Hill was convicted of killing a fellow inmate in 1990, while he was serving a life sentence for the murder of his girlfriend. 

For years, Hill’s lawyers argued he had an intellectual disability, and should be spared from the death penalty. But the state argued Hill failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt he is intellectually disabled. 

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Local
7:15 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Mayor Reed Says Stadium Vendors Can Come Back

Street vendors protested outside City Hall in the summer of 2013.
Credit Atlanta Vendors Association

About two years ago, the city placed a ban on all street vending while it tried to develop a new vending system.

But parts of the city were off-limits: like the Five Points MARTA station and Turner Field. Now, Mayor Kasim Reed says, he’s open to lifting the ban on Turner Field.

 Last week, City Council members passed a resolution that would allow for ten street vendors near Turner Field. Mayor Reed says council members were asking him to reconsider his position on street vending.

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Local
6:29 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Medicaid Expansion Supporters Lobby At Georgia's Capitol

Members of Cover Georgia talk about the "coverage gap" at the Georgia Capitol.
Credit Michelle Wirth / WABE News

A coalition that’s been pushing for Georgia to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act lobbied at the state Capitol Tuesday. The groups say too many Georgians are falling into a coverage gap for health insurance.

30-year-old Jessica O’Quinn doesn’t qualify for Medicaid and is too poor to get tax credits under the federal exchange. She recently got sick and had to go to the hospital.

“They asked me if I was on any kind of insurance, and I said no, and know I’m going to billed for a lot of money I can’t pay.”

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Local
2:30 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Ga. Man Who Killed A Fellow Prisoner To Be Executed Tonight

Warren Lee Hill, who is 54, is set for execution at 7 p.m.
Credit Georgia Dept. of Corrections

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied clemency for a death row inmate set to die this evening.

Warren Lee Hill, who is 54, is set for execution at 7 p.m. He still has a petition pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hill was serving a life sentence in 1990 for the 1986 slaying of his girlfriend when he killed a fellow inmate. A jury in 1991 convicted Hill of murder and sentenced him to death.

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National News
11:23 am
Tue January 27, 2015

More Than 7,700 Flights Canceled Due To New England Blizzard

Water floods a street on the coast in Scituate, Massachusetts, on Jan. 27, 2015. A storm packing blizzard conditions spun up the East Coast early Tuesday, pounding parts of coastal New Jersey northward through Maine with high winds and heavy snow.
Michael Dwyer Associated Press

Parts of New England are still feeling the full force of a blizzard that is expected to leave two feet or more of snow in most of Massachusetts. The storm is also carrying wind gusts topping 75 mph.

More than 7,700 flights in and out of the Northeast have been canceled. Some flights may not resume again until Wednesday. Commuter railroads and some local transit systems won't be operating overnight. And getting anywhere by road in the impact zone is severely limited by bans on non-essential traffic. There are widespread cancellations of schools.

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Cyclorama
9:30 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Atlanta Cyclorama Continuing Civil War Anniversary Events

Authors William F. Moore and Jane Ann Moore are scheduled to deliver a free lecture on President Abraham Lincoln and the abolition of slavery on Feb. 12.
Credit Katie King / WABE

The Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum is offering special programs to continue commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs Director Camille Love said in a release that the museum will present guest speakers and special film screenings between February and June.

Officials say authors William F. Moore and Jane Ann Moore are scheduled to deliver a free lecture on President Abraham Lincoln and the abolition of slavery on Feb. 12.

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Local
8:25 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Batman Ride At Six Flags Over Georgia To Run Backward

The Batman ride at Six Flags Over Georgia is going to run backward when the park opens for the season March 14.
Credit Michael Wallace / Flickr.com/wallaceperspective

Holy roller coaster! The Batman ride at Six Flags Over Georgia is going to run backward when the park opens for the season March 14.

The ride opened in the park in 1997 and has given more than 16 million rides since then, but they've all been in the same direction. The new twist on the ride's old twists will take the cars up a 10-story hill in reverse, then let them fly 50 mph backward along 2,700 feet of track.

The reverse operation will only last for several weeks into early spring.

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Local
6:47 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Vehicle of Missing Marietta Couple Recovered, Bodies Found Nearby

Bud and June Runion were last heard from last week.
Credit Find Bud and June Runion Facebook Page

Update: Officials have confirmed that the bodies found earlier near the 2003 GMC Envoy are the bodies of Bud and Rune Runion.

Authorities in South Georgia may have found the bodies of Bud and June Runion.

The elderly couple from Marietta went missing last week.

They drove to McRae, Georgia to meet a person about possibly buying a vehicle that was posted on Craigslist.

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Local
6:00 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Autism Treatment Coverage Bill Advances To Senate

Judith Ursitti from Autism Speaks testifies before the Georgia Senate Insurance and Labor Committee.
Credit Michelle Wirth / WABE

A controversial state Senate bill cleared its first hurdle Monday. The legislation would require private insurers to provide autism treatment coverage for children who are six and younger.

Judith Ursitti has two children with autism.  She’s also an advocate with Autism Speaks. Ursitti told the Senate Insurance and Labor Committee it’s heartbreaking to hear a pediatrician prescribe things like speech and behavioral therapy for your toddler only to find out they’re not covered by your insurance.

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Local
4:59 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

More Opposition Mounting Against Religious Freedom Bill

Columbus Republican Sen. Josh McKoon defended his ''Religious Freedom'' bill Monday on the Senate floor, dismissing claims it would give legal cover to parents in some child abuse cases.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

Opposition is mounting against the Religious Freedom Bill, which the legislature is expected to take up this session.

The latest objections to the controversial legislation come in the form of newspaper advertisements that ran Monday morning in the Marietta Daily Journal and the Columbus Ledger Enquirer ─ the hometown newspapers of Republican bill sponsors Rep. Sam Teasley and Sen. Josh McKoon.

The full-page ads, which were taken out by the left-leaning group Better Georgia, charge that the bill would give legal cover to some people accused of child abuse. 

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A Closer Look
3:31 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

King Family Court Drama Seeks Positive Resolution

The lawsuit between the King’s two sons, Dexter, right, and Martin Luther King III, left, against their sister, Rev. Bernice King, middle, has been dropped.
Credit Maria Saporta / Saporta Report

A lawsuit filed by the Estate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. against The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change over the licensing agreement and intellectual property of Dr. King has been dropped.

The lawsuit pitted the King’s two sons, Martin King III and Dexter, against their sister, Rev. Bernice King, who heads the King Center.

Now, Martin King is reportedly seeking a resolution and opposes moving forward with this case.

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Local
2:46 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Crime Fighting Drones In Georgia A Possibility

Ghost drones are displayed at an event with the Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Coalition Jan. 20, 2015, at the National Press Club in Washington.
Credit Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

Escaping a crime scene in Columbia County, near Augusta, may get tougher this spring. The Sheriff’s Department there wants to start using drones to help enforce the law.

If the Federal Aviation Administration approves, Columbia would be the first county in Georgia using drones to help locate suspects and find missing persons. Captain Steve Morris says the unmanned aerial vehicles could sport video cameras and, in some cases, heat sensors.

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State News
12:58 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Georgia Ports Seeing Growth From West Coast Labor Problems

Overall cargo tonnage in Savannah and Brunswick was up nearly 7 percent in the six-month period from July 1 through Dec. 31 according to the Georgia Ports Authority.
Credit Stephen B. Morton / Associated Press

Georgia's seaports handled record-breaking cargo volumes in the first half of the 2015 fiscal year in part because of labor disputes that have bogged down trade on the West Coast.

The Georgia Ports Authority reported Monday that overall cargo tonnage in Savannah and Brunswick was up nearly 7 percent in the six-month period from July 1 through Dec. 31. Savannah, the nation's fourth-busiest container port, handled 1.75 million cargo containers, an increase of more than 13 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

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Local
12:03 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

'March: Book Two' Shows All Sides Of Civil Rights Movement

"March: Book Two," the second volume in a trilogy of graphic novels chronicling John Lewis' life, was released this past week.
Credit Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

A comic book about Martin Luther King Jr. helped bring a young John Lewis into the civil rights movement.

Fifty years later, the Georgia Democratic congressman is now hoping graphic novels about his life and the fight to win equal civil rights for all Americans will serve as a guide for protesters today as they seek justice.

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State News
10:00 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Ice Possible In Higher Elevations Of Georgia Mountains

The National Weather Service said the ice could form on roads and bridges in north Georgia Monday evening, as temperatures fall below freezing in the mountains.
Credit John Amis / Associated Press

Forecasters say light snow and black ice will be possible in higher elevations of the north Georgia  mountains as a winter storm system moves toward the east coast.

In a winter weather advisory, the National Weather Service said the ice could form on roads and bridges Monday evening, as temperatures fall below freezing in the mountains.

Meanwhile, a wind advisory in effect until Monday evening covered all of north and central Georgia.

Winds from 15 to 25 mph ─ with gusts of up to 35 mph ─ were expected through 8 p.m. Monday.

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Local
8:39 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Ga. Inmate Who's Come Close To Death 3 Times To Die Tuesday

Warren Lee Hill, 54, who was sentenced to death in August 1991, was first scheduled to die two and a half years ago.
Credit Georgia Dept. of Corrections

A Georgia death row inmate who has come within hours of execution three times is once again scheduled to die this week.

Warren Lee Hill, 54, who was sentenced to death in August 1991, was first scheduled to die two and a half years ago. Challenges filed by his lawyers have provided temporary reprieves on three occasions and twice have effectively halted all executions in Georgia for months at a time.

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Local
8:33 am
Mon January 26, 2015

FBI: Hunt Continues For Suspect In Bomb Threats Against Jets

A worker closes the door to a Delta Airlines airplane sitting on the tarmac at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Jan. 24, 2015, in Atlanta. Police were searching the Delta airplane and a Southwest airplane at Atlanta's main airport after authorities received what they described as ''credible'' bomb threats.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

An FBI agent says law officers are continuing to pursue a suspect after someone made bomb threats targeting two jets bound for Atlanta, prompting F-16 fighter jets to escort the planes.

FBI Special Agent Stephen Emmett told The Associated Press on Sunday that the agency is continuing to pursue leads in an effort to locate the individual responsible for the threats.

No bombs were found in searches of both planes after they landed safely in Atlanta on Saturday.

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Local
8:05 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Suspect In Missing Marietta Couple Case Has Turned Himself In

Bud and June Runion have been missing since Thursday.
Credit Find Bud and June Runion Facebook Page

According to the Telfair County Sheriff's Department Facebook page, Ronnie "Jay" Towns, who was wanted in connection to a missing Marietta couple, has turned himself in around 11:30 a.m. today.

Towns is facing charges of giving false statements and criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. He is currently in custody, but no other details were available.

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Local
6:36 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Fulton County To Restore Library Hours

Judith Laroue checks on the books she placed on hold at the county's East Atlanta library branch.
Credit Michelle Wirth / WABE Radio

If you live in Fulton County, you’ll soon be able to go to the library more often. That’s because the County Commission voted to restore hours that were cut from the Atlanta-Fulton Library System last year. It’s a move that many Fulton residents are happy about.

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Atlanta Sounds
12:00 am
Sun January 25, 2015

Stitch By Stitch, An Atlanta Shoemaker Revives A Time-Honored Trade

A completed pair of boots are shown here. Shoemaker Sarah Green says it takes her about 40 hours in a week to make three pairs.
Myke Johns WABE

The work that goes into making a pair of leather shoes is exacting and difficult.

Few people make shoes on a small scale anymore, but there is a relative newcomer. Sarah Green makes boots, and, in this Atlanta Sound, we paid her a visit at her workshop in Atlanta to find out how it’s done.

And the 30-second version of this story:

Have an idea for Atlanta Sounds? Let us know!

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Blight
12:51 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

How Should Atlanta Tackle Blight?

There are an estimated 17,000 abandoned properties in Atlanta.
Credit Jonathan Shapiro / WABE

The City of Atlanta is working to tackle abandoned homes and properties throughout the city, something the city has had a hard time handling with because of its current laws, officials said. 

Last summer, the city created a Code Enforcement Commission to figure out best practices from other cities on handling blight. There are an estimated 17,000 abandoned properties, said City Council member Mary Norwood, who also co-chairs the commission. 

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MARTA
11:03 am
Fri January 23, 2015

MARTA Is Hiring New Police Officers

The MARTA Police Department plans to host a job fair from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at MARTA headquarters.
Credit Allison Guillory / WABE

The police department for Atlanta's public transit system is hiring.

The MARTA Police Department plans to host a job fair from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at MARTA headquarters. The department says it will offer on-site information sessions for open positions.

Police recruiters plan to pre-screen applicants.

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Local
10:37 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Study: Metro Area Could Add 4 Million People By 2030

Up to 4 million more people may be living in the metro Atlanta area within the next 15 years, according to a new report released by the Washington, D.C., based Urban Institute.
Credit Gregor Smith / flickr.com/flc

The metro-Atlanta area can expect a big population growth in the next 15 years, according to a new report released by the Washington, D.C.-based Urban Institute.

The study lays out 27 scenarios for population growth based on historical data for births, deaths and migration. Even under the most conservative projections, the study shows the metro population could grow by more than a million by 2030.

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Local
9:37 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Former Atlanta Fire Chief Files Discrimination Complaint

Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran has filed a federal complaint against the city claiming he was discriminated against because of his religion.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran has filed a federal complaint against the city claiming he was discriminated against because of his religion.

Mayor Kasim Reed recently fired Cochran over comments in his self-published book, "Who Told You That You Were Naked." The book characterizes homosexuality as "vulgar" and "a sexual perversion."

City spokeswoman Anne Torres says the city plans to defend the mayor's decision.

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State News
8:44 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Georgia Inmates To Wear Hot-Pink Uniforms

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio addresses members of his DUI chain gang Dec. 11, 2007, in Phoenix, Arizona. Arpaio, best known for issuing pink underwear to jail inmates and housing them in old military tents, said he wants the chain gang to act as a deterrent to potential drunken drivers.
Credit Matt York / Associated Press

Inmates at a Georgia jail will soon be wearing hot-pink uniforms, an idea borrowed from an Arizona sheriff.

Gary Jones, the public safety chief in the east Georgia city of Grovetown, said he hopes the inmates will be seen in their pink uniforms while collecting litter on public roads. Jones tells The Augusta Chronicle that he envisions motorists driving by and deciding they never want to be in that position.

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Local
7:47 am
Fri January 23, 2015

East Atlanta Named 'Hottest Neighborhood'

The Flatiron is part of a row of East Atlanta restaurants and shops.
Credit Larry Schwartz / Flickr.com/elemess

One of the most popular pieces of real estate in the country is in metro Atlanta.  

East Atlanta is the third “hottest neighborhood” in the United States.

That’s according to Redfin Corp.’s latest report.

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Local
7:17 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Cell Towers, Backyards And The Courts: A Talk With Roswell Mayor Jere Wood

Cellphone tower fights between companies and residents have broken out in many places around metro Atlanta.
Credit Keith Survell / Flickr.com/keithius

We all know the phrase, “Not in my backyard.” 

It especially applies to cell phone towers. Most of us depend on them — none of us want one next to our house.

Cellphone tower fights between companies and residents have broken out in many places around metro Atlanta. But in the City of Roswell, it went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Research
4:40 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Morehouse School of Medicine Wants To Close Health Disparities Gap

The Morehouse School of Medicine is located in Atlanta's west end.
Credit Tasnim Shamma / WABE

The Morehouse School of Medicine – not to be confused with Morehouse College – is a historically black medical school in downtown Atlanta. 

Since 1975, it’s graduated more than 1,400 students. Many students and faculty members work with the Grady Health system and local community clinics. 

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