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Famous record producer arrested in Alpharetta, accused of driving 125 mph

A record label co-owner and producer credited with the speedy success of Atlanta-based Migos is facing charges after his alleged speed behind the wheel caught the attention of Alpharetta police.

Dashcam video obtained by Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik shows officers pulling over Pierre “Pee” Thomas last Sunday.

“He observed a red SUV traveling at a high rate of speed,” said Officer Jason Muenzer. “He noticed the vehicle was going about 100 mph.”

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Muenzer said the officer got on Ga. 400 near Old Milton Parkway and began following Thomas north.

“That officer tried to catch up to the vehicle, but he himself got up to about 120, 125 and even then, the officer noticed the vehicle was pulling away from him.”

Eventually, video shows Thomas pull over off McFarland Parkway in Forsyth County.

He told officers he was heading home from the studio.

“When the officer approached the vehicle, the driver acted as though he didn’t see the officer,” Muenzer said. “The only excuse he had was he didn’t see the officer and he wanted to get home.”

On the dashcam video, the officer questioned Thomas and his speed.

“What were you doing going that fast, man?” he can be heard asking. “You were pulling away from me. I was doing 120 just trying to catch up to you. You were pulling away from me.”

Officers would later handcuff Thomas and take him to the North Fulton Jail annex on reckless driving charges.

Police told Petchenik this arrest was just one of a series recently on the busy highway.

“It’s getting old,” Muenzer said. “Those speeds, the slightest crack, the slightest item in the roadway, road debris, you can lose control of your vehicle.”

Thomas’ attorney, Drew Findling, told Petchenik his client was not impaired and that he complied with officers.

“We will go to court in the city of Alpharetta and look forward to putting this matter behind him,” Findling said. “We will resolve it in court.”

Famous record producer arrested in Alpharetta, accused of driving 125 mph

A record label co-owner and producer credited with the speedy success of Atlanta-based Migos is facing charges after his alleged speed behind the wheel caught the attention of Alpharetta police.

Dashcam video obtained by Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik shows officers pulling over Pierre “Pee” Thomas last Sunday.

“He observed a red SUV traveling at a high rate of speed,” said Officer Jason Muenzer. “He noticed the vehicle was going about 100 mph.”

TRENDING STORIES:

Muenzer said the officer got on Ga. 400 near Old Milton Parkway and began following Thomas north.

“That officer tried to catch up to the vehicle, but he himself got up to about 120, 125 and even then, the officer noticed the vehicle was pulling away from him.”

Eventually, video shows Thomas pull over off McFarland Parkway in Forsyth County.

He told officers he was heading home from the studio.

“When the officer approached the vehicle, the driver acted as though he didn’t see the officer,” Muenzer said. “The only excuse he had was he didn’t see the officer and he wanted to get home.”

On the dashcam video, the officer questioned Thomas and his speed.

“What were you doing going that fast, man?” he can be heard asking. “You were pulling away from me. I was doing 120 just trying to catch up to you. You were pulling away from me.”

Officers would later handcuff Thomas and take him to the North Fulton Jail annex on reckless driving charges.

Police told Petchenik this arrest was just one of a series recently on the busy highway.

“It’s getting old,” Muenzer said. “Those speeds, the slightest crack, the slightest item in the roadway, road debris, you can lose control of your vehicle.”

Thomas’ attorney, Drew Findling, told Petchenik his client was not impaired and that he complied with officers.

“We will go to court in the city of Alpharetta and look forward to putting this matter behind him,” Findling said. “We will resolve it in court.”

Person shot in Clayton County; Police investigating active scene

Police were called to a neighborhood in Clayton County on Monday afternoon after a person was shot.

According to the City of Lovejoy Police Department, the victim was found on Lovejoy Road near S. Grove Drive.

"I think it's bad for our neighborhood because we don't have things like this happen in our neighborhood," Tonya Johnson told Channel 2's Tom Regan .

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Johnson said the midday shooting alarmed her and others who live in the neighborhoods along busy Lovejoy Road.

"I looked out my back window and saw some police cars, an ambulance and someone in the street," a witness told Channel 2.

She said investigators showed up at her house and asked if she had seen anything.

"They just said there was a shooting and nothing besides that," the woman said. 

The victim's identity and condition have not been released. 

Person shot in Clayton County; Police investigating active scene

Police were called to a neighborhood in Clayton County on Monday afternoon after a person was shot.

According to the City of Lovejoy Police Department, the victim was found on Lovejoy Road near S. Grove Drive.

"I think it's bad for our neighborhood because we don't have things like this happen in our neighborhood," Tonya Johnson told Channel 2's Tom Regan .

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Johnson said the midday shooting alarmed her and others who live in the neighborhoods along busy Lovejoy Road.

"I looked out my back window and saw some police cars, an ambulance and someone in the street," a witness told Channel 2.

She said investigators showed up at her house and asked if she had seen anything.

"They just said there was a shooting and nothing besides that," the woman said. 

The victim's identity and condition have not been released. 

Mother makes son accused in deadly robbery surrender to police

A man is in police custody in connection with a deadly robbery because his mother made him turn himself in, the victim’s parents said.

Larry Stewart, 24, was shot and killed on Dec. 1 while trying to sell his PlayStation through the OfferUp app in South Fulton County.

This past weekend, Quantavious Poole’s mother made him surrender to police, Stewart’s parents said.

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Stewart’s father, who is a pastor, said he and his family are praying for his son’s alleged killer.

"I know it was really rough on her and I continue to pray for her. I'm just glad she did the right thing," Stewart's mother, Rolanda Stewart, said about Poole's mother.

Police say Stewart and Poole did not know each other.

"It's a little closure for us, but we still have questions. Why'd you have to shoot him for something so meaningless as a game?" Stewart's father said. "Two lives have been lost, but his mother can go and see him. We'll never see our son again."

Dozens of relatives plan to attend Poole's preliminary hearing in two weeks. 

President Trump signs bill to reopen government, officially ending shutdown

President Donald Trump has signed a bill that will fund the government for the next couple of weeks. 

Democrats reluctantly voted to temporarily pay for resumed operations after much debate Monday. They relented in return for Republican assurances that the Senate will soon take up the plight of young immigrant "dreamers" and other contentious issues.

The vote set the stage for hundreds of thousands of federal workers to return on Tuesday, cutting short what could have become a messy and costly impasse. The House approved the measure shortly thereafter, sending the spending bill to President Donald Trump for his signature.

But by relenting, the Democrats prompted a backlash from immigration activists and liberal base supporters who wanted them to fight longer and harder for legislation to protect from deportation the 700,000 or so younger immigrants who were brought to the country as children and now are here illegally.

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Democrats climbed onboard after two days of negotiations that ended with new assurances from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the Senate would consider immigration proposals in the coming weeks. But there were deep divides in the Democratic caucus over strategy, as red-state lawmakers fighting for their survival broke with progressives looking to satisfy liberals' and immigrants' demands.

Under the agreement, Democrats provided enough votes to pass the stopgap spending measure keeping the government open until Feb. 8. In return, McConnell agreed to resume negotiations over the future of the dreamers, border security, military spending and other budget debates. If those talks don't yield a deal in the next three weeks, the Republican promised to allow the Senate to debate an immigration proposal — even if it's one crafted by a bipartisan group and does not have the backing of the leadership and the White House, lawmakers said. McConnell had previously said he would bring a deal to a vote only if President Donald Trump supported it.

Sixty votes were needed to end the Democrats' filibuster, and the party's senators provided 33 of the 81 the measure got. Eighteen senators, including members of both parties, were opposed. Hours later the Senate passed the final bill by the same 81-18 vote, sending it to the House, which quickly voted its approval and sent the measure on to President Donald Trump.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders predicted that operations would return to normal by Tuesday morning.

The plan is far from what many activists and Democrats hoped when they decided to use the budget deadline as leverage. It doesn't tie the immigration vote to another piece of legislation, a tactic often used to build momentum. It also doesn't address support for an immigration plan in the House, where opposition to extending the protections for the dreamers is far stronger.

The short-term spending measure means both sides may wind up in a shutdown stalemate again in three weeks.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer lent his backing to the agreement during a speech on the chamber's floor. "Now there is a real pathway to get a bill on the floor and through the Senate," he said of legislation to halt any deportation efforts aimed at the younger immigrants.

The White House downplayed McConnell's commitment, and said Democrats caved under pressure. "They blinked," principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah told CNN. In a statement, Trump said he's open to immigration deal only if it is "good for our country."

Immigration activists and other groups harshly criticized the deal reached by the Democratic leadership.

Cristina Jimenez, executive director of United We Dream, said the members of the group are "outraged." She added that senators who voted Monday in favor of the deal "are not resisting Trump, they are enablers."

Other groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union expressed disappointment and shared similar criticism.

A block of liberal Democrats — some of them 2020 presidential hopefuls — stuck to their opposition. Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Dianne Feinstein of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey voted no, as did Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Feinstein said she wasn't persuaded by McConnell's assurances and did not know how a proposal to protect the more than 700,000 younger immigrants would fare in the House.

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana voted no on the procedural motion to re-open the government — the only no vote among 10 incumbent Democrats facing re-election this year in states won by Trump in 2016. Tester said in a statement that the 17-day budget did not include any funding for community health centers that are important to his rural state, nor did the deal include additional resources for border security.

The short-term funding measure includes a six-year reauthorization of the children's health insurance program, which provides coverage for millions of young people in families with modest incomes. It also includes $31 billion in tax cuts, including a delay in implementing a tax on medical devices.

The votes came as most government offices cut back drastically or even closed on Monday, as the major effects of the shutdown were first being felt with the beginning of the workweek.

Republicans have appeared increasingly confident that Democrats would bear the brunt of criticism for the shutdown. The White House and GOP leaders said they would not negotiate with Democrats on immigration until the government was reopened, and White House officials boasted that Trump didn't reach out to any Democratic lawmakers during the shutdown.

In fact, Trump, who regularly disrupted negotiations in recent weeks, had been a relatively subdued player in the weekend debate. On Monday, he accused Democrats of prioritizing services and security for noncitizens over U.S. citizens. "Not good," his first tweet said. In a second tweet, he said, "Democrats have shut down our government in the interests of their far left base. They don't want to do it but are powerless!"

Trump's first tweet appeared to undercut comments by his legislative affairs director, Marc Short, who told CNN that the immigrants in question are law-abiding and "productive to our society." Short said the administration wants to "find a pathway for them" to stay in the U.S.

Although the Democrats initially dug in on a demand for an immigration deal, they had shifted to blaming the shutdown on the incompetence of Republicans and Trump. The Democrats seemed sensitive to being seen by voters as willing to tie up government operations to protect immigrants in the U.S. illegally.

In an impassioned closed-door meeting, Schumer told his members that McConnell's pledge was the best deal they were going to get.

On the Senate floor, No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Cornyn of Texas said that for shutting down the government, the Democrats "got nothing." He added that even though McConnell promised to take up the immigration bill by February, "he was going to do that anyway."

While lawmakers feuded, signs of the shutdown were evident at national parks and in some federal agencies. Social Security and most other safety-net programs were unaffected by the lapse in federal spending authority. Critical government functions continued, with uniformed service members, health inspectors and law enforcement officers set to work without pay.

___

Associated Press writers Mary Clare Jalonick, Kevin Freking, Luis Alonso Lugo, Catherine Lucey, Matthew Daly and Darlene Superville contributed to this report.

GSU soccer player withdraws from school after using racial epithet

A Georgia State University soccer player has been suspended from the team and has withdrawn from school after allegedly using a racial epithet on social media, according to school officials.

Natalia Martinez’s name has been stripped from the team’s online roster after the epithet appeared on her Finsta account. Finsta is a slang term for a fake Instagram account where users post more revealing content they may not want all of their regular Instagram followers to see. 

Associate Athletic Director Mike Holmes told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that officials were made aware of the situation Friday morning.

“We are handling the matter internally at the present time,” Holmes told the AJC.

On Monday afternoon, university officials announced on their official Twitter page that Martinez withdrew from the university.

The university is aware of a social media incident involving a student-athlete. On Monday, the student withdrew from the university.— Georgia State U. (@GeorgiaStateU) January 22, 2018

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The university released the following statement via its verified Twitter account:

“Georgia State Athletics is aware of an incident on social media involving one of our student-athletes on Friday. We do not tolerate the language the student used in her post. Pursuant to our student-athlete code of conduct, she has been suspended from the soccer team.”

Statement from GSU Athletics: pic.twitter.com/qLop6vODek — GSU Panthers (@GSUPanthers) January 20, 2018

According to an online bio, Martinez is a freshman from Weston, Florida. 

In her now deleted post, she used the N-word.

A petition to expel Martinez collected more than 500 signatures in two days.

Student India Bridgeforth started the petition. She told Channel 2's Matt Johnson she did it in response to the post.

"We felt like that was kind of a slap in the face, especially considering how many students of color are here," she said. "There's so many students of color here why would you want to be here, if you feel that way about us?" Bridgeforth said.

Some students told Johnson, they wish they could have heard from the student who made the post.

"I think suspension is enough, but in all actuality, she should do a public apology," said Nicholas Coleman.

But some say an apology isn't enough.

"I would definitely accept her apology but there's still consequences for every action," Bridgefort said.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report. 

Georgia Power ordered to refund over $43M to its customers

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia Power has been ordered to refund more than $43 million to its customers.

News outlets report that the Georgia Public Service Commission has ordered Georgia Power to refund $43.6 million to its customers.

The commission says the refunds are the result of the company earning above its commission-approved return on equity for the calendar year 2016 under terms of the commission's order in a 2013 power rate case.

The exact amount per customer and the date of the refunds will be determined in a later filing.

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Georgia Power ordered to refund over $43M to its customers

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia Power has been ordered to refund more than $43 million to its customers.

News outlets report that the Georgia Public Service Commission has ordered Georgia Power to refund $43.6 million to its customers.

The commission says the refunds are the result of the company earning above its commission-approved return on equity for the calendar year 2016 under terms of the commission's order in a 2013 power rate case.

The exact amount per customer and the date of the refunds will be determined in a later filing.

TRENDING STORIES:

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