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Thanksgiving Fliers Will Be Stuffing Security Lines

If you plan on flying out of Atlanta next week--good luck. WSB's Jon Lewis reports airport officials expect you will have a lot of company at the security gates.

"Up to 1.7 million travelers will be going through the facility," says Hartsfield-Jackson General Manager Louis Miller.

On a typical Tuesday or Wednesday, some 35,000 fliers go through the Atlanta airport. During the Thanksgiving week, the number jumps almost sky-high by comparison.

Tuesday, November 22 will be the first peak day.

"The forecast of originating passengers is as high as 54,000," says Miller. "And on Wednesday it's 57,000."

All 22 security gates will be open around the clock during the holiday season's operating hours.

Munson family urges donations instead of flowers

As funeral arrangements are in the process of being made for legendary broadcaster Larry Munson, the Munson family has announced a request for donations to a cause in lieu of flowers.

The family asks that contributions be made to the Noah Harris Cheerleading Scholarship Fund, in care of the UGA Athletic Association; P. O. Box 1472, Athens, GA, 30606.Noah Harris was a former cheerleading captain at the University of Georgia, and a friend of Munson's. He joined the military shortly after the 9/11 attacks, and died in Iraq in 2005 at the age of 23. This scholarship fund is the same one Munson designated profits from his new bobble head doll to go to three years ago.

Alleged Cumberland Mall Killer Identified

Cobb County Police name a suspect in connection with last weekend's fatal shooting outside Cumberland Mall.

Investigators interviewed witnesses after Saturday evening's gunfire. The victim, 29-year-old George Tabetando of Powder Springs, was in a fight in the parking lot of the Macy’s around 7:00. Police say the perpetrator, 28-year-old Rosano Bundel, pulled out a pistol and opened fire--shooting Tabetando several times while chasing him into the roadway.

According to witnesses, after shooting the victim, Bundel fled the area in what was described as a brown, charcoal or gray BMW. Detectives believe that the car may have been driven by a black female.Tabetando was taken by ambulance to Emory Adventist Hospital, where he died. Police say Bundel, of Douglasville, should be considered armed and dangerous. Tipsters are asked to call 911 or the Cobb County Police Department’s Crimes Against Persons Unit directly at (770) 499-3945.

Bishop Long's wife does about-face on divorce

Bishop Eddie Long's wife filed for divorce, six months after the pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church settled lawsuits with four young men who accused him of sexual coercion. Hours later, she has announced that she has changed her mind. "Upon prayerful reflection, I have reconsidered and plan to withdraw my petition for divorce from my husband, Bishop Eddie L. Long. I love my husband. I believe in him and admire his strength, and courage. My filing followed years of attacks in the media that frustrated and overwhelmed me. I love my family and church family, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Therefore, my husband and I have mutually agreed to find healing from these attacks. We ask that you respect our privacy during this time."Friday morning, Mrs. Long had released a statement saying she authorized her attorneys to go ahead with the filing Thursday, December 1."It is my sincere hope that this matter can be resolved expeditiously, harmoniously, and fairly," she said in the statement. "I ask that you respect my privacy and that of my family, as my attorneys and I have agreed that we will not try this case in the media, and I do not intend to make any further statements concerning this matter. I also ask that the public pray for my entire family during this difficult period of transition."Long, an outspoken advocate of gay marriage, was accused by several young men of using money, gifts, trips and spiritual authority to begin sexual relationships with them when they were in their late teens. He adamantly denied the relationships, but settled the cases out of court last May. New Birth is a megachurch which boasts of some 25,000 members. In October, the beleaguered minister was named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by church member who claim he helped convince them to invest in a firm owned by Ephren Taylor, whom Long allegedly said would guarantee them a return on their money; however, the suit contends, Taylor was not licensed in Georgia, and Long should have known that. The congregants lost some $1 million. The month before that, Long settled a $2 million lawsuit that claimed that he and a business partner defaulted on a loan for the Omni Hoops and Fitness gym in Jonesboro after the bank they had used failed.

Autopsy: Girl was fatally stabbed, beaten

Jorelys Rivera was killed within hours after her disappearance from her Canton apartment complex, as police, family, friends and neighbors hoping for the best scoured the mile around her home, looking for her.

The autopsy results on the seven-year-old girl, released Tuesday morning, reveal that she was stabbed, sexually assaulted, and beaten. She died of blunt force trauma to the head and stab wounds, according to GBI Director Vernon Keenan.

He says she died within two hours of her abduction.

The focus of the murder investigation is now at the apartment complex where the second-grader lived, as investigators zero in on a vacant apartment at River Ridge, looking for the crime scene.

"Investigators feel very strongly that the killer of the child resides in the apartment complex," said Keenan Tuesday.

The little girl's body was pulled from a Dumpster located at the Canton apartment complex. Authorities hauled it across the street to pore carefully through the heavily compacted trash before finding the girl's body.

"It was not easily detected by the investigators," Keenan said Monday.

A $15,000 reward remains offered for information in the murder case.

Lt. Jay Baker with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office says more than 60 local, state and federal investigators are currently working the case. Dozens of sex offenders are in the county, and several live in the apartment complex. Keenan says they have all been interviewed.

"We don't have any reason to believe any of them were involved," he said.

The Cherokee County School District sent a letter home Tuesday with all Canton Elementary School students to inform parents of Rivera's death.  The school also wanted to let parents know that counseling is available for grieving students.  The school also plans to display pink and green ribbons outside the school later this week in memory of Rivera.

 

Jorelys Rivera's accused killer denied bond

The 20-year-old charged with the brutal murder of a 7-year-old Canton girl went before a judge for the first time Thursday afternoon.  The judge denied bond for Ryan Brunn.

He appeared in Cherokee County Superior Court in an orange jumpsuit and vest.  Brunn quietly answered the judge's questions and appeared nervous.  He was arrested Wednesday afternoon for killing Jorelys Rivera.

"We believe that this horrendous crime was planned and calculated," says GBI Director Vernon Keenan, who says information from the public helped lead them to the suspect. The GBI says Brunn has no previous connection to the little girl.

Brunn is a maintenance employee at the River Ridge Apartments where Rivera lived and where her body was found in a dumpster.  He has been under surveillance since last night. Keenan would not detail the exact evidence against the young man but confirmed that Brunn does have access to the vacant apartment where evidence shows Rivera was raped and murdered.

WSB’s Richard Sangster reports Brunn is going to stay at the Cherokee County detention center until his trial. Sangster was told that Brunn will not have contact with other inmates.    "We are confident that Brunn is the killer and that is why he is in custody," Keenan said.

But the suspect’s brother is adamant that the GBI has the wrong guy.

"They're making my brother seem like he's a monster,” Steven Brunn said. “My brother, he's kind hearted. He'll give to you if he's got it, he's great with kids and there were never any signs of violence.

Ryan lived in Dahlonega until recently. Steven says he hasn’t seen his brother in weeks, but still can’t believe Ryan could kill anyone.

"This whole thing just don't seem possible,” said Steve Brunn. “It's not his nature. He's not a violent person. I don't understand how this happened."

The suspect has no record of having been a sex offender in Georgia. "We are investigating all of the past history of Ryan Brunn, and are piecing together what he has been doing for the last several years," said Keenan. "We are going to backtrack all of his actions and determine if he has been involved in any other crimes. He has no known criminal history to us." Investigators had said they believed her killer was someone who either lived in the modern, sprawling complex north of Atlanta or had regular access to the apartments. Rivera was abducted near a playground at the complex, taken to a vacant apartment, and sexually assaulted before she was stabbed and beaten to death and her body placed in a trash bin, authorities said Tuesday.

"This was a very calculated and planned crime," Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan said. Brunn currently faces murder charges, and more are expected. Garry Moss, the Blue Ridge District Attorney, said he had not made a decision yet on whether to seek the death penalty.

“The state may be considering the premeditation that went into this crime as grounds for asking for death, as well as the young age of the victim,” WSB Legal Analyst Ron Carlson said.

At the news conference, Canton Police Chief Jeff Lance took time to thank the 65 local, state and federal investigators and dozens of volunteers who searched for the child and then worked to find her killer.

"Our goal was to make an arrest for what has happened to this sweet, innocent little girl," said Lance.

Stabbing victim found in Duluth lot

Duluth Police are investigating an early morning murder.  WSB's Jon Lewis reports that it happened around 7:00 on a busy roadway.

The Asian male victim was discovered lying in a parking lot between a Bank of America branch and an Aldi grocery store.  He had been stabbed.  The man was alive, but died on the way to the hospital.

“We’re looking at what video might be available from the businesses around there,” says Police Major Don Woodruff.

The identity of the victim, who appeared to be about 30 years old, has not been released. 

Atlanta among worst for road rage

When it comes to road rage, few cities are worse than Atlanta. A new survey ranks the city as the fourth most discourteous in the United States.

The AutoVantage survey questioned 1,000 drivers in each of the nation's 25 largest cities.

"In Washington, DC, four out of every 100 drivers admitted to smashing into somebody on purpose," says Michael Bush, with AutoVantage. "In Atlanta, that number dropped to one out of ever 100."

Bush says Atlanta drivers are more likely to be distracted, and to anger fellow drivers, than in other cities. And, he says, they are finding new ways to be distracted and irritate others.

"If you look at incidents of speaking on their cell phone, or texting or sending an e-mail, eating or drinking, doing hair and makeup, et cetera, those types of behaviors tended to incite really unhappy feelings in the drivers around the sort of perpetrator," said Bush.

Atlanta was also #2 for seeing drivers run red lights on a daily basis, and was #1 for seeing drivers cut into other lanes without any sort of signal.

Gwinnett metal detectives busy

It's been a busy four weeks since the formation of the Gwinnett County Police Department's new metal theft unit.

WSB's Richard Sangster reports the officers assigned have investigated everything from thieves stealing from a cemetery to stealing from doctor's offices.

One hundred and forty brass vases were stolen from a metro-area cemetery and cut up. Thieves tried to sell the pieces to a metal recycler, who knew that the police unit was in business. He called them, and the arrest was made.

The unit has conducted stings offering to buy and sell metal.

The latest case involves stolen air conditioning units from a Buford physician's office. Good high-quality surveillance video has helped police get descriptions of the three suspects.

Delta finishing 2011 in the black

2011 looks to be a very profitable year for Delta--and 2012 should be more of the same money-making.

WSB's Bob Coxe reports that at this morning's investor conference in New York, Delta President Ed Bastian said the airline figures to make a profit of $800 million this year, despite the unpredictability of fuel costs. Earnings for the first nine months equaled $429 million.

A key goal is reducing the airline's debt load, said Bastian.

"We're going to continue the disciplined approach that we have on costs, on capacity, and on cash, and we're continuing to reduce risks," Bastian says.

Bastian went on to say that they expect to reach their net debt level of $10 billion by "somewhere in the middle part of 2013."

"We'll be closing '11 at $12.9 billion," he said.

Delta expects to make money next year too, despite fuel prices. They plan to cut capacity up to 3%.

Lt. Gov. has proposal for HOT lanes

Georgia's second-in-command says he has a solution to the congestion problems on I-85 that intensified and caused such commuter anger since the hot lanes have come into existence.

WSBs Sandra Parrish caught up with him at Wednesday's Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Lt. Gov Casey Cagle says he knows the pain of Gwinnett County commuters stuck on I-85.

"When someone has something for free, and then you take it away and charge them for it, it's going to be controversial," said Cagle.

He's proposing that the Department of Transportation add one or two reversible lanes from either side of the expressway to help during rush hour.

"There would be a movable barrier that would go over and give you one or two additional lanes on the other side," Cagle said. "And that would actually be what your HOT lane would consist of."

Cagle admits that federal approval would first be needed.

Fake mechanic bilks elderly women

A Gwinnett County man is jailed on allegations that he was bilking victims out of hundreds of dollars apiece.

WSB's Richard Sangster reports the 45-year-old man is accused of conning elderly women into believing their cars were broken, and then demanding to fix it.

Suspect Joe Quick would pull up behind a victim, flash his lights and honk his horn--anything to get them to pull over. Once they did, Quick allegedly would tell them that he had spotted a wheel on their vehicle wobbling, and he would offer to repair it.

"He said, 'Did you know your tire's wobbling, and your wheel's about to fall off?'" says Linda Steel. "He said, 'Well pull over here and let me check it.' Well, like a fool, I did."

Steel says after Quick's fast talking, she really was afraid something was wrong with her car.

"I was scared to drive," she says.

Steel forked over $1,500--for nothing. And she's apparently not alone.

Four other women told Winder Police Quick tried to con them, too. One of them refused his help, but wrote down his tag number and called 911.

Channel 2 Action News reports that according to authorities, Quick is on probation for similar crimes in DeKalb County, and has a rap sheet in Florida, too.

UGA helps develop cancer vaccine

University of Georgia researchers have helped develop a vaccine against cancer that is showing great promise. The vaccine, developed along with the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, looks to be effective against some of the cancers which are resistant to current treatments.

When cancerous cells develop, their surface-layer sugars change, yet the body doesn't recognize the cells as something foreign to fight off because they developed inside the body. This new vaccine is the first which trains the immune system to recognize and attack those changes. Tests in mice showed that it shrank breast and pancreatic tumors an average of 80%.

The testing also indicates that cancerous tumors with a similar distinctive carbohydrate pattern, like those in ovarian and colorectal cancers, could be attacked by this vaccine.

"When combined with early diagnosis, the hope is that one day cancer will become a manageable disease," said UGA Cancer Center researcher Geert-Jan Boons.

The vaccine is also fully synthetic, which means it could easily be replicated with precision.

Clinical testing could begin in 2013.The vaccine is described in the early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Tech student, girlfriend robbed at gunpoint

Two masked gunmen stick up a Georgia Tech student and his girlfriend in the parking garage of a Northside Drive Apartment complex. 

The victim in Tuesday night's robbery is the grandson of famed Atlanta architect John Portman.  It happened shortly before 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.  Police say Jeffrey Portman and Virginia Beasley had just arrived at the parking deck when they were robbed.

WSB's Richard Sangster reports this is the same garage where another student was shot during an armed robbery 2 1/2 years ago.  This armed robbery has several residents questioning security at the Tenside Apartments.  Allison, who works at Georgia Tech, is one of them.

"This is so scary that this was on the 5th floor, and there's a gate that you have to pass with a key fob to get in there," she says.

Atlanta Police say the couple had just returned from a holiday trip when they were accosted in the parking deck as they stepped out of their vehicle. The ski mask-wearing gunman took their luggage, wallets, and mobile phones.

In 2009, a student was shot in the chest and wounded. He has recovered.

Driver hurt in school bus wreck

The kids are okay, but the driver was hurt in this morning's crash of an school bus in East Atlanta. 

WSB's Richard Sangster reports that a witness likened the sound to a bomb going off when the Atlanta Public Schools bus ran off the road and into a fence at his Custer Avenue apartment complex shortly after 7:00 Friday morning. 

The complex's sales manager, Nada London, watched first responders escort a group of special needs students to a waiting ambulance.

"The kids seemed to be fine," she tells WSB.  "There were probably a couple children that were hurt."

Nine students were on their way to Centennial Place Elementary, Washington High School and Imagine Wesley International Academy charter school.  None of the children was taken to a hospital. 

"While some of the students were shaken up by the accident, none were injured," said APS spokesman Keith Bromery. "They were transported to their respective schools in another bus."

The bus driver, however, suffered a nasty bump to the head and was transported to the hospital. 

Bromery says the cause of the accident remains under investigation.

Georgia sets killer's execution date

Barring any last-ditch appeals, Georgia has scheduled its latest execution for January 31. WSB's Bob Coxe reports it's a case from Paulding County.

The conviction and death sentence of 31-year-old Nicholas Tate were upheld by the state Supreme Court in 2010.

In December 2001, the 21-year-old and his two teenage brothers, 15 and 18, went to Chrissie Williams' house in Dallas, looking for money, drugs and weapons to steal. Evidence at trial showed that the three had visited a store to buy supplies--including ammunition and duct tape--for the crime ahead of time.

The brothers were related to Williams by marriage, and expected her to be at home since she did not have a job. The men planned to knock her out with a stun gun and rape her.

In the chaos that followed, Tate wound up handcuffing the 26-year-old Williams to a bed and shooting her in the head.

He and one brother sexually assaulted her three-year-old daughter, Katelyn, before one of Tate's brothers cut her throat to stop her crying.

They fled, but turned themselves in three days later in Oklahoma. Tate pled guilty in 2005.

DeKalb bands marching again

DeKalb County high school marching bands are back in business. WSB's Jon Lewis reports a suspension on band activities has been lifted.

The ban was put in place following the death of Robert Champion, a graduate of Southwest DeKalb High School. Several of his alleged hazers at Florida A&M University, as well as a FAMU band mate who suffered a broken leg in a hazing incident, went to high schools in DeKalb County.

Schools Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Atkinson says an investigation of the county's marching bands found isolated incidents of intimidation.

She says there have been meetings with school principals and band directors to make sure everyone is aware of their responsibilities and expected accountability.

“We know that band is a very positive experience for our students,” said Atkinson. “We fully expect for it to continue to be that.”

District spokesman Walter Woods says the probe continues, and is centered on whether adults were involved in the intimidation of students. Neither Woods nor Atkinson revealed what band bullying or intimidation led to the initial ban.

Accused car thief killed by Gwinnett police

An officer-involved shooting leaves one man dead in Gwinnett County.

WSB's Jon Lewis reports police tried to arrest the suspect, Christopher Kenney, for multiple crimes--but Kenney apparently had no intentions of going back to jail. He was a suspect in some burglaries and car thefts.

Following a tip to police, Kenney was found Monday morning near Old Tucker Road in Stone Mountain, asleep in what may have been a stolen car. Officers put down Stop Sticks, because they say Kenney had a history of fleeing from the cops. Once their vehicles and stop sticks were in place, police approached the car to make the arrest.

"He started the car, and backed it up and began crashing multiple times into the officers' vehicles--over and over again," says Gwinnett Police Cpl. Jake Smith.

Kenney smashed the vehicles back about 30 feet in his back-and-forth efforts to escape, severely damaging two of them.

Smith alleges Kenney also tried running over officers before the police opened fire.

At one point, Kenney was even stun-gunned after police broke his window, but continued to ram into police cruisers.

"Multiple officers fired at him," says Smith. "I don't have the exact number or how many rounds were fired, but he was struck and killed." Other than one bloody finger, Smith says, none of the officers was hurt.

Steve Lyon, who lives in a nearby subdivision, was surprised that something so loud and violent would happen in a calm, old residential area.

"You wouldn't think something like this would take place--but you never know what's gonna take place in this day and time," said Lyon. "We've had a few wrecks at the corner of this road up here--but other than that, though, no excitement. Not really excitement when somebody gets shot. That's bad, you know?"

Delta sues posh Greenbrier resort

Delta is suing one of the nation's best-known resorts for millions of dollars in allegedly-unpaid air fares.

WSB's Bob Coxe reports Delta is claiming breach of contract by the company that owns the Greenbrier luxury resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The airline says Greenbrier has failed to pay the guaranteed minimum they contracted for from June 2010-June 2011 for Delta to fly visitors to the Greenbrier Valley Airport from Atlanta and New York.

The airline is seeking $4 million in damages, plus legal fees. The case has now been moved from Fulton Superior to Atlanta federal court.

Delta says its revenue was less than what was guaranteed, and plans to draw on a million dollar line of credit until The Greenbrier meets its obligation.

Greenbrier owner Jim Justice had said expanded air service to the resort, which is also serviced by Continental flights from Cleveland, was needed due to the 2010 debut of the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic and the July 2010 opening of an $80 million underground casino.

Earlier this month, the resort laid off more than 100 of its 1,800 workers as it deals with a $13 million deficit. Justice cited a traditional slowdown in the winter months and said he hoped to rehire most of those laid off by April 1.

How did Stacey English die?

Only part of the mystery surrounding Stacey English's disappearance has been solved.  Nearly one full month after she vanished from her Buckhead condominium, English's body has been found and identified, but how she got there is unknown.

Wednesday, the Fulton County coroner confirmed that the badly decomposing remains discovered wedged under a tree in Atlanta Monday afternoon are those of English.  They used dental records to confirm her identity. 

But Paul Desamours, with the medical examiner's office, tells WSB they still don't know how the 36-year-old woman died.

"We didn't find any signs of trauma or anything that would specifically lead to a cause of death," says Desamours. "That investigation is ongoing, so we're doing toxicology."

Additional testing and results could take at least six weeks, he said.

English's body was found near St. John's Avenue Monday afternoon by some men who were hunting for scrap metal and tire rims.  It was in the same general area near where her still-running car was discovered in a library parking lot shortly after her disappearance of December 26, 2011.

In December, English's mother told police that her daughter had had one suicide attempt in 2008 and was currently taking medication for a condition that was not publicly disclosed.  The day before she disappeared, she had been talking to friends about the end of the world, quoting Bible scriptures, and expressed the fear that someone was trying to hurt her.  She also had asked a man visiting her from St. Louis if he was Satan.  The man said he left the condo at English's insistence.  Atlanta Police said earlier this month that that man is not a suspect in English's case.

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