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Cobb jogger critically hurt

A Cobb County jogger was critically injured during an early morning run.

WSB's Richard Sangster reports from Cobb Police headquarters that no charges have been filed while officers investigate.

It happened in Kennesaw on North Booth Road, near Bells Ferry. 

Neighbor Jennifer Echols tells WSB she was taking her kids to Chalker Elementary when it happened.  She says the stretch of road is dangerous for joggers, kids walking to school or those simply out for a stroll.

"We have lived in Yorktown subdivision, and we've actually had to call the police numerous times because as we were pulling out on North Booth, they're going 60, 70 miles an hour," says Echols.

Police say the jogger was taken to Kennestone Hospital.

DUI suspect faces judge in officer's death

In her first court appearance on charges of causing the DUI accident that killed Atlanta Senior Police Officer Gail Thomas, documents show that 22-year-old Chasity Jones has had six traffic tickets in the past year.  Four of them were for speeding, and two were for erratic lane changes.

In one case, Jones was found to be at fault in an accident; twice, she failed to appear in court.

As Jones cried and occasionally looked back at her mother, Officer Thomas’s cousin was there to watch.

"It's been really hard," she said.

Facing charges including first degree vehicular homicide and DUI, Jones will remain behind bars until her preliminary hearing February 9th.  Police Jones' blood alcohol level was .16--twice the legal limit.

Atlanta Police Chief George Turner said Officer Thomas was just stepping out of her cruiser when she was struck and killed Tuesday night on the Brookwood Interchange ramp from I-75 southbound to I-85 northbound.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 9 in Fulton County Superior Court.

Pres. Adams: Invest in UGA

The president of the University of Georgia says the best way to revive the state's economy is to invest in UGA. 

WSB's Bob Coxe reports that in his State of the University address, Dr. Michael Adams said after two straight years of budget cuts, UGA needs both public and private help to avoid losing ground academically.

Adams notes university system employees haven't had a raise in three years.

"We absolutely must have help on faculty and staff salaries," said Adams. 

Governor Deal's new budget includes more money for growth in enrollment, but cuts over $35 million from the system's teaching programs.  The president says he has lobbied hard against any more reductions.

"I have made the case in Atlanta to the point that some members of the legislature run when they see me coming," he said. 

Adams contends, "The road to change in Georgia leads through Athens."

Teens break into CNN newsroom

A couple of teens break into CNN's secure newsroom--not to steal anything, but to check Facebook.

WSB's Richard Sangster reports from downtown Atlanta that the CNN newsroom is on the 5th floor.  An Atlanta Police spokeswoman says the two teenagers climbed a ledge from the Omni Hotel next door and were able to get into a secure area.

CNN security officers called officers at APD's Zone 5, which is headquartered in the building.  Police found the pair working on a couple of computers, checking Facebook.

Aldayne Fearon, 18, and Francis Mutemwa, 17, have been charged with criminal trespassing.

Veronica Waters and Mayor Kasim Reed Talk TSPLOST

On Tuesday, July 31, 2012 metro Atlanta voters in a 10-county region will decide a historic referendum: A one-cent regional sales tax to raise money for a list of transportation projects.

Advocates say without the TSPLOST, families and businesses will suffer. Critics say nothing with the word "tax" in it is a good idea right now, and others simply think there won't be enough projects worth funding in their neck of the woods.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed sat down with Veronica Waters and Scott Slade for an in-depth Q&A about the TSPLOST—including how metro Atlanta loses if it doesn’t pass, and the ways in which he says the metro area has already lost as we deal with roads and rails that have not kept up with the region’s success. Listen Now!

Find out what you’re voting on before you vote. Read more:

Untie Atlanta

T-SPLOST.com

Two views on TSPLOST by AJC

Whitney Houston program

Whitney Houston program

Here is a shot of the program from Whitney Houston's service.
Whitney Houston Program

Whitney Houston Program

A store blocks away from Whitney Houston's home church in Newark displays a sign in her memory.
Whitney Houston Program

Whitney Houston Program

Shots of the program from Whitney Houston's service.
Whitney Houston services

Whitney Houston services

Scenes from the Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, NJ
Whitney Houston Memorial

Whitney Houston Memorial

Fans leave their remembrances at a make shift memorial outside New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey where Whitney Houston's funeral will be held.
WSB's Veronica Waters at Whitney Houston memorial

WSB's Veronica Waters at Whitney Houston memorial

WSB's Vernoica Waters surveys the makeshift memorial created by fans of Whitney Houston in Newark, New Jersey.

President Obama’s last day in office, final press conference

President Barack Obama will be spending his last full day in office. The White House has left Obama’s schedule for today mostly empty, saying he would use the time to pack. The president is expected to grant one final round of clemency, following hundreds of commutations and pardons he issued earlier in the week. Officials say the last batch would focus on nonviolent drug offenders serving lengthy prison sentences.         President Obama pens a final letter to Americans:

Dr. Bernice King: ‘My father would meet with Trump’

As a war of words plays out between President-elect Donald Trump and Georgia congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis, one is left to wonder what MLK Jr. would have done in the wake of the 2016 election.

>> Read more trending stories 

Two days before her famous father's birthday, the daughter of the civil rights icon answered that question.

“My dad was one who - he was nonpartisan, first of all," King Center CEO Dr. Bernice King tells WSB Radio of her father, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "He learned to work with whatever administration was in office.”

King believes her father would have recognized that there were "two drastically different individuals" currently heading up America's political parties: the current president, whose accomplishments, dignity and grace she says Dr. King would have applauded, and the incoming one.

King says her dad would also have some advice for Trump -- that as a leader, words matter.

“I think he would say that as a leader, semantics are very important to a person such as President-elect Trump. You have to be careful of words because leaders set tone and a tenor, and some of the things that have come out of his mouth are very denigrating and not representative of someone who would be holding an office of such.”  

She adds, “Unlike some people, my father would try to meet with President-elect Trump because he recognizes that in order to move the agenda of justice, freedom and equality forward, you can’t just protest and resist. You also have to negotiate as well.”

She also tells WSB Radio the King Center in Atlanta is hosting what could be a powerful racial forum Monday night.

Leading up to the inauguration, she finds that many people are filled with trepidation, and others with excitement. This "Beloved Community Talk" is a way King hopes that people can start to talk to and hear each other.

"Every time I go to these racial forums, it is people who are alike, or it is progressives and liberals," she says. "So I said, 'At some point, we've got to bring the progressives and the liberals and the conservatives together.’"

The guest list for the forum, titled “Let’s Bridge the Racial Divide across Urban, Suburban and Rural America," includes more than a dozen divergent voices, from social justice activists to a neo-Confederate.

Some of those featured are Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former South Carolina state Sen. Bakari Sellers, activist Mary Pat Hector, a Sons of Confederate Veterans member, and former Klu Klux Klansman Scott Shephard.

“He’s coming because one of the gentlemen that we invited, a black gentleman, has been meeting with and engaging the Klan,” King explains. “He said, ‘How do you hate me, when you don’t know me as a black man?’

“So he said, 'I want to go and connect with them.' And that's what he's done, and he’s seen about 25 of them leave the Klan and turn their robes over to him.”

King says the interactive forum of vignettes will give people the opportunity to hear and be heard and hopefully foster some understanding.

“You may not agree. Nobody’s expecting us to come away from this in agreement. Nobody’s trying to convert anybody," King says.

“What I’m trying to do is fulfill what my father said, which is, 'We have to find a way to live together as brothers and sisters, or together we’re going to perish as fools.'”

Trump rips Lewis for inauguration snub; Services announced for late Bishop Long; Food recalls

There’s a war on words between a civil rights icon and the incoming administration’s leader. Georgia Congressman John Lewis told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he’ll be one of some 20 Democrats boycotting Donald Trump’s inauguration–the first one he’s missed. Lewis was asked if he could forge a relationship with Trump. “I believe in forgiveness. I believe in trying to work with people. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be very difficult,” said Lewis. “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president.” He cites the Russian hacking that assisted Trump and “destroyed the candidacy of Hillary Clinton” as reasons. “You cannot be at home with something that you feel is wrong,” said Lewis. “I think there was a conspiracy on the part of Russia to help him get elected. That’s not right. That’s not fair.” Trump then ripped into Lewis, responding in his customary way–on Twitter–tweeting that Lewis should focus on “fixing and helping his district” and describing it as “in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested).” “All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!” he tweeted. The response angered many in Atlanta, including Ebenezer Baptist Church pastor Raphael Warnock. “Rather than sending nasty tweets, he really ought to sit at John Lewis’s feet and learn what service, sacrifice, and integrity look like,” said Warnock. Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Lewis should reconsider his stance and that Trump has every right to defend himself. “For someone of his stature, not just in the civil rights movement but in voting rights, to make a comment that he did not consider Donald Trump to be a legitimate president I think is deeply disappointing,” said Pence. But even some in the GOP are finding it hard to defend the incoming president. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Greg Bluestein says the comments struck a nerve. “I reached out to about a dozen Republicans over the weekend, trying to get them to defend what Donald Trump said or respond to it,” said Bluestein, “and only a handful had supportive words for Donald Trump.” Fulton County Chairman John Eaves is inviting Trump to come to Atlanta to see it for himself–the many good parts, and the parts that need improvement, he says. “I think at the end of the day, we want our country and our local cities to all be successful. Let’s put personalities aside,” said Eaves. New Birth Missionary Baptist Church announces funeral services for Bishop Eddie Long, who died Sunday after what they say was a “gallant private battle with an aggressive form of cancer.” Long’s funeral will be at 11:00 a.m., January 25. The flamboyant pastor was beloved by many, but was also considered controversial after four young men accused him of sexual misconduct, in a case that was settled out of court. Long’s health had been the topic of discussion for months, as his once-burly figure shrank to that of a much thinner man. He said in a video last summer that his slimmer look was due to a new vegan diet. Long attended some church services over the holiday period; last month, New Birth posted a video on YouTube that showed the minister dancing on stage but appearing to need some help moving at first. Pictsweet recalls some 12-ounce packages of breaded okra because they may contain glass fragments. Affected packages have “use-by” dates of November 3, 2018. Return them to the store for a refund. Golden Flake recalls five-ounce bags of Hot Thin & Crispy potato chips. Milk is not listed on the label, which could be a problem for those who are allergic. The chips can be returned to the store for an exchange or refund. A real-life NASA drama tops the box office for the second straight weekend. Fox estimates “Hidden Figures,” about African-American mathematicians in the 1960s space race, will make over $25 million over the long holiday weekend. Only the Green Bay Packers stand between the Atlanta Falcons and the Super Bowl.  The Falcons trounced Seattle on Saturday, 36-20.  The Packers had a last-minute comeback against the Dallas Cowboys, 34-31.  The Falcons host the Packers Sunday at 3:05 in the Georgia Dome. The KISS 104 weather forecast: sunny high near 70. Tuesday, a 40% chance of showers and high of 72.

WSB Radio host's daughter raises money in his memory

Amira Marshall has a fond memory of her father. 

“Every day after school, he would make me and my sister strawberries,” she says through tears.

It’s one of the few memories the now 10-year-old has of her late dad, Royal Marshall.  That’s because Amira was only four when he fell victim to a heart attack, on January 15, 2011. 

The loss was one also taken hard by the WSB Radio family.  Royal was a beloved colleague, serving roles as talk show host of "The Royal Treatment," producer, and sidekick to Neal Boortz on his show. 

Amira still recalls vividly that terrible night her father passed away at the young age of 43.

"I kind of remember the ambulance running in, the day that he had died," says Amira, her voice breaking, "and I remember my mom calling me to go downstairs and get the phone for her." 

But she has taken the tragedy and turned it into a mission, commemorating her father’s memory by participating in the Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser, benefitting the American Heart Association.  She did it first last year when the event was held at her school, Woodward Academy.  The day the students jumped rope fell on the fifth-year anniversary of Royal's death.     

Amira was the tops in fundraising at Woodward, bringing in more than $3,000.  And that was fifth-best in the Southeast.  She hopes to repeat it this year--but not for the accolades.

“It’s important to me because first I want to honor my dad, and second because I wouldn’t want anyone else feeling like I did,” Amira tells WSB’s Veronica Waters.  “It’s a very sad feeling and I wouldn’t want anyone to feel like that.”

Her fundraising page says, "I want to help others with special hearts and keep kids like me active."  

Amira’s advice? 

“Do your part to save a heart.”  

Click here to donate.

'Fingertip amputation' risk leads to massive Graco stroller recall

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More popular and trending stories

Graco is recalling nearly five million strollers because they pose an amputation risk to children. 

The strollers were made between August 2000 and September 14, 2014, and sold through November 19 at numerous stores nationwide including Target, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, and online.  

The folding hinge on the sides of 11 stroller models "can pinch a child's finger, posing a laceration or amputation hazard," says Graco.  In fact, 11 injuries have been reported; six of those children have lost a fingertip.

>>Photos: See the strollers involved in the recall 

The recalled Graco- and Century-branded models include Aspen, Breeze, Capri, Cirrus, Glider, Kite, LiteRider, Sierra, Solara, Sterling and TravelMate. 

"You can continue using your stroller until the repair kit can be installed," says the Graco hotline.  "You should exercise extreme care when unfolding the stroller, to be certain that the folding hinges on the sides are securely locked before placing a child in the stroller."  

The company advises to immediately take a tot out of the stroller that begins to fold, to keep their fingers out of the danger zone. 

Parents can call Graco at (800) 345-4109 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or go online to www.gracobaby.com to request the free repair kits, which are expected to be available in December.

Group of trendy Atlanta restaurants suddenly closes

Several of the city's hottest restaurants have shuttered their doors--leaving some staffers wondering if they'll get paid.

Here To Serve Restaurant Group (H2SR) has operated more than a dozen eateries around metro Atlanta. They include Prime, Strip, Twist, Coast Seafood and Raw Bar, Noche, Shucks, and Smash.  Some of the properties had already closed since December, including Shout, Goldfish, and Aja.

Monday evening, some of the restaurants had begun closing before the dinner rush--including Prime, Smash, and Shucks.  Jimmy Meas, executive sushi chef at Here To Serve since 1996, said many of the workers were tearing up even as they labored on at Twist.

"My heart is broken, because I put my life in there, in the restaurant business," he said.  "I have three children, my wife stays home.  I put in a lot of hours. I worked 12, 15 hours a day."

He said employees from the dishwashers to the sous chefs were concerned over whether they would get paid.  Payday was last Friday, October 2, but no one had gotten their money.

An e-mail from H2SR president & CEO Leigh Catherall that day expressed regret to all employees.

"Please accept our apology for the grave inconvenience of late paychecks this week.  We have been working on this issue since 6am today.

All staff should anticipate paychecks Monday morning for direct deposit and afternoon for paper," it said.

Staffers came in to work on Monday as usual, but had not yet been paid.  By that time, Meas says, workers were baffled and seeking answers.  The restaurant group has done well for years, he said.  He estimated that 1,000 people at 14 restaurants might be affected by the changes in recent months.

"Honestly, a lot of people work paycheck to paycheck--even myself," Meas said. 

An October 2014 e-mail from her attorney to Simon Property Group, published by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, said that Leigh Catherall was acquiring ownership of the H2SR properties as part of a divorce settlement with Atlanta chef Tom Catherall.

Monday evening, an e-mail from the Director of Operations at H2SR, Phil Handley, went out to managers, stating in part, "It is with heavy heart that I let you know we will not be opening up tomorrow."

By 10:30 p.m., the restaurant group posted a website notice saying that they're reorganizing. 

Meas is hopeful that his longtime employer will bounce back.

"I put everything in God's hands, honestly," said Meas.

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