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Posted: 8:34 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014

Vandals drop rocks on cars; Mostly calm night in Ferguson; Why teen births are down; Blocking video of journalist's death 


August 19, 2014 photo
081914 Ferguson: In an effort to foster some good will Missouri State Higway Patrol trooper D. Reuter chats with protester Robert Clark along West Florissant Avenue on Tuesday, August 19, 2014, in Ferguson. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

By Veronica Waters

When Gainesville Police catch them, felony charges will be filed against the four suspects who damaged vehicles when they threw two large rocks off a bridge on I-985 in Gainesville.  No one was hurt.  It happened in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, between 1:30 and 2:15.  One driver says the stone peeled his Accord's roof back "like a sardine can" and that if it has landed a few inches differently, he could have been seriously hurt.  The vandals will face charges including criminal damage to property and terroristic acts.   

A grand jury could begin hearing evidence as early as today on whether to consider charges against Ferguson, Missouri policeman Darren Wilson, who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown to death earlier this month.  Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder arrives in Ferguson today, to oversee the federal investigation into the killing.  Missouri Governor Jay Nixon calls for a public resolve for peace and for justice; in a recorded statement, he said, "For Ferguson and our entire nation, it has ripped open old wounds that have festered for generations."

It was a relatively calm night in the St. Louis suburb Tuesday night:  there was only limited use of pepper spray by the police, and no tear gas or smoke bombs.  Still, Missouri Highway Patrol Cpt. Ron Johnson says 47 arrests were made; he says one arrestee was "an out-of-state violator who we've arrested for the third time." A thrown water battle briefly agitated things again.  Johnson says, however, he is encouraged and "proud every night" that he sees more police and residents interacting and smiling.

You can thank your neighbor for your good health. A new report says stronger relationships with neighbors could lower your risk of heart attack by as much as 70%.  It says tight-knit communities can help cut down on unhealthy and anti-social behaviors. The study in the Journal "Epidemiology and Community Health" also found negative factors, like crime, noise, and more fast food restaurants can lead to more health problems.

DeKalb Police find an apparent burglars' stash house on Chamblee Tucker Road.  Neighbors called police with suspicions that the shed out back might have been holding a meth lab; instead, police found a slew of stolen goods, from computers to scuba gear, as well as drugs and paraphernalia.  So far, no arrests are reported.

Fewer teens are giving birth in the United States.  A new report from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics finds the birth rate for teenagers ages 15-19 was nearly 27 births per 1,000 in 2013, down 57% from the rate of almost 62 births per 1,000 in 1991.  The agency attributes the decline to the facts that teens are less likely to be sexually active these days, and that teens who are sexually active use contraception--often two kinds at once--reducing the risk of pregnancy.  The declines were nationwide, especially in the South, which has traditionally seen higher rates of teen moms.   Teen birth rates in the South are still highest. The steepest drops have been recorded among Asian-Pacific Islanders (64%) and non-Hispanic blacks (63%).  

Six Tuskegee University students are finally back in the U. S. after being stranded in Liberia for weeks because of the Ebola outbreak.  They flew into Atlanta on Tuesday.  They have missed the start of the fall semester, and the school will monitor them for any sign of illness.  

U. S. officials confirm that a video released by ISIS of an American journalist being beheaded is real.  Islamic State says James Foley's killing is in retaliation for American airstrikes in Iraq.  Foley, who disappeared in Syria nearly two years ago, reads written threats against America before the violence begins.  His mother says in a Facebook statement that she is proud of her son.  ISIS is also threatening to kill another journalist if the military operation doesn't stop in Iraq.  Meanwhile, Twitter is actively removing images of Foley's execution as Twitter users opposed to giving the militant group any media attention are using the trending topic #ISISMediaBlackout.

Beware before you drink that Corona beer.  The company is recalling some of its glass bottles that were found to contain chipped glass pieces.  Select six-, 12-, and 18-packs are involved.   Contact Corona for a refund.  

The KISS 104 weather forecast:  partly cloudy, scattered showers or thunderstorms, hot highs in the low 90s.

Veronica Waters

About Veronica Waters

Veronica Waters is the morning news anchor on KISS 104.1 and B-98.5FM. She is also an anchor and reporter for News/Talk WSB.

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