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Posted: 9:33 a.m. Thursday, July 10, 2014

Georgia Power customers scammed; Georgia killer's life spared; How DWA is like DUI 

By Veronica Waters

Don't get robbed by telephone.  Georgia Power has gotten literally hundreds of complaint calls about scam artists calling customers, threatening to cut off their electricity unless they buy a prepaid debit card for an overdue bill.  Georgia Power spokeswoman Carol Boatwright says customers have lost hundreds of dollars at a time.  She cautions that the utility will never contact customers in that manner, with that request.

A killer's life is spared.  Georgia's Board of Pardons and Paroles grants clemency to death row inmate Tommy Lee Waldrip. Waldrip and two others murdered Keith Evans on a Saturday night in 1991, two days before Evans was to testify against Waldrip's son in an armed robbery trial.  What stunned then-Dawson County Deputy Billy Carlisle was what the killer did the following day.  Waldrip went to church on Sunday--leading a prayer, and the children's choir.  Now, his death sentence has been commuted to life without parole; he had been slated for lethal injection on Thursday night.  Now the Dawson County sheriff, Carlisle says he is "very disappointed" that the board would do this; he adds, "It doesn't say much for our justice system."  The board did not share their reasons for sparing Waldrip's life. His son and brother-in-law, also convicted in Evans' murder, were sentenced to life in prison.

Her lawyers alert the court that former Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Beverly Hall is now bedridden with stage four breast cancer, and cannot make it to court for her August test cheating trial.

More business is coming to the southside.  MetLife Insurance is partnering with a California real estate company on plans to build a 3-million-square-foot distribution center in Henry County, about 15 miles south of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport.  Development of the 183-acre Lambert Farms Distribution Center site is expected to provide 1,200 construction jobs over three years.

At Hartsfield-Jackson this week, two passengers were interviewed and released by Atlanta Police after being stopped at security with guns in their carry-on bags.  The new "guns everywhere" law says fliers will no longer be arrested in that situation...but the TSA says both of them will still face fines of at least $3,000 each.

If this was a spelling bee, a sign on Highway 316 would be out.  It took two weeks for someone to call attention to the incorrect sign pointing toward Georgia Gwinnett College; it has one N instead of two, so it says "Gwinett."  The DOT blames the mistake on a  construction contractor, and says a replacement sign should be up by next Friday.

Updating the Cobb County hot car death case: Police have hired an independent forensics lab to help sift through and analyze the mountain of evidence collected.  Even with his technical savvy as a web developer, Ross Harris may have left a trail of clues to his guilt--or innocence--on the Internet.  Police will comb through all of his electronics--including phones, computers, and hard drives--for evidence in the case.  A Cobb County Police detective said that Harris was sexting women while his son was broiling to death in his SUV.

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin gets 10 years in prison for bribery, money laundering and other corruption charges.  Prosecutors said during Nagin's two terms as mayor, he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from businessmen seeking work with the city or wanting Nagin's support for various projects.

We know about DUI, but have you heard of DWA?  Driving with allergies can be nearly as dangerous as driving under the influence.  A study from the Netherlands says dealing with the symptoms of allergic rhinitis is the equivalent of having a blood alcohol level of .03.  

Punishments have been handed out by Douglas County Sheriff Phil Miller after two officers and a deputy failed to follow policy and left two teenagers in a holding cell at the county courthouse for a weekend.  He's demoted, suspended or transferred everyone involved.  The teens spent all weekend without food, lights, or access to a toilet.

Jail officials in Cook County, Illinois apologize after a man visiting his son behind bars was trapped in a visiting room for 30 hours over the weekend.  The man thought to break the room's sprinkler, which set off alarms and got the fire department to respond and rescue him.

Kerry Washington, Chiwatel Ejiofor, Idris Elba, Cicely Tyson, and Don Cheadle are among the actors receiving Emmy nominations this morning.  The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards will air live on NBC on August 25 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, hosted by Seth Meyers.

The KISS 104 weather forecast: partly cloudy; widely-scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms, with highs around 87.

Veronica Waters

About Veronica Waters

Veronica Waters is an anchor and reporter for News/Talk WSB. She is also the staff expert on legal affairs and the courts.

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