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Judge delays sentence for men convicted in nuclear fuel scam

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A man who admits bilking a South Carolina project turning warheads into nuclear reactor fuel says he's too old and too sick to go to prison.

The Augusta Chronicle reports that Philip Thompson, who admits the scheme took more than $5 million over five years, asked a federal judge Monday to let him serve his sentence at home.

Attorney Martin Puetz tells U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs that if the 67-year-old Thompson is sentenced to home confinement, the government won't have to pay medical bills. Puetz says just two prescriptions for Thompson's multiple sclerosis cost $10,000 a month.

Childs postponed her decision, saying she wants to study information on Thompson's health

A sentencing hearing for Thompson's co-defendant, Aaron Vennefron, is also being delayed.

Each could get five years in prison.

Man posing as Uber driver accused of raping UGA student, police say

A man is facing charges for the rape of a University of Georgia student in Athens.

Investigators tell Channel 2 Action News the incident happened after the suspect passed as an Uber driver.

The victim told police she ordered an Uber early Friday morning in downtown Athens.

Investigators say she got into a car that she thought was her ride, but it wasn’t.

TRENDING STORIES:

'Armed and dangerous' man terrorizing 4 metro counties, police say WARNING: After close call, mom wants to alert others of 'dry drowning' Official reprimanded for 'racist pig' comments wants to take case to high court

When she realized what happened, the victim says she asked to get out of the car but the driver refused, then pulled over and raped her.

While investigating that assault, Athens-Clarke County police received a call from another woman who says an hour earlier, she was waiting for an Uber on Washington Street.

Police say she also got in the wrong car and the driver inappropriately touched her.

The victim took pictures of her alleged attacker and escaped.

After sharing the photos with police, an officer recognized the suspect from a traffic stop the night before.

The officer then spotted the suspect’s car downtown early Saturday morning.

Police arrested Emerson Redd and after interviewing him, charged him with rape.

UGA students who spoke with Channel 2 Action News stressed they are not blaming the victims, but say they will be sure to take extra precautions when using a ride-sharing service.

“Most of the time they’ll say their name, say what type of car they drive,” said student Victoria Austin.

“One thing that I was told was to just tell them to say what your name is before you get in the car,” said student Jenna Hanes.

Man posing as Uber driver accused of raping UGA student, police say

A man is facing charges for the rape of a University of Georgia student in Athens.

Investigators tell Channel 2 Action News the incident happened after the suspect passed as an Uber driver.

The victim told police she ordered an Uber early Friday morning in downtown Athens.

Investigators say she got into a car that she thought was her ride, but it wasn’t.

TRENDING STORIES:

'Armed and dangerous' man terrorizing 4 metro counties, police say WARNING: After close call, mom wants to alert others of 'dry drowning' Official reprimanded for 'racist pig' comments wants to take case to high court

When she realized what happened, the victim says she asked to get out of the car but the driver refused, then pulled over and raped her.

While investigating that assault, Athens-Clarke County police received a call from another woman who says an hour earlier, she was waiting for an Uber on Washington Street.

Police say she also got in the wrong car and the driver inappropriately touched her.

The victim took pictures of her alleged attacker and escaped.

After sharing the photos with police, an officer recognized the suspect from a traffic stop the night before.

The officer then spotted the suspect’s car downtown early Saturday morning.

Police arrested Emerson Redd and after interviewing him, charged him with rape.

UGA students who spoke with Channel 2 Action News stressed they are not blaming the victims, but say they will be sure to take extra precautions when using a ride-sharing service.

“Most of the time they’ll say their name, say what type of car they drive,” said student Victoria Austin.

“One thing that I was told was to just tell them to say what your name is before you get in the car,” said student Jenna Hanes.

Tons of marijuana sold legally in Colorado making its way to other states, including GA

As the legal marijuana business continues to boom in Colorado, some authorities warn of the increasing rate of individuals illegally selling marijuana in and out of the state.

In 2016, Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Colorado drug task forces completed 163 investigations of individuals or organizations involved in illegally selling Colorado marijuana.

According to the officials, these cases led to:

  • 252 felony arrests
  • 7,116 pounds (3.5 tons) of marijuana seized
  • 47,108 marijuana plants seized
  • 2,111 marijuana edibles seized
  • 232 pounds of concentrate seized
  • 29 different states to which marijuana was destined

Illegal transportation of Colorado marijuana on highways increased 43 percent in the four-year average. 2013-2016, since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana compared to the four-year average, 2009-2012, prior to legalization.

The most common destinations identified were Illinois, Missouri, Texas, Kansas and Florida.

Georgia reported having six seizures in the time period. 

Channel 2 Action News travels to Denver, Colorado to take a look at legal marijuana's impact on emergency room visits, youth pot use and traffic deaths. T he advice Colorado leaders have for Georgia on legal weed -- Thursday on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m. 

Highway seizures of Colorado marijuana increased 20 percent from 288 in 2013, when recreational marijuana was legalized, to 346 in 2016.

Of the 346 highway seizures in 2016, there were 36 different states destined to receive marijuana from Colorado.

Approximately half of all seizures, 48 percent, containing Colorado marijuana originated from Denver.

[PHOTOS: Inside look at the legal marijuana business in Colorado]

Average amount of legal marijuana mailed out of state increases 

Seizures of Colorado marijuana in the U.S. mail have increased 844 percent from an average of 52 parcels, 2009-2012, to 491 parcels, 2013-2016, in the four-year average since recreational marijuana has been legal.

Seizures of Colorado marijuana in the U.S. mail have increased 914 percent from an average of 97 pounds, 2009-2012, to 984 pounds, 2013-2016, in the four-year average that recreational marijuana has been legal.

READ FULL REPORT HERE

Private jet maker plans additional Georgia service center

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - A private jet maker plans a new $55 million service center in coastal Georgia, hiring 200 people.

Gulfstream Aerospace, a unit of General Dynamics Corp., announced Tuesday that it will build the maintenance and overhaul facility at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.

The company already operates a larger service center there employing more than 900.

Gulfstream President Mark Burns says that as more jets are sold, service demand rises. The company in recent months has announced service center expansions in California and Wisconsin.

The company says the 202,000 square-foot (18,800 square-meter) Savannah facility - including hangars, offices and shops - will open next spring.

Gov. Nathan Deal and U.S. Rep Buddy Carter attended the announcement at Savannah Technical College's Aviation Training Center. Burns says Gulfstream relies on the school for employees.

'Armed and dangerous' man terrorizing 4 metro counties, police say

Police in Rockdale County are searching for an "armed and dangerous" man they say has been terrorizing their community since they first caught him three years ago.

Investigators said the man is wanted for dozens of crimes in Rockdale, Gwinnett, DeKalb and Clayton counties and they need the help of citizens to catch him.

Conyers police first busted Anthony Vaughn on several burglary and theft charges in 2015 but he failed to turn himself in, authorities said.

Police said Vaughn then went back to work.

TRENDING STORIES:

'Armed and dangerous' man terrorizing 4 metro counties, police say WARNING: After close call, mom wants to alert others of 'dry drowning' Official reprimanded for 'racist pig' comments wants to take case to high court “He’s been on the loose, multiple warrants, wreaking more havoc, failed to turn himself in for a series of charges,” said Conyers police Sgt. Kim Lucas. Lucas has been talking about recapturing Vaughn for three years now. She says the video shows him on a shopping spree inside a Footlocker with a credit card he stole from someone. Police say video from the parking lot of an Outback restaurant shows Vaughn driving around looking for his next victim. He’s also wanted for allegedly strangling a woman and police say he is always on the move. Conyers police say Vaughn is quick, jumping on and off the interstate, working the I-20 corridor and targeting victims along West Avenue. Officers are going to business owners asking them and their customers to be on the lookout. Channel 2 Action News tagged along with Conyers officers as they put up flyers where they say Vaughn has been committing crimes and he’s been everywhere. "He's victimized countless other people in many jurisdictions hope nobody gets hurt before in custody which he will be spend long time behind bars," she said. Police say many times, after he breaks into a car, he goes shopping at Stonecrest Mall before people know they are a victim.  Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS. The reward is now $2,000.

Senate postpones hearing for Trump VA pick Ronny Jackson amid 'serious allegations'

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that his pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, White House physician Ronny Jackson, will decide whether it’s worth it to pursue the post after lawmakers postponed a hearing on his nomination in light of several allegations.

>> Read more trending news

“I don’t want to put a man through a process like this. ... It’s totally his decision,” the president told reporters at the White House, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree. “I will tell you, he is one of the finest people that I’ve met.”

Lawmakers indefinitely postponed a hearing, scheduled for Wednesday, to consider Jackson’s nomination. The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs’ top Republican and its top Democrat said in a joint statement that the decision was made “in light of new information presented to the committee.”

“We take very seriously our constitutional duty to thoroughly and carefully vet each nominee sent to the Senate for confirmation,” Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, and Jon Tester, D-Montana, said in the statement. “We will continue looking into these serious allegations and have requested additional information from the White House to enable the committee to conduct a full review.”

The congressmen also sent a letter addressed to Trump on Tuesday asking for "all documentation pertaining to Rear Admiral Jackson's service in the White House Medical Unit and as Physician to the President."

Committee members didn’t elaborate on the allegations levied against Jackson, although The New York Times reported that they include accusations that Jackson oversaw a hostile work environment while serving as White House doctor, that he allowed for drugs to be overprescribed and that he might have drank while on the job.

Jackson declined Tuesday to answer questions from reporters about the allegations.

"I'm looking forward to rescheduling the hearing and answering everyone's questions," Jackson told reporters on Capitol Hill, according to CNN.

Trump nominated Jackson to fill the role left vacant after he fired David Shulkin from the position late last month. Shulkin had been a top holdover from President Barack Obama’s administration, but he clashed with Trump administration officials and faced criticism over his use of resources.

Jackson, a U.S. Navy rear admiral, was appointed in 2013 as physician to the president by Barack Obama.

Orioles claim infielder Peterson off waivers from Yankees

BALTIMORE (AP) - The Baltimore Orioles have claimed utility infielder Jace Peterson after he was placed on waivers by the New York Yankees.

Peterson, a left-handed hitter, is expected to report Wednesday.

He provides depth to an infield that is without injured second baseman Jonathan Schoop and could potentially lose Tim Beckham, who left Monday's game against Cleveland with a groin injury.

The 27-year-old Peterson played in three games with the Yankees this season, going 3 for 10 with a walk.

Selected by San Diego in the first round of the 2011 draft, Peterson broke into the big leagues with the Padres in 2014 before playing for Atlanta the past three years.

Peterson has 386 games of major league experience, primarily as a second baseman. He also plays third base, shortstop and all three outfield positions.

___

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

20-year-old bear attack survivor bitten by shark while surfing

Dylan McWilliams loves nature, but nature doesn’t always love him back.

The 20-year-old Grand Junction, Colorado, resident was surfing off the Kauai coastline in Hawaii Thursday morning when he suddenly felt searing pain in his calf. He told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that he looked down to see what appeared to be a tiger shark between 6 and 8 feet long.

“At first, I panicked,” McWilliams told the newspaper. “I didn’t know if I lost half my leg or what.”

The panic gave way to his survival instinct, and he kicked the shark away as hard as he could. He began desperately swimming for shore, which he said was the scariest part of the ordeal.

“I didn’t know where the shark was, and I didn’t know if he would come after me again,” McWilliams said

A woman who heard his cries for help called 911 once he reached shore and took him to an urgent care facility, where seven stitches were used to close the deep gashes in his leg. 

McWilliams, who has worked as a tree trimmer, ranch hand and survival training instructor, shared the gory images on Facebook. Click here to see his post

“First time in the water in Kauai and get tagged by a shark,” he said. 

McWilliams’ friends were shocked by the encounter, in part because it is not the first time in the past year he has been attacked by a wild animal. CBS Denver reported that McWilliams, then 19, was camping at Glacier View Ranch near Boulder in July when he was attacked by a 300-pound black bear. 

“Are you kidding me?” one Facebook friend asked. “Dude, why do you always have animals wanting to eat you?”

>> Read more trending news

McWilliams relived his summer ordeal, which began when the bear grabbed him as he slept, following Thursday’s shark attack. 

“The bear grabbed the back of my head and started pulling me and I was fighting back as best as I could,” McWilliams told Hawaii News Now. “It dropped me and stomped on me a little bit, and I was able to get back to the group and they scared it away.”

McWilliams said he was lucky to have survived not only the bear and the shark, but also to have survived a rattlesnake bite during a 2015 hike in Utah, the Star-Advertiser reported. The bite was a “dry bite,” which only delivered enough venom to make him ill for a couple of days. 

National Geographic reported that the odds of one person being bitten by a shark, a bear and a rattlesnake are 893.35 quadrillion to one. An average American has a one in 11.5 million chance of being bitten by a shark.

A person is more likely to be attacked by a bear, with odds of one in 2.1 million, the magazine reported.

The odds of being bitten by a poisonous snake in the U.S. are one in 37,500.

Some commenters on Facebook called McWilliams a “legend” for all he’s survived, while others chastised him for getting in the water when much of the island was under a “brown water advisory,” meaning that bad storms had turned much of the coastal waters brown.

Murky water is known to bring in sharks, who prowl the coastline looking for an easy meal. 

“Can tell he’s not from around here or he would have known that,” one person wrote. 

“I guess no one told you that murky water attracts sharks, huh?” another man wrote. 

“It was actually mostly clear where I was,” McWilliams responded.

“‘Mostly’ is a key word in this situation,” the man wrote back. “But it looks like the island gods were ‘mostly’ looking out for you. Speedy recovery, broheem.”

McWilliams told Hawaii News Now that he does not plan on letting his encounter with the tiger shark keep him down.

“I’m just mad that I can’t get back in the water for a couple days,” he said. 

Keshia Knight Pulliam finalizes divorce with Ed Hartwell, gets primary custody

Keshia Knight Pulliam’s divorce with Ed Hartwell has been finalized, and she received  primary custody of their one-year-old daughter Ella Grace, according to TMZ

>> Read more trending news 

Hartwell -- an ex-NFL player who was married to former “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast mate Lisa Wu -- married Pulliam in 2016, but the union only lasted a few months. The split was acrimonious, and the two sides hurled various accusations against each other in court from 2016 into 2017.

In April, Pulliam questioned Hartwell’s ability to take care of their daughter based on his use of prescription drugs. He questioned the paternity of the girl, but she was ultimately deemed his. The month before, it was reported that Hartwrell tried to seek joint custody, but lost that battle.

Hartwell acknowledged adultery and is now living with Tonya Carroll, who’s pregnant with his child. He is supposed to pay about $3,000 a month in child support to Pulliam, TMZ reported.

Knight Pulliam is a former child star who appeared on “Celebrity Big Brother” in the spring.

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