Georgia News Roundup
May 27, 2015 04:15 PM | 117 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dunwoody hosting citizenship ceremony on Independence Day
DUNWOODY, Ga. (AP) — About 25 immigrants will formally become U.S. citizens during an Independence Day ceremony in Dunwoody.

Morris News Service reports the event is being organized by Bob Dallas and Alfredo Trujillo, both immigrants from Cuba who are now U.S. citizens.

The organizers say 18-year-olds in the town will recite the Pledge of Allegiance with the new citizens as a way for the teens to affirm their own citizenship as adults.

Federal officials said roughly 17,000 people take the pledge of citizenship each year in Georgia, the culmination of a legal process called naturalization. To qualify for naturalization, an immigrant must have been a legal U.S. resident for five years and pass a civics test.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.


Georgia authorities searching for escaped inmate
HAMILTON, Ga. (AP) — The Harris County Sheriff's Department is searching for an escaped inmate.

WTVM-TV reports law enforcement agencies are looking for 47-year-old Donald Castleberry, who police say did not get on the bus to return to the Georgia Department of Corrections Transitional Center in Troup County Saturday.

Police say Castleberry has been missing for three days and may have a weapon in his possession. Castleberry is serving a sentence for child molestation and theft by taking and bad checks.

Authorities say Castleberry, who works at a poultry processing plant in Pine Mountain, did not return to the transitional center after work. He was last seen in the wooded area behind that processing plant on May 23 around 4:30 p.m.

Inmates who have been released to transitional centers are allowed work release.

Information from: WTVM-TV, http://www.wtvm.com/ 
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.


Man sentenced in death of metro Atlanta cab driver
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — A man has been sentenced in the 2014 shooting death of a metro Atlanta taxi driver.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday that 18-year-old Cameron Hollins has been sentenced to 25 years in the death of 36-year-old Afolabi Odifa.

Authorities have said Odifa picked up Hollins and his alleged accomplice in Lawrenceville and was shot during a robbery.

Tracie Cason of the Gwinnett County District Attorney's office says Hollins was convicted of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Cason says Hollins was found not guilty of murder and a jury deadlocked on a felony murder charge against him.

Police have said Hollins told investigators that his accused accomplice shot Odifa. Cason says the second suspect has not yet gone to trial.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.


4 rescued after car veers into DeKalb County river
STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say four people climbed to the roof of a car after it veered into a DeKalb County river.

County fire Capt. Eric Jackson told local media that crews threw a rope and ladders out to two men and two children who were stranded after their car landed in the Yellow River Tuesday night.

Jackson says it's unclear what caused the car to swerve from the road and into the river. Jackson says the road the vehicle had been on is winding, dark and doesn't have many streetlights.

Authorities were planning to pull the car from the river on Wednesday.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.


2 men plead guilty in militia plot against US government
ROME, Ga. (AP) — Officials in the FBI's Atlanta field office say two men have pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction.

FBI spokesman Stephen Emmett said in an emailed statement that Brian Cannon and Cory Williamson pleaded guilty Tuesday at a federal court in Rome. Their sentencing is set for Aug. 7.

FBI officials have said Williamson, Cannon and a third man participated in online chats about executing a militia operation against the government. Authorities say the chat was being monitored by federal agents.

Authorities say the men spoke with a confidential informant who offered them 12 pipe bombs and two grenades. The men were arrested after the informant gave them fake explosives.

According to court records, the third suspect is expected to appear in court Thursday.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.


Day care faces repairs after vehicle slams into building
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — The owner of a day care says she's working to repair her building after a vehicle crashed into it.

Gwinnett County fire officials said two children suffered minor injuries when a vehicle crashed into the Learning Hive Child Development Center in Lawrenceville Tuesday afternoon.

Police have said the driver had swerved to avoid a car before running into the building.

The day care's owner Rita Ohene-Amako tells WSB-TV her business will be closed Wednesday and she's working with her insurance company to determine the cost of repairs.

Information from: WSB-TV.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.


Lockdown lifted at Hiram school after shooting elsewhere
HIRAM, Ga. (AP) — A precautionary lockdown at Hiram High School has been lifted after a shooting elsewhere.

WGCL-TV reports the lockdown started around 2:45 p.m. due to a shooting that happened in the nearby area.

No injuries were reported at the school.

Information from: WGCL-TV, http://www.cbs46.com 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Hurricane predictions breeze in: Feds expect light season
by Janet McConnaughey, Associated Press
May 27, 2015 04:10 PM | 3 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — With six to 11 named storms predicted, this year's hurricane season may be slower than average — but officials say that's no reason for Atlantic and Gulf coast residents to rest easy.

"Now is the time to start thinking ahead of the season. ... Get ready before the bad events are coming down on you," Kathryn Sullivan of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Wednesday as the group released its forecast for this year's season, which begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.

Here are some key things to know about the forecast.

___

WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS?

The hurricane center's specialists expect:

— Six to 11 named storms — tropical storms or higher, with top sustained winds of 39 mph or more.

— Three to six of those will develop into hurricanes, with top sustained winds of at least 74 mph.

— Zero to two will be major storms of Category 3 or higher, with winds of at least 111 mph.

___

JUST HOW ACCURATE IS THIS FORECAST?

Forecasters give this forecast a 70 percent degree of accuracy. That means they acknowledge there's a 30 percent chances the numbers might fall outside the range they've given.

But, since new climate models were developed in 2008, "we've been right five of the last six years," said Gerry Bell, lead scientist in NOAA's seasonal hurricane office.

Last year's predictions, with the actual numbers that occurred were:

— eight to 13 named storms forecast; eight happened

— three to six hurricanes forecast; six happened

— one to two major hurricanes; two happened

Even more important, Sullivan said: Forecasts of where a specific storm is heading and the likelihood that it will hit shore have been "spot on in the last couple of years." Those predictions are made as the storm moves over the ocean.

___

HOW DID FORECASTERS ARRIVE AT THE NUMBERS?

Bell said they're based on these factors, with the first being most important this year:

— El Nino and La Nina: warming and cooling of one part of the central Pacific.

— A much longer temperature swing, lasting 25 to 40 years, in part of the North Atlantic, coupled with changes in the West African monsoon.

— Temperature changes in the Atlantic independent of climatic factors.

___

WHERE WILL THIS YEAR'S HURRICANES HIT?

Nobody knows. The numbers are based on global climate patterns and can't zero in on anything that fine. Once a storm forms, meteorologists can measure its winds and other weather patterns to let them estimate where it's heading.

Sullivan noted that when Hurricane Arthur headed toward the East Coast last July 1, the area evacuated was "in pretty tight limits" around Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

"Ten years ago, we would have evacuated pretty much the entire North Carolina coast, and possibly the South Carolina coast," she said.

__

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST DANGER?

"It is the water that kills, not the wind, in a hurricane," Sullivan said.

The National Weather Service will provide graphics indicating which areas are at risk of flooding from storm surge — water pushed inland by hurricane or tropical storm winds. These won't be official warnings, but will be color-coded to help people estimate how deep the water is likely to be in their neighborhoods.

The maps, which were first offered last year, are being expanded but are still considered prototypes.

___

WHEN AND HOW DO I PREPARE?

Federal officials emphasized Wednesday that it takes only one storm to wreak havoc on an area, even when the season's predictions are low. Sullivan pointed out that 1992 was a below-average season — but the first storm that year, Andrew, affected Florida for decades after its landfall.

Officials say that those who don't have a plan should get to work now. Instructions and lists can be found at http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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In this May 21, 2015 photo, Christina Blache gestures to a tattoo memorializing her friends who were killed or wounded in the Aurora, Colo., theater killings, during an interview with The Associated Press at her home in Northglenn, Colo. Blache, who was shot through both legs with an assault rifle when James Holmes opened fire in a packed movie theater in 2012, says that testifying in the Holmes trial has been both cathartic and re-traumatizing. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
In this May 21, 2015 photo, Christina Blache gestures to a tattoo memorializing her friends who were killed or wounded in the Aurora, Colo., theater killings, during an interview with The Associated Press at her home in Northglenn, Colo. Blache, who was shot through both legs with an assault rifle when James Holmes opened fire in a packed movie theater in 2012, says that testifying in the Holmes trial has been both cathartic and re-traumatizing. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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In this May 21, 2015 photo, Christina Blache sits in her living room during an interview with The Associated Press, in Northglenn, Colo. Blache, who was shot through both legs with an assault rifle when James Holmes opened fire in a packed movie theater in Aurora, Colo., in 2012, says that testifying in the Holmes trial has been both cathartic and re-traumatizing. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
In this May 21, 2015 photo, Christina Blache sits in her living room during an interview with The Associated Press, in Northglenn, Colo. Blache, who was shot through both legs with an assault rifle when James Holmes opened fire in a packed movie theater in Aurora, Colo., in 2012, says that testifying in the Holmes trial has been both cathartic and re-traumatizing. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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Hawks point to bright future even after playoff rout by Cavs
by Paul Newberry, AP Sports Writer
May 27, 2015 04:00 PM | 4 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print

ATLANTA (AP) — The season didn't end like they wanted.

Not even close.

But, after shaking off the sting from a humiliating playoff defeat, the Atlanta Hawks feel like they're closer than ever to winning a championship.

They won 60 games for the first time in franchise history and claimed top seed in the Eastern Conference. They set another team record with 19 straight wins. They had four players selected for the All-Star Game, while Mike Budenholzer was voted coach of the year. They won two playoff series for the first time since moving to Atlanta in 1968.

But the unexpected season came to a crashing halt in the conference final. The Hawks were swept by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who finished off the series with a 118-88 blowout Tuesday night.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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