News

An Atlanta-area cellphone repair technician is accused of hacking into a female customer's phone and sending himself pictures of the woman.

Milton police tell WSB-TV that Harmeet Singh was arrested last week and charged with felony computer invasion of privacy.

Police spokesman Lt. Charles Barstow says the customer brought her broken cellphone to a store in June.

Holly Sasnett

Three-hundred authors will descend upon downtown Decatur this weekend for the Decatur Book Festival. And the festival makes sure that local authors are well represented.

Julia Franks is one of those local authors. She will be discussing her debut novel "Over the Plain Houses.”

In a commentary about the novel, arts writer Gail O'Neill commends Franks on her ability to tap into the diction and zeitgeist of Appalachian North Carolina along with her ability to delve into the intricacies of relationships.

An Olympic champion is thanking a 7-year-old Atlanta girl who found his gold medal in a pile of trash weeks after it got stolen.

Joe Jacobi won the medal in men's canoe double slalom at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Jacobi says it was stolen when somebody broke into his car in June.

Downtown skyline from the top of Grady Hospital parking deck
Alison Guillory / WABE

Traffic will likely be busier than usual in downtown Atlanta this holiday weekend.

More than 500,000 people are expected to be within the city limits with more than a dozen major events taking place between Thursday through Monday.

They include: an Atlanta Falcons game, an Atlanta Braves game, an AC/DC concert and the Black Gay Pride weekend.

And the ever-popular annual Dragon Con is expected to bring about 65,000 people to the city.

Eboni Lemon / WABE

Monday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Buress":

Mike Stewart / Associated Press

A new Atlanta law that tracks changes to affordable housing may be catching on nationally.

New Orleans and Pittsburgh are among the cities looking at adopting an ordinance similar to one that was first passed in Atlanta last fall. It requires city officials to quantify how many low-cost housing units would be lost or gained with a change in municipal policy.

Housing advocate Matthew Charles Cardinale said those reports, referred to as affordable housing impact statements, can help influence future city planning, and they can also be a resource for the public.

Newton County commissioners have until Tuesday to respond to a concerned letter from five of the county's mayors.

In the letter Friday, the mayors said they're "embarrassed" by how the county has handled a proposed mosque. Among several requests, they asked county commissioners to lift a moratorium on building permits for places of worship.

AJ Mast / associated press file

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence visited Cobb County to stump for Donald Trump, one of three stops in the state the Indiana governor made Monday in support of the party’s presidential nominee.

At the Cobb Galleria Centre, Pence played up Trump’s image as the “law and order candidate.” He told the crowd of hundreds if they wanted someone who would build strong borders, build a wall and end illegal immigration, then Trump was their candidate.

courtesy of storycorps

Ninety-year-old Ruth Kane was born in 1925 to a young unwed mother in central California.

She was placed in the care of a close-knit farming community for the first seven years of her life, before returning to live with her biological family. Her great-granddaughter Melissa brought her to StoryCorps, where Ruth told her about some special messages she received as a child.

This story was recorded in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, which hosts Atlanta's StoryCorps Booth.

Gerald Herbert / WABE

As Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence bounces around Georgia today and tomorrow, he'll continue to face questions about his running mate's shifting immigration policy proposals.

Donald Trump has said he plans to clarify his stance in a speech in Arizona on Wednesday, but until then, even one of Georgia's staunchest opponents of illegal immigration isn't clear about where the Trump campaign will land on the issue.

Horace Cort / Associated Press

Southern accents differ depending on where in the South you're from, for instance, plus race, class and age. Researchers at the University of Georgia are starting a project to catalogue the South’s many accents.  

In the past, UGA professors have studied what words people in different places around the country use – like "pop," "soda" or "Coke." Now, they're looking beyond word choice and into pronunciation in the South.

Here are different Southerners saying the word "white" from UGA’s collection.

The Decatur Book Festival
Courtesy of The Decatur Book Festival

Monday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Courtesy Malek Jandali

Malek Jandali is a multi-faceted talent. The German-born, Syrian-American pianist is best known as a concert pianist and composer. The Arab Spring in 2012 and the ongoing Syrian Civil War have focused his musical gifts on activism and humanitarian work.

Courtesy of South Arts

Films festivals can attract audience members from different cities, states and countries. The Southern Circuit Independent Film Series takes a different approach: it takes film to the audience.

South Arts, which aids artists and arts organizations in the South through funding and other services, organizes the series. This year, 18 filmmakers will travel to 21 different venues across the Southeast. Each filmmaker goes on tour for a week, and each community decides which films of the 18 they want to screen. The series begins this Thursday and runs through April.

Richard Drew / associated press file

Updated at 5:18 p.m.

Gene Wilder, the frizzy-haired actor who brought his deft comedic touch to such unforgettable roles as the neurotic accountant in "The Producers" and the mad scientist of "Young Frankenstein," has died. He was 83.

Wilder's nephew said Monday that the actor and writer died late Sunday at his home in Stamford, Connecticut, from complications from Alzheimer's disease.

Jordan Walker-Pearlman said in a statement that Wilder was diagnosed with the disease three years ago, but kept the condition private so as not to disappoint fans.

The new 30-mile expressway under construction in Cobb County will cost $800 million.

And commuters will be chipping in.    

People who drive on the Northwest Corridor can expect to pay a flat fee of 50 cents to use the Northwest Corridor.

That's the 30-mile reversible toll expressway on I-75 and I-575.

State officials say the cost could rise to 35 cents per mile during heavy traffic times.

Pat Sullivan / associated press file

The famous human ancestor known as Lucy walked the Earth, but it was her tree climbing that might have led to her demise, a new study suggests.

An analysis of her partial skeleton reveals breaks in her right arm, left shoulder, right ankle and left knee — injuries that researchers say resulted from falling from a high perch such as a tree.

Lucy likely died quickly, said John Kappelman, an anthropologist at the University of Texas at Austin, who published the findings Monday in the journal Nature.

"I don't think she suffered," Kappelman said.

How To Be Frugal During And After High School

Aug 29, 2016
courtesy of Vox

Everyone knows college is expensive. You might not know that the years before college can be, too. Luckily, there are ways to save before you’re truly inaugurated as a broke college student. If you’re living at your parents’ house before going to college, consider helping out by getting a job or taking up extra chores. A lot of parents consider high school graduation as your first step into adulthood, and with more freedom comes more responsibility.

Food

The cost of filling up is going up.

Gas prices are on the rise across the nation, including metro Atlanta.

The average cost for a gallon here is $2.23, according to AAA.

That's a 9-cent hike from last week.

Atlanta Police Department Chief George Turner said General Electric can help him analyze data on turnover rates and help it investigate why officers are leaving the city of Atlanta.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has asked General Electric to help the Atlanta Police Department improve its relationship with residents.

Starting salaries for Atlanta officers is between $34, 726 and $42,128. While it’s competitive with some neighboring cities, the department has recently been losing at least 100 officers a year, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

At a Newton County public meeting, Joe Kirk speaks in opposition to a proposed Muslim funeral home in the area.
Johnny Kauffman / WABE

A growing controversy in Newton County, 40 miles east of Atlanta, over a proposed Muslim funeral home is drawing national attention and has inspired five mayors there to call for the county commission to end its moratorium on permits for all religious buildings.

Khalil Senosi / Associated Press

Katie Kissel wants you to know: She’s not some crunchy granola type.

"I really think that there’s a good place for medical intervention in birth when it’s needed,” the Atlanta resident says.

However, she says the birth of her first child was filled with interventions she didn’t really want, including an episiotomy and the administration of the drug Pitocin.

Alex Brandon / Associated Press

Vice presidential nominee Mike Pence will be in Georgia Monday, holding two rallies and a fundraiser for presidential nominee Donald Trump.  

The Indiana governor will be in Perry for a public rally at 2 p.m., and in Marietta for another public rally at the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum at the Cobb Galleria Center at 7:30 p.m. He’ll also be at a private fundraiser in the Atlanta area in between at 5 p.m., according to a spokesperson with Georgia Republican Party.  

Passengers line up to go through security at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

Security officials are predicting a relatively calm Labor Day travel weekend, after long security lines snarled passengers earlier this summer.

Mark Howell, the region’s spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, says Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is expected to see a total of about 140,000 passengers Thursday and Friday. Howell said he doesn’t expect the volume to cause big problems.

 The Georgia mascot Uga takes the field before an NCAA football game against the LSU, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, in Athens, Ga.
John Bazemore / AP Photo

College football season is now underway, and Georgia's teams are getting ready to take the field.

Georgia State University will host the Ball State Cardinals on Friday, Sept. 2, at the Georgia Dome. GSU continues to build its program as it kicks off its seventh season.

The next day at the Georgia Dome, the University of Georgia will play North Carolina at 5:30 p.m. In preseason rankings, the Bulldogs are 18th and the Tar Heels are 22nd.

Alison Guillory / WABE

"In Conversation with Valerie Jackson" is a series in which the former First Lady of Atlanta speaks with  some of today's most dynamic artists, innovative thinkers and interesting personalities. 

The Olympic Games in Rio may be over, but our appetite for gold hasn’t gone away. Luckily, we have a two-time gold medalist right here in Atlanta.

Alison Guillory / WABE

Piedmont Healthcare and insurer UnitedHealthcare have reached a deal on a new three-year network agreement, after the two let their previous contract lapse for nearly two months. 

The agreement means the more than 150,000 Piedmont patients who found themselves out of network during the stalemate will likely no longer have to pay more to visit all six of the network’s hospitals and its physicians. Piedmont and United officials said in a joint press release that the agreement is retroactive to July 1 to avoid gaps in patients’ coverage.

The HealthCare.gov website, where people can buy health insurance, is displayed on a laptop screen in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015.
Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

The state agency that oversees Georgia’s Medicaid program says it needs tens of millions of dollars more this budget year to cover its expanding roles, and more than $100 million the following year.

The Georgia Department of Community Health has requested an additional $82.8 million in state funds to cover Medicaid growth for Fiscal Year 2017, which started in June. DCH will also ask for another $121.4 million in FY 2018.  

Matthew Mead / Associated Press

 Commentator Nick Rogers strongly identifies as a Southerner.

Throughout his series "Fried Pies and Moonshine" on "City Lights," Rogers has discussed the important connection between Southern cuisine and Southern identity. So when Rogers realized he had a distaste for pimento cheese, he felt shame.

“It’s enough to get you blacklisted from potlucks if not run out of town entirely,” he said.

Stephannie Stokes / WABE

Five Newton County mayors are requesting an end to the county’s moratorium on new permits for places of worship. The mayors’ letter to the county chair and Board of Commissioners comes during heightened community tensions over a proposed mosque, funeral home and cemetery there.

One line from the letter reads: “The nation is watching Newton County … and we are being embarrassed by our County leaders.”

Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnson penned the missive on behalf of the mayors of Mansfield, Newborn, Oxford and Porterdale, Georgia.

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