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Lisa George

Jacques Brinon / Associated Press

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola's sales declined in the first quarter as it restructured its business, and the world's biggest beverage maker said it will trim 1,200 jobs starting later this year as it deepens its cost cutting.

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Dan Raby / WABE

If you live or work near the Interstate 85 bridge under reconstruction right now, Tuesday is the day things are really going to get tough.

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The Georgia Department of Transportation is closing Piedmont Road, just under the bridge, for 24 hours. The road will be closed between 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 25 and 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 26.

GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale said crews need to set the final section of beams on the highway.

Alison Guillory / WABE

A MARTA spokesperson says one person is dead and three are wounded after a shooting at the West Lake MARTA station.

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Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority spokesman Erik Burton says in a statement that the shooting happened about 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the station.

Burton says police have detained a suspect. Authorities have not released the man's name but say he's in his 30s. The investigation is ongoing.

David Goldman / Associated Press

The Atlanta Braves play the first game in their new stadium Friday, and the City of Sandy Springs will be paying close attention to how traffic flows to SunTrust Park. The stadium sits in Cobb County, but Sandy Springs is just over the nearby Fulton County line.

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Pixabay Images

Many blueberry farmers in Georgia are singing the blues.

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The cold weather that blanketed Georgia last week appears to have crippled this year's blueberry crop.

Joe Cornelius has been growing blueberries since 1989 and is the chairman of Georgia's Blueberry Commission.

He said the last catastrophic freeze Georgia blueberry farmers had was during Easter of 2007.

Procurement is the city department responsible for awarding contracts.
Miranda Hawkins / WABE

The city of Atlanta's chief procurement officer, Adam Smith, is out of a job.

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A statement from Mayor Kasim Reed's office said Smith "has been relieved of his duties effective immediately." No reason for Smith's termination was given.

FBI agents also confiscated a computer and a phone from Smith's department.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says its investigation into bribery at City Hall is "ongoing."

The Atlanta City Hall bribery scandal is bringing new names to the headlines.

E.R. “Elvin” Mitchell Jr. pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges for paying bribes to get city contracts; Charles Richards Jr. is charged with the same offense.

Another new name: Mitzi Bickers.

Bickers has not been charged with a crime, but she is evidently a focus of the federal bribery investigation. Hundreds of boxes of documents released by the city yesterday have her name on them. The documents are those the U.S. Justice Department requested as part of its probe.

Lisa George / WABE

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed released more than 1.4 million pieces of paper to the media and the public Thursday. They are the documents the city gave the U.S. Justice Department as officials investigate bribery for city contracts.

About 425 boxes of paper now fill City Hall's Old City Council Chambers. Reed said in a news conference today that hard copies were the quickest way to respond to media requests for the information.

Federal prosecutors have indicted a second construction company owner, who they say paid someone to get city of Atlanta contracts.

The indictment says 64-year-old Charles Richards of Tucker, who owns C.P. Richards Construction Company, paid at least $185,000 in bribes from 2010 to August 2015 to get the contracts. He's accused of conspiring with Elvin R. Mitchell Jr. to buy lucrative construction-related contracts.

Courtesy of the Governor's office

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is encouraging all state employees to wear red and black Friday to celebrate the Atlanta Falcons as they head to the Super Bowl.

Deal read an official proclamation declaring Feb. 3 as "Falcons Friday" in the State of Georgia.

He also noted that General Beauregard Lee, Georgia's Groundhog Day prognosticator, not only predicted an early spring this morning, he also predicted a Falcons win on Sunday.

Claude "Tex" McIver
Fulton County Sheriff's Office via AP

A Fulton County judge has denied a request from District Attorney Paul Howard to stop a prominent Atlanta lawyer from selling his late wife's assets.

Claude “Tex” McIver faces involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct charges in the shooting death of his wife, Diane, in September.

Last month, McIver held a sale of her clothing and jewelry. An auction of more items is planned for this weekend.

On Friday afternoon, Judge Constance Russell denied Howard’s emergency motion to stop McIver from auctioning her belongings.


A judge has ruled that Georgia’s University System Board of Regents must grant in-state tuition to students brought to this country illegally as children.

At issue is whether the students have what’s known as “lawful presence” in the United States. The Board of Regents argued they do not, but Fulton County Superior Court Judge Gail Tusan ruled they do and are thus entitled to pay in-state tuition.

The federal government has protected the students from deportation since 2012 through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Lisa George / WABE

Do you leave a holiday present for your mail carrier?

Time was when people tied a red ribbon on a bottle of bourbon and tossed it in the mailbox for the mailman. That's not quite how it's done these days, and you likely don’t need to read the U.S. Postal Service regulations to figure out you're probably not supposed to give liquor.

So what are you supposed to give? Do you need to give your carrier anything at all?

"Just a little bit," said Roy Rogers of Decatur: a little bit of cash.

A group opposed to Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens becoming president of Kennesaw State University is going to court to stop it.

A coalition of KSU faculty, staff and students, and the Cobb County chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, plans to request an injunction Friday.

Among their issues is the fact that Olens was the only candidate interviewed.

Mary Claire Kelly / WABE

Gwinnett County has had four days of long lines at its only early voting location, so now it's opening more.

County communications director Joe Sorenson said two new locations, fully staffed, will open Monday.

"To find enough people to actually fill of these advance voting centers was the most difficult thing," Sorenson said.

The new sites are the George Pierce Park Recreation Center in Suwanee and Lenora Park in Snellville. Like the original location, the county elections office in Lawrenceville, they will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Monday.

Alison Guillory / WABE

This story is part of "Atlanta Remembers: The 1996 Olympics," WABE's series on the impact of the 1996 Summer Olympics on Atlanta, 20 years later. For more stories, click here.

Andrew Young is a lion of the civil rights movement, former U.S. congressman, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and, in the late 1980s, the mayor of Atlanta. A small group, led by Billy Payne, recruited Young's support to try to bring the 1996 Summer Olympic Games to Atlanta.

Bob Galbraith / Associated Press

This story is part of "Atlanta Remembers: The 1996 Olympics," WABE's series on the impact of the 1996 Summer Olympics on Atlanta, 20 years later. For more stories, click here.

Editor's note: This story includes language and some descriptions of violence.

Greg Gibson / Associated Press

This story is part of "Atlanta Remembers: The 1996 Olympics," WABE's series on the impact of the 1996 Summer Olympics on Atlanta, 20 years later. For more stories, click here.

William Porter “Billy” Payne served as Chief Executive Officer of the Atlanta Committee for the 1996 Olympic Games. He is better known, though, as the Atlanta Games’ “father.” He sat down with WABE's Lisa George to talk about the genesis of bringing the games here.

Authorities say that more than 50 cremated remains have been found in a storage unit in the greater Atlanta area.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Nelly Miles tells news outlets that a friend of the storage unit renter called authorities after finding the remains at the site in Jonesboro.

Miles says the remains date to 1967, but no later than 2011. The GBI took inventory and catalogued the remains Monday though Miles says it's not currently conducting a criminal investigation.

A sign marks the entrance to a gender neutral restroom at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2007.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press

Gov. Nathan Deal Tuesday went public with his opposition to the White House directive to schools on bathrooms for transgender students.

Deal issued a statement saying the Obama administration's new policy has "generated confusion and controversy among parents, students and school officials," and went on to say he "does not believe the directive carries the force of law."

The White House has advised schools to let students use the bathroom for the gender with which they identify.

Terror Suspect Requests Move To Duluth Before Trial

Apr 13, 2016

A man accused of being an al-Qaida terror supporter wants to move to Gwinnett County while he awaits trial.

Asif Ahmed Salim has family in Duluth, and they have told a federal judge they will take responsibility for him if the court grants bond.

Salim, who is in jail in Ohio right now, is charged with conspiracy to support and fund terrorists as well as conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The indictment against Salim alleges he was one of four men who plotted to support al-Qaida leader Anwar Al-Awlaki. Al-Awlaki was killed by a drone strike in 2011.

Georgia Capitol at Night
Al Such / WABE

Gov. Nathan Deal has said he opposes any legislation that even appears to discriminate.

So will does the new religious exemptions bill pass the governor's test?

Soon after lawmakers approved House Bill 757 Wednesday night, Gov. Deal's office issued a one-sentence statement: "The governor has been clear as to his position on this issue and will assess the legislation in April during bill review."

Ralph David Abernathy III, former state lawmaker and son of civil rights leader Ralph David Abernathy Jr., died Thursday morning of cancer.

The younger Abernathy's fame was more tied to his trouble with the law.

He spent time in prison for submitting false expense vouchers to the Georgia General Assembly and lying about it.

Abernathy was 56 years old.

Alison Guillory / WABE

City of Atlanta voters have overwhelmingly approved a four-year extension of a one-cent sales tax for water and sewer system improvements.

That Municipal Options Sales Tax, or "MOST," is helping to pay for a federally-mandated $4 billion upgrade.

On WABE's "Closer Look," Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said, "If we had failed to reauthorize the MOST, water rates would have gone up by about 30 percent. And we already have some of the highest rates in the country because we have not gotten help financially on our $4 billion capital program."

thomas hawk /

Almost a dozen Georgia Department of Corrections employees and more than 30 former DOC workers have  been indicted in connection with drug-smuggling operations that included nine Georgia prisons. That is according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta.

The federal indictments announced Thursday are a corollary to those announced last month that outlined prisoners’ use of cellphones to traffic cocaine and methamphetamine. This brings the total number of people charged in the operation to nearly 130.

Andre Penner / AP Photo

The Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed the first case of the Zika virus in the state and says the case is travel-related.

In a statement, health officials said the person traveled to Colombia in late December. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted the testing that confirmed the Zika virus was in the patient.

The Department of Public Health said the patient was not pregnant, but did not confirm the gender of the patient. The department did say he or she has made a full recovery from the virus.

Some 80 activists gathered in Atlanta on Monday to discuss their strategy to fight the religious exemption laws making their way through the Georgia legislature.

Richard Cohen, President of the Southern Poverty Law Center, says if the bills pass, they will encourage bigotry.

But Cohen says the problem is bigger than the laws themselves, telling the group, “The danger extends to the atmosphere that they will create, to the discrimination, legal or not, that these laws will encourage.”

Anthony Hill's grandmother, Theola W. Baylor
Molly Samuel / WABE

WABE has confirmed that the DeKalb County police officer who killed an unarmed veteran last year will face criminal charges.

Officer Robert Olsen shot and killed Anthony Hill last March.

Olsen was responding to a call that Hill was wandering naked in the parking lot of the apartment complex where he lived.

Hill's family says he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and was bipolar.

Last month, a DeKalb County civil grand jury recommended further investigation into the case.

Jeff Chiu / Associated Press file

WABE's news reporters, producers and editors are already looking toward 2016.

"Morning Edition" host Denis O'Hayer says he is curious about Obamacare and what the state of Georgia will decide to do about Medicaid:

"Part of the dispute is whether the state would expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and Gov. Deal has said, 'no no no.' There have been rumblings for a long time that the state would try to negotiate some sort of third way with the feds, something between 'absolutely no' and 'we're going to expand Medicaid.'"        

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, based in Atlanta, plans to investigate a possible link between environmental factors and cancer in Ware County in southeast Georgia.

Georgia Health News reports the agency is responding to a petition from residents.

The area has a history of industrial contamination.

And there have been three recent cases of a rare form of soft tissue sarcoma in children who live there.