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Dario Lopez-Mills / Associated Press

A Georgia city's policies illegally restrict access to utility services, and those policies disproportionately affect black and Latino residents, according to a federal lawsuit filed Thursday.

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Stephannie Stokes / WABE

Alumni and staff of Morris Brown College are still pushing to regain accreditation.  The historically black college lost it more than a decade ago, in large part due to financial woes.

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Some Morris Brown supporters showed their loyalty at one of the school's regular cleanups Wednesday. Volunteers repainted parts of the campus and worked on other projects the college can’t get to on its limited budget.

A City Divided By Income

May 18, 2017
from video courtesy of Vox Atlanta

We went to three different neighborhoods in Atlanta to break the bubble we were living in.

Christian explains…

We decided to do this project because we wanted to show people that poverty is not an issue that is far away from them; it is in their backyard. All of these neighborhoods were within 30 minutes of each other, but they were drastically different. We want to break the bubble that many wealthy people live in and show them that poverty is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Mike Stewart / Associated Press

Several high-profile failures have plagued Atlanta's reputation on a national stage over the years: unpreparedness for ice and snow storms, a recent highway collapse and subsequent shutdown from a fire and chronic traffic and public transportation woes.

 

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WABE File

For the second time in two days, a detainee being held by federal immigration authorities in Georgia has died, according to a published report. 

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that that Babubhai Patel, 58, an Indian national, died Tuesday at Grady Memorial Hospital, with the preliminary cause of death complications due to heart failure. 

DeKalb CEO Pushes To Repave Roads With Possible New Tax

May 17, 2017
Alison Guillory / WABE

DeKalb County's CEO is looking to drum up support for a new sales tax.

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If voters approve a one-penny sales tax referendum, DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond said it could generate almost half a billion dollars in the next five years. He wants to use a lot of that money to improve roads.

Roswell Police Department

 A man accused of killing two 17-year-olds behind a supermarket in an Atlanta suburb has been sentenced to life in prison without parole. 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Jeffrey Hazelwood was sentenced Wednesday after he pleaded guilty but mentally ill to murder charges.

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Carter Davis and Natalie Henderson were shot to death Aug. 1 in Roswell.

Old Fourth Ward Festival Puts History, Fire On Display

May 17, 2017
Courtesy of Fire in the Fourth

Only after escaping their burning home did Mattie Culbreath and her family realize her grandmother was missing.

Find more events in the Atlanta Festivals Guide

Culbreath’s mother frantically called for her mother to get out of the house. The neighborhood’s wooden homes stood close together, and with the house next door caving in flames, not much time remained.

OpenRoadPR/Pixabay

A transgender man whose winning fight to get a male name made Georgia law is dead at age 25.

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The LGBT nonprofit Lambda Legal says Rowan Feldhaus died Tuesday after complications from surgery.

Lambda Legal represented Feldhaus and Andrew Baumert in their lawsuit. A Georgia appeals court ruled in January that Feldhaus and Baumert could change their birth names to match their gender identities.

Mike Stewart / Associated Press

State investigators say Georgia has seen its first confirmed death brought on by a dangerous cocktail of drugs known as "gray death."

 

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Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Nelly Miles tells WSB-TV that the death of a 24-year-old woman in Brookhaven is the first confirmed from gray death.

 

Georgia Department of Corrections via AP

Georgia on Wednesday carried out its first execution this year, putting to death a man convicted of killing his 73-year-old neighbor 25 years ago.

 

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J.W. Ledford's time of death was 1:17 a.m., after an injection of compounded barbiturate pentobarbital at the state prison in Jackson, Warden Eric Sellers told witnesses. Ledford, 45, was convicted of murder in the January 1992 stabbing death of Dr. Harry Johnston in Murray County, northwest Georgia.

 

The I-85 Bridge Is Up, But How Was It Done?

May 16, 2017
David Goldman / Associated Press

The Georgia Department of Transportation got the Interstate 85 bridge up and running in less than two months. 

What went in to putting the bridge back together again? More than 85,000 man hours, 13 column replacements, 61 beams, more than $16 million and a bit of good fortune, GDOT said.

The following animation shows the process:

an employee of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Ga., waiting for the front gate to be opened so she can enter.
Kate Brumback / Associated Press

Authorities say a Panamanian man who died of apparent suicide at an immigration detention center in Southwest Georgia had been in solitary confinement for 19 days.

Federal immigration officials said 27-year-old Jean Jimenez-Joseph was found unresponsive in his cell at the Stewart Detention Center with a sheet around his neck early Monday morning. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital in Americus, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Georgia Department of Corrections via AP

Georgia is preparing to carry out its first execution this year: that of a man convicted of killing a 73-year-old neighbor 25 years ago.

J.W. Ledford Jr., 45, is scheduled to die today at the state prison in Jackson by injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital. He was convicted of murder in the January 1992 stabbing death of Dr. Harry Johnston in Murray County, northwest Georgia.

ICE Detainee Found Unresponsive In Georgia Cell, Dies

May 16, 2017
an employee of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Ga., waiting for the front gate to be opened so she can enter.
Kate Brumback / Associated Press

A Panamanian national, who was being held at the U.S. Immigration and Customs’ Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, died early Monday after he was found unresponsive in his cell.

 

The preliminary cause of death for Jean Jimenez-Joseph, 27, was ruled to be self-inflicted strangulation.

 

Roswell Police Department

A judge has ruled that a man accused of killing two 17-year-olds behind a supermarket in an Atlanta suburb is competent to stand trial if he remains on medication for mental illness.

 

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Jeffrey Hazelwood faces charges including murder in the Aug. 1 slayings of Carter Davis and Natalie Henderson behind a supermarket in Roswell.

 

David Goldman / Associated Press

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

Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

Georgia's highest court has handed a victory to ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft.

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The Georgia Supreme Court affirmed today a lower court's dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Atlanta taxi drivers and upheld a state law regulating and allowing the ride-hailing services.

David Goldman / associated press file

Georgia Power is extending an agreement to keep construction going on a new nuclear plant after the project's main builder filed for bankruptcy.

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About an hour before the agreement was due to expire Friday, Georgia Power issued an 11 p.m. statement saying it had been extended.

Pixabay Images

Georgia peach growers say their growing season has been "a roller coaster" of weather that included cold snaps and drenching rain.

Despite the challenges, Drew Echols says he expects to salvage about 70 percent of the peach crop that he manages for the peak summer season.

"You shoot for 100 percent, of course, but I've never been more proud of a 70 percent crop," Echols said. "It could be worse. Matter of fact, we thought it would be worse."

Echols is farm manager at Jaemor Farms in the northeast Georgia town of Lula, The Times of Gainesville reported.

Ben Palm / Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge via AP

A mandatory evacuation order has been lifted for two South Georgia towns threatened for days last week by a wildfire that had spread outside the boundaries of the neighboring Okefenokee swamp.

 

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Courtesy of John B. Jensen

Authorities say they're seeing a large number of snake bites in Georgia.

 

Officials at the Georgia Poison Control Center have seen 55 snake bites so far this year, they told WSB-TV.

 

Dr. Gaylord Lopez of the poison control center says they saw their first snakebite call of 2017 during the first week in January, which is very early compared to most years.

 

More than a third of their snake bite calls are copperhead bites. Lopez says they are the least venomous of the four dangerous snakes in Georgia, authorities said.

 

Georgia transportation officials reported no major delays during the first rush hour since a major interstate overpass reopened for traffic after collapsing in a massive fire.

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Authorities said all lanes of Interstate 85 near the heart of Atlanta were reopened over the weekend and available for Monday morning's commute.

The roadway had been shut down since March 30, when a blaze beneath the bridge burned so hot it caused the overpass of steel and concrete to collapse.

David Goldman / Associated Press

A key section of interstate highway through Atlanta has partially reopened, six weeks after a highway bridge collapsed because of a large fire.

 

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Local news media report drivers began using northbound lanes on the repaired section of I-85 about 7 p.m. Friday. The southbound lanes are expected to reopen by Sunday.

 

Atlanta Department of Corrections / Via AP

A Georgia sheriff accused of exposing himself in a public park in Atlanta has apologized to his constituents but said he plans to remain in his job.

 

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DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffrey Mann stood beside his attorney Noah Pines on Friday as Pines read a statement from Mann, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Georgia Leaders Aim To Improve State's Rural Economy

May 12, 2017
David Goldman / Associated Press

The state’s political and business leaders are responding to what they see as a worsening of the decades-old “two Georgias” syndrome with separate initiatives launching this month.

According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, the Atlanta-based Georgia Chamber of Commerce will open the first regional office in its 102-year history on May 15 in Tifton, a city in the heart of economically distressed South Georgia.

danilarrifotografia0 / Pixabay

By 2040, 1.2 million adults, age 65 and older, will be living in metro Atlanta by 2040. That figure comes from a recent report by the Atlanta Regional Commission titled "Metro Atlanta's Senior Housing Shortage."

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The death chamber at the state prison in Jackson, Ga.
Ric Feld / Associated Press

The firing squad is the only appropriate method of execution for a condemned Georgia prisoner — even though it's not permitted under state law — because the state's lethal injection drug could cause him to suffer more than the Constitution allows, his lawyers say.

 

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Georgia Still Sending Mentally Ill People To Homeless Shelters

May 12, 2017
Peachtree Pine homeless shelter in Atlanta
Allison Guillory / WABE

Mentally ill patients often left Georgia's state psychiatric hospitals with just a bus token and directions to a homeless shelter.

For people with disabilities, these same institutions became places of permanent confinement.

 

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This is the system that Georgia, under pressure from the federal government, pledged seven years ago to radically overhaul. But with a court-enforced deadline fast approaching, the state increasingly seems unlikely to fulfill its promises.

Alison Guillory / WABE

The Georgia Department of Transportation is returning roads to the way they were before the March 30  Interstate 85 bridge collapse.

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GDOT is closing the Buford Spring Connector southbound at I-85 tonight. That will allow crews to return the on-ramp to I-85 South back to one lane.

Thursday night, GDOT closed a few roads as parts of Buford Highway, Sidney Marcus and Piedmont Circle were returned to their usual configurations.  

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