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Forensic artist helps families of fallen officers grieve though his artwork

His art usually helps put alleged criminals behind bars, or put a face to a name. But a police officer and forensic artist is using his talents to help ease the pain of the family members of first responders who lost their lives in the line of duty. 

Johnny Castro, who is a retired military police officer, has loved to draw for a long time, telling CNN that he learned a lot from his father when it came to creating portraits.

>> Read more trending news

A year and a half ago, during his spare time, Castro began to draw and digitally paint portraits of police officers who were killed protecting their cities, not just in the U.S., but in places all around the world, CNN reported.

He includes in the portraits the accolades that the first responders earned posthumously.

Castro has created more than 100 portraits, CNN reported.

Sometimes he’ll work on two or three portraits a week.

He sends copies to the family members of the fallen, but also adds the portraits to his personal wall of heroes, which includes all of the portraits he has created.

Couple accidentally shot at church while discussing gun safety

A man and his wife were accidentally shot by his gun after a presentation on firearm safety at their church. 

>> Read more trending news

The 81-year old man took out a Ruger .38 hangun cleared it and showed it to other parishioners during an early Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 9 at First United Methodist Church in Tellico Plains. 

After talking about how to safely bring guns to church, the man put the gun away, not realizing he had loaded a bullet into the chamber. Later, someone who missed the presentation asked it they could see the weapon, and it accidentally fired. 

"Somebody else walked up and said, 'Can I see it?'" Tellico Plains Police Chief Russ Parks told the Knoxville News Sentinel. "He pulled it back out and said, 'With this loaded indicator, I can tell that it’s not loaded.' Evidently he just forgot that he re-chambered the weapon.”

A bullet hit the 81-year-old man and his 80-year old wife, who was standing next to him. 

The couple, whose family asked that their names not be released, were taken by helicopter to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in critical condition, according to The Washington Post. Their condition has stabilized Thursday and they are being treated for non-life threatening injuries, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel

No charges will be filed. 

Car chase ends with crash, pedestrian injured, police say

The driver of a stolen car led police on a chase through southwest Atlanta on Friday, ending with a crash and an injured pedestrian. 

According to police, officers found the stolen car on the 1900 block of Allison Court around 1 p.m. and followed it when it left the area. An officer in an unmarked police vehicle called Georgia State Patrol for help in conducting a traffic stop.

The trooper attempted the traffic stop but the car drove off, authorities said.

Witnesses say the car had to be going about 150 miles per hour through East Point.

TRENDING STORIES:

"By the time he got to right here, it's a curve. It's a dead man's curve," a witness told Channel 2's Tom Jones.

Police said the stolen vehicle hit another car near 3000 Stone Road and then came to a stop. Two women passengers were caught but police are still searching for the driver.

Police say they are all believed to be involved in gang activity.

A pedestrian received a leg injury as a result of the accident but it is not clear exactly how the injury happened, police said. The pedestrian was taken to a hospital with leg pain and was stable.

Several people in the car hit by the suspect were taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

Lawyers: Former Atlanta fire chief fired for religious views

ATLANTA (AP) - An attorney for a former Atlanta fire chief argued in court Friday that his client was let go for his religious beliefs, but lawyers for the city disputed that.

Kelvin Cochran wrote a book called "Who Told You That You Were Naked?" for a men's Bible study and self-published it in late 2013. He gave copies to about a dozen subordinates who he said had requested copies or who he knew shared his religious beliefs.

He was fired in January 2015 and filed a federal lawsuit against the city and Mayor Kasim Reed, saying his free speech and due-process rights had been violated. U.S. District Judge Leigh May on Friday heard arguments in the case.

The book lumps together gay people, those who have sex outside of marriage and non-Christians with murderers, rapists, pedophiles and those who engage in bestiality, city lawyer David Gevertz said Friday. The book calls such people wicked and ungodly, he said.

But Cochran attorney Kevin Theriot told reporters after the hearing that the book is meant to help Christian men be better husbands and fathers.

"There are a few isolated passages that they take out of context to try to depict the chief as being somebody who's hateful when, in fact, Chief Cochran's beliefs require him to treat everybody equally and the only evidence before the court is that's what he always did," Theriot said.

Cochran said he was shocked that a book encouraging men to be better could jeopardize his 34-year career.

"It's still unthinkable to me that the very faith and patriotism that inspired my professional achievements and drove me to treat all people with love, equity and justice actually is what the government used to ... end my childhood dream-come-true career," Cochran told reporters.

An assistant chief who had been given a copy of the book raised concerns in October 2014 about some of the book's statements on homosexuality, especially since Cochran clearly identified himself in the book as Atlanta's fire chief.

The following month, Reed suspended Cochran for 30 days without pay to discipline him for selling his book without providing proper notice or getting written approval, Gevertz said. The city law department also opened an investigation into whether Cochran had improperly imposed his views in the workplace. Cochran was told not to make public comments on his suspension, Gevertz said.

But Cochran spoke out, saying publicly that he'd been fired for his religious beliefs, and helped organize a public relations campaign to challenge his suspension, Gevertz said. The mayor got more than 17,000 angry emails, some of them using racial slurs, Gevertz said.

Reed fired Cochran because he violated the terms of his suspension by publicly saying he was fired for his religious beliefs, which irreparably damaged his relationship with the mayor, and because the law department found that while Cochran hadn't engaged in illegal discrimination, his subordinates lacked faith in his leadership abilities due to the publication and distribution of the book, city lawyers said.

Gevertz also mentioned that the book could cause problems for the city because fire department employees who were fired or denied a promotion could assert that Cochran's beliefs were the reason.

Theriot told the judge that comments the mayor made when Cochran was suspended and when he was fired make it clear that Reed was retaliating against Cochran because of what the mayor saw as inflammatory ideas presented in the book. Requiring him to have prior approval before publishing his ideas and punishing him for stating his viewpoint are violations of his right to free speech, Theriot said.

The judge, who questioned both sides extensively during the hearing, said she plans to rule in the coming weeks. She could decide to rule on the issues of law raised by the two sides, effectively ending the case, or she could decide there are factual matters that need to be decided by a jury at trial.

Car chase ends with crash, pedestrian injured, police say

The driver of a stolen car led police on a chase through southwest Atlanta on Friday, ending with a crash and an injured pedestrian. 

According to police, officers found the stolen car on the 1900 block of Allison Court around 1 p.m. and followed it when it left the area. An officer in an unmarked police vehicle called Georgia State Patrol for help in conducting a traffic stop.

The trooper attempted the traffic stop but the car drove off, authorities said.

Witnesses say the car had to be going about 150 miles per hour through East Point.

TRENDING STORIES:

"By the time he got to right here, it's a curve. It's a dead man's curve," a witness told Channel 2's Tom Jones.

Police said the stolen vehicle hit another car near 3000 Stone Road and then came to a stop. Two women passengers were caught but police are still searching for the driver.

Police say they are all believed to be involved in gang activity.

A pedestrian received a leg injury as a result of the accident but it is not clear exactly how the injury happened, police said. The pedestrian was taken to a hospital with leg pain and was stable.

Several people in the car hit by the suspect were taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

Police: UGA student reached 110 mph while Snapchatting chase

A University of Georgia student was arrested early Thursday morning after a high-speed chase in Athens.

According to police, Hunter Ty Wilkerson, 19, reached speeds of 110 mph during the chase before he was eventually taken into custody. They said he was speeding because he had just stolen five traffic signs off the UGA campus.

Athens-Clarke County police got involved when they noticed Wilkerson going 90 mph in a 35-mph zone around 3:30 a.m.

"At that point in itself he's reckless. He's putting lives in danger, to include his own and anyone else who's on the roadway," said Epifanio Rodriguez with the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.

TRENDING STORIES:

Police said the chase began on Milledge Avenue and ended less than 10 minutes later when Wilkerson's truck went airborne.

It crashed into several cars parked in front of the UGA police headquarters on Oconee Street.

Police bodycam video obtained by Channel 2 Action News shows several officers taking the suspect into custody.

Police said Wilkerson was on Snapchat during the chase.

"An officer looks through his phone and sees he was active on social media, Snapchat, and was sending out updates saying that he was in a pursuit with the police officer," Rodriguez said.

Wilkerson faces 25 charges, including fleeing a police officer, DUI and reckless driving.

Winning numbers drawn in 'All or Nothing Day' game

ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Friday afternoon's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's "All or Nothing Day" game were:

01-02-03-04-07-08-11-15-17-20-21-22

(one, two, three, four, seven, eight, eleven, fifteen, seventeen, twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two)

Top 10 winter vacation destinations, according to Instagram

Snow? Check. Breathtaking mountain views? Check. Historical city charm and Instagram-worthy photo ops? Check and check. 

Bern, Switzerland, is the city with the most Instagram posts in the world for the winter season — and it truly has it all.

>> Read more trending news

That’s according to analysts at Focus Clinic, a popular laser eye surgery clinic in the United Kingdom, who gathered the 20 most popular winter travel destinations across the world based on Google search and ranked each by the number of times a city’s hashtag was used on Instagram to determine its popularity on the photo-sharing app.

According to the research, the #bern hashtag has been used more than 1,082,440 times.

A popular destination in the Swiss city is the medieval Old City of Bern, a city center surrounded by the Aare river. Old City is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site with one of Europe’s longest weather-sheltered shopping centers.

The “gateway to the Alps” is also known for its mountain views, many fountains, walkable streets, cafes, museums and colorful weekly markets, according to MySwitzerland.com.

Rounding out the top 10 winter destinations according to Instagram are: Aspen, Colorado; the Northern Lights in Tromso, Norway; Chamonix, France; Yosemite National Park in California; Zermatt, Switzerland; Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming; Bled, Slovenia; Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic and Grindelwald, Switzerland.

>> Explore the full list at focusclinics.com/most-popular-winter-sights

Take a look at some of our favorite Instagram shots of Bern:

These 9 healthy-sounding foods have more sugar than a Krispy Kreme doughnut

American Heart Association experts recommend men shouldn’t eat more than 36 grams of added sugar a day and women should limit their sugar consumption to 25 grams.

» RELATED: Want to lose more weight? Ditch your diet for a couple of weeks, study suggests

So a single Krispy Kreme doughnut, which has 10 grams of sugar, takes up a good bulk of your recommended daily intake.

But healthy-sounding snack replacements like yogurt and raisins actually rack up more sugar than you might think. And several options even have more than double the sugar of a Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut.

» RELATED: The questions you were too afraid to ask about healthy eating

Here are 11 foods and drinks with more sugar than a Krispy Kreme doughnut:

Bottle of Naked juice green machine smoothie: 53 grams or about five Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnuts

¼ cup of Sun Maid raisins: 29 grams or three Krispy Kreme doughnuts

» RELATED: Here's one weight loss tip for every day of the week, according to Atlanta dietitians

Chobani blueberry greek yogurt: 15 grams or 1 ½ Krispy Kreme doughnuts

Nature Valley oats and honey crunchy granola bar: 11 grams or about one Krispy Kreme doughnut

» RELATED: These are the 4 foods Americans will be eating in 30 years

Vitaminwater: up to 32 grams of sugar or about three Krispy Kreme doughnuts

One cup of Motts apple sauce: 22 grams or about 2 Krispy Kreme doughnuts

Odwalla mango protein flavored soy protein shake: 47 grams or about 5 Krispy Kreme doughnuts

» RELATED: Here's what these Atlanta dietitians eat for breakfast

Quaker instant oatmeal in apple cinnamon: 12 grams, a little more sugar than one Krispy Kreme doughnut

Nesquik low fat chocolate milk: 22 grams, or about two Krispy Kreme doughnuts

To learn more about added sugars and your recommended intake, visit heart.org.

This story has been updated. 

Looking for love behind bars? There's an app for that

Move over Match.com, OK Cupid and eHarmony -- there’s a new dating app gaining attention, but not in the way you’d expect.

It’s called Inmate Mingle and helps people behind bars find their “perfect match” on the outside.

Some may call it looking for love in all the wrong places. Others are simply surprised that there's an app for that.

A former inmate talks about the culture of dating behind bars -- how it works, what he’s seen and his warning to you, Monday on Channel 2 Action News at 4 p.m.

WSB-TV’s Cox Media Group sister station Fox 23 wanted to find out more.

They found other pen pal sites like loveaprisoner.com and paper dolls, but this is the first app providing this service.

On the website, they found some people with gold and platinum status -- men and women who describe their likes and what they're looking for in a relationship with someone on the outside.

Click on the success stories and you'll see people met their "soul mate" or "found someone very special."

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