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State authorities raid Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles

The Georgia Department of Revenue has raided Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles.

Gladys Knight’s son, who runs the operation, is at the center of an investigation involving $1 million, according to Channel 2 Action News. Gladys Knight is not involved in the investigation.

All three Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles locations in metro Atlanta have been closed, Channel 2 reported. The restaurants could reopen as soon as Thursday, possibly under state control, the station reported.

Atlanta police assisted in the raid, according to Channel 2.

— Please return to for updates.

Taco Bell offering free tacos on Tuesday

Taco Bell announced today it would offer one free Doritos Locos taco to customers on Tuesday afternoon, June 21, as part of the restaurant chain’s “Steal a Game, Steal a Taco” NBA promotion.

The special offer will run from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday only. Taco Bell had announced prior to the NBA Finals that it would give away Doritos Locos tacos if a team won on its opponent’s home court in the NBA Finals — and that ended up happening not once, but three times, with the Golden State Warriors winning Game 4 in Cleveland, then the Cavaliers winning Games 5 and 7 on Golden State’s home court.

No purchase is necessary, according to the promotion’s terms and conditions, and as always, the offer will be good at participating Taco Bell locations. There is, of course, a limit of one free taco per customer.

Social media, community critical of dad’s defense of ex-Oakwood swimmer

A letter written by the father of ex-Oakwood and Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner, coupled with a lenient sentence has roiled social media.

Dan Turner wrote the letter before his son’s sentencing in a sexual assault case Friday.

Turner wrote his son wasn’t violent. He referred to his son’s sexual assault as “20 minutes of action” and mentioned that his son doesn’t like eating steaks any more in his letter requesting probation instead of incarceration.

“This is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life,” Dan Turner said in the letter.

This news organization was unable to contact Dan Turner for comment.

The letter was posted on Twitter by Michelle Landis Dauber, a Stanford law professor, who called it offensive and criticized the court probation report.

Dauber tweeted, “#brockturner court probation report is fetid pond of victim-blaming rapeyness.”

Local residents voiced similar concerns about the letter.

“It’s part of the problem, we still have an issue with good ol’ boy, whatever’s for fun and never owning up to your responsibility as a man with integrity,” said Joanna McGuffey of Centerville.

Jenn All, of Oakwood, said she felt there was “a little bit of a lack of accountability when it came to the letter.”

“We know them and my prayers go out to the family and it’s unfortunate that people can post whatever they want behind the scenes and be anonymous.”

Brock Turner, 20, was sentenced Friday to six months in jail in Palo Alto, Calif. He was facing up to 10 years in prison, and with good behavior, could be out in three months, the Mercury News reported. He also must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and will have three years of probation following his release.

Turner’s sentencing was decried by many, including District Attorney Jeff Rosen, as too lenient, but Turner’s defense attorney said they plan to appeal.

Turner was convicted on assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person; penetration of an intoxicated person; and penetration of an unconscious person charges in March. The charges stemmed from a January 2015 incident where two people reported they saw Turner, then 19, assaulting his accuser behind a dumpster on Stanford’s campus after a fraternity party. Turner ran but witnesses stopped and held him until police arrived, according to a statement released by Rosen.

Turner is a three-time All-American Oakwood High School swimmer and Stanford swimmer who had aspired to swim in the Olympics.

Before Turner was sentenced, the victim read her impact statement in court and addressed the defendant.

“You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today,” she said.

“The damage is done, no one can undo it,” the victim’s statement reads. “And now we both have a choice. We can let this destroy us, I can remain angry and hurt and you can be in denial, or we can face it head on, I accept the pain, you accept the punishment, and we move on.”

Dirty license plate leads to $1,590 traffic fine

Many courts comply with the schedule of fines laid out in a document used nationwide that is known as the Traffic Violations Bureau. Here are some examples of fines with required surcharges.

Grantville Municipal Court

Decal not affixed — $160

Driving on wrong side of the road — $160

Speeding 15 to 18 mph over limit — $405

Failure to yield to emergency vehicle — $510

Cobb County State Court

Decal not affixed — $39

Driving on wrong side of the road — $155

Speeding 15 to 18 mph over limit — $173

Failure to yield to emergency vehicle — $259

Richmond County State Court

Decal not affixed — 39.13

Driving on wrong side of the road — 209.75

Speeding 15 to 18 mph over limit — 209.75

Failure to yield to emergency vehicle — 175.63

Gwinnett County Recorders Court

Decal not affixed — $45

Driving on wrong side of the road — $96

Speeding 15 to 18 mph over limit — $180

Failure to yield to emergency vehicle — $96

Norcross Municipal Court

Decal not affixed — $150

Driving on wrong side of the road — $210

Speeding 15 to 18 mph over limit — $310

Failure to yield to emergency vehicle — $210

DeKalb State Court (does not include state surcharges)

Decal not affixed — $100 (may be reduced if renewed prior to court)

Driving on the wrong side of the road — $120

Speeding 15-18 mph over speed limit — $130

Failure to yield to emergency vehicle — $120

A dirty license plate cost Linda Ford $1,590 that she can’t afford.

A Grantville police officer pulled over Ford around 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday last fall, while she was on her way to a church yard sale to raise money for homeless women. The officer pulled her over, he said, because her license place cover had too much tint. It was dirt — not tinting — blown from the car’s exhaust that made it difficult to read her plate.

It was then that the police officer for Grantville, in Coweta County, discovered she had not attached an updated decal to her plate to show her registration was current.

Ford showed the officer the decal that had been put in her glove box and forgotten. The police officer said she could explain that when she went to court.

But there are no assurances that explaining such a situation to a judge will be successful since the results of challenging a traffic ticket vary widely from state court to municipal court to recorders court across Georgia.

Some are more forgiving that others.

“Ms. Ford, you can’t forget that. You can’t forget that kind of stuff,” Grantville Municipal Court Judge Lisa Reeves said during the first of two times Ford was in court for the Sept. 5 ticket. “I can suspend your drivers license for not putting your tag on your car.”

Ford was ordered to pay $720 — nearly 29 times what other courts levy when a decal is not affixed to a car tag. She was fined as if her registration had been suspended.

Can she pay it today, the judge asked Ford during a Dec. 16 court session.

Ford didn’t have the money, right then, explaining that she just paid more than $4,800 to repair her 2011 Audi. Could she have 30 days? asked Ford, a 52-year-old Fairburn resident who is a baggage handler at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Yes. But Reeves warned Ford her fine would go up if she didn’t have the money by then.

By the next time Ford appeared in court she had only saved $480. So, as the judge had warned, Reeves increased the fine to $1,590 and put Ford on probation.

“A simple fine has gone up on you,” Reeves said when she announced the tougher punishment.

Sarah Geraghty, an attorney with the Southern Center for Human Rights, said she was surprised that Reeves increased the fine after the sentence had been imposed.

“Not only is it heavy-handed, it’s outside the bounds of what the law permits,” Geraghty said, adding that a fine cannot be increased after a sentence is set.

Criminal attorney Steve Weiner also was surprised at the doubling of the fine, “which is something I have never heard of and I feel borders on extortion. Additionally, no judge has the authority to impose a fine for a misdemeanor of this kind greater than the statutory limit of $1,000.”

Fines vary by locale

While Ford is on probation, she must “avoid persons or places of disreputable character” and cannot move without her probation officer’s permission. She must also submit to a breath, urine or blood test if her probation officer orders one, and it will be at her expense.

“Where there is no legitimate reason for a drug test, you have to wonder why a court is ordering this test,” Geraghty said. “It’s an intrusion into people’s privacy and it burdens them with a financial obligation.”

Reeves, a part-time judge, declined to comment on the case.

Many courts issue fines provided for in the Traffic Violations Bureau, a document created 50 years ago that is still used nationwide in some jurisdictions. It lays out the fines for low-level traffic offenses such as improper backing up and parking in the wrong direction, as well as for more serious violations like speeding, running a red light or failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.

For not displaying a decal, Ford’s offense, the charge levied by courts in places like Atlanta, Cobb County and Augusta is $25 plus state surcharges that bring the total to just over $39.

But in some courts, the fines or bonds are set by the judge as is the case in Grantville, a west Georgia town of 3,145 that ranks 20th for fines issued per capita. The city fines drivers $160 for not displaying a decal. But Ford was charged a $720 fine for a suspended registration, even though it was up-to-date.

‘I didn’t have the money’

To the casual observer, municipal court hearings can be confusing and move quickly.

In Grantville on the two days that Ford attended, it was even more so.

Court documents show Ford was first charged with having a suspended registration, but it was changed to failing to display a current decal.

In court, however, Reeves would refer to Ford’s failure to affix her decal one moment and then the next say her registration had been suspended, even though Ford produced documents showing she had paid for the decal in January.

The second time Ford came to court, on Feb. 9, it was to pay the fine and she only had $480 saved.

Reeves lectured and refused to hear Ford’s reasons. The judge then more than doubled the fine and put Ford on 12 months probation.

“I tried to help her out,” the judge said to the court clerk.

Ford now pays more than $170 a month, which includes a $44 fee for a private probation company to collect the fine. Most recently, that monthly payment had to be made when her pay check for that week was only $277 because she was out of work sick for several days.

“My mortgage (payment) is up. I have (a) power (bill) and everything else,” Ford said. “I had put so much money into that Audi, it drained me. And I ended up having to get another car.”

Trooper saves infant after woman rolls vehicle

An Ohio Highway Patrol trooper rushed to put out a fire after a woman rolled her vehicle during a pursuit, and after putting out the flames he discovered an infant hanging from a seat belt in a back seat.

“I opened up the door and there’s a 4-month infant hanging from the seat belt in the back seat in a car seat,” Trooper Sean Eitel told WBNS.

Eitel had been pursuing the vehicle after he said spotted the driver, Brandy Wilson, 35, driving erratically on Ohio 16 in Newark, a city about 30 miles east of Columbus.

Wilson pulled away from Eitel during the pursuit and sped up, eventually running a stop sign and striking a utility pole, Eitel said.

Wilson’s vehicle burst into flames and Eitel grabbed a fire extinguisher, not knowing that the baby was trapped inside.

“She started going towards the back of the car,” Eitel said, describing what Wilson was doing after the flames were extinguished. “An then I could hear her say ‘My baby!’”

The infant boy was rescued from the vehicle after Eitel cut the seat belt free. The child was left with family while the mother was taken into custody on a series of charges.

Wilson was charged with driving under suspension, reckless operation, failure to yield, failure to comply and two counts of child endangering.

Amanda Davis opens up about alcohol addiction

Here she was in her late 50s and her little girl had dropped her off at the Canyon in Santa Monica, Calif., an hour’s drive from her daughter’s home in Los Angeles. Amanda Davis still couldn’t believe she might be an alcoholic.

God, is this really happening? she asked herself. Am I really here?

She was greeted at the door by two staff members who led her first to a nurse’s station, where she emptied her bags of all sharp objects, turned in her medications for high blood pressure and depression.

“I kept having this vision of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’” she said.

Davis’ life had indeed gotten a little crazy, but besides depression, her biggest problem wasn’t of a psychotic nature. It was alcohol and had been for a pretty good while.

Read more about her journey to sobriety in an emotional This Life interview with Gracie Bonds Staples.

5 things to know: Amanda Davis discusses alcoholism, depression

Five things to know Wednesday, May 18:

1. Veteran TV anchor Amanda Davis returned on air for the first time in three years on CBS 46 Tuesday night to discuss her struggles with alcohol and depression. [Rodney Ho brings you this story]

2. Delta Air Lines will not renew its sponsorship of the Fox Theatre, citing a private concert by Jennifer Lopez for rival Qatar Airways. [Kelly Yamanouchi has more on this story]

3. A sheriff’s deputy was charged with sexual assault after he allegedly took inappropriate photos of a woman while on duty. [Raisa Habersham has the details]

4. By late morning yesterday, Braves players knew their coach had been fired. [David O'Brien has their reactions to the news]

5. Cloudy with a chance of rain. Sound familiar? [Get your Atlanta weather forecast here]

Granola bars on recall list for possible listeria contamination

Quaker Oats is recalling its Quinoa Granola Bars because of possible listeria contamination.  

The Food and Drug Administration says one of Quaker's ingredient suppliers distributed sunflower kernels that may be tainted.  

So far, there have been no reports of any illnesses linked to the granola bars.  

While the vast majority of potentially affected Quaker products were withheld from ever reaching retail shelves, the products being recalled were distributed nationwide and are as follows:

  • 6.1 ounce boxes of Quaker Quinoa Granola Bars Chocolate Nut Medley with UPC code 30000 32241 and Best Before Dates of: 10/16/2016, 10/17/2016
  • 6.1 ounce boxes of Quaker Quinoa Granola Bars Yogurt, Fruit & Nut with UPC 30000 32243 and Best

Before Dates of: 10/10/2016, 10/11/2016


Parents asked to turn children away after fatal PDK air show crash

“Look away” are the last words a mother expects to tell her child during an air show.

Pilots of highly agile, acrobatic biplanes want guests to watch the daring and often death-defying maneuvers.

But at 4:49 p.m. Saturday, pilot Greg Connell, of South Carolina, crashed and died during an airshow at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport.

Two planes cross paths close to the ground in a raw video shot by a woman in the crowd. The camera follows a plane across the blue sky as it climbs and dives against the wind.

WSB radio announcer Mark McKay, who was emceeing the Good Neighbor Day Air Show, said he saw the plane hit the ground and break up.

“I see a tire fly off and then it catches fire in the grassy area,” McKay said.

The announcer asked parents to turn their children from the scene.

“Ladies and gentleman, I want you to turn your children away from the field,” WSB radio announcer Scott Slade said to the crowd.

Starr Jones, of Atlanta, brought her young daughter to the air show Saturday and watched as the tiny plane went down.

“It happened right in front of where I was standing,” Jones said. “It was awful.”

Jones watched as firefighters responded immediately, but it was already too late to save Connell.

“It was two tiny planes that were doing stunts,” Jones said. “They kept crossing paths and the next thing you know one of them touched the ground and started rolling and rolling and then burst into flames and the plane just tore apart.”

The pilot of the second plane in the air at the time, Gary Ward, told Channel 2 Action News he didn’t hear any calls of distress over the radio or know his friend was in trouble.

“Greg flew underneath me and I had no idea Greg crashed like a second later,” Ward said.

Connell’s custom-built biplane, known as Wolfpitts, hit the ground after failing to pull out of a dive maneuver. Ward is called Connell’s instructor and mentor on the "meet the pilot" page of Connell’s website.

“I came back in the show for the next maneuver,” Ward said. “We did individual maneuvers at that point, and I went ahead and did my next maneuver, not knowing that Greg had crashed.”

Connell started flight training in 1989, following in his father’s footsteps by training with local legend Al Patton.

Airport director Mario Evans said this was the first accident in the air show’s 30-year history.

“It’s a traumatic incident,” Evans said. “I knew the pilot personally, so I don’t want to go any further. I’m just emotional.”

An official investigation could take up to a year to complete, according to Channel 2.

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