Jury selection begins today in Ahmaud Arbery trial

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Hundreds of prospective Glynn County jurors are expected to report on Monday as the trial for three men charged with murder in the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery gets underway here. Jury summons were sent to 1,000 residents ahead of one of the highest-profile trials in Georgia history, and hundreds of demonstrators have already converged on the community of about 86,000. An estimated 600 residents are set to report to Selden Park in batches through 3:30 p.m., though it’s unclear how many will actually show up. The county designated the recreation center as a courthouse annex to ens...

Ahmaud Arbery murder trial begins Monday amid a burning question

ATLANTA — Almost 20 months to the day Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed, the trial for the three men charged in his death begins Monday. Up to 1,000 Glynn County residents summoned for jury duty are scheduled to appear at Selden Park, a large recreation center in Brunswick, to enable social distancing. Twelve people ultimately chosen from this enormous pool will be tasked with deciding whether Travis McMichael, his father Greg McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan are guilty of malice murder, false imprisonment and other charges. Arbery, an unarmed Black man, was shot and killed by Travis McMic...

Sen. Raphael Warnock’s record-breaking fundraising sends national message

ATLANTA — U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock amassed another record-breaking fundraising haul, while GOP donors egged on by Donald Trump came off the sidelines to boost Republican Herschel Walker’s challenge. The fundraising reports filed Friday were yet another indication that the battle for Warnock’s seat in Georgia will attract enormous attention and money, as both parties battle over a seat that could determine control of the U.S. Senate next year. Warnock raised more than $9.5 million during the three-month quarter, an impressive sum that highlights the extensive fundraising infrastructure the Dem...

No counterfeit ballots found by Georgia election investigators

Georgia election investigators were unable to find any counterfeit ballots among batches identified by Republican vote-counters, according to a court brief Tuesday, dealing a blow to a lawsuit seeking to inspect absentee ballots cast in last year’s presidential election. The court document filed on behalf of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said investigators reviewed 1,000 absentee ballots from batches in Fulton County that allegedly contained “pristine” ballots with perfectly filled-in ovals and no fold lines. All ballots in those batches appeared to be legitimate. “The secretar...

Bill Maher used to hide pot in a Kleenex in his underwear on airplanes

HBO host Bill Maher trumpeted marijuana legalization for decades and now that it’s happened in California and in many other states, he is one happy stand-up comic. “I don’t have to stress when I travel like I used to,” said Maher, who has several comedy tour dates over the next month. “I used to travel with the smallest amount of pot I could get away with. I’d hide it in a piece of Kleenex in my underwear. I was so afraid I’d get on an airplane and wind up in jail.” Maher knows recreational pot usage is still illegal in many places, but the fear factor is no longer there. In the meantime, his ...

Identities of Georgia plane crash victims released

ATLANTA — Two children and two adults were killed Friday afternoon when a small aircraft crashed and burst into flames at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, the DeKalb medical examiner’s office confirmed Monday. Jonathan Rosen, 47, the plane’s pilot and owner, died in the crash, as did his 14-year-old daughter Allison. Lauren Harrington, 42, and Julia Smith, 13, were also on the plane, according to the medical examiner’s office. There were no survivors. Daniel Boggs, air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board who is leading the probe of the crash, said Sunday that he believed ...

Elections board in Georgia's Cobb County delays vote on polling site at police academy in largely Black voting precinct

ATLANTA — When Norris Curl moved to west Cobb County from Los Angeles earlier this year, the 64-year-old Black man said one of the first things he did was register to vote in Georgia. “Historically, Blacks have not always had the privilege of voting when it is, to me, one of the most hallowed civic duties you can carry out,” he said. Yet, as Curl sat inside a Cobb County government facility Monday afternoon with a couple dozen other concerned voters, he worried some voters may shy away from the polls because of a recent decision elections officials made to move a majority-Black polling precinc...

Fulton County fires 2 elections workers accused of shredding Georgia voter applications

ATLANTA — The state of Georgia is investigating accusations that Fulton County elections workers shredded voter registration applications. The news came Monday, less than 24 hours before early voting is set to begin for municipal races in Fulton. A news release from the county said elections head Richard Barron had within the last two weeks fired two employees for allegedly shredding applications. This is sure to raise the temperature on the partisan fight over the management of Fulton’s elections. Fulton Commission Chairman Robb Pitts “immediately reported it to” Fulton County District Attorn...

Georgia police officer shot and killed on his first shift

ATLANTA — A massive manhunt is underway after a young officer was shot and killed early Saturday outside his Georgia police station, officials said. Dylan Harrison, 26, was working his first shift as a part-time officer with the Alamo Police Department when he was gunned down outside the station about 1 a.m., GBI spokeswoman Natalie Ammons said at a Saturday afternoon news conference. Harrison, who lived in Laurens County, is survived by his wife and their 6-month-old child, officials said. A manhunt is underway for 43-year-old Damien Anthony Ferguson, who goes by “Luke,” according to the GBI....

Stand-up comic Jim Norton is still addicted to sex -- not so much the anger

In 2010, stand-up comic and radio host Jim Norton told me that he was nicer than people thought but admitted he was “a sex addict with anger problems.” In 2014, he said he was still a “complete dirtbag.” Now at age 53, he says he has mellowed considerably. “I’m not nearly as angry anymore,” said Norton in a recent phone interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Anger is mostly depression. The sex addiction never goes away, but I haven’t been acting out much at all in years. You get older. You look for change. You want change. I’m just not as depressed as I used to be.” He said he has s...

With most pregnant women unvaccinated, doctors worry about virus’s toll

ATLANTA — Kyndal Nipper started the morning with a sense of relief. To the eight-months pregnant, 29-year-old from Columbus, it seemed that her bout with COVID-19 had ended and she had made it through the illness with only mild symptoms: a low-grade fever, fatigue and a loss of taste and smell. She felt better than she had in days as she resumed her normal routine. But, as morning gave way to afternoon, she noticed that her baby wasn’t moving as much he usually did. Maybe not at all. She ate a snack and drank a caffeinated beverage to stimulate movement. Still nothing. Out of an abundance of c...

Georgia Democrats say deal on social spending, infrastructure will be reached

WASHINGTON — The week on Capitol Hill was defined by sharp disagreements among Democrats over whether to immediately pass a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill or wait until they finalize negotiations on a $3.5 trillion social services and climate change package. Still, after meeting with President Joe Biden on Friday, Democrats from Georgia’s delegation said they are confident that both measures will pass eventually. And they are hoping their constituents give the legislative process time to work. “We heard from the president today, and the president stated very clearly that we need both,” U.S....

Spa shooting suspect pleads not guilty in Atlanta killings

ATLANTA — The suspect accused of fatally shooting four women in two different Atlanta spas pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Fulton County court. Robert Aaron Long, 22, has already pleaded guilty to killing four others in a Cherokee County spa and is serving a life sentence. He appeared briefly in court Tuesday morning to formally enter his plea on additional charges in Fulton County, where District Attorney Fani Willis has announced her intent to seek the death penalty. Long was arrested March 16, the same day he is accused of shooting and killing eight people, including six Asian women, at three...

A pro-Trump Georgia ticket makes its debut at rally

PERRY, Ga. — Former President Donald Trump returned to Georgia on Saturday to showcase a trio of loyalists he’s endorsed in 2022 elections, deepening an internal rift among state Republicans that helped fuel upset Democratic victories in the last election cycle. The pro-Trump slate took center stage at a rally at the Georgia National Fairgrounds, as the former president pushed to continue to refashion the state GOP in his mold and promoted falsehoods that the state election was tainted by widespread election fraud. The visit only sharpened the division within a state GOP reeling from losses in...

Trump faces ‘substantial’ legal risk in Georgia case, think tank report says

ATLANTA — Ahead of former President Donald Trump’s return to Georgia, legal experts with the Brookings Institution think tank published a detailed analysis Friday of the potential criminal investigation he faces in Fulton County linked to his outspoken efforts to overturn the state’s election results. The 107-page report, written by seven legal analysts, concludes that Trump’s post-election conduct leaves him at “substantial risk of possible state charges predicated on multiple crimes.” It was published a day before Trump is set to hold a rally in Perry to promote a slate of state Republican c...

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