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July 05, 2018 - 12:00 am

GEORGIA CANDIDATES-TRUMP SUPPORT

Georgia GOP gubernatorial candidates go all in on Trump

ATLANTA (AP) — Both were criticized by opponents for not endorsing the early candidacy of President Donald Trump. Now the two Republicans vying to become Georgia governor are battling over who is the true Trump supporter.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle beat out three other opponents in their May 22 primary. During the five-man race they were both slammed by opponents for being late to the Trump train.

Cagle initially backed former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in the 2016 presidential primary. Kemp refrained from making an endorsement until after the Georgia primary.

Trump so far hasn't taken sides in the Georgia race. But both GOP candidates now frequently invoke the president's name in hopes of rallying conservative voters during a contentious runoff that will be decided July 24.

POLICE SHOOTING-GEORGIA

Police: Georgia deputy kills man who shot at officer

GRIFFIN, Ga. (AP) — Authorities in Georgia say a sheriff's deputy fatally shot a man who opened fire first.

The Spalding County Sheriff's Office says the man opened fire at deputies and was then shot late Wednesday night.

The sheriff's office said in a brief statement that no deputies were injured in the exchange of gunfire.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating.

Spalding County is about 35 miles (55 kilometers) south of Atlanta.

RESTAURANT 911-BLACK CUSTOMERS

Restaurant employee calls 911 on African-American family

NEWNAN, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia restaurant owner says he is investigating after an employee called 911 on an African-American family who had stopped for dinner during a vacation.

WSB-TV reports that Felicia and Othniel Dobson of North Carolina on Monday had stopped for dinner at a Subway in Newnan with their four children, ages 8 to 19, when a restaurant employee called police.

In the 911 call, the employee said there are "eight people in a van" who were going back forth to the bathroom and possibly putting soda in water cups.

The couple said the responding police officer and store owner apologized.

Felicia Dobson said the family did nothing wrong and "can't change our skin color."

In a statement, Subway franchisee Rosh Patel said he has reiterated "the importance of making everyone feel welcome."

BC-US-TRUMP-RUSSIA-OLIGARCH'S INFLUENCE

Sanctioned Russian oligarch linked to Cohen has vast US ties

WASHINGTON (AP) — For more than two decades, Viktor Vekselberg was known by American executives as someone who got deals done — sometimes with Russian President Vladimir Putin's blessing.

In May, Vekselberg's name was tied to payments President Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen made to a porn star. But the oligarch has long worked to extend his influence in the U.S.

Together with an American cousin who heads New York investment firm Columbus Nova, Vekselberg once backed a $1.6 million lobbying campaign to aid Russian interests in Washington.

Now, his cousin's firm is dealing with Treasury Department financial sanctions lodged in April against Vekselberg.

Columbus Nova spokesmen say the sanctions indefinitely halted Velselberg's financial relationship with Columbus Nova. They say the U.S. firm is also in discussions with Treasury to recover blocked assets.

VALEDICTORIAN SPEECH-CITY HALL

Amid school spat, valedictorian speech made at City Hall

(Information from: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, http://www.democratandchronicle.com)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — A high school valedictorian in upstate New York has delivered his graduation speech at City Hall amid a tense relationship with the school's leader.

The Democrat and Chronicle reports Wednesday that Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren invited Jaisaan Lovett to speak after he was denied an opportunity to address his classmates upon graduating last month.

Lovett is the first black valedictorian to graduate from the University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men. He received a full scholarship to attend Clark Atlanta University in the fall. He'd previously interned in Warren's office.

The school's board of trustees says it's reviewing what happened.

School leader Joseph Munno didn't respond to the paper's request for comment.

Lovett says he's previously clashed with Munno, including once after protesting safety conditions in the school's lab.

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BAHAMAS BOAT EXPLOSION

Atlanta-area woman dead, husband hurt in Bahamas' explosion

WOODSTOCK, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia woman is dead and her husband badly hurt after a tour boat they were on in the Bahamas exploded over the weekend.

Cherokee County school officials say 39-year-old Maleka Jackson and her husband, Tiran, were among 10 people on the boat when it blew up about 9 a.m. Saturday off the coast of Exuma, which is 130 miles south of Nassau. The cause of the explosion remains under investigation.

News outlets report video filmed from a nearby boat showed tourists jumping into the water in an attempt to rescue passengers in the burning boat. The footage also showed thick, black smoke pouring into the sky and large flames shooting from the boat.

Jackson is the former president of the Mill Creek Middle School PTSA in Woodstock. According to a Facebook post, she and her husband were celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary.

AP-US-FIRE-PROTEST-GEORGIA

Authorities say man who burned self to protest VA has died

ATLANTA (AP) — State investigators say a man who identified himself as an Air Force veteran has died after he lit himself on fire in front of the Georgia Capitol last week to protest the Veterans Affairs system.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation tweeted Tuesday that 58-year-old John Michael Watts died Monday. Authorities say Watts strapped fireworks to his chest, doused himself with a flammable liquid and set himself on fire June 26. A state trooper who saw what was happening quickly put out the flames.

Authorities said Watts, who had no current address, was able to talk to officers after the flames were extinguished. Authorities said he had burns over 85 to 90 percent of his body. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

The GBI says its investigation continues.

DEADLY FIRE-ATLANTA

2 people die in Atlanta house fire

ATLANTA (AP) — Authorities say two people have died in a house fire in Atlanta.

Atlanta Fire Rescue says firefighters were fighting the fire early Tuesday morning at a residence on Harvel Drive.

Firefighters say two adult victims died in the blaze.

No other information was immediately available.

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