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June 25, 2018 - 12:00 am

MEDIA FIRMS-MERGER

Media merger would create 3rd-largest TV station group in US

ATLANTA (AP) — Gray Television Inc. and Raycom Media Inc. are announcing a merger that would create the third-largest television broadcast group in the United States.

Georgia-based Gray and Alabama-based Raycom said Monday they've entered into an agreement to combine the companies in a $3.6 billion deal.

In a statement, the companies say the combined firm will have more than 140 television stations serving 92 markets. The communities range from large TV markets such as Cleveland and Tampa-Sarasota, Florida to small markets like Ottumwa, Iowa, and Presque Isle, Maine.

The companies said Raycom subsidiary Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., which owns newspapers in nearly two dozen states, is not part of the deal as it will be sold or spun off. Raycom and CNHI are financed by the Retirement Systems of Alabama, which manages state employee pension funds.

WOMAN STABBED NEAR EMORY

Emory University: Woman stabbed, left near baseball field

ATLANTA (AP) — Authorities say a woman who was stabbed had called 911 after someone dropped her off at a Georgia college.

News outlets report that Atlanta and Emory University police are investigating the stabbing of a woman who was found wounded near the school's baseball field Sunday night.

Emory tweeted that she is not affiliated with the university and was taken to a hospital. Her condition was unclear Monday.

Emory police say the woman told emergency dispatchers that she was taken to the baseball field after being hurt somewhere else. The field is located on Emory's main campus near several residential buildings.

HEAT ADVISORY

Heat advisory for 3 Southern states

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Forecasters say it's going to be dangerously hot across parts of the South.

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for about half of Alabama, much of central Georgia and the southern tip of South Carolina for Monday afternoon.

High temperatures are forecast in the 90s, and the weather service says the combination of heat and humidity will make it feel like it's about 105 degrees across the region.

The extreme heat can lead to heat-related health problems including heat exhaustion.

Similar alerts are possible later in the week since forecasters say the heat will persist for at least a few days.

MOTHER SHOT-STANDOFF

Police: Man shoots mom in the back prompting SWAT standoff

(Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com)

BRASELTON, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say a man is accused of shooting his mother three times in the back, prompting a 3-hour SWAT standoff.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports 37-year-old Jonathan Wayne Allen shot his mother in Jackson County on Friday. She is expected to survive.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says Allen barricaded himself inside his Braselton residence and shot at the first two responding deputies when they approached in their vehicles. A deputy fired back, injuring Allen.

Sheriff Janis Mangum told the newspaper that Allen was taken into custody after the Hall County Sheriff's Office SWAT team deployed a flash bang device into the home. Allen is expected to survive his injuries.

A GBI news release says Allen was charged with aggravated assault. Additional charges are expected. It's unclear if he has a lawyer.

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INTERSTATE SHOOTING-ARREST

Police: Truck driver arrested after interstate shooting

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (AP) — Virginia State Police say a tractor-trailer driver from Georgia is in custody on charges related to a weekend shooting on Interstate 95.

State police said in a news release Monday that a preliminary investigation showed 26-year-old Terrelle M. Jackson of Atlanta cut off a Nissan pickup early Saturday morning in Chesterfield County. Police say Jackson then changed lanes, pulled up alongside the Nissan and fired at the vehicle.

State police say the Nissan driver, who wasn't hurt, pulled off the interstate and reported the shooting. A bullet hole was found in the vehicle.

Police say Jackson was taken into custody without incident and charged with attempted malicious wounding, shooting from a vehicle and brandishing a firearm.

He was being held Monday at the Chesterfield County Jail. A defense attorney listed in court records couldn't immediately be reached.

SCHOOL SUPPLIES-FUNERAL

Georgia teacher's last request helps children in need

(Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com)

CUMMING, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia teacher found a way to help needy students even after she was gone.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Tammy Wadell died June 9 after a prolonged illness. Instead of flowers, people brought backpacks filled with school supplies to her June 12 funeral.

Her family said helping children in need was her passion, and the donated supplies were her last request.

Waddell worked as a paraprofessional and teacher in Forsyth County schools.

The backpacks are to be distributed through Project Connect, a school district initiative to help students in need.

Forsyth County schools spokeswoman Jennifer Caracciolo said in a statement that Waddell loved children. Caracciolo said: "The generous backpack/supplies donations in her memory is a touching tribute."

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PLANE CRASH-NO INJURIES

Georgia pilot, grandson unhurt in Alabama plane crash

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. (AP) — A Georgia man and his young grandson avoided injury when a small airplane crashed and burned while making an emergency landing in Alabama.

News outlets report the engine of a small aircraft quit as the pilot was attempting to land at the Alexander City airport on Sunday morning. The plane had left Peachtree City, Georgia.

Officials say the pilot managed to steer the aircraft toward a field near a fast-food restaurant, but the plane clipped power lines and trees before going down about a quarter-mile from a runway.

The pilot and his grandson were the only two people aboard, and both got out without injury before the wreckage caught fire. Airport Manager Mike Smith calls the outcome a miracle.

Officials haven't released the name of the pilot or the boy.

INVASIVE PLANTS-GEORGIA

Asian privet, other plants are invading more Georgia ground

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — State officials say foreign invasive plants are continuing to take over Georgia's forests and grasslands.

The Athens Banner-Herald reports that one of them, Asian privet, now infests more than a million acres in the state. That's according to recently released Georgia Forestry Commission statistics.

The report shows that privet's hold on Georgia grew from an estimated 637,916 acres (258,155 hectares) in 2009 to 1.1 million acres (451,597 hectares) in 2015.

The forestry commission recently released its latest "Dirty Dozen" list of the top 12 non-native invasive plants.

One of the better known invasive plants — kudzu — is only No. 6 on the list, at 35,981 acres (14,561 hectares). That's a fraction of privet's spread.

The forestry commission and conservation groups aim to push back the invasive plants.

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