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January 12, 2019 - 12:00 am


Georgia County commissioner's son pleads in toddler's death

(Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

CLEVELAND, Ga. (AP) — The son of a North Georgia county commissioner has pleaded guilty to felony vehicular homicide and was sentenced to 14 years in the death of a 3-year-old boy he hit in a grocery store parking lot.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports 37-year-old James Holcomb entered the plea Thursday in White County Superior Court. He also pleaded guilty to charges of DUI-drugs, reckless driving and driving with an expired license. He is the son of District 2 Commissioner Lyn Holcomb.

Holcomb was given another three years for the drug charge.

Prosecutors say Holcomb struck 3-year-old Easton Cain on Jan. 17, 2017, as he stood behind a parked SUV in the parking lot in Cleveland, about 80 miles (128.7 kilometers) northeast of Atlanta.



Georgia high school basketball player dies during game

STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia high school basketball player has died after collapsing during a game.

Henry County Schools spokesman J.D. Hardin says the junior varsity player was a student at Eagle's Landing High School and collapsed Friday while the team was playing at Woodland High School in Stockbridge.

News outlets report the student's name has not been released.

Hardin says grief counselors will be available for students and staff upon their return to school Monday.

No further details have been released.


Alabama-based chiropractor gets 3-plus years in fraud case

(Information from: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer,

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama-based chiropractor, who was accused in a scheme to conduct fraudulent physical examinations on prospective long haul truckers and submit false documents to federal transportation regulators, has been sentenced to more than three years in prison.

The Ledger-Enquirer reports Chief U.S. District Judge W. Keith Watkins of the Middle District of Alabama sentenced Dr. Kenneth G. Edwards, of Columbus, Georgia, to 37 months on Thursday. Watkins says the 65-year-old physician, who practiced in Phenix City, had abused the trust placed in him by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The offense netted Edwards about $224,000.

U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr. says the doctor was willing to risk putting physically unqualified individuals behind the wheels of large commercial vehicles to make a few easy bucks.



Flu on the rise in Alabama, other southern states

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Federal health officials say that the flu is now widespread in Alabama — and it's expected to increase. reports that Alabama is among 19 states reporting high levels of influenza in a recent report to the Centers for Disease Control.

High levels of the flu were also reported in Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina, among other states.

The Alabama Department of Public Health reports that nearly every county in the state is experiencing significant flu activity.

Typically, the flu season lasts from October to as late as May. The highest activity is generally seen from January through March.


Shortage of mental health care in Georgia is called a crisis

(Information from: The Telegraph,

MACON, Ga. (AP) — There's a rising number of children and adolescents who are diagnosed with mental health disorders, but some Georgia parents are finding that mental health care is difficult to find.

The Telegraph reports that Georgia faces a severe shortage of mental health care providers, with only eight youth and adolescent psychiatrists for every 100,000 residents.

That's according to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

The newspaper reports that schools across Georgia also face a shortage of counselors and psychologists.

Voices for Georgia's Children, whose mission is to improve the lives of children, calls the shortage a crisis.



Lawyer: R. Kelly denies all sexual misconduct allegations

CHICAGO (AP) — An attorney for R. Kelly says the R&B star denies all allegations of sexual misconduct, including those made in a recent documentary.

In an interview Friday, attorney Steve Greenberg portrayed Kelly as a victim of the Lifetime documentary called "Surviving R. Kelly."

Kelly has been dogged for years by allegations of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls. The documentary revisited old allegations and brought new ones into the spotlight.

Greenberg says Kelly never knowingly had sex with a minor, never sexually abused any woman, and never held anyone against her will.

Greenberg also harshly criticized a Chicago prosecutor for asking that potential victims come forward.

Lifetime did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Government shutdown won't stop MLK holiday week observances

(Information from: WSB-TV,

ATLANTA (AP) — The government shutdown has shuttered popular Atlanta tourist attractions tied to the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. but won't derail 10 days of events leading up to Jan. 21 — the federal holiday honoring the late civil rights leader.

WSB-TV reports the King Center announced a packed calendar of events Thursday for King holiday observance week, which opens Friday.

Park rangers, normally present for the event, were not on hand because of the federal shutdown. Despite the shutdown, which has closed the King birth home as well as historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, King Center CEO Bernice King says she believes there's still plenty going on to engage people seeking to commemorate her father's 90th birthday.

Events start Friday with a two-day immersion course in non-violence training.



Escaped Wyoming inmate, employee found in Georgia

(Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

MACON, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say an escaped inmate from Wyoming and the correctional facility employee accused of helping him break out have been arrested in Georgia.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Anna Lewis says 29-year-old Richard Fountaine and 25-year-old Kimberly Belcher were captured Friday afternoon.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the two were last seen in Middle Georgia earlier this week, accused of a burglary in the area. Lewis says the suspects went to a home and asked the owner to help them with their vehicle, but authorities were called and the vehicle was seized.

Fountaine was serving a three-to-five-year stint at the Casper Re-Entry Center in Wyoming for a burglary conviction when he escaped Dec. 28. Belcher is accused of giving him a cellphone, and investigators say Fountaine climbed a wall and chain-link fence before getting into a car.


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