Officer shot, 1 suspect dead near Covington Walmart

ATLANTA (AP) — The GBI says a police officer has been shot by a shoplifting suspect near a Walmart store in Georgia.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement that 34-year-old Covington Officer Matt Cooper is in serious condition following the Monday afternoon shooting.  Cooper was hit by gunfire and airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center.

Police say officers were responding to the report of a shoplifting, when the suspects ran away and fired, hitting Cooper.

Twenty-one-year-old suspect Aaron Demonta Fleming was shot and killed at the scene. Authorities say the gunshot was likely self-inflicted. Two other suspects are in police custody.

The incident happened at about 1 p.m. Monday. Covington is about 35 miles (56 kilometers) southeast of Atlanta.


Officials ID ex-firefighter, 2 others killed in crash

UNION CITY, Ga. (AP) — Authorities have identified three people who have died in a wrong-way crash in Georgia.

News outlets report authorities say former DeKalb County Fire and Rescue Capt. Kennis Harrell, 56-year-old Kathy Stevens and 55-year-old Michael Fullwood died Monday.

Union City police say Harrell was driving on a highway in Fulton County early that morning and turned off into the oncoming lanes of another road. Police say he crashed head-on into a car carrying Fullwood and Stevens. Harrell and Fullwood died at the scene. Stevens was taken to a hospital where she later died.

It’s unclear if alcohol was a factor. WSB-TV reports autopsies of the three people are set to be performed Tuesday.


Aretha Franklin Eulogy Denounced; Pastor Stands Firm

ATLANTA (AP) — A fiery, old-school pastor is criticized for saying black America is losing “its soul” at Aretha Franklin’s funeral stands firm by his words with the hope critics can understand his perspective.

Rev. Jasper Williams Jr. told The Associated Press in a phone interview Sunday he felt his sermon was appropriate at Franklin’s funeral Friday in Detroit. He felt his timing was right, especially after other speakers spoke on the civil rights movement and President Donald Trump.

“I was trying to show that the movement now is moving and should move in a different direction,” he said. “… What we need to do is create respect among ourselves. Aretha is the person with that song ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T’ that is laid out for us and what we need to be as a race within ourselves. We need to show each other that. We need to show each other respect. That was the reason why I did it.”

Williams, who is the pastor of Salem Bible Church in Atlanta, said his words about black women being incapable of raising sons alone were taken out of context. He described as “abortion after birth” the idea of children being raised without a “provider” father and a mother as the “nurturer.”

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Restaurant company building new corporate HQ in Georgia

ATLANTA (AP) — The corporate parent of restaurant franchises including Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings is building a new headquarters in Georgia.

Gov. Nathan Deal’s office said Atlanta-based Inspire Brands plans to invest $32 million in a new corporate hub in Sandy Springs. The governor’s office says the move will bring more than 1,100 jobs to Sandy Springs, which like Atlanta is located in Fulton County.

Inspire Brands was founded in February as a multi-brand restaurant company. Its portfolio includes more than 4,600 Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and R Taco restaurants worldwide.

The company’s headquarters is scheduled to open next year. Inspire Brands says it will serve as a “global hub” for the company and its restaurant brands.


I-20 expansion at Georgia-S Carolina line to start in 2019

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina officials say work to expand a stretch of Interstate 20 that crosses the Savanah River into Georgia will start in 2019.

South Carolina Department of Transportation officials told Aiken County lawmakers the project is being developed by their counterparts in Georgia.

The project will widen the bridges over the Augusta Canal and the Savanah River to three lanes in each direction and the wider highway will extend to Exit 1 in South Carolina.

Republican South Carolina Rep. Bill Hixon told the Aiken Standard that I-20 sees a number of wrecks in the area as the wider intestate in Augusta narrows down to two lanes.





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