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    A Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate who campaigned in a 'deportation bus' has pleaded not guilty to fraud charges. Ex-state Sen. Michael Williams was indicted last month in Hall County northeast of Atlanta on charges of insurance fraud and lying to investigators. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Williams requested a jury trial ahead of an arraignment hearing Wednesday. Attorney A.J. Richman said Williams 'looks forward to his day in court.' The charges stem from a May incident when Williams reported his campaign office was burglarized. Williams' campaign manager said then that $300,000 worth of computers used to mine cryptocurrency was taken. Williams finished last in the five-man Republican gubernatorial primary. He campaigned on loyalty to President Donald Trump and publicity stunts, including the 'deportation bus,' symbolically targeting people in the country illegally.
  • The partial government shutdown is a double-whammy for Cara and Philip Mangone, a married couple from Philadelphia. Both are agents with the Transportation Safety Administration, both working full time at the Philadelphia airport. Neither knows when they might again start drawing their paychecks. Part-time jobs are out of the question — they work opposite shifts timed to make sure one of them is always home with their kids, ages 2 and 5. So donations of food and diapers have been a real help as savings are being stretched thin. 'Every penny that we don't have to spend is helpful,' Cara Mangone said Wednesday as she picked up donated goods being distributed at the airport by fellow members of the American Federation of Government Employees. The shutdown has brought an outpouring of generosity to TSA agents and other federal employees who are working without pay. Food, financial help, haircuts and toiletries are among the donated goods and services. TSA screeners start at about $24,000 a year, and most make between $26,000 and $35,000, less than many other government employees, although some earn more because of seniority, overtime or level of management responsibility. On Wednesday, donations of diapers, juice, garbage bags, canned soup and boxes of Ramen noodles were being unloaded onto luggage carts at the valet drop-off curb at Orlando International Airport, to be distributed to TSA workers there the next day. 'I just wanted to support the federal workers who are furloughed because of the inaction of our government leaders,' said Brian Couch, wearing a Kansas City Chiefs ball cap as he dropped off his donation. The airport in Pittsburgh provided a free lunch to TSA workers on what should have been their payday last Friday. 'Our Operation Thank You free lunch program initially was only Fridays but because we're hearing from several food vendors who want to donate, it's possible it will be increased to more days,' airport spokesman Bob Kerlik said in an email. At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, spokeswoman Elise Durham said some concession operators there were also donating free lunches to TSA workers and the airport was providing complimentary parking for those workers who need it. Some travelers wanted to get in on the act, but TSA rules don't allow that. 'There are people trying to donate gift cards to us at the checkpoints,' Cara Mangone said. 'We can't accept it.' Businesses large and small are trying to help. The Ruby Slipper, a New Orleans-based restaurant chain with several locations in the city and on the Gulf Coast, said on its Facebook page that it has served some 3,000 free meals since offering help to unpaid federal employees more than two weeks ago. At The Top Knot Beauty Company in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, owner Jennifer Delage has been offering free haircuts to federal employees. She said other businesses have followed suit with free or discounted services. 'That was the main goal,' Delage said. 'To inspire others to pay it forward.' Such sentiments are evident all over the country — and beyond. A LIFELINE FOR THE COASTGUARD Unlike other military services, the U.S. Coast Guard, part of the Department of Homeland Security, isn't funded during the shutdown. In a letter posted on social media, the guard's commandant, Adm. Karl Schultz, said USAA, a company that provides banking and investment services to current and former military members and their families, made a $15 million donation to support those in need, to be distributed with assistance from the American Red Cross. In another gesture, Roger Williams University invited active-duty Coast Guard members in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and their families to its Bristol, Rhode Island, campus for a free dinner Tuesday night. About 75 people showed up. PIZZAS ACROSS THE BORDER Canadian air traffic controllers have been taking up donations to have pizzas delivered to their American counterparts at locations around the U.S.  Pizzas have been bought for controllers at 84 U.S. facilities. 'We've stopped tracking the number of pizzas,' said Tania Calverley, director of communications for the Canadian Air Traffic Controllers Association. 'We're certainly well over 400.' FREE RIDES The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority has announced that all federal employees will be able to ride public transit for free by showing their government IDs. 'We want to ... assist those who are hurting by taking a little weight off of their shoulders during this time,' Robbie Makinen, CEO and President of the authority, said in a news release about the program, which began Tuesday. BRIDGE LOANS Some financial institutions are offering low-interest, or even no-interest loans, to unpaid workers. Webster Bank in Connecticut said it would offer no-interest loans to any federal workers who are working and not being paid during the shutdown. In announcing the assistance program on Tuesday, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said he hopes other banks will offer similar programs. The loans are to be repaid after the workers receive back pay. In addition to its donation to help Coast Guard personnel, USAA has announced low-interest loan offers to active Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps and Public Health Service Corps personnel whose pay is disrupted. ___ McGill reported from New Orleans. Associated Press reporters John Raoux in Orlando, Jennifer McDermott in Bristol, Rhode Island, and David Koenig in Dallas contributed to this report.
  • Police told Channel 2 Action News an 18-year-old college student was murdered and found in her burning car last week. [READ MORE: Body found in burning car; neighbors forced to evacuate their homes] Now, police want to find a man who used her debit card hours after Tayla Torres' murder. Channel 2's Tom Jones obtained surveillance video of the man arriving at the bank. Someone dropped him off at the BB&T Bank in the Camp Creek Marketplace, where he walked to an ATM and used Torres' card. Police are hoping someone recognizes him. Jones speaks with the victim's mother and uncovers the distinctive clue that could help catch the person responsible, on Channel 2 Action News at 6 p.m. TRENDING STORIES: Crane won’t come until Thursday to lift derailed MARTA train at airport 2 men in van are targeting women outside metro shopping centers, police say New Birth gives members affected by government shutdown nearly $300 each
  • The Gwinnett County Police Department is asking for the public's help to identify a bank robbery suspect.  Police say the man robbed a Chase Bank on Old Norcross Road on January 11.  He asked if he could open a bank account and then handed a teller a note demanding a large amount of cash, police said. While she was getting the cash, the man tapped a metal object against the counter, which the teller thought was a gun. No one saw a gun, police said.  Police are asking anyone who recognizes the man to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477). . TRENDING STORIES: Crane won't come until Thursday to lift derailed MARTA train at airport 2 men in van are targeting women outside metro shopping centers, police say Two mothers charged with selling drugs near elementary school  
  • In his first TV interview as Georgia's 83rd governor, Gov. Brian Kemp outlined his agenda for the upcoming year with Channel 2 Action News. Kemp came by our studios Tuesday morning to talk with Channel 2 political reporter Richard Elliot about the issues his administration will tackle.  At the topic of his agenda is education. Kemp promised a “historic and well-deserved” pay raise for public school teachers.  'Forty-four percent of our teachers are leaving the profession before the first 5 years. That is killing our local school districts,' Kemp told Elliot.  The governor also unveiled a $69 million plan for school security. What the governor told us about his plans to make Georgia schools safer, on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m. Georgia teachers are in for a big pay raise if our new governor get's his way - he's calling it historic. @RElliotWSB with the first TV interview with @BrianKempGA His report at 4 on @wsbtv — Craig Lucie (@CraigLucie) January 16, 2019
  • A traveling hospital technician who was sentenced to 39 years in prison for infecting patients in multiple states with hepatitis C through tainted syringes has asked a federal judge to vacate his sentence, saying his lawyer was ineffective in representing him. David Kwiatkowski, 39, was a cardiac technologist in 18 hospitals in seven states before being hired at New Hampshire's Exeter Hospital in 2011. He was sentenced in 2013 after admitting that he stole painkiller syringes from hospitals where he worked and replaced them with saline-filled syringes tainted with his blood. Kwiatkowski had moved from job to job despite being fired at least four times over allegations of drug use and theft. When he was arrested, at least 46 people had been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C he carried. Authorities said the disease played a role in a woman's death in Kansas. In all, 32 patients were infected in New Hampshire, seven in Maryland, six in Kansas and one in Pennsylvania. Kwiatkowski also worked in Michigan, New York, Arizona and Georgia. Kwiatkowski, who is representing himself, filed his motion from prison in Sumterville, Florida, in December. He's scheduled to be released in 2046. His case was assigned to a federal judge in Concord on Monday. Kwiatkowski wrote that his lawyer allowed him to plead guilty under extreme emotional distress and that his sentence was incorrectly calculated. He said when he learned about the death, he 'found himself in a state of depression and though not the actual cause of death felt himself to be responsable (sic) for it.' He said the lawyer 'played on this' to convince him to plead guilty to facts he wasn't charged for. Kwiatkowski also said the sentence should have been much lower and that his mental state 'should have been in question' for agreeing to the deal. In 2013, Kwiatkowski's lawyers argued that a 30-year sentence would better balance the seriousness of the crimes against his mental and emotional problems and his addiction to drugs and alcohol, which they said clouded his judgment. Prosecutors had not yet responded to the motion. 'We are aware of the filing but will not be making a comment in pending matters,' said Dena Blanco, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office. Hepatitis C is a viral infection that attacks the liver. For most people, it turns into a chronic disease. Kwiatkowski, who learned he had the disease in 2010, apologized to his victims at his sentencing, saying his crime was caused by an addiction to painkillers and alcohol.
  • A bipartisan group of state senators in Georgia is speaking out about actions they say are undermining women in the chamber. Several senators on Wednesday protested recent changes to Senate rules that weakened sexual harassment investigations and what they say is a troubling pattern of sideling women with committee assignments. Republican state Sen. Renee Unterman, who was recently removed as chair of the powerful Senate Health Committee and replaced by a man, said that the Senate was playing 'high stakes baseball' and that women were being left out of the game. 'We're not even in the outfield,' Unterman said. 'As a matter of fact, we're not even in the ballpark. We're outside of the ballpark trying to look over the fence.' Democratic state Sen. Elena Parent said that women make up 28 percent of the Senate, but hold few influential committee seats. Committee assignments are given out by a committee including Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and a small group of all-male GOP leadership. In an emailed statement, Duncan said that 'Any insinuation that this year's process was discriminatory is nonsense.' Duncan said that he and the others who made assignments 'doubled the number of committees chaired by female senators' from two to four. But Unterman took issue with that characterization, pointing out that all four chairs were in committees that get relatively low levels of legislation. Republican Sen. Jeff Mullis said the 'whining' about committee assignments was about partisanship, with Republican leadership giving influential committee roles to Republicans. There are 13 Democratic women in the Senate and 2 Republican women. State Sen. Zahra Karinshak also spoke out against recent changes to Senate rules that weaken the body's ability to investigate sexual harassment claims against senators. On Monday the state Senate changed its rules by placing a two-year limit on an accuser's ability to bring misconduct claims against senators and members of their staff. The new rules also allow for an internal investigative committee to recommend sanctions — including fines — for bringing claims found to be 'frivolous.' Investigations also won't take place if the accused is seeking elected office under the new rules. While introducing the rule change Monday, Republican Sen. Mike Dugan of Carrollton said the process was only an internal investigating mechanism within the Senate and did not stop victims from pursuing other avenues such as in court. When asked for comment Wednesday, Dugan said he was on his way to a meeting and didn't have time to speak.
  • The winning numbers in Wednesday afternoon's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's 'All or Nothing Day' game were: 01-05-07-09-10-12-13-15-17-18-19-24 (one, five, seven, nine, ten, twelve, thirteen, fifteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty-four)
  • Two Cobb County mothers are facing nearly a dozen charges after police said they were dealing drugs near an elementary school.  Police said the women were prowling the neighborhood, which has several families with young children.  Neighbors told Channel 2’s Chris Jose that they called police on the women after they noticed the suspicious activity.  Hear from the daughter of one of the women arrested and why she’s thankful her mother’s behind bars, on Channel 2 Action News starting at 5:44 p.m.
  • Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takk McKinley is with a family member in Oakland after undergoing a mental evaluation prompted by a friend's call to Los Angeles police. Falcons spokesman Brian Cearns told The Associated Press on Wednesday McKinley 'is in a good spot' and has been in 'constant communication' with the team, including coach Dan Quinn. Cearns said McKinley is with an uncle in Oakland. TMZ Sports reported Tuesday night that a friend became concerned for McKinley's well-being and summoned police. No criminal charges were filed. TMZ Sports says McKinley was cooperative when detained by officers. It is not known what prompted McKinley's friend to call police. Cearns said the situation has been resolved. The Falcons acknowledged the incident on Tuesday night when the team released Quinn's statement expressing concern. 'Any time a situation occurs that is or could be related to mental health issues we take it very seriously,' Quinn said in the statement. 'We will do everything we possibly can to support and assist Takk as our players' mental and physical well-being are always our top priority.' McKinley, who played collegiately at UCLA, was a first-round pick by the Falcons in 2017. He made headlines on draft night with an emotional tribute to the late grandmother who raised him. The 23-year-old McKinley led the Falcons with seven sacks in 2018. He recently wrote on his Twitter account he wasn't satisfied with his season and promised 'Double digit sacks are coming next year!' McKinley has two years, plus a club option, remaining on his four-year, $10.2 million rookie contract he signed in 2017. ___ For more AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL