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DeKalb solicitor-general to honor crime victims

DeKalb solicitor-general to honor crime victims

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- DeKalb County Solicitor-General Sherry Boston will honor and remember local crime victims during Crime Victims' Rights Week.

Boston will hold a public event on Tuesday, Apr. 21 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Gazebo on the Square in Decatur. Two crime victims -- Charmagne Helton and Nichole Villafane -- will also be in attendance and will share their stories of survival.

For seven weeks, Helton and her two young children lived in a shelter after escaping their abusive husband and father.

"Being a victim of violence is a horrible thing, but it isn't the end of the story," Helton said. "With the right support, victims can become victors."

Villafane's 21-year-old son, Xavier "X" Arnold, was fatally shot during an attempted robbery. X, who attended the Savannah College of Art and Design, was taking photographs of graffiti on Kirkwood warehouses when he was killed. The suspect was only 14 years old.

Video shows men stealing catalytic converter


ATLANTA – Authorities are seeking to identify two men seen stealing a catalytic converter from a vehicle in Atlanta.

According to Atlanta police, the theft happened just before 2 a.m. on March 31 at 1963 Hosea Williams Drive.

Video appears to show two men walking in a parking lot and then using a saw to remove the catalytic converter from a vehicle.

The suspects are believed to have been driving a white minivan. Anyone with information on their identities is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477).

Ex-DeKalb official pleads guilty to fraud

Ex-DeKalb official pleads guilty to fraud

ATLANTA -- A former janitorial services manager has pleaded guilty in federal court to accepting bribes in exchange for government contracts.

Patrick Jackson, 56, of Loganville was indicted last September. He was investigated by both the FBI and GBI.

Jackson worked simultaneously for two government entities -- DeKalb County and Atlanta's Georgia World Congress Center -- between 2006 and 2012. Before then, he worked for a company referred to in the indictment as Company A.

According to information presented in court, Jackson used his position and influence to secure government contracts for Company A with both DeKalb County and the GWCC. He also lived in a luxury Atlanta apartment paid for and furnished by Company A. Jackson did not tell his employers about each other or about his ties to Company A.

GDOT to limit roadwork for 2 weekends

GDOT to limit roadwork for 2 weekends

(WXIA) -- Here's some good news for spring breakers and Atlanta Braves fans: road construction will be limited for the next two weekends.

The Georgia Department of Transportation announced Wednesday it will close fewer interstate lanes than usual from midnight on Friday, Apr. 3 to 5 a.m. on Monday, Apr. 6. The construction break is meant to accommodate drivers who are heading into or out of Atlanta for spring break and Easter weekend.

Lane closures will also be limited from 10 p.m. on Friday, Apr. 10 to 5 a.m. on Monday, Apr. 13, for the Braves' opening weekend at Turner Field.

Traffic throughout Georgia is expected to be heavy both weekends, and drivers are asked to be cautious.

"Also, incident management or emergency maintenance-related lane closures could become necessary on any time on any route," GDOT director of construction Jeff Baker said.

Man imprisoned for $100M surety bond fraud

Man imprisoned for $100M surety bond fraud

ATLANTA -- An Orange Park, Fla., man was sentenced to time in federal prison for operating a multimillion dollar surety bond fraud scheme.

DeKalb County and the city of McDonough received some of Eric Campbell's false bonds for construction projects.

"Mr. Campbell orchestrated a scheme whereby he defrauded numerous individuals, businesses, and state and local government of money based on false representations and promises," Veronica Hyman-Pillot, Special Agent in Charge with IRS Criminal Investigation, said in a release.

From August 2012 to July 2013, Campbell used a number of corporations to sell the bonds. He convinced contractors and government agencies to work with him by saying he had the authority to execute or issue surety bonds on behalf of affiliates of insurance company Chubb. Prosecutors said Campbell embossed the fake bonds with counterfeit seals and forged Chubb officials' signatures on them.

91-year-old man missing since Wednesday


ATLANTA -- Authorities are asking the public to be on the lookout for a missing 91-year-old man.

Johnny Edwards was last seen at 132 Dahlgren Street around 3 p.m. on Wednesday. He was reported missing by his daughter.

Police say Edwards has four distinctive scars on his head from previous surgeries, and was last seen wearing a grey and red plaid jacket, brown corduroys pants, and black and brown leather shoes.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call 911.


Metro Atlanta unemployment drops to 6.1 percent

Metro Atlanta unemployment drops to 6.1 percent

(WXIA) -- The Atlanta area's unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in February, down from January's 6.2 percent. It was also down a full point from the rate of 7.1 percent in February 2014.

DeKalb County's unemployment rate was 6.6 percent last month.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the drop was due to fewer layoffs and more new jobs. Many of the gains came in business, construction, education, government, and leisure and hospitality.

Nearly 39 percent fewer new claims for unemployment insurance were filed in February as well.

Metro Gainesville had Georgia's lowest February unemployment rate, at 5.1 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 8.1 percent.