Over 20,000 Students Attend Passion 2014 Conference in Atlanta

passion conference 2014 youth

Over 20,000 students attend Passion 2014 Conference in Atlanta on Friday, January 17, 2014. This is the first of Passion’s two large-scale gatherings this year in North America for 18-25 year olds. Passion 2014 Houston will be held on February 14-15 at the Toyota Center. (Photo: Passion Conference 2014/Bobby Russell)

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Parents wait, worry after Ga. school shooting

Daphne Morris, Shanique Worthey

Shanique Worthey, right, is embraced by her mother Daphne Morris, while waiting to be reunited with her son five-year-old son Skyler Worthey as students from Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy are picked up by loved ones in a Walmart parking lot after they were evacuated when a gunman entered the school, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, in Decatur, Ga. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — Rufus Morrow was at work when he got a phone call with the worst news he could imagine: Shots fired at his daughter’s elementary school.

He drove “about 90 mph” to Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy where 800 or so students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade had been evacuated Tuesday in an Atlanta suburb. The police chief says a 20-year-old man with an assault rifle and other weapons was able to slip into the school where visitors must be buzzed in by staff.

The suspect, identified as Michael Brandon Hill, held one or two staff members in the front office captive for a time, the police chief said, making one of them call a local TV station. As officers swarmed the campus outside, he shot at them at least a half a dozen times with an assault rifle from inside the school and they returned fire, said DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric L. Alexander. Hill then surrendered. No one was injured.

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1000 Firefighters Expected to Fight Idaho “Little Queens” Fire

Mandatory evacuation order begins at noon today in Atlanta

Mandatory evacuation order begins at noon today in Atlanta

Credit: David Olson, Boise National Forest   A plume of smoke rises from the 1,000-acre Little Queens Fire near Atlanta, Idaho


Posted on August 18, 2013 at 7:38 PM  –  Updated today at 10:02 AM

ATLANTA, Idaho — The Elmore County Sheriff’s Office has issued a mandatory evacuation order for those living in the rural community of Atlanta. The order begins Monday at 12 p.m.

The evacuation should affect about 60 households, according to Sawtooth National Forest spokeswoman Julie Thomas.

Thomas says the 1,000-acre fire is burning about 6 miles northwest of Atlanta in the Sawtooth Wilderness. She says high winds caused the fire to burn closer to homes on Sunday afternoon.

“It is very clear to us that the southern end of the fire is rapidly expanding,” Thomas told KTVB.

When asked how area homeowners were taking the evacuation notice, Thomas observed that many have been reluctant, but emphasized the importance of following the evacuation orders.

“We’re just really hoping that folks take this seriously, and do that for their safety,” Thomas said.

The Elmore County Sheriff’s Office is holding a community meeting Monday at 11:30 a.m. at the Beaver Lodge for residents affected by the fire.

Only about 40 firefighters are currently staffing the fire at this time. However, up to 1,000 personnel, including a type II regional incident command team from Utah, are expected to reach the community Monday evening.

Thomas says many of those firefighters may be released from other fires in Idaho to help protect homes near Atlanta.

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Atlanta airport evacuated after explosion in maintenance shed

Photo credit: http://www.wsav.com

(Reuters) – A section of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport was evacuated on Tuesday after a small electrical explosion in a maintenance shed caused minor damage but no injuries, airport and fire department officials said.

The explosion around 8:40 a.m. EDT caused a power outage in Concourse D, which was evacuated, but no fire or smoke was reported at the nation’s busiest airport, said Atlanta Fire Rescue Department spokeswoman Janet Ward.

Airport officials said the cause of the explosion was being investigated.

Despite the commotion, the flight-tracking website FlightAware reported no arrival or departure delays at the Atlanta airport by late morning.

In a separate incident on Tuesday, authorities reported a bomb threat at a building near the Georgia State Capitol in downtown Atlanta, said Tracey Watson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety.

Two state buildings including one housing the Supreme Court of Georgia were evacuated due to the threat, and both have since been declared safe with people allowed back in, Watson said.

(Reporting by David Beasley and Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Maureen Bavdek)


Cops unleash armored ‘beast’ for patrols

Maneuver prompted by heightened violent crime


www.wnd.com – By Michael Thompson

Police in one Atlanta community are taking extraordinary measures to deal with heightened rates of violent crime – the unleashing of armored vehicles capable of withstanding bullets fired from AK-47s.

 Originally reported by WSB Atlanta, police are using an armored vehicle normally used by SWAT teams to battle a series of burglaries and home invasions in a south Fulton County neighborhood.

Fulton County police Capt. Wade Yates said the vehicle could help in a foot chase.

Last week, a woman was shot multiple times during a break-in in the area. Police say the burglars fled in a stolen car and were able to escape when they jumped out and ran into some woods.

But the new unit is equipped with thermal imaging for such a time as that, officials said.

Police also said the armored car is meant to reassure residents. Officers are also putting in longer hours and more patrol shifts to increase police presence in the area, the report said.

MSNBC reported that police departments across the nation are acquiring the Ballistic Engineered Armored Response (BEAR) vehicle. With a price-tag between $190,000 and $300,000, the BEAR doesn’t come cheap:

The BearCat G3 claims the vast majority of armored personnel carrier sales to SWAT teams in the United States. Fashioned from a Ford F-550 commercial truck chassis, Massachusetts-based Lenco builds about 200 such vehicles in year, in grades from “VIP SUV” to combat-ready with gun turrets. The massive roller is actually a smaller version of the BEAR, or Ballistic Engineered Armored Response vehicle, which Lenco builds for armies and law enforcement agencies around the world, the company confirms.

“The Lenco BearCat … can easily qualify as a necessary tool under several different grant programs, from disaster response to crime fighting,” it said.

The BearCat G3 offers 7.62 AP/.50 caliber BMG Protection, with V-Hull Design and Blast Seats available as an upgrade.

For 2012, FBI data on violent crime showed that Atlanta is the eighth-most dangerous city in America.

The area where the BearCat G3 is being deployed is roughly 81 percent black.

WSBTV also reported that Fulton County resident John Hunter thought the move overkill.

“It’s a bit much. It’s not Afghanistan,” Hunter told the station.

Not all details about the vehicle are being released, police said, for security reasons.