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Controversial heart transplant recipient killed in police chase

Controversial heart transplant recipient killed in police chase

ROSWELL, Ga. -- A source close to the family confirms the 17-year-old killed in a high speed police chase was the recipient of a heart transplant in 2013.

Anthony Stokes made national headlines when Children's Healthcare of Atlanta originally refused to put him on the transplant list "due to having a history of non-compliance." After a public push from his family, Stokes was added to the list, and went through a successful heart surgery in August 2013.

Police say Stokes died after crashing a vehicle while fleeing from police in Roswell on Tuesday.

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T.MAC raises money for Christopher Sparkman

T.MAC raises money for Christopher Sparkman

(WXIA) -- All 22 Atlanta-area T.MAC restaurants will raise money for Christopher Sparkman this week.

Sparkman was working as a security guard at a Kennesaw FedEx facility last April when he was shot in the abdomen. Since the shooting, Sparkman has undergone more than 30 surgeries. His wife Jamie Lynn quit her job to help take care of him.

Read more about Chris Sparkman's recovery

The Sparkman family faces enormous medical bills; Jamie Lynn has spoken publicly about the need for financial assistance.

T.MAC customers who want to help Sparkman pay for his treatment can do so on Thursday, Apr. 2. Diners can drop their receipts in designated collection boxes; 10 percent of their bills will be donated to the Sparkman family.

Piedmont Heart Institute partners with Cleveland Clinic

Piedmont Heart Institute partners with Cleveland Clinic

ATLANTA -- Piedmont Heart Institute has formed an alliance with the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute at the renowned Cleveland Clinic.

The partnership will allow both organizations to raise their standards of cardiovascular care by sharing clinical policies, treatment protocols and research opportunities, according to a Piedmont Healthcare spokesperson.

"Teamwork is the next phase of American medicine. We're finding new ways to combine our strengths for better patient care," Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute chairman Dr. Lars Svensson said in a release. "This alliance will allow us to accelerate advancements in cardiac care."

Piedmont Heart operates 26 clinics across metro Atlanta. Visit piedmont.org for more information.

Elizabeth Way to become two-way street

Elizabeth Way to become two-way street

ROSWELL, Ga. -- Elizabeth Way in historic Roswell will soon become a two-way street.

Roswell Department of Transportation crews will convert the road on Wednesday, Apr. 1 and Thursday, Apr. 2, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Elizabeth Way will remain open during construction, as will the parking spaces on the storefront side of the street. The nine parking spaces facing Heart of Roswell Park will be blocked.

Drivers will be able to turn right onto Alpharetta Street from Elizabeth Way, but left turns will be prohibited until construction is complete.

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Fulton County Police Chief to retire after 35 years of service

Fulton County Police Chief to retire after 35 years of service

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Fulton County Police Chief Cassandra Jones has announced her retirement effective April 7, 2015. 

“Chief Jones will be greatly missed. Her work was a key part of our crime prevention efforts in this county,” says Chairman John H. Eaves.  “Due to her emphasis on community oriented policing, burglaries in our unincorporated area decreased by more than 22 percent during her tenure.”

Chief Jones has served with the Fulton County Police Department since December 17, 1979. She has served as Police Chief since October 9, 2007.  She is the only female to serve as Fulton County Police Chief.

“We thank Chief Jones for her 35 years of service to the citizens of Fulton County, and extend best wishes to her on her retirement,” said County Manager Dick Anderson.

Assistant Police Chief Gary D. Stiles will serve as Interim Chief until a permanent replacement is named.

Police: Roswell father drove drunk with kids in car


ROSWELL, Ga. – Police say a Roswell father was arrested after driving drunk through a fence with two young children in the vehicle.

According to Officer Lisa Holland of the Roswell Police Department, officers responded to a single-vehicle accident at Houze Way and Windsor Trail just after 6 p.m. on March 20. The vehicle hit a wooden fence and crashed into a fire hydrant. Two children, aged 6 and 7, were in the car, police said.

The officers said the driver, identified as Joel Kurtz, were intoxicated and placed under arrest.

Kurtz is charged with DUI, two counts of endangering a child and failure to maintain lane.


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.

Fulton County's unemployment rate was 6.5 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.