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Jimmy Buffett fan attacked concert staff, security, authorities say

A 23-year-old Space Coast woman’s 125-mile trip to Palm Beach County to watch a Jimmy Buffett concert was cut short Tuesday night after she allegedly attacked employees and security staff at the Perfect Vodka Amphitheater, in West Palm Beach, Florida.

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Authorities say Shannon Springhorn of Melbourne was attending the show at the concert venue just east of the village when she caused a disturbance. She faces charges that include battery on a law-enforcement officer, simple battery, resisting with violence and trespassing after receiving a warning.

Springhorn remained at the Palm Beach County Jail early Thursday after Judge Dina Keever-Agrama set her bail at $13,000 during a hearing at the jail Wednesday.

A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputy and security staff responded shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday after Springhorn allegedly assaulted an employee at the concert venue, which is within the grounds of the South Florida Fair, according to an arrest report made public Wednesday.

As she was taken into custody, Springhorn tried to kick a sheriff’s deputy and fell, according to a sheriff’s arrest report. She also hit a deputy in the groin with her knee, the Sheriff’s Office said

The arrest report indicates that Springhorn appeared intoxicated and on some type of drug. According to the report, she became unconscious as a deputy forced her to the ground. She was treated by Palm Beach County Fire Rescue workers and taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

Deputies learned that Springhorn had been issued a trespass warning at the concert venue earlier in the evening, the report said.

Oprah Winfrey at Agnes Scott College commencement today

Oprah Winfrey delivered an impassioned commencement address at Agnes Scott College – one of the metro Atlanta locations where her HBO movie “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” filmed – Saturday morning. After a roaring welcome from the Class of 2017 she delighted graduates and their families with an address that combined humor, candor and inspiration. (Scroll to the bottom for a live-stream of the exercises).  

 

“You’re nothing if you’re not the truth,” Winfrey said. “I’ve made a living, I’ve made a life – I’ve made a fortune, really – all good! – from being true to myself. If I can leave you with any message today: The biggest reward is not financial benefits, though it’s really good, you can get a lot of great shoes! Those of you who have a lot of shoes know having a closet full of shoes doesn’t fill up your life. Living a life of substance can. Substance through your service.”

Agnes Scott president Elizabeth Kiss introduced the school’s much anticipated speaker after warm remarks to the new alumnae. 

 

“I cannot think of a more perfect commencement speaker, for Agnes Scott, for this class and for this moment in history than global media leader, philanthropist, producer and actress Oprah Winfrey. From a difficult and abusive childhood she has proven that with faith, strength and the courage of a lion, your dreams are not out of reach. 

 

“She is a trailblazer in so many ways,” Kiss continued. “In 2013 Oprah Winfrey was awarded a very well deserved Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. There’s really nothing she can’t do. Maybe, just maybe, she will run for president.”

While Winfrey didn’t speak of any political ambitions, she did note the gathering she hosted in the weeks following the 2016 election, bringing together a group of women who had supported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and those who voted for President Donald Trump. 

 

“Nobody wanted to come to breakfast. After two and a half women I had those women not only eating croissants but sitting around the table listening to each other’s struggles, hearing both sides and by the end they were holding hands and exchanging emails and phone numbers,” she said. “It’s possible. It can happen. I want you to work in your own way to change the world in respectful conversations with others.” 

 

“I want you to enter every situation aware of its context, open to hear the truth of others and most important, open to letting the process of changing the world change you,” she said. “That is the spirit of constructive engagement.” 

 

Winfrey spends a good bit of time in Atlanta. In addition to “Henrietta Lacks,” her OWN show “Greenleaf” films here, as did “Selma,” directed by her close friend and frequent artistic partner Ava DuVernay. Winfrey served as a producer for and played a role in “Selma.”

I-85 northbound lanes reopen in Atlanta

The Georgia Department of Transportation has reopened the northbound lanes of I-85 in Atlanta.

The lanes opened about 7 p.m. Friday after workers finished the last preparations for opening those lanes. The southbound lanes are expected to open by Sunday.

The opening comes six weeks after I-85 burst into flames and collapsed near Piedmont Road. A homeless man, Basil Eleby, has been charged with setting the blaze. On Friday he asked the district attorney to drop the charges against him.

Since the March 30 collapse, I-85 has been closed in both directions from I-75 to Ga. 400. Contractor C.W. Matthews has worked around the clock since the collapse to rebuild the bridge – with a $3.1 million incentive for getting it done before the original June 15 completion date.

Meanwhile, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed lifted a ban on construction in the I-85 area.

Hosea Helps may be forced to shut down

ATLANTA - The nonprofit organization Hosea Helps, formerly known as Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless, has been helping families in need for 45 years, but it may soon have to shut its doors.

The organization has been housed in a warehouse in southwest Atlanta for nearly three decades.

The building was sold to new owners, who sent a letter saying they are doubling the rent to $8,000 a month. 

“It hit me in my stomach like somebody had punched me,” Hosea Helps CEO Elisabeth Omilami said.

They can't afford the new rent, so the organization has until July 1 to find a solution. 

“I never thought it would happen to us,” Omilami said.

The group helps serve thousands of people every year on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Easter. They also pack boxes filled with food, baby formula and toiletries, which they hand out to hundreds of people each week.

© 2017 Cox Media Group.

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It’s back! Marietta’s ‘Big Chicken’ KFC restaurant re-“hatches” Thursday morning

It's been more than three and a half months at a cost of more than $2.5 million - now, massive renovations are complete at the iconic KFC restaurant along Cobb Parkway. A grand re-open ribbon cutting is set for Thursday at 10 a.m. 

"We built the first-ever Big Chicken mascot which will be out front greeting people and there to take photos with people. There'll be a Colonel Harland Sanders impersonator there which is always fun," says Mike Kulp, CEO of KBP Investments, which owns the Big Chicken and 60 other KFC stores in metro Atlanta.  

Kulp says it's been a long but satisfying process to get here, since the location was closed in late January for renovations.  

"There wasn't an area that wasn't touched with the exception of the structure around the Chicken itself which actually was pretty major-ly overhauled from just a cosmetic perspective," says Kulp.  

The Big Chicken's full makeover included a fresh paint job to mechanical upgrades. And now it has its own 16-foot, weathered-wood sign to welcome customers, sitting alongside the road.  

But it's the store structure itself - outside and inside - that's now completely different.

"We ripped it down to the cinder block through most of the lobby," says Kulp. “In the kitchen, we completely gutted the entire kitchen. All the way down to mechanical and electrical and re-did a lot of that.

“All new equipment in the back of the house...brought in a lot of cutting-edge equipment from all around the world that's being tested in a lot of the KFC's in Europe and other parts of the world using some unique and proprietary equipment."  

One of those items is a new craft soda station which another company official says is the first of its kind to be installed in any fast-food establishment.  

The store inside includes new light fixtures, custom-wood walls, floors and ceilings. There are replicas of KFC's Col. Sanders and the Big Chicken inside to welcome customers.  

At the counter, there's a see-through window to the kitchen, where Kulp says you'll be able to watch cooks in special Big Chicken embroidered jackets and hats. And for customers, an expanded merchandise section with collectible items, including many specific to this re-opening weekend. 

Kulp says Thursday's grand re-opening will bring city and company officials together to welcome an old friend back to the city.  

"It's a...pretty unique facility from front to back."

Video: Dinosaur named after 'Ghostbusters' creature found in Montana

Scientists just discovered a 75 million-year-old dinosaur that bears a spooky resemblance to a creature from the 1984 film "Ghostbusters." The new discovery found in Montana was named "Zuul" after the...

Lenox Square axes fireworks show for 4th of July celebration

After more than half a century of hosting its “Legendary Fourth of July” event, Lenox Square will change things up. 

In the past, the event has included a 15-minute fireworks show with about 4,000 shells exploding in the sky — but not this year.

The city and mall have “both grown and evolved,” according to a statement from the mall.

MORE: I-85 bridge collapse delays Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Atlanta MORE: Check out 9 new, relocating or ‘coming soon’ retailers at Lenox Square

“For this reason in 2017, Lenox Square has decided to update its 4th of July programming and will offer a new type of celebration for the Atlanta community and surrounding neighborhoods,” the statement said. “More information will be released in the near future as details are confirmed.”

A spokeswoman confirmed that the fireworks will no longer be taking place. 

UPDATE: Lenox Square announced Wednesday evening that it would be partnering with a competing production at Centennial Olympic Park. 

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VIDEO: July 4th, 2016 coverage

Swarms of cicadas sweeping through Georgia soon

Mother Nature is about to put on a show in Georgia. 

Huge broods of cicadas and their overpowering hums make their way to the state any day now. 

The big flying bugs are always here, but swarms of periodic cicadas hatch every 13 to 17 years, and this is the year. 

These insects, also called “17-year locusts,” are notorious for disappearing for several years reappearing in intervals, according to National Geographic. 

WSB Lawn and Garden expert says the 17-year brood, Brood VI, is expected to emerge north of the city, in places like Forsyth County and Cherokee County. 

“Everybody will notice them because they’re so loud and numerous on trees,” Reeves adds. 

“When the females lay eggs, they will cut a little slit in the limbs and twigs of small trees and lay their eggs in that slit and that will cause the end of the branch to die.” 

Insecticides will not work, so Reeves says to use netting to protect trees and shrubs. 

“Cicadas are big,” Reeves explains. “They’ll be an inch and a half to sometimes two inches long.” 

Despite their size, Reeves says the bugs do not “harm humans or pets or animals.” 

The AJC reports Brood VI probably will not be back until 2034, but Brood X is estimated to make its way to Georgia in 2021.

Atlanta stylist recalls uncanny Prince costume as death anniversary nears

As the first death anniversary of late music legend Prince nears, the Atlanta stylist who went viral after immaculately channeling his iconic style in a Halloween costume recalls her moment in the spotlight.

» RELATED: Prince death prompts reaction from Atlanta concert community, Fox Theatre

Last fall, Talaya Render was told she resembled the late legend and decided to embrace the distinct "Prince look" for Halloween, stunning everyone with her flawless interpretation.

The 25-year-old stylist pieced together her costume with items she already owned for her company's annual Halloween costume contest.

» RELATED: This is how The Fox Theatre will honor Prince a year after his death

She bought a curly wig, but left it behind when she realized she didn't even need it.

Though the Lithonia resident was already a fan of Prince's music and style, to get in character, Render took to YouTube to study his auditions, concerts and interviews.

The one thing that stood out to Render after studying Prince was his overpowering confidence — something that made her fall even more in love with the fallen legend.

» RELATED: Remembering Prince: 5 most memorable tributes

Today, people still walk into Like the River Salon, where Render is a stylist, and remember her famous costume.

“I had a customer last year who kept looking at me like I really was him,” Render said.

Some Prince fans even thanked her on social media, saying she brought him back to life with her costume.

Take a look for yourself:

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