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Forsyth commission looks at proposed law over animal abuse

A local county took the first step to a new ordinance that will protect pets.

It comes after a groomer was arrested for killing two dogs.

Michelle Root is accused of killing a customer’s dog earlier this month, and is now facing additional charges of aggravated cruelty to animals.

“I think we proved a point we won’t tolerate any abuse in Forsyth County,” said resident Lisa Bowman.

Bowman and other residents banded together during a meeting with the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, who agreed to consider legislation that would protect animals.

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“Obviously, she doesn’t need to be around animals, we won’t stand for it,” Bowman said.

Root was arrested again Wednesday on felony charges stemming from a separate incident last March that resulted in a dog being euthanized due to “a ruptured spleen and eye trauma.”

"To have a piece of your heart torn out, It’s tough,” said Eric Francis.

Francis is a friend of the owner of the other dog Root is accused of killing. He said he picked Meko up on October 7, and says Root told him Meko had a seizure; but police say she beat and abused the dog.

"This is a law that needs to be in the books,” Francis said.

Now upset residents want a law in place what would prevent anyone convicted of animal abuse to be able to run a grooming business or even own an animal.

We reached out to Root’s attorney and he released this statement saying:   

“We deny any guilt or criminal intent. She’s not guilty.”

But Francis isn’t buying it and says, that’s why everyone here is fighting for the new law:

"I don’t think Meko died in vain," he said.

Outside of the grooming facility where Cumming PD say Meko was killed — is a small cross/memorial in his honor. The story @ 11 @wsbtv. pic.twitter.com/jeDEKTQ7oU — Nefertiti Jáquez (@NefertitiWSB) October 20, 2017

Netherworld brings out clowns for final year in Norcross

The nation's top-ranked haunted house brought out the clowns to celebrate its final year in Norcross.

PHOTOS: Behind the scenes, in the makeup room at Netherworld

Hauntworld.com recently named Netherworld Haunted House as the best and scariest haunted house in America. Netherworld consistently ranks at or near the top of most industry lists.

This is the final year for the attraction at its Norcross home. Next year, it moves about 10 miles down the road to Stone Mountain.

Naturally, the haunt's creators decided to leave Norcross in a hail of sinister laughs. Mr. Grendel's Funhouse of Horrors, one of two haunts at Netherworld, features hundreds of clowns. The attraction is 3D, too. It's the first time Netherworld has done a 3D haunt in nearly a decade.

"It is a clown-fueled nightmare," co-creator Ben Armstrong told wsbtv.com's Nelson Hicks. "Not only are there clowns everywhere, it's in 3D. You put on the crazy 3D glasses. You see bizarre effects. It throws you off and then the clowns are there. They're waiting for you."

Thrill-seekers experience demented clowns, bizarre monsters and weird creatures from other worlds in the funhouse. They can go backstage of the attraction where they will find Mr. Grendel butchering and eating his less-fortunate victims in a gory feast of horrors. Survivors will travel to the strange world that Mr. Grendel and his pals come from, a twisted, mind-melting dimension swimming with surreal nightmares. 

Don’t miss the wild special effects and freaky creatures, including The Carnivorous Clowns, The Bone Crusher, The War of the Monsters, The Glow Maze, The Terror Tilt and The Colossal Netherworld Devourer.

RELATED: 5 simple tips from Netherworld's creator to turn your home into a haunted house

"My heart is beating (fast), I can't breath," Cyndi Perryman said after going through the haunt.

Netherworld's other haunt is called Primal Scream. 

"It's a war of nature against the Netherworld," Armstrong said. "So they are huge battles between the classic Netherworld monsters and they're up against nature."

The Primordial Guardians have awakened to rip the evils of Earth with tooth, claw, thorn, stone and bone. The green kingdoms have raised the dead with parasitic fungi and have sent huge tree monsters into battle.  Savage beast clans infect living humans, transforming them into animal hybrids, as elementals of stone and bone smash anything in their way. United in battle, the Earth howls a "primal scream" to crush both humankind and the Netherworld once and for all.   “It’s a satisfying feeling to know you’ve been nationally recognized for doing something that you are passionate about and bittersweet since it is the final season at our Norcross home,” said Billy Messina, Netherworld co-creator. “For the last 20 years at this location, we have looked to entertain people by creating a unique and terrifying world and inviting our guests to experience it. Scaring is paramount, but evoking a fun environment that will create deep memories is even more important.”   New features inside Netherworld this year include a sunken ship, a giant fly trap and a bizarre attic scene filled with bird people.

Netherworld is open every night through Halloween and the weekend after it.

Police: Mother led authorities on a high speed chase with her kids in tow

Two children are safe after authorities say their mother led deputies on a high speed chase, with them in the backseat. 

Dashcam video shows Amber Martin, 30, hitting speeds of more than 100 miles an hour as she sped away from deputy David Wood.

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Wood noticed the car starting to go the wrong way on Beaver Ruin Road. Police stopped other traffic and ended the chase near Pleasantdale Road.

The car smashed against the railing into a Gwinnett police cruiser.

When police got the driver on the ground at gunpoint, they realized she had passengers -- a 5-year-old and an 8-year-old.

Authorities say the children were not in car seats during the chase.

One deputy carried one of the children away. A few seconds later, his older sister crawled out through the broken glass of the back window and appeared to ask for her mom.

Neither of the children nor her mother were injured.

At one point in the video the mother claims she was trying to stop but says traffic was too heavy on I-85. At another point she said her car was acting up. 

Only Channel 2's Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Tony Thomas was in court Thursday morning as Martin faced 14 charges including driving under the influence of drugs and not having her children in restraints.

 

Residents demand action at dangerous intersection: ‘Enough is enough'

Residents living at the line between Cobb and Paulding counties say a dangerous intersection has turned deadly, and they want something done about it. 

Phyllis Davis told Channel 2’s Berndt Petersen that the last few days have been really hard.

"I'm dealing with this the best I can. I know they're not my kids. But I do have a 23-year-old daughter. I have a 28-year-old daughter. I wouldn't want that to be one of my kids,” Davis said.

"This is how they ended up. All the way down here,” neighbor Nora Lewis said.

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She lives a few doors down, at the corner of Burnt Hickory Road and Brownsville Extension, the scene of three T-bone accidents.  

"Friday night, yesterday, and today.  And that's every month. There's two or three here every month,” Lewis said. 

One person died, and others were hurt. Residents say enough is enough. They want this two-way stop converted to a four-way, or perhaps a roundabout.  

Paulding County Transportation Director Scott Greene told Petersen that 6,000 vehicles come through the intersection every day.

He says the previous record for accidents at this corner was 10 in one year.

But on the heels of what happened in the last seven days, he has reached out to his counterpart in Cobb County to work on a joint solution.

"I'm glad to hear they're talking about it. The next thing I'd like to see that would encourage me and everybody here is if they do something about it. This has gone on too long,” Davis said. 

Paulding’s transportation chief says Friday night’s accident was the first-ever fatal accident at the corner, but residents insist there have been others.  

Channel 2 has asked for Georgia State Patrol for the records.

Residents demand action at dangerous intersection: ‘Enough is enough'

Residents living at the line between Cobb and Paulding counties say a dangerous intersection has turned deadly, and they want something done about it. 

Phyllis Davis told Channel 2’s Berndt Petersen that the last few days have been really hard.

"I'm dealing with this the best I can. I know they're not my kids. But I do have a 23-year-old daughter. I have a 28-year-old daughter. I wouldn't want that to be one of my kids,” Davis said.

"This is how they ended up. All the way down here,” neighbor Nora Lewis said.

TRENDING STORIES:

She lives a few doors down, at the corner of Burnt Hickory Road and Brownsville Extension, the scene of three T-bone accidents.  

"Friday night, yesterday, and today.  And that's every month. There's two or three here every month,” Lewis said. 

One person died, and others were hurt. Residents say enough is enough. They want this two-way stop converted to a four-way, or perhaps a roundabout.  

Paulding County Transportation Director Scott Greene told Petersen that 6,000 vehicles come through the intersection every day.

He says the previous record for accidents at this corner was 10 in one year.

But on the heels of what happened in the last seven days, he has reached out to his counterpart in Cobb County to work on a joint solution.

"I'm glad to hear they're talking about it. The next thing I'd like to see that would encourage me and everybody here is if they do something about it. This has gone on too long,” Davis said. 

Paulding’s transportation chief says Friday night’s accident was the first-ever fatal accident at the corner, but residents insist there have been others.  

Channel 2 has asked for Georgia State Patrol for the records.

Residents demand action at dangerous intersection: ‘Enough is enough'

Residents living at the line between Cobb and Paulding counties say a dangerous intersection has turned deadly, and they want something done about it. 

Phyllis Davis told Channel 2’s Berndt Petersen that the last few days have been really hard.

"I'm dealing with this the best I can. I know they're not my kids. But I do have a 23-year-old daughter. I have a 28-year-old daughter. I wouldn't want that to be one of my kids,” Davis said.

"This is how they ended up. All the way down here,” neighbor Nora Lewis said.

TRENDING STORIES:

She lives a few doors down, at the corner of Burnt Hickory Road and Brownsville Extension, the scene of three T-bone accidents.  

"Friday night, yesterday, and today.  And that's every month. There's two or three here every month,” Lewis said. 

One person died, and others were hurt. Residents say enough is enough. They want this two-way stop converted to a four-way, or perhaps a roundabout.  

Paulding County Transportation Director Scott Greene told Petersen that 6,000 vehicles come through the intersection every day.

He says the previous record for accidents at this corner was 10 in one year.

But on the heels of what happened in the last seven days, he has reached out to his counterpart in Cobb County to work on a joint solution.

"I'm glad to hear they're talking about it. The next thing I'd like to see that would encourage me and everybody here is if they do something about it. This has gone on too long,” Davis said. 

Paulding’s transportation chief says Friday night’s accident was the first-ever fatal accident at the corner, but residents insist there have been others.  

Channel 2 has asked for Georgia State Patrol for the records.

Students say KSU president has avoided them over cheerleader controversy

There were new protests Thursday over Kennesaw State University’s decision to keep its cheerleaders off the field during the national anthem.

Students are not happy at the decisions made regarding the cheerleaders and they voiced their displeasure by taking a knee during the president's installation ceremony.

Channel 2’s Tom Jones watched as the a group of KSU students kneeled during the national anthem, raised clenched fists and then walked out of the installation ceremony for the university's fourth president, Sam Olens.

The students told Jones that Olens has avoided them.

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“I just personally feel like our voices are being suppressed,” KSU student Jaquan Harper said. 

The students said Olens has not sincerely explained the school's decision to keep the school's cheerleaders from taking the field during the national anthem.

“We want to see exactly what you think of the cheerleaders taking a knee,” student Galina Fon said.

The cheerleaders took a knee during a football game last month in protest against police brutality and racial inequality.

Olens has said the athletic department made the decision to not have the cheerleaders on the field for the anthem. He said the circumstances could have been handled better.

After Thursday’s ceremony, students protested and held signs denouncing Olens at another celebration.

Jones tried to talk to Olens about the protesters, but was told he has released a statement and didn't want the festive celebration interrupted.

Meanwhile, one student got into a spirited debate with the protesters.

“You are unpatriotic. End of story,” Neil Wolen yelled at one the protesters. 

Wolen agreed the students have the right to protest, but not during the anthem.

“You put your hand on your heart and you stand for America, (which) loves you and you should love it back,” Wolens told the protester. 

The students told Wolen it’s hard to love your country when cops are shooting you.

Olens said he wants the campus to be a marketplace of ideas, encouraging free expression and open dialogue, and that's why he said he plans to meet with the students and cheerleaders.

Students say KSU president has avoided them over cheerleader controversy

There were new protests Thursday over Kennesaw State University’s decision to keep its cheerleaders off the field during the national anthem.

Students are not happy at the decisions made regarding the cheerleaders and they voiced their displeasure by taking a knee during the president's installation ceremony.

Channel 2’s Tom Jones watched as the a group of KSU students kneeled during the national anthem, raised clenched fists and then walked out of the installation ceremony for the university's fourth president, Sam Olens.

The students told Jones that Olens has avoided them.

TRENDING STORIES:

“I just personally feel like our voices are being suppressed,” KSU student Jaquan Harper said. 

The students said Olens has not sincerely explained the school's decision to keep the school's cheerleaders from taking the field during the national anthem.

“We want to see exactly what you think of the cheerleaders taking a knee,” student Galina Fon said.

The cheerleaders took a knee during a football game last month in protest against police brutality and racial inequality.

Olens has said the athletic department made the decision to not have the cheerleaders on the field for the anthem. He said the circumstances could have been handled better.

After Thursday’s ceremony, students protested and held signs denouncing Olens at another celebration.

Jones tried to talk to Olens about the protesters, but was told he has released a statement and didn't want the festive celebration interrupted.

Meanwhile, one student got into a spirited debate with the protesters.

“You are unpatriotic. End of story,” Neil Wolen yelled at one the protesters. 

Wolen agreed the students have the right to protest, but not during the anthem.

“You put your hand on your heart and you stand for America, (which) loves you and you should love it back,” Wolens told the protester. 

The students told Wolen it’s hard to love your country when cops are shooting you.

Olens said he wants the campus to be a marketplace of ideas, encouraging free expression and open dialogue, and that's why he said he plans to meet with the students and cheerleaders.

Despite tough weather conditions, farmers say pumpkins are bigger and better this year

From extreme drought to extreme temperatures, 2017 has been tough on some local farms. 

Meteorologist Katie Walls visited a pumpkin patch in northeast Georgia where despite tough planting conditions, the crop is bigger and better than last year.

Jaemor Farms ships thousands of pumpkins from New York to Miami and this year they’re not only shipping more pumpkins, they’re shipping bigger pumpkins.

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"Probably five, six, seven pounds larger. Stem’s a little bit better," said General Manager Drew Echols.

A significant improvement following last year's extreme drought when smaller pumpkins were the norm.

We took to the skies in News Drone 2 to show you acres of plump pumpkins, ready for picking in Hall County.

The season, however, didn’t start off on such a peachy note for Echols. Getting the seed in the ground was a challenge.

Heavy rain at the end of May and first of June meant muddy fields and a delay in planting part of the crop. Once the seeds were in the soil, there was a delicate balance between irrigation and rainfall. 

"It’s feast or famine. We’re up here pumping a lot of water and irrigating and down there we’re not having to then two weeks later the script flips," he explained.

Thirty percent of Jaemor Farm’s acreage is in Banks County, twelve miles away but that short distance meant a big difference with summertime pop up storms.

"Overall, I think the quality is much better this year, the size of the pumpkins are better, and the yields have been better," Echols said.

Visitor Kiisa Wiegand of Lawrenceville agrees. She brought her sister from Wisconsin to peruse this year’s selection.

"I think they are bigger and better than two years ago, and they look really nice," she said.

But bigger pumpkins doesn't necessarily mean big business. Visitors to the farm are down by about five percent. The owner tells me he’s not seeing as many Florida residents and thinks Hurricane Irma is to blame.

Police: Mother led authorities on a high speed chase with her kids in tow

Two children are safe after authorities say their mother led deputies on a high speed chase, with them in the backseat. 

Dashcam video shows Amber Martin, 30, hitting speeds of more than 100 miles an hour as she sped away from deputy David Wood.

TRENDING STORIES:

Wood noticed the car starting to go the wrong way on Beaver Ruin Road. Police stopped other traffic and ended the chase near Pleasantdale Road.

The car smashed against the railing into a Gwinnett police cruiser.

When police got the driver on the ground at gunpoint, they realized she had passengers -- a 5-year-old and an 8-year-old.

Authorities say the children were not in car seats during the chase.

One deputy carried one of the children away. A few seconds later, his older sister crawled out through the broken glass of the back window and appeared to ask for her mom.

Neither of the children nor her mother were injured.

At one point in the video the mother claims she was trying to stop but says traffic was too heavy on I-85. At another point she said her car was acting up. 

Only Channel 2's Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Tony Thomas was in court Thursday morning as Martin faced 14 charges including driving under the influence of drugs and not having her children in restraints.

 

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