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What is the ‘mother of all bombs,' and what does it do?

The U.S. on Thursday dropped the most powerful conventional bomb in its arsenal on Nangarhar, Afghanistan. 

The bomb, known in military ranks as “MOAB,” or the “mother of all bombs,” was used Thursday for the first time in combat, though it was developed in the early 2000s.

U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, ordered the bomb dropped, according to reports. The target was believed to be ISIS tunnels and personnel in the Achin district of Nangarhar.

"This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K," he added, using the U.S. military's acronym for the IS affiliate.

According to The Associated Press, the U.S. military headquarters in Kabul said in a statement that the bomb was dropped at 7:32 p.m. local time Thursday.

Here’s what we know about the MOAB.

What is its name?

The bomb’s technical name is GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb. It became known in military circles as the “mother of all bombs” because of its size and power.

Who makes the bomb?

It was designed by the Air Force Research Laboratory and is manufactured by McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in Oklahoma.

How big is it?

The MOAB is 30 feet long and has a 40.5-inch diameter. The bomb weighs 21,715 pounds. The warhead weighs 18,739 pounds.

How is it dropped?

It is delivered by a C-130 Hercules military transport plane. It’s basically pushed out of the back of the massive plane. It is attached to a parachute.

What kind of blast does it produce?

The “blast yield” of MOAB equals 11 tons. It has a blast radius of 1 mile, meaning that it demolishes everything within 1 square mile.

When was it developed?

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast was developed in 2003. The bomb was developed in only nine weeks to be available for use in the Iraqi War. 

It has been tested only twice, both times at Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle.

How many are in existence?

According to the Air Force, 15 units were made at the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant. One of those was moved to the Persian Gulf in 2003.

When have they been used in combat?

The first and only time that one has been used in combat was on Thursday in Afghanistan. 

Does it penetrate the ground to blow up tunnels?

No. It is an “air-blast” bomb, meaning that the bomb explodes in the air and the blast from the weapon does the damage.

Is the U.S. the only country with the MOAB?

Yes. There have been reports that Russia developed a “father of all bombs” after news of the MOAB broke. It is said to be four times more powerful than the MOAB.

 

Glenn Jacobs, WWE star 'Kane,' officially announces his bid for mayor

When Glenn Jacobs' treasurer filed the necessary paperwork for a potential political campaign last month, it became national news that the World Wrestling Entertainment star known as “Kane” might run for mayor of Knox County, Tennessee.

>> Read more trending news

On Tuesday, Jacobs made it official. Speaking to a crowd at Sweet P’s Barbecue and Soul House, the pro wrestler announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for mayor.

>> RELATED: Libertarian Republican Eric Brakey, “Maine’s 28-year-old political wunderkind” announces U.S. Senate run

“As Knox County mayor I promise to keep taxes low and make Knox County a place everyone can be proud of,” Jacobs promised. “I see my role as that of a facilitator among the different communities in our area. And also I think that Mayor (Tim) Burchett has done a very good job with transparency in government and I would continue along those lines.”

The 2018 election for Knox County mayor will be for an open seat to replace Burchett.

Jacobs focused on the themes of jobs, education and smaller government, repeating a version of Ronald Reagan’s conservative mantra that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

Glenn Jacobs announcing his bid for mayor

The WWE star told Rare on Tuesday that his belief in free markets and individual liberty were part of what interested him in becoming involved in politics, and he saw his Republican brand as being similar to that of libertarians like Sen. Rand Paul, Reps. Justin Amash and Thomas Massie, and also his own congressman, Rep. Jimmy Duncan.

Jacobs has lived in Knox County for over two decades, roughly the same amount of time his “Kane” character has endured as one of the top stars in the pro wrestling industry.

“For the past 22 years I’ve had the pleasure of living here in East Tennessee,” Jacobs said Tuesday. “Because my career with the WWE has taken me all around the world on a weekly basis, me family and I could live pretty much anywhere in the U.S.”

“We live here because we want to,” Jacobs said to applause. “We live here because we love it here.”

Jacobs and his wife Crystal own an insurance agency in the Knoxville area.

>> RELATED: WWE superstar puts libertarian charity first in dancing appearance back home

At least two other challengers for mayor are expected to run, including County Commissioner Bob Thomas, who has already announced, and Knox County Sheriff Jimmy Jones.

Though Jacobs wrestled under other monikers prior for a number of years, his “Kane” character was introduced to WWE fans in 1997.

Disclosure: Glenn Jacobs is a Rare contributor.

Census: Metro Atlanta’s population approaches 5.8 million

Thousands of people are moving to metro Atlanta from around the country, increasing the region’s population to nearly 5.8 million, according to the U.S. Census.

Metro Atlanta gained the fourth-most residents in the nation last year, with 90,650 additional people making the area their home.

The Atlanta area is the ninth-largest metropolitan statistical area in the country. The region grew by 1.6 percent from 2015 to 2016, boosting its population to 5,789,700.

Many people came to Atlanta for jobs, especially in its suburbs. The sharpest population increases were in Forsyth, Cherokee and Paulding counties.

The region added 77,000 jobs last year, the third-highest total among the nation’s 12 largest metro areas last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Atlanta Regional Commission. The 29-county Atlanta area trailed only Dallas and Phoenix.

Overall, the Dallas-Fort Worth area saw the nation’s biggest population increase, adding 143,435 residents, according to the Census.

CountyPop. 2015Pop. 2016Fulton1,010,5621,023,336Gwinnett895,823907,135Cobb741,334748,150DeKalb734,871740,321Clayton273,955279,462Cherokee235,900241,689Henry217,739221,768Forsyth212,438221,009Paulding152,238155,825Douglas140,733142,224Fayette110,714111,627

Video: Top reasons people are moving to Atlanta

Police: Woman shot, killed on Peachtree Street

Police confirm a woman has been shot and killed on a busy Midtown Atlanta street.  We're working on learning more information for Channel 2 Action News at Noon NewsChopper 2 was over the very active scene. 

TRENDING STORIES:

BRIDGE COLLAPSE: Crews work to reopen Piedmont Road 

Strong to severe storms expected Monday 

Atlanta radio host, Rhubarb Jones, dead at 65

8th and 10th streets were blocked off at Peachtree Street.  Witnesses said the woman was shot many times.  Channel 2 Action News first told you about the shooting on the WSB-TV news app. 

For updates go to WSBTV.com

Alternate Routes to Get You Around I-85 Bridge Collapse

This week, Atlanta commuters are having to adjust to life without a stretch of I-85. On the evening of March 30th, I-85 northbound collapsed just north of Piedmont Rd. after a spectacular fire. The effects will be felt for months, as I-85 north and southbound remain closed between the Buford Spring Connector and Ga-400. Crews are working around-the-clock to have I-85 rebuilt by the end of May. Triple Team Traffic is keeping up with roads/interchanges that are currently OPEN around the construction: 

[TRAFFIC:  Real-time traffic information to help you get around the collapse ]

  • I-75/sb ramp to I-85/nb (Brookwood), but I-85/nb must exit Buford Spring
  • I-75/85/nb ramp to I-85/nb (Brookwood split), but again, I-85/nb must exit Buford Spring
  • I-85/sb ramp to Buford Spring/sb (exit 86), one lane open for local traffic only. Sidney Marcus Blvd. access to Buford Spring/sb will remain closed.
  • Buford Spring/nb is open from Midtown. 
  • Ga-400/sb ramps to Sidney Marcus Blvd. and to I-85/nb. 
  • Piedmont Road is open in both directions except for one northbound lane.

[PHOTOS: Massive fire causes I-85 bridge to collapse]

Expect many surface streets around the area to be highly congested. A few alternates through the Brookhaven and N. Druid Hills areas are Peachtree Road, Briarcliff Road, LaVista Road, & N. Druid Hills Road. Highway 78 is also a good alternate to I-85. 

If you prefer to stick with interstates, take I-85/sb from Gwinnett County to I-285 south or east at Spaghetti Junction. Stay with that, and use I-20/wb into Downtown Atlanta. I-285 westbound (the Outer Loop) is good across to north side to get to Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. 

Triple Team Traffic will deliver alternate routes all day long, live on WSB Radio, as traffic conditions change. Please tune to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB.

Warrant: I-85 bridge fire suspect spoke of smoking crack before blaze

The man accused of setting the fire that destroyed part of I-85 talked with companions about smoking crack cocaine before the blaze started, according to a document released Saturday.

The fire collapsed a well-traveled stretch of I-85 — triggering millions of dollars in damage and wreaking havoc on traffic, potentially for months, as the state rebuilds the wrecked section.

Basil Eleby, 39, was charged on Saturday with first-degree arson in connection with the fire. Wearing a navy jumpsuit, flip-flops and handcuffs, Eleby reluctantly shuffled into a courtroom at the Fulton County jail for his first appearance hearing Saturday morning. 

Judge James Altman announced the arson charge, which was added on top of an earlier felony charge of criminal damage to property, and set bond at $200,000. The judge said he had considered an amount more “commensurate” with the damage inflicted. 

“But in this case,” the judge said, “that would amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.” 

MORE: Mystery surrounds construction materials under I-85 bridge » Feds greenlight $10 million for emergency I-85 bridge collapse work » What Google Street View reveals underneath of I-85 » Map: Where the I-85 collapse happened, road closures and detour routes

Eleby shook his head vigorously when Altman mentioned the possibility of pleading guilty at a future court proceeding. But the suspect said nothing during the brief hearing. 

His public defender had asked the court to let Eleby skip the hearing, but the court refused. The attorney held a green folder up to try to hide Eleby’s face from the media.

Eleby and two others, Barry Thomas and Sophia Brauer, were charged Friday in connection with the fire. (Brauer earlier was identified by a different last name, but she was listed in the document released Saturday as “Brauer.” The discrepancy could not be resolved on Saturday.) 

Thomas and Brauer were charged with criminal trespass. Eleby, who has been arrested 19 times since 1995, mostly on drug offenses, according to jail records, is facing far more serious charges. 

According to an affidavit by a fire department lieutenant, the suspect admitted to frequenting the area where the fire was set and acknowledged being there on Thursday afternoon at about the time the fire started.

Eleby told investigators from the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that he’d met Thomas and Brauer there at about 4 p.m. and they “discussed smoking crack cocaine together.” 

But Eleby ultimately decided “he would consume the drugs by himself” and “left the area before the fire started,” according to the affidavit, which was prepared in support of Eleby’s arrest warrant. 

Thomas told a different story. 

“Mr. Thomas watched Basil Eleby place a chair on top of a shopping cart, reach under the shopping cart and ignite it,” said the affidavit, which was released on Saturday.

Thomas told authorities he and Brauer then fled in the opposite direction of Eleby, it said. 

As Eleby appeared in court Saturday morning, Georgia Department of Transportation crews continued their around-the-clock work to deal with the damage that Eleby is accused of causing. 

Six sections and about 700 feet of roadway on I-85 — 350 feet in each direction of travel — are being removed and replaced, including support columns. The northbound section collapsed during the fire, but the southbound lanes also were compromised, authorities said. Demolition work has begun on those lanes as well. 

An exact timeline for the interstate to be completely restored is unclear, but the work is expected to take months. 

There was a bit of good news Saturday. After the collapse, people traveling northbound on the Downtown Connector were funneled onto I-75 North, with no option to take I-85 North at the split.

About 10 a.m. Saturday, however, transportation officials began allowing northbound traffic on the Connector to proceed north in two lanes of I-85 to the next exit: the Buford-Spring Connector, Exit 86 (Ga. 13). 

GDOT officials encouraged drivers to “still plan to utilize I-285 as the most efficient route of travel” through town. But drivers could choose to use the Buford-Spring Connector to bypass the interstate collapse and then return to I-85 North once past the damaged section.

Why exactly is Trump hosting China president at Mar-a-Lago?

White House spokesman Sean Spicer wouldn’t say why President Donald Trump was hosting China President Xi Jinping at his Palm Beach, Florida, compound Mar-a-lago during a news briefing Thursday afternoon.

When asked specifically why the administration had picked the property for the April 6-7 summit, Spicer demurred. He simply said the location was just one of a host of issues agreed to by Trump administration officials and their People’s Republic counterparts, without offering details.

>> Read more trending news

Spicer said the location, as well as the length of the visit and the timing, were just three issues of numerous items that were the subject of “several weeks” of discussion between the two governments.

RELATED: Trump, China and Twitter: 9 tweets that likely irked PRC leaders

“This is what we arrived at,” Spicer said, referring to the two-day summit.

Spicer said the agenda will include a range of topics mostly focused on trade and security.

RELATED: How Chinese media are spinning Trump-Xi Palm Beach superpower summit

“We have big problems to address on everything from the South China Sea to trade to North Korea,” Spicer added.

Spicer was not asked why the Chinese president Xi Jinping chose to stay at Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa in Manalapan.

Wal-Mart in Roswell to close; 68 employees to be impacted

Some folks in Roswell must drive a little further if they want to keep shopping at Wal-Mart.

The Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market on 4651 Woodstock Road NE — in the Sandy Plains Village Shopping Center — will close its doors Friday, April 7. An estimated 68 employees are expected to be impacted, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Philip Keene, Wal-Mart’s director of communications for the southeast, said he doesn’t anticipate Wal-Mart losing those employees.

“We have several other locations around that area and feel confident about being able to place associates in those other stores,” Keene said. “We feel pretty good about retaining those employees.”

There are three Wal-Mart SuperCenters within seven miles of the one closing.

MORE ROSWELL: Five things to know about the Roswell beer festival

Keene said the final payment date for someone working in the Roswell store who did not want to transfer is May 28. Severance packages will be offered to employees who do not transfer, Keene said.

On March 3, Wal-Mart closed a store in Marietta. Wal-Mart closed seven Georgia stores in early 2016.

When asked if any other Georgia Wal-Mart stores will close soon Keene said, “not at this time and not to my knowledge."

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Police: Grandmother dropped child off at wrong daycare

Police investigators said a child who was dropped of at an Atlanta daycare Monday morning, was dropped off there by mistake.

Investigators said the boy's grandmother took him to Globe's Daycare on Myrtle Street, which is not his normal daycare.

TRENDING STORIES:

Many questions remain as loved ones honor mother found dead Family: Someone put poison on child's slide Authorities hunting for former teacher accused of kidnapping 15-year-old student

The boy told workers that his name is Cameron and he is possibly 3 years old.

DFACS took custody of the child, and police are now searching for the boy's parent or guardian.

Children find Spirit Airlines pilot, wife dead in apparent overdose

Four children found their parents – including their airline pilot father – dead Thursday in their Centerville, Ohio, home in what investigators said appears to be the latest incident in a scourge of drug deaths plaguing Montgomery County and Ohio.

>> Read more trending news 

The husband, Brian Halye, was an active pilot for Spirit Airlines, flying for them nine years, and captaining a passenger jet as recently as last Friday.

He and his wife, Courtney Halye, were found in a bedroom of their home on East Von Dette Circle, a suburban cul-de-sac.

RELATED: Centerville pilot, wife deaths may be fentanyl-related

The deaths appear “drug related due to paraphernalia found at the scene,” Centerville Police Officer John Davis said. Ken Betz, director of the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, said the incident resembles other opioid cases and “could be consistent with what we’re seeing with fentanyl products in our community.”

“We’ve been talking about this for how long now?” Betz said by phone. “Here I go again … year-to-date, accidental drug overdoses exceeded 160 already this year.”

Official causes of death for the couple have not been released, as a full medical exam will be performed today.

‘They were very cold’

The couple each had two children from previous marriages. In two 911 calls to Centerville police shortly before 8 a.m., the children ages 9 to 13 told dispatchers their parents are on the floor and “not waking up.”

“They were very cold,” said the oldest child, politely answering “yes, ma’am” to the dispatcher as his sisters cried in the background.

The children ran outside the home to relatives as police conducted an investigation. By 10:30, police and emergency response vehicles cleared the usually tranquil neighborhood.

The Halyes purchased their home in summer 2013. The neighborhood, Pellbrook Farm, is just southwest of the Ohio 725-Wilmington Pike intersection. The quiet suburban cul-de-sac features homes valued around $150,000 to $225,000.

Warren County Court records show Brian Halye was divorced in 2011 in a shared parenting case. Courtney Halye was convicted of a felony drug possession charge in 2009, but the case was expunged. Her previous husband Jacob Castor, the father of two of the children, died in 2007 at age 27.

Neighbors were stunned by Thursday’s news.

“There’s never much activity going on over there,” said a neighbor, who declined to be named. Added another neighbor, “That’s what surprises us, because he was an airline pilot, and he flew for Spirit.”

Pilot flew last week

Halye last flew for Spirit on Friday, according to the “ultra low fares” carrier. The pilot’s social media accounts indicate he was based at its Detroit operations center. The airline does not provide service to Dayton International Airport.

“Captain Halye served at the airline for just over nine years,” Paul Berry, the company’s spokesman, said in a statement expressing the company’s sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues.

The Dayton Daily News asked Spirit Airlines officials to provide more details about Halye’s last-flown routes and upcoming flights, as well as the dates and results of any drug screenings. Spirit declined to answer.

Federal regulations require employers to administer drug and alcohol testing in pre-employment, reasonable suspicion, random, post-accident, reasonable cause and follow-up situations, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said.

MORE: Spirit Airlines pilot suspected in OD flew 6 days ago

Pilots must hold valid medical certificates in order to fly. The Airline Transport Pilot certificate, which Halye held, requires a first-class medical certificate, which must be updated every 12 months for a pilot under the age of 40. Halye was 36.

The FAA database lists Halye’s medical certificate date as September, 2011, which would mean the certificate expired more than four years ago. Asked to double check, Cory said Halye’s certificate was up-to-date, with it due to expire this fall.

“I’m not sure why the online database does not have that information,” Cory said in an email to the Dayton Daily News. “The system could be in the process of update.”

Dr. Richard Garrison is among the doctors who conducts such tests locally. Garrison said that exam is roughly similar to an annual physical, and also includes vision testing and EKG heart tests for pilots over a certain age. But he said those exams do not include substance-abuse testing.

Drug issues everywhere

Multiple-death overdoses at a single site happened at least four times in Montgomery County in 2016 — including to Jamie Haddix and Darrell Morgan, who were found dead on Christmas Eve. The place where they died, a four-unit apartment building on Wiltshire Boulevard in Kettering, isn’t ground zero in the region’s opioid crisis because there is no ground zero.

“You always hear, ‘It can’t happen in my neighborhood,’ ” said Michael Link, who lives around the corner from the Halyes in Centerville. “But it does.”

Centerville ranked comparatively low on Montgomery County’s 2016 overdose list, with only five residents dying from drug causes, according to preliminary coroner’s data. That’s much lower than comparably sized Trotwood (17), Miamisburg (14) and Riverside (13). But nearly every community in the county had a spot on that list, which included 355 deaths.

Two of the children attended Centerville’s Tower Heights Middle School and two attended another district. Centerville schools Superintendent Tom Henderson said the district “continues to support friends of the students who were part of this family. Centerville had guidance counselors “on call and on deck as needed.”

Henderson said so many students know each other not only from school, but from sports and other cross-community activities that a tragedy like this can have a wider impact that people might think.

“These two students have come up through our district, so we try to be cognizant of that and get out to the other buildings they’ve attended,” Henderson said. “We’ll be ready (Friday) when students come in, and we’ll be ready when the students (in that family) come back to attend school again.”

Staff Writers Chris Stewart, Malik Perkins, Katie Wedell and Hannah Poturalski contributed reporting.

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