Our network

Head of DeKalb Co. public safety watching Ferguson situation


DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- One of metro Atlanta's top law enforcement executives is giving advice to police around the country on how to handle any potential violence stemming from Ferguson, Missouri.

Back in August, Dr. Cedric Alexander, Head of Public Safety in Dekalb County, was one of the first people on the ground in Ferguson; his presence was requested by Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson following the shooting death of an unarmed teen by a police officer.

Dr. Alexander traveled to Ferguson as head of National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, brought in to help strengthen the department's relationships with its majority black community.

Weekend roadwork: I-285 and the south side

Weekend roadwork: I-285 and the south side

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Transportation will work on a number of infrastructure projects on Atlanta's highways this weekend.

Drivers are strongly encouraged to avoid Interstates 20 and 285 on the west side of the city, as well as I-75 south of the Perimeter, if possible.

As always, all work is weather permitting.

Scheduled projects include:

Bartow County
* 2 southbound lanes of I-75 will be closed between one mile south of Emerson-Allatoona Road and two miles north of Glade Road Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for bridge maintenance.

Clayton/Henry counties
* 2 northbound lanes of I-75 will be closed between Hudson Bridge Road/Eagles Landing Parkway and Mount Zion Boulevard from 9 p.m. Friday to 9 p.m. Sunday for concrete slab replacement.

Smash and grab thieves hit DeKalb sports store


DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- Four men are accused of committing a smash and grab burglary at a DeKalb County store overnight.

The thieves hit Hibbett Sports in the 3400 block of Memorial Drive, according to police.

Investigators said the suspects arrived at the store in two cars. They rammed one of the cars into the store's gate to gain access.

Police said all four men entered the store and grabbed jeans and T-shirts. They climbed into one of the cars and drove away, leaving the second car behind.

No arrests have been made.

Ex-FAMU band member convicted in hazing death


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A former Florida A&M band member accused of being the ringleader of a brutal hazing ritual known as "Crossing Bus C" that killed a drum major was convicted Friday of manslaughter and felony hazing.

Prosecutors said Dante Martin, 27, was known as "the president of Bus C" and organized the initiations that required fellow band members to try to make their way through a pounding gauntlet of fists, drumsticks and mallets from the front of the bus to the back in November 2011 after a football game. Two other band members went through the bus before Robert Champion, 26, of Decatur, Georgia. Martin was convicted of misdemeanor hazing counts in their beatings.

Champion's parents sat silently as the verdicts were read. Martin sat with his head down.

Martin's sentencing was set for Jan. 9 and he was taken into custody. Manslaughter is punishable by up to 15 years in prison in Florida.

Graduation rates: DeKalb County

Graduation rates: DeKalb County

(WXIA) -- Georgia's 2014 high school graduation rates were released Thursday.

This year's statewide average is 72.5 percent, up slightly from last year's 71.5 percent. It's also the third consecutive increase in the percentage of seniors who graduate from the state's public high schools.

MORE | Ga. graduation rates up this year

DeKalb County's 2014 graduation rate is 62.3 percent. At 100 percent, DeKalb Early College Academy in Stone Mountain and DeKalb School of the Arts in Avondale Estates tied for the county's highest graduation rate.

Other graduation rates in DeKalb County include:

Gospel star J Moss performs during V103's For Sisters Only

Gospel star J Moss performs during V103's For Sisters Only

ATLANTA -- V-103/WAOK hosted their 23rd annual For Sisters Only event at the Georgia World Congress Center. FSO is an indoor festival featuring celebrities, products, health, beauty, workshops and more. The event allows Atlanta to get up-close and personal with it's favorite radio stations and personalities. Attendees enjoyed the 411 Recharge Zone, Wellness Pavilion, V103 Kids Zone and Autograph Zone. This year the Seminar Stage featured Keisha Knight Pulliam, a Powerade Women and Wellness Panel, the Battle of the Sexes hosted by Michael Baisden, Chef G. Garvin interactive cooking show and Michael Baisden's play Men Cry in The Dark.

The Music Stage was rocking with performances from Isaac Carree, Lyfe Jennings, Jazmine Sullivan, Pastor Troy, Raheem The Dream, J Moss, Tasha Page-Lockhart and surprise performances from host LL Cool J, Keyshia Cole and Tamar Braxton.

Prosecutor: Former band member organized hazing


ORLANDO, Fla. -- A prosecutor says a former band member charged in the death of a Florida A&M University drum major was the chief organizer of a brutal hazing ritual that has been a secret tradition at the school for years.

During opening statements Tuesday in the manslaughter and hazing trial of 27-year-old Dante Martin, state attorney Jeff Ashton called the ritual that eventually killed Robert Champion in 2011 a "dark tradition" inside FAMU's band that Martin was in charge of the night Champion died.

But defense attorney Dino Michaels told jurors that band members would testify that the ritual was more akin to a competition and not actually hazing.

A jury of four women and two men were selected to hear the case, which is expected to last a week.