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Earthquake Survivor Gets A New Arm

 

ATLANTA -- A life-changing trip to Atlanta is coming to an end soon for an earthquake survivor from Haiti.

Guerline Charles will return next week with a new arm and a full heart.

"I will go with everyone here in my heart," Charles said through her friend and interpreter Rachel Isons, who is also from Haiti. "I will not forget them. I will not forget the amazing love." 

Charles arrived in Atlanta in May to heal from the devastating earthquake that rocked her homeland.

When it hit in January, she spent two days trapped in the rubble of a school building with her arm crushed by concrete. She was the only survivor in her classroom.

Doctors decided there was no way to save her arm without risking her life.

"The minute they told me they had to amputate, yes, I did grieve and cry," she said. "Then I decided I need to live."

Union Vote Begins for Delta Flight Attendants

ATLANTA -- Delta Air Lines flight attendants who are against unionizing held a rally on Wednesday, while those who support the idea held a news conference to call on Delta management to stay neutral.

The National Mediation Board will begin sending out voting instructions and pin numbers today.

The voting period will last through November 3. Once a ballot is cast online or over the phone, it cannot be changed.

This is the third time in eight years that flight attendants have voted on whether to unionize.

During the last time two years ago, 40 percent said "yes," well short of the 50 percent, plus one vote needed to pass.

But this time around, some of the rules and the dynamics have changed.

There are 20,000 Delta flight attendants who will have a chance to vote.

That number includes about 7000 from Northwest Airlines who were unionized before the merger with Delta.

Is Texting-While-Driving Ban Making an Impact?

ATLANTA -- Early data from Georgia, and the most recent national study, suggest texting bans aren't as effective as most wish they were.

The numbers show a very heated law off to a very slow start.

READ: Highway Loss Data Institute Findings

In Georgia, Governor Sonny Perdue signed a texting-while-driving ban into law earlier this year; it went into effect in July and started getting enforced in August.

"Since then, we have issued 30 citations," said Trooper 1st Class Carlos Searcy of the Georgia State Patrol.

That's less than one per day.

Pastors Weigh in on Eddie Long Scandal at Gospel Choice Awards

ATLANTA-- At the 16th Annual Gospel Choice Awards inside the Georgia World Congress Center an array of musical talent was on display as winners were announced in categories like Best Holy Hip-Hop, Best Praise and Worship and Gospel Song of the Year. 

The event also honored ten pastors from Metro Atlanta, but it's perhaps the religious leader who did not attend who garnered much of the attention --embattled Bishop Eddie Long.

The  high profile leader of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church is accused of coercion by four male members of his congregation.   The men, now in their 20s, have filed separate civil lawsuits.

Each plaintiff tells a similar story of Long approaching them in their early teens, indoctrinating them as spiritual sons and offering them money, cars and trips to exotic locations.
When all young men turned 17 or 18 they say their relationships with Bishop Long turned sexual.

Storms Pelt Atlanta, Create Major Problems, Power Outages

SMYRNA, Ga. -- What began as afternoon showers graduated into heavy severe storms by evening that did damage from one end of the metro area to the other.

A tree fell on Georgia Tech's campus near Techwood. According to reports, catching a power line and possibly damaging a gas line, forcing some student evacuations from nearby buildings.

In Alpharetta, lightning sparked two residential structure fires.  No one was hurt and fire crews were able to contain the fire quickly at a structure on Morning Park Circle. Fire was extinguished quickly at a home on Oakstone Glenn.

Hail pelted Cobb County, coming down in chunks in Smyrna.

In Dunwoody a massive pine fell on the garage of a home on Shadow Court.

Severe thunderstorm warnings lit up the radar into the 7 p.m. hour as heavy rain bands bringing thunder and lightning spread across the night sky. 

Georgia Execution Stayed Again

ATLANTA -- The Supreme Court of Georgia has granted a second stay of execution to a Georgia death row inmate convicted of killing a father and his two children after they caught him burglarizing their Jones County home.

Brandon Joseph Rhode was supposed to receive a lethal injection on Tuesday, Sept. 21, but he attempted suicide hours before he was set to be put to death. That prompted the Supreme Court to issue its first stay.

MARTA Bus and Train Services Changes Saturday Morning

ATLANTA -- MARTA bus riders will wake Saturday morning to find routes all over the city have been eliminated.

With his cane in his hand, Frank Reed spent Friday evening waiting for his last ride on MARTA bus route 57. He sat beneath a sign that tells him his stop on Old Gordon Road in N.W. Atlanta is going away.

Reed doesn't have a car. The closest stop he knows of is a half-mile away from his routine stop. The cane and knee wrap tell you it won't be an easy walk.

"I have bone cancer and diabetes," said Reed. "Walking period is strenuous for me."

MARTA is making cuts that even the transit authority admits are unprecedented and severe. Facing a 69-million dollar budget shortfall, MARTA has made cuts to the rail line that will mean trains will come less frequently, adding an average of five minutes to your wait. On weekends, trains that started running at 4:45 a.m., won't start running until 6 a.m.