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Captured Assassin Opens Up: 'It Was Revenge'

Oleg Smorodinov sheds light on Russia's motives

(Newser) - Oleg Smorodinov may not appear the elite Russian killer. But the 51-year-old with a crooked boxer's face admits to murdering a man at the behest of two mysterious Russians who paid him with a Mercedes van—and, surprisingly, he's willing to talk to the New York Times . "... More »

Celebs Threaten State Over New Abortion Bill

Alyssa Milano spearheads petition against Georgia's 'heartbeat' bill

(Newser) - Hollywood has Georgia on its mind—and not in a good way. Fifty actors have signed a petition threatening to urge film and TV production away from the state if it passes a new abortion bill, the Huffington Post reports. Alyssa Milano spearheaded the petition, which says "billions of... More »

It's a First: Someone Living With HIV Donates Organ

Atlanta's Nina Martinez is a kidney donor to HIV-positive recipient

(Newser) - She donated a kidney to a stranger, but that's not the reason Nina Martinez's decision is making international headlines. The 36-year-old Atlanta resident is HIV-positive, and the surgery at Johns Hopkins is the first time anywhere that someone living with the virus has donated an organ, reports FOX... More »

Their Mom Was Murdered. Then the Phone Rang: 'This Is Tyler'

Perry pays rent, funeral costs for family of Tynesha Evans, allegedly slain by on-again, off-again BF

(Newser) - One of Tynesha Evans' daughters is calling Tyler Perry an "angel on Earth" after the star stepped up following Evans' murder in Georgia over the weekend. Per an Alpharetta Department of Public Safety post on Facebook , Evans, 45, was gunned down Saturday in a Wells Fargo parking lot; her... More »

She Read the Fine Print. And Got an Easy $10K

High School teacher Donelan Andrews scores for being diligent

(Newser) - A Florida travel insurance company has awarded a Georgia high school teacher $10,000 for reading the fine print in a policy she recently purchased, the AP reports. A Squaremouth statement says Donelan Andrews claimed the prize 23 hours after the contest began. The St. Petersburg-based company says it launched... More »

'I Know There Are Multiple Wives, I Know of at Least 4'

Alleged bigamist Michael Middleton is arrested

(Newser) - At least in Big Love Bill Henrickson had all his wives in the same neighborhood. Michael Middleton of Maine, who was arrested for bigamy in Ohio last week, seemed to like to spread his spouses out over several states, with an indictment accusing him of having, at minimum, a wife... More »

Ruling May Help Solve Infamous 1946 Lynching

Two black couples were shot to death in Georgia after a white mob stopped their car

(Newser) - Historian Anthony Pitch failed to pinpoint the killer or killers in his 2016 book on the 1946 lynching of two black couples in rural Georgia. He now hopes a federal appeals court ruling will point him in the right direction. The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that... More »

'Armed and Dangerous' Ex-Lawyer Is on the Run

US marshals are seeking Richard Merritt, 44

(Newser) - A former Georgia attorney is on the run after allegedly cutting off his ankle monitor, murdering his mother, and fleeing in her Lexus—all while facing 30 years behind bars for other crimes, Fox News reports. Richard Merritt, 44, was about to surrender to authorities Feb. 1 and serve his... More »

'Squeaky-Clean' Guy Accused in $750K Super Bowl Scam

Ketan Shah seems like an unlikely perpetrator

(Newser) - A Georgia man has apparently swindled his family, friends, and personal connections—and even his own mother—out of more than $750,000 in a Super Bowl ticket scam, Deadspin reports. Seems Ketan Shah, a prominent Gwinnett County businessman and father of two, sold premium tickets to nearly a dozen... More »

Man Wanted in 4 Georgia Murders Arrested in Indiana

Daylon Gamble accused of double shootings

(Newser) - Federal authorities have arrested a man wanted in the slayings of four people and injuring of a man in a pair of shootings in Georgia. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says 27-year-old Daylon Delon Gamble was arrested Sunday in Indiana by the US Marshal's Service. Gamble, who was wanted... More »

Boy Unknowingly Used Fake Money to Buy School Lunch

He was punished, but a school official said it was wrong

(Newser) - A school superintendent in Georgia said Friday a 12-year-old boy who tried to buy lunch with a counterfeit $20 bill appears to have been unaware the bill was fake and should not have been punished, the AP reports. The decision came after Christian Philon complained that administrators at Austin Road... More »

'Deportation Bus' Candidate Pleads Not Guilty in Fraud Case

Ex-state Sen. Michael Williams accused of lying to investigators

(Newser) - A Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate who campaigned in a "deportation bus" has pleaded not guilty to fraud charges, the AP reports. Ex-state Sen. Michael Williams was indicted last month in Hall County northeast of Atlanta on charges of insurance fraud and lying to investigators. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Williams... More »

Accused of Hiding Teacher's Body, Now Wanted for Rape

Police hunting Georgia's Bo Dukes after Tuesday assault

(Newser) - One of the two men charged in connection with the 2005 death of Georgia high school teacher Tara Grinstead allegedly raped two women at gunpoint on Tuesday. Bo Dukes faces new charges of rape, aggravated sodomy, false imprisonment, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after the alleged... More »

Lawsuit: Why Was Man Shot 59 Times?

'My son deserves the truth,' says Monteria Robinson

(Newser) - A Georgia prosecutor is suing the US Department of Justice over its refusal to provide information about how officers shot 59 bullets into a schizophrenic college student, the AP reports. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said Friday that federal authorities have blocked his prosecutors from interviewing the officers who... More »

Georgia Teens' Bodies Found in Their Own Backyard

Mary Crocker and Elwyn Crocker Jr.'s cause of death may not be known for some time

(Newser) - It may be weeks before authorities get the final word on how the teens died, but who they are has been established. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the remains of Mary Crocker and Elwyn Crocker Jr. have been found in their own backyard in Guyton, Ga. Confirmation of their identities... More »

Boss Allegedly Ordered Killing of Worker Who Complained

Eliud Montoya's murder came after warning: prosecutors

(Newser) - When Eliud Montoya's mother arrived at the scene of the tree-service worker's murder, "without hesitation, she advised his boss killed him," according to an affidavit. Prosecutors say she's essentially right. "They are always watching me because of a complaint I [filed] on ways they... More »

10 State Names, Deciphered

24/7 Wall St. traces origins to Europe, indigenous cultures

(Newser) - You need look no further than a map to find America's reputation as a melting pot. The evidence is written across the states—specifically in their names, according to 24/7 Wall St. , which surveyed state websites and online resources to trace the origins of those names to England, France,... More »

Earthquake Shakes People in 6 States

No reports of injuries following 4.4-magnitude quake

(Newser) - "I'm so glad Twitter exists so I could confirm that we just had an earthquake and it wasn't me just losing my mind here in suburban Atlanta," reads a sample Wednesday tweet , one of many that helped make #earthquake a trending topic. Residents of Tennessee and... More »

Tyler Perry Just Gave the Best Gift to Lots of Walmart Patrons

Filmmaker pays off layaways at 2 Atlanta-area stores

(Newser) - This isn't quite a Madea Christmas, but it just may be better. "I was trying to do this anonymously, but … y'all know how nothing stays secret these days," Tyler Perry, the star of the Madea franchise, confessed in a short video on Twitter Thursday, letting... More »

Cocaine and Bribes: How Atlanta Letter Carriers Went 'Corrupt'

16 USPS employees sentenced in drug trafficking scheme

(Newser) - Federal officials say postal workers in metro Atlanta weren't just delivering mail but also cocaine on behalf of drug traffickers in exchange for bribes as low as $250. When the gavel came down Tuesday, a mail clerk and 15 letter carriers had been sentenced to between three and nine... More »

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