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New developments in the case of EMT charged with assaulting patient

The city of Dunwoody has declared a state of EMS emergency. Councilmembers are asking the state for help accusing DeKalb County of not holding American Medical Response accountable for delayed emergency response times. 

The county has a contract with the ambulance provider that will expire in December. An incident on May 12 involving an AMR emergency medical technician brought the issue to the forefront.

“In the hands of a first responder who is charged with patient care punching the patient, it was just stunning. It was shocking. It was unbelievable,” said Terry Nall a Dunwoody City Councilor.

The incident occurred when Dunwoody police picked up a 17-year old boy on a mental health hold to take him to the hospital for a mental health evaluation. 

After the teen walked out of the back of the ambulance, Dunwoody police handcuffed him and restrained his ankles while he was put on a stretcher in the back of the ambulance.

AMR EMT Deannah Williams, 37, was attempting to put a spit mask on the teen when she claims the teen spat on her. On police body cameras, Williams can be seen repeatedly punching the boy in the face. Dunwoody Officer Kevin Lopez can be heard yelling and physically pulled Williams out of the ambulance. 

The other officers consoled the teen and took photographs documenting the physical injuries to the teen. They can be heard on video saying:

“Is he hurting? He’s bruising in the face, oh yeah, good grief. Did you take pictures? He’s got a goose egg.”

Another officer told the teen:

“She hit you pretty good.”

Williams was interrogated by Lopez and repeatedly claimed the teen spat on her. She was placed under arrest for misdemeanor assault and battery. AMR terminated Williams employment. (new paragraph here) She bonded out of the DeKalb County Jail on a $1,000 bond. For Dunwoody City Councilman Terry Nall, this was the final straw for AMR.

“The Dunwoody City Council voted unanimously 7-0 to declare a 'state of EMS emergency' in Dunwoody," Nall said. "We are seeking state remedies and relief.

We've been tracking and reporting AMR's failing DeKalb County EMS response times and patient care service since 2016, but to no corrective action by DeKalb County, who holds the EMS certificate and the contract with AMR.The area north of I-285 is the forgotten area of DeKalb County EMS/AMR."

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Nall cited two recent instances in which AMR’s response times were far below the nationally accepted industry standard designated by the National Fire Protection Agency.

"We had a pedestrian struck and there was a 58-minute response time by AMR.” Another emergency response to a restaurant took AMR 36 minutes.

"People’s lives are at stake (and) I think (the) severity of injuries, (the) severity of emergencies will be worse because of the delayed response,” Nall said.

An email thread with DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester reveals the county knows there’s a problem with AMR’s service.

Here’s an excerpt from Jester’s email dated May 21, 2018 in advance of the Dunwoody City Council meeting:

“I do believe that it is widely acknowledged that the county's 3rd party provider of EMS services, AMR, has not provided the level of service that they are contractually obligated to do. Their lack of service delivery is certainly not acceptable to me. I have expressed this directly to the leadership in DeKalb. I am also copying Fire Chief Fullum, Deputy COO Lumpkin, and COO Williams on this email.

“I do want to make sure that all involved know that Dunwoody has one of the best response times in the county for fire personnel being on scene. All fire department personnel receive the same EMT training, and many have advanced paramedic training.

So, once a county firefighter is on scene, they start administering care at that point. Also, the suggestion that Dunwoody and areas north of I-285 are forgotten, or something more purposeful is at play; is not congruent with the facts. We are having a countywide problem with AMR. The response times in southeast DeKalb are the worst.”

A statement Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Wendy Halloran received from Quinn Hudson, Chief Communications Officer for DeKalb County, reveals the county has imposed more than $1.5 million in fines to AMR for not complying with the contracted response times. But those fines have not yet been collected. The contract calls for an 8:59-minute response on 90 percent of the calls. AMR did not respond to requests for comment.

Here’s Hudson’s full statement: “The DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department recognizes the challenges with the performance of EMS transport services, particularly with our current contractor, AMR. Importantly, the DCFRD operates an integrated service delivery system whereby Fire Rescue units respond initially to most medical calls to access and initiate care while the transport unit is in route. All firefighters are certified EMT’s, and many are certified paramedics.  The highly trained firefighters are able to provide the same level of care and have the same equipment and resources as an ambulance.  This system ensures care is started at the earliest interaction with a patient.  Currently the average response time for the Fire Rescue is 7 minutes/37 seconds.” 

Aaron Hernandez's fiancee announces pregnancy

The late Aaron Hernandez's fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, announced Tuesday that she's expecting another child.

>> Aaron Hernandez had 'severe' stage 3 CTE, researchers say

Jenkins took to Instagram to announce the pregnancy and didn't reveal who the father of the baby is.

"Many of you have had speculated that I may be expecting another miracle which is very accurate," Jenkins wrote in her Instagram post. "We are beyond excited about the new addition and chapter we will soon begin."

>> On Boston25News.com: 'He could've been saved,' Shayanna Jenkins tells Dr. Phil

Jenkins revealed she'd be having another daughter, saying she "couldn’t be a luckier woman to have such a perfect little girl that’s prepared to become the best big sister, and even more blessed to welcome another baby girl to our home."

>> Read more trending news 

The pregnancy comes just over a year after Hernandez's death, when he hanged himself in prison on April 19, 2017.

>> On Boston25News.com: Aaron Hernandez's fiancee sues to protect assets of home sale

Hernandez's suicide note to Jenkins featured him calling her his "soul-mate" and saying she would be "rich" after his death.

>> On Boston25News.com: Shayanna Jenkins testifies at Aaron Hernandez double murder trial

Mom with cancer sees twin daughters graduate in special ceremony before her death

When twin sisters Morgan and Regan McVey graduate Thursday from Talawanda High School in Oxford, Ohio, it will actually be their second commencement ceremony.

Earlier this year, the school provided a special moment for the seniors and their mother, who was diagnosed with cancer last fall.

As the school year moved into its second semester, it was evident their mother, Carey McVey, would not live to see the graduation ceremony.

>> WATCH: Texas teen walks for first time in months, stuns prom date in heartwarming viral video

“Mr. (Tom) York and others arranged to give us a mini graduation ceremony,” Regan said of the school’s principal. “We had our caps and gowns and got our actual diplomas. Mom got to see them.”

“That was one thing she wanted to see,” Morgan added.

Their mother died in February. She was 43 years old, according to her obituary.

The diplomas were on a table at their home until last week when they were returned to the school so the seniors could receive them again at Thursday’s ceremony.

>> Read more trending news 

The gesture, the twins said, reinforced their decision to attend the Oxford school.

The McVey twins were unknown to their classmates when they started at Talawanda High School four years ago after finishing the eighth grade at Queen of Peace School.

“We had to make new friends here. We did not know anyone,” Morgan McVey said.

The high school choice took some discussion between the sisters.

“Regan wanted to go to Talawanda. I wanted to go to Badin,” Morgan said.

Now, they both said they are happy with their decision.

“The school really supported us through it all,” Morgan said, referring to her mother’s cancer diagnosis and her death.

>> On Journal-News.com: Oxford community advocate ‘lived life to the fullest’

While the family tragedy will forever be linked to their senior year of high school, they said they did not let it affect their personalities or interactions with others, although classmates were often surprised by that.

“We are always happy. We joke around a lot. We talk a lot. People forget. Then they say, ‘Your mother… .’ It’s definitely been an experience,” Regan said.

Both young women have been cheerleaders all four years of high school and both have been involved in dance all four years, with Regan on homecoming court her junior year and prom court this spring.

Both, also found satisfaction in passing on their own love of dance by teaching it to younger children at area dance studios.

The fact they are twins earned them a memorable experience outside of school, too.

As their senior year dawned, they appeared in a television commercial promoting the Big Ten conference. The theme of the promo was twins and they auditioned last spring in Chicago, which led to a two-day video shoot, also in Chicago.

>> On Journal-News.com: New gateways to welcome Miami U., Oxford visitors

The commercial appeared on the Big Ten Network and ESPN as well as other television channels. For Morgan, it was a strange feeling the first time she saw it aired.

“I did not know it was out. I was in bed with my television on and saw my face. It just popped up,” she said.

They said they are thinking about using it as a stepping stone to doing some modeling, but they know that profession is a difficult one to get into and then only lasts a certain time. They are planning a careful route of going to college to train for teaching professions and then see what happens.

Regan McVey is looking at early childhood education while Morgan is opting for a degree in integrated language arts for grades 7-12. They plan to attend Miami University Hamilton in the fall to start their college careers.

>> On Journal-News.com: Hall of Famer Huismann approved as Talawanda’s head girls hoop coach

Morgan said no one in their family teaches, but she hopes to emulate some of the good teachers she has had at Talawanda.

Regan opts for younger students after her work with young dancers.

“I like little kids. I think it’s interesting to teach them when they are young,” she said.

The sisters are among 21 members of the graduating class recognized with the President’s Award for Educational Achievement.

The twins agree high school at Talawanda has been a great experience. Their mother and their father, Shane, were both Talawanda High School graduates.

A first for Georgia: Democrats pick black woman for governor

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia Democrats gave Atlanta lawyer Stacey Abrams a chance to become the first black female governor in American history on a primary night that ended well for several women seeking office.

Abrams set new historical marks with a primary victory Tuesday that made her the first black nominee and first female nominee for governor of either majority party in Georgia.

Voters also picked nominees in Kentucky, Arkansas and Texas ahead of the November midterms. A closer look at key story lines:

GEORGIA GOVERNOR'S RACE

Democrats were set to nominate a woman for governor either way, with Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans battling it out in a pitched primary fight.

But the 44-year-old Abrams stood out in her bid to be the nation's first African-American woman to lead a state. The former state General Assembly leader was insistent that the way to dent Republican domination in Georgia wasn't by cautiously pursuing the older white voters who had abandoned Democrats over recent decades. Rather, she wanted to widen the electorate by attracting young voters and nonwhites who hadn't been casting ballots.

She will test her theory as the underdog against either Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle or Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who will meet in Republican runoff in July. Cagle led a five-man Republican field, with Kemp qualifying for the second spot after a campaign that was a sprint to the right on everything from immigration to support for President Donald Trump.

Kemp promised to keep pulling in that direction, with Cagle trying to balance the demands of a conservative primary electorate with his support from the business establishment. The scenario worried some Georgia Republicans who were accustomed to centrist, business-aligned governors who rarely flouted Atlanta-based behemoths like Delta and Coca-Cola.

Some GOP figures worried the GOP gamesmanship on immigration and gay rights, in particular, already had ensured Georgia wouldn't land Amazon's second headquarters.

TEXAS CONGRESSIONAL RUNOFFS

Texas had three House runoffs that will be key to whether Democrats can flip the minimum 24 GOP-held seats they would need for a majority in next year's Congress. All three were among 25 districts nationally where Trump ran behind Hillary Clinton in 2016. Democrats nominated women in two of the districts and a black man in the third.

Attorney Lizzie Fletcher far outpaced activist Laura Moser in a metro-Houston congressional contest that became a proxy for Democrats' fight between liberals and moderates. National Democrats' campaign committee never endorsed Fletcher, but released opposition research against Moser amid fears that she was too liberal to knock off vulnerable Republican Rep. John Culberson in the fall.

In a San Antonio-Mexican border district, Gina Ortiz Jones, an Air Force veteran and former intelligence officer, got Democrats' nod to face Republican Rep. Will Hurd in November. Jones would be the first openly lesbian congresswoman from her state. Hurd is black.

Former NFL player Colin Allred won a battle of two attorneys and former Obama administration officials in a metro-Dallas House district. Allred, who is black, topped Lillian Salerno and will face Republican Rep. Pete Sessions in November. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee lined up behind Allred after the group's initial favorite failed to make the runoff.

Among Republicans, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz showed off his endorsement muscle, with his former chief of staff, Chip Roy, winning a competitive runoff for a San Antonio-area congressional seat opened by the retirement of Rep. Lamar Smith.

In the governor's race, Democrats tapped former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez to take on Republican incumbent Greg Abbott in November. Valdez is Texas' first openly gay and first Latina nominee for governor.

DEMS BATTLE IN KENTUCKY

Voters in a central Kentucky congressional district opted for retired Marine officer and fighter pilot Amy McGrath over Lexington Mayor Jim Gray to advance to a fall campaign against Republican Rep. Andy Barr.

National Democrats once touted Gray as one of their best recruits in their efforts for a House majority. They said in recent weeks they'd be happy with McGrath, but the race still shaped up as a battle between rank-and-file activists and the party establishment.

McGrath was making her first bid for public office, among a handful of female Naval Academy graduates running for Congress this year.

Gray also lost a 2016 Senate race.

In eastern Kentucky's Rowan County, voters denied the Democratic nomination to a gay candidate who wanted to challenge the local clerk who denied him and others same-sex marriage licenses.

David Ermold had wanted to face Republican Kim Davis, who went to jail three years ago for denying marriage licenses in the aftermath of an historic U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

ARKANSAS' HEALTH CARE PREVIEW

While Washington fixates on the daily developments in the Russia election meddling investigation, Democratic congressional candidates insist they'll win in November arguing about bread-and-butter issues like health care.

Arkansas state Rep. Clarke Tucker captured Democrats' congressional nomination in a Little Rock-based district by telling his story as a cancer survivor. Though he faced a crowded primary field, his real target all along has been Republican Rep. French Hill, who voted many times to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

The Arkansas district may not be at the top of Democrats' national target list, but it's the kind of district the party might have to win to be assured of regaining House control in November.

The state's Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson dispatched primary opposition as he sought another term. Democrats nominated former Teach for America executive Jared Henderson.

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Follow Barrow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BillBarrowAP .

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Sign up for "Politics in Focus," a weekly newsletter showcasing the AP's best political reporting from around the country leading up to the midterm elections: http://apne.ws/3Gzcraw

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This story has been corrected to fix the misstated race of Texas congressman Republican Rep. Will Hurd. Hurd is black.

Philip Roth dead at 85: Writers, public figures remember Pulitzer Prize-winning author

Philip Roth – the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "American Pastoral" and other highly acclaimed works such as "Portnoy's Complaint," "The Human Stain" and "The Plot Against America" – has died of congestive heart failure, The Associated Press reported late Tuesday. He was 85.

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2018

Fellow writers and public figures took to Twitter to share their condolences and reflect on Roth's novels. Here's what they had to say:

>> Read more trending news 

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jets' Donahue says 30-day stay in rehab was 'life-changing'

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - Dylan Donahue feels fortunate to have a second chance.

At football. And, most of all, at life.

The New York Jets linebacker knew he needed to make some major changes this offseason after making a decision that nearly cost him everything.

The 25-year-old Donahue was arrested and charged with drunken driving early on Feb. 26 after police say he drove the wrong way in the Lincoln Tunnel in New Jersey and collided with a jitney bus, injuring four people.

"I'm a firm believer in God," Donahue said after practice Tuesday. "I was born and raised Christian and I believe that He saved me and the other people that were involved."

Donahue "definitely" considered the incident a wake-up call, and soon after checked himself into a substance-abuse treatment facility in Jacksonville, Florida, after his second DUI arrest in less than a year. Donahue, a fifth-round pick last year out of West Georgia, had another DUI arrest in his hometown of Billings, Montana, on May 9, 2017 - 10 days after he was drafted by the Jets.

"That was a major factor in why I decided to go down for treatment," he said.

Donahue spent 30 days at an in-patient facility, working to become sober.

"It was very enlightening," he said. "I went through a lot. ... I think it was a life-changing experience. So, it was very awakening and life-changing this offseason."

He fully embraced the idea of going to rehab, something he hadn't previously considered.

"It wasn't necessarily a scary experience," Donahue said. "I was honestly kind of excited because I was ready to make some life changes."

Donahue also sought out former Jets teammate Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who spoke openly last season about his recovery from alcohol abuse. The tight end, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, detailed his own steps to Donahue and gave him hope that he, too, could make drastic positive changes.

"He actually helped a lot," Donahue said. "Seeing someone else do it, especially someone on the same team as you, that definitely built my confidence."

Donahue says he has cut out alcohol from his life, and has seen noticeable changes.

"My mind feels a lot clearer," he said. "I'm able to remember things a lot better and think a lot clearer. Physically, too. I've gained a little bit of weight and last year, that was kind of a problem for me, keeping on the weight. So, there's a lot of benefits."

He declined to discuss how much of a problem alcohol was for him. He also chose to not talk about details of the car accidents since they're legal matters. The second-year linebacker could also face discipline by the NFL as part of its personal conduct policy.

When Donahue went for treatment, the Jets publicly stood by him and said he had a support system with the team when he returned. That was a relief to Donahue, who was uncertain as to how the Jets would deal with the situation.

"I think anyone worries when something like that happens," he said, "so, yeah, I was definitely worried."

He acknowledged that he was surprised by how many people stood by him during that time.

"In situations like that, you really find out who your friends are," he said. "It was a definite wakeup call."

Donahue is back with his teammates on the practice field, looking to become a contributor on New York's defense.

He played in only four games last season after tearing a ligament in his right elbow while blocking on a punt return late in overtime against Jacksonville on Oct. 1. He had season-ending surgery and said the elbow is now healthy.

"He's got his head down," coach Todd Bowles said. "He's working. He's working on some personal things, obviously, that he told you guys (about). He's just working hard every day trying to get the system down and we'll see what comes of it when everything comes to a head."

Donahue knows he needs to re-establish trust with his family, friends, teammates and coaches - and it will take time. His father, Mitch, played for Denver and San Francisco during a four-year NFL career, so he knows he needs to make the most of this opportunity.

Both on and off the field.

"It's definitely more motivation," Donahue said. "This has been my dream since I watched my Dad play in the NFL since I was born, so to get another chance at it means the world to me."

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For more AP NFL coverage: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

UGA tennis player off team after drug charges in Alabama

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - A University of Georgia tennis player has been arrested in Alabama on drug charges.

Georgia coach Manny Diaz told the Athens Banner-Herald in a statement Monday that 20-year-old sophomore Nathan Ponwith was arrested Saturday in Baldwin County. Diaz says Ponwith has been dismissed from the team.

The county sheriff's office website says Ponwith was charged with possession of a controlled substance (hallucinogen), second-degree possession of marijuana and public intoxication. He was released from jail Sunday after posting a $5,000 bond.

It is unclear if Ponwith has a lawyer.

The Scottsdale, Arizona, native was the 2017 Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year, and worked his way to be the Bulldogs' No. 1 singles player. He usually played in the third and fourth spots during the team's 13-11 record in 2017-18 season.

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Information from: Athens Banner-Herald, http://www.onlineathens.com

GOP candidates for Georgia governor ready for runoff

ATLANTA (AP) - Stacey Abrams got immediate accolades and attention nationally as Georgia Democrats nominated her for the state's top job, but any focus on her chances becoming the nation's first black female governor first has to wait for her Republican opponent who won't be settled for another two months.

With votes still being tallied, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp largely skipped the celebrations and pivoted directly to talk of a runoff contest that will decide who faces Abrams in November.

At his Athens watch party, Kemp told supporters, "I want to thank you all, our thousands of supporters around the state, for helping us punch our ticket to the runoff."

At a gathering in Gainesville, Cagle told the crowd: "It's great to come in first place. We've got a lot more to be done."

"We are right where we need to be in terms of this runoff," Cagle said.

Abrams secured the Democratic nomination, becoming the first woman to do so. She will face the winner of the July 24 GOP runoff.

Abrams beat former state Rep. Stacey Evans in a race featuring two former legislative colleagues tussling over ethics accusations and their respective records on education.

Abrams campaign was plagued by allegations of ethics violations, including that she reimbursed herself money from campaign accounts without record and that she used campaign resources to promote book sales from which she personally profited. She has denied the allegations.

Abrams got a last-minute boost with an endorsement -- in the form of a 60-second robo-call -- from Hillary Clinton.

In the Republican race, Cagle and Kemp beat three GOP rivals in a race characterized by strong support for gun rights and tough talk on immigration.

The field was all white men: former legislators, officeholders and businessmen, some with decades of political experience and others positioning themselves as outsiders challenging the establishment.

Cagle garnered national headlines in February when he threatened to kill a tax break benefiting Delta Air Lines, one of Georgia's largest employers, for ending a discount program for members of the National Rifle Association.

Kemp garnered strong criticism - and national headlines - with a series of campaign ads including one where he says he has a big truck, "Just in case I need to round up criminal illegals and take 'em home myself."

In the ballroom of a downtown Atlanta hotel, Abrams thanked supporters and outlined her vision for the future.

She drew loud and sustained applause when she told the crowd, "We can repeal campus carry and we can expand HOPE," referring to a law that allows guns to be brought onto college campuses and a popular scholarship program.

Abrams said: "We are writing the next chapter of Georgia's future, where no one is unseen, no one is unheard and no one is uninspired."

The candidates are vying to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, who has held the office since 2011.

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Associated Press writers Kate Brumback in Atlanta, Jeff Martin in Athens, Jonathan Landrum in Gainesville and Alex Sanz in Johns Creek contributed to this report.

Photos: Notable deaths 2018

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