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    As the Senate Judiciary Committee set a showdown hearing for Thursday with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and a woman who alleges that the judge sexually assaulted her in high school, the White House on Sunday again defended the President’s pick after new allegations surfaced, as Republicans said this was nothing but a coordinated political effort by Democrats to sink the Kavanaugh nomination. “This 35-year-old, uncorroborated claim is the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats designed to tear down a good man,” said White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec. The White House also released a statement from Kavanaugh, who said a New Yorker article about him was nothing but ‘a smear, plain and simple.’ “I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name – and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building – against these last-minute allegations,” Kavanaugh said. A few hours earlier, Senate Republicans had announced a hearing for Thursday, at which Dr. Christine Blasey Ford will get the chance to detail her allegations of sexual assault from 1982 – and then, Kavanaugh will have the chance to answer the charges. Republicans on Sunday night also released the original letter by Ford to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) from back in July; Democrats did nothing with the allegations until they were leaked to the press in the days before a scheduled committee vote on the Kavanaugh nomination. “It is upsetting to discuss sexual assault and its repercussions, yet I felt guilty and compelled as a citizen about the idea of not saying anything,” Ford wrote in her letter. Meanwhile, Republicans were still angry with Feinstein for sitting on the letter for two months, as they joined the White House in making the argument that Democrats were simply trying to come up with anything to stop Kavanaugh from joining the U.S. Supreme Court. “Disgraceful hypocrisy,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR). As for Democrats, the rush of new information led them to demand ‘an immediate postponement of any further proceedings’ on the Kavanaugh nomination. “It is time to set politics aside,” Sen. Feinstein wrote in a letter to Judiciary Chairman Grassley. “We must ensure that a thorough and fair investigation is conducted before moving forward.” Also getting involved in the Kavanaugh fray was the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, as Michael Avenatti on Sunday night was already in contact with Judiciary Committee investigators. My e-mail of moments ago with Mike Davis, Chief Counsel for Nominations for U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. We demand that this process be thorough, open and fair, which is what the American public deserves. It must not be rushed and evidence/witnesses must not be hidden. pic.twitter.com/11XLZJBTtY — Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) September 24, 2018 The rapid developments left lawmakers in Congress waiting – along with everyone else – to see what more might happen before Thursday’s hearing. “I call upon Brett Kavanaugh for the good of the country and the integrity of the court to step aside immediately,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), one of the few Senators making public comments on Sunday night. But there were no indications that the President was going to abandon Kavanaugh, whose nomination may be at its most embattled point yet.  
  • Tiger Woods clawed his way to the Tour Championship, clinging to the lead all day and surviving a couple of rattling back-nine bogies. >> Read more trending news  Woods led by as many as five strokes on the final round but saw his lead cut to two strokes. He ended the day two shots over Billy Horschel. The throng cheered him up the fairway and chanted 'Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!' as he knocked in the final putt. He got support on social media from President Donald Trump and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. Woods’ last win was in 2013 at the Bridgestone Invitational. He was ranked No.1,199 in December when he returned to golf and could soon be listed as high as No. 13. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • An Uber driver is accused of stabbing two of her customers last Sunday in east Georgia, the Augusta Chronicle reported. Shaunisha Danielle Brown, 29, of Augusta, faces two counts of aggravated assault, the newspaper reported. She’s accused of stabbing two people in the 5000 block of Reynolds Way, according to a Grovetown police incident report obtained by the Chronicle. >> On MyAJC.com: Who’s driving? Uber, Lyft drivers accused of violent crimes Grovetown is in Columbia County, about 140 miles east of downtown Atlanta and about 12 miles west of Augusta.  >> Read more trending news  The victims were taken to an area hospital, and police searched for a 2012 silver Hyundai Sonata, the report said. The vehicle was later found, and Brown was arrested at an AM/PM gas station, the report said. No bond has been set. Police did not release a motive for the alleged attack. >> On AJC.com: Uber app now includes 911 button, emergency features Uber sent the newspaper a statement on the incident that said: “What the police reported is appalling and not tolerated on the Uber app. This driver no longer has access to the app and we will work with law enforcement to assist with their investigation.”
  • Update 2:02 p.m. EST Sept. 23: Emergency responders are continuing the massive search at a Gastonia park Sunday for a 6-year-old boy with special needs. Original report: Emergency responders began a massive search at a North Carolina park Saturday afternoon for a 6-year-old boy with special needs. The search continued Sunday morning. >> Watch the news report here Maddox Ritch was last seen at Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Search and rescue boats were sent to the lake at the park. >> On WSOCTV.com: PHOTOS: Search for boy with special needs at Gastonia park Authorities said he was wearing an orange shirt with “I’m the man” on the front. Maddox is 4 feet tall and weighs 45 pounds. He has blond hair and blue eyes. Maddox was seen with his father and another adult, authorities said. 'They were walking around the lake,” Gastonia spokeswoman Rachel Bagley said. “They got around to the backside of the lake. He started running, according to the parents, and when they started running after him, they lost sight of him, and no one has seen him ever since.' The Charlotte Fire Department is assisting with the search. CMPD's helicopter suspended its search after sunset.  >> Read more trending news  The city confirmed crews are reviewing surveillance video at the park, and Gastonia police will be working overnight following leads. The ground search will continue at first daylight Sunday.  All activities at Rankin Lake Park have been canceled for Sunday. The park will be closed until further notice. Please call police at 704-866-3300 if you have any information on Maddox’s whereabouts.
  • After days of behind the scenes wrangling, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced on Sunday afternoon that the panel will hold a hearing on Thursday to take public testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct at a high school party in the early 1980’s. The panel had originally set a Monday morning vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, but after a weekend of talks – which still hasn’t resolved all the details for the hearing – committee Republicans agreed to allow Ford to present her case in a public hearing, posting a new hearing notice on the committee’s website. “Dr. Ford believes it is important for Senators hear directly from her about the sexual assault committed against her,” Ford’s legal team told reporters in a statement, adding that a ‘number of important procedural and logistical issues remain unresolved.’ Ford’s lawyers said the committee had rejected a request to invite other witnesses, specifically naming Mark Judge, a high school classmate of Kavanaugh; Ford says Judge was a direct witness to her assault. The current committee plan is for only two witnesses – one would be Ford, to be followed then by Judge Kavanaugh, who has sternly denied any wrongdoing involving Ford. GOP Senators and the White House said Ford has offered no corroborating evidence to back up her allegations. “Dr. Christine Ford claimed she was assaulted at a house party attended by four others,” said White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec. “Since then, all four of these individuals have provided statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee denying any knowledge of the incident or even having attended such a party.” “These official letters from the 4 named by Dr Ford — denying any knowledge of what Dr Ford has alleged — serve the same purpose as sworn testimony,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). NEWS: Attorney for Leland Keyser, who Dr Ford says was at the party where the alleged incident with Kavanaugh occurred says “Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford.” pic.twitter.com/l2F0s396IK — Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) September 23, 2018 The Thursday hearing would be a high stakes political event, drawing immediate comparisons to the extra hearings held for the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas, when he defended himself against public accusations of sexual harassment by law professor Anita Hill. Unlike that hearing in October of 1991, neither Kavanaugh nor Ford is currently expected to have testimony from additional witnesses.
  • Even as lawyers for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford negotiated with the Senate Judiciary Committee over the terms of her possible testimony later this week, a series of possible corroborating witnesses did not back up Ford’s allegations that she was sexually assaulted by Judge Brett Kavanaugh at a party in the 1980’s, raising questions about her explosive claims which have delayed consideration of Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination. “Dr. Christine Ford claimed she was assaulted at a house party attended by four others,” said White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec. “Since then, all four of these individuals have provided statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee denying any knowledge of the incident or even having attended such a party.” “These official letters from the 4 named by Dr Ford — denying any knowledge of what Dr Ford has alleged — serve the same purpose as sworn testimony,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). NEWS: Attorney for Leland Keyser, who Dr Ford says was at the party where the alleged incident with Kavanaugh occurred says “Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford.” pic.twitter.com/l2F0s396IK — Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) September 23, 2018 Also raising questions about the lack of supporting evidence was Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who tweeted out the phrase “rope-a-dope” on Saturday – a boxing technique made famous by Muhammad Ali in the 1970’s, designed as a way to tire out your opponent. Despite all the reports about an agreement for testimony by Ford, nothing was certain, as the Senate Judiciary Committee was still planning to work with Ford’s legal team on Sunday on the timing of her testimony. It was possible that both Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford would testify on Thursday, as Senate Democrats pressed for a further investigation into Ford’s claim from the early 1980’s. “We must treat Dr. Ford’s allegation against Judge Kavanaugh seriously,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA). “We should not rush this process and hurry to a vote.” As day broke on a chilly, wet morning on Capitol Hill on Sunday, there was still no concrete schedule in place, as GOP Senators were feeling pressure about their votes not only from Democrats, but also from conservative Republican activists. Your sources are not accurate. I will not be voting 'present' https://t.co/EqMGetXmRT — Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) September 23, 2018 But Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) also made it clear he wants to hear more about the situation. “Progress on a Judiciary Committee hearing is being made,” Flake tweeted on Saturday. “This is good.” Republicans had originally planned for a Monday vote on Kavanaugh in the Judiciary Committee – that notice was still up on the committee’s website Sunday morning – as another day of political maneuvering seemed at hand.
  • A Florida Uber driver allegedly refused to let her fare out of the car Wednesday, forcing the female passenger to jump from the window of the moving vehicle, police said.  Destiny Racquel Green, 30, is charged with kidnapping to commit or facilitate a felony and false imprisonment. Leon County Jail records showed Green remained in jail Friday afternoon.  Tallahassee police officers were called early Wednesday morning to a Walgreens parking lot following a 911 call in which the victim -- who identified herself on social media as Brooke Adkins, 19, a college student from St. Petersburg -- could be heard screaming for help in the background, according to WTXL in Midway. When the officers arrived, they found Adkins with torn jeans, soaked through with blood, and scrapes on her hands.  Adkins told officers she had been hanging out with friends at a Tallahassee club when she called for an Uber to take her home, the news station reported. She showed officers the app on her cellphone, which showed Green as the driver assigned to her.  Police officials said that, on the way to Adkins’ home, Adkins asked Green to instead drop her off at The Edge, an apartment complex near Florida State University. Things started getting weird at that point, Adkins said in Twitter posts.  “I was already at my destination and she asked me if I could ride around more with her,” Adkins wrote. “I told her she could take me around the block but to keep the meter on (just in case), and after that she would not let me get out of the car.” Adkins, who was seated in the back seat of the vehicle, wrote that the child lock was on the doors of Green’s car.  As the two women drove around, Green was pulled over near Florida State University by a state trooper. WTXL reported that, during the stop, Green asked Adkins to put her hands on the center console and hold it down.  Adkins found the request odd, but did as Green asked.  >> Read more trending news The Tampa Bay Times reported that Green told her passenger she was taking her to the hospital. Adkins told her she did not need to go to a hospital, but Green refused to stop. “Adkins said she asked Green to let her out of the vehicle at almost every stoplight, and Green continuously said ‘no’ and nothing else,” police officials said, according to the Times.  Adkins called 911. About 25 minutes after Green passed Adkins’ drop-off spot, Adkins made her move. She rolled down the window, holding the button down so Green couldn’t roll it back up, and jumped, police said.  Investigators caught up with Green at her home later that day, WTXL reported. Before they could say anything, Green told them she’d quit working for Uber because of “the girl” to whom she had given a ride, the news station said.  Green said Adkins had wanted to go to the hospital, but did not say why, police said. She told them Adkins jumped from the car on the way to Capital Regional Medical Center, WTXL reported. Investigators wrote in police reports that Green made several comments that were non sequiturs and seemed paranoid during questioning, the news station said.  An Uber spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that what Adkins reported to police is “troubling.” “We have removed the driver from the app and stand ready to support the police investigation,” the spokesperson said.  Adkins took to social media Wednesday to warn other young women of the dangers surrounding them. The initial tweet, which included photos of her torn jeans and battered legs, has since been retweeted more than 91,000 times.  “Tonight, I realized that being kidnapped from an Uber driver is 100 (percent) real,” Adkins wrote. “I’m so thankful that I got out OK, but jumping out a moving car window and running for help has to be the scariest thing I’ve ever gone thru (sic).” She wrote that she wanted girls to be aware and to always remain safe.  “Kidnapping has been happening more recently than ever and I want to raise awareness that everyone just needs to be safe and aware of your surroundings, and also who you are with,” Adkins wrote. 
  • After posting a schedule for a Monday morning vote on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court, unable to work out an agreement for testimony from a woman who accused the judge of sexual misconduct back when they were teenagers, Republicans gave extra time to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford to consider testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It’s not my normal approach to b indecisive,” Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) tweeted late Friday night from his home state of Iowa, as he tried to both press ahead with a vote on President Donald Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, and hold open the possibility of testimony from Ford. The late night change of heart created an odd mixture of reaction, as even after Grassley said he was giving more time to Ford’s legal team, Democrats were still churning out news releases after midnight criticizing Republicans for their treatment of the allegations against Kavanaugh. “By blocking both an FBI investigation and a hearing where all three witnesses present during the assault could answer questions under oath, the Senate will fail in its duty to the American people,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Judge Kavanaugh I just granted another extension to Dr Ford to decide if she wants to proceed w the statement she made last week to testify to the senate She shld decide so we can move on I want to hear her. I hope u understand. It’s not my normal approach to b indecisive — ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) September 22, 2018 With all the extensions we give Dr Ford to decide if she still wants to testify to the Senate I feel like I’m playing 2nd trombone in the judiciary orchestra and Schumer is the conductor — ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) September 22, 2018 As the sun rose on Saturday morning, it still wasn’t clear whether Ford would testify. “Dr. Blasey Ford has been clear in her desire to testify following an independent, thorough investigation by the FBI,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). But Republicans were still suspicious of the allegations brought by Ford, who says she was sexually attacked by Kavanaugh at a high school party in the 1980’s. “Their decision to reveal this allegation at the most politically damaging moment reeks of opportunism,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Under the timeline originally unveiled by the Judiciary Committee on Friday night, Republicans scheduled a vote for Monday morning on a list of judges, with one prominent name at the top of the list: “Brett M. Kavanaugh, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States,” it read. The recalcitrance, stubbornness and lack of cooperation we’ve seen from Republicans is unprecedented. And candidly, the dismissive treatment of Dr. Ford is insulting to all sexual assault survivors. — Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) September 22, 2018 Ford’s lawyers wanted her to testify next Thursday – Grassley and Republicans were offering Wednesday. There was also talk of Ford talking directly to investigators in California, instead of traveling to Washington, D.C.
  • The East Coast is no stranger to hurricanes and the destruction that follows. The Saffir-Simpson scale was developed to help determine damage and flooding before it strikes.   What is a hurricane?  A hurricane is a rotating low-pressure weather system that converts the energy of warm air into winds and waves. Hurricanes have “warm core” centers, meaning the center of the storm is warmer than the surrounding air. Warm ocean temperatures and wind patterns that spiral air inward are necessary for a hurricane to form.>>How to use the internet during the storm when your internet is down The “eye” of the storm is produced as the warm air rises in the storm’s center and a center of low pressure is created. When the pressure in that area drops, more air is pulled in, creating a sort of heat-pump effect that causes the storm to repeat the process and grow in intensity. The storm will continue to do so until it’s supply of warm water is interrupted. Thunderstorms spiral out from the eye and the water is pushed ahead of the storm, building what is called a 'storm surge.' The storm surge forms to the east of the eye. >>What is a storm surge and why is it dangerous? When a system has sustained winds of 39 mph, it is classified as a tropical depression. When the winds reach 39 mph or higher, the depression becomes a tropical storm and is given a name.  At 74 mph, the system is a hurricane.  What is the Saffir-Simpson scale and what does it have to do with hurricanes?  The tropical system is assigned a category depending on its wind speed. Here are the categories, the wind speeds and what those winds will likely do once the system makes landfall: >>What is the Saffir-Simpson scale; how does it work; is there a Category 6?  Category 1 -- 74 to 95 mph: Very dangerous winds will produce some damage. Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to the roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.  Category 2 -- 96 to 110 mph: Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly-rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.  Category 3 -- 111-129 mph: Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes. Category 3 storms and above are considered major hurricanes.  Category 4 -- 130-156 mph: Catastrophic damage will occur. Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.  Category 5 -- 157 mph or higher: Catastrophic damage will occur. A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and walls collapsing. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.   Here is a video that shows the increasing level of damage in each category.  
  • Hurricanes can leave behind tons of damage, including flooding. But did you know that treading through the wrong kind of water can cause illnesses or even death? Floodwaters and standing water are often contaminated, posing several risks, such as infectious diseases, chemical hazards and injuries. Here are six sicknesses you should beware of in the aftermath: Diarrheal diseases Drinking or eating anything that has come in contact with floodwaters can lead to cryptosporidiosis, E. coli or giardiasis. While cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis are brought on by parasites, E. coli is caused by bacteria. Symptoms from each include diarrhea, gas, nausea and vomiting. Cryptosporidiosis, however, can even be fatal for those with weakened immune systems, such as AIDS or cancer.  Wound infections Open wounds and rashes that are exposed to floodwater can cause tetanus or Vibrio vulnificus. Tetanus is a bacterial infection, and it can enter the body through breaks in the skin like a cut. >> 10 tips to stay safe when returning home after a natural disaster Vibrio vulnificus, another bacteria, can be contracted the same way. Many people become infected by consuming undercooked shellfish or exposing an injury to brackish or salt water. Other illnesses  People affected by flooded areas can also get trench foot. It occurs when your feet are wet for long periods of time. It can cause pain, swelling and numbness. >> Read more trending news  You should also be aware of chemical hazards from materials that may have spilled into the water. And be cautious of electrical hazards, since there are puddles that may be electrified due to fallen power lines. Curious about other diseases you can catch? Take a look at the full list at CDC’s official website. 

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  • As the Senate Judiciary Committee set a showdown hearing for Thursday with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and a woman who alleges that the judge sexually assaulted her in high school, the White House on Sunday again defended the President’s pick after new allegations surfaced, as Republicans said this was nothing but a coordinated political effort by Democrats to sink the Kavanaugh nomination. “This 35-year-old, uncorroborated claim is the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats designed to tear down a good man,” said White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec. The White House also released a statement from Kavanaugh, who said a New Yorker article about him was nothing but ‘a smear, plain and simple.’ “I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name – and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building – against these last-minute allegations,” Kavanaugh said. A few hours earlier, Senate Republicans had announced a hearing for Thursday, at which Dr. Christine Blasey Ford will get the chance to detail her allegations of sexual assault from 1982 – and then, Kavanaugh will have the chance to answer the charges. Republicans on Sunday night also released the original letter by Ford to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) from back in July; Democrats did nothing with the allegations until they were leaked to the press in the days before a scheduled committee vote on the Kavanaugh nomination. “It is upsetting to discuss sexual assault and its repercussions, yet I felt guilty and compelled as a citizen about the idea of not saying anything,” Ford wrote in her letter. Meanwhile, Republicans were still angry with Feinstein for sitting on the letter for two months, as they joined the White House in making the argument that Democrats were simply trying to come up with anything to stop Kavanaugh from joining the U.S. Supreme Court. “Disgraceful hypocrisy,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR). As for Democrats, the rush of new information led them to demand ‘an immediate postponement of any further proceedings’ on the Kavanaugh nomination. “It is time to set politics aside,” Sen. Feinstein wrote in a letter to Judiciary Chairman Grassley. “We must ensure that a thorough and fair investigation is conducted before moving forward.” Also getting involved in the Kavanaugh fray was the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, as Michael Avenatti on Sunday night was already in contact with Judiciary Committee investigators. My e-mail of moments ago with Mike Davis, Chief Counsel for Nominations for U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. We demand that this process be thorough, open and fair, which is what the American public deserves. It must not be rushed and evidence/witnesses must not be hidden. pic.twitter.com/11XLZJBTtY — Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) September 24, 2018 The rapid developments left lawmakers in Congress waiting – along with everyone else – to see what more might happen before Thursday’s hearing. “I call upon Brett Kavanaugh for the good of the country and the integrity of the court to step aside immediately,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), one of the few Senators making public comments on Sunday night. But there were no indications that the President was going to abandon Kavanaugh, whose nomination may be at its most embattled point yet.  
  • Tiger Woods clawed his way to the Tour Championship, clinging to the lead all day and surviving a couple of rattling back-nine bogies. >> Read more trending news  Woods led by as many as five strokes on the final round but saw his lead cut to two strokes. He ended the day two shots over Billy Horschel. The throng cheered him up the fairway and chanted 'Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!' as he knocked in the final putt. He got support on social media from President Donald Trump and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. Woods’ last win was in 2013 at the Bridgestone Invitational. He was ranked No.1,199 in December when he returned to golf and could soon be listed as high as No. 13. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • An Uber driver is accused of stabbing two of her customers last Sunday in east Georgia, the Augusta Chronicle reported. Shaunisha Danielle Brown, 29, of Augusta, faces two counts of aggravated assault, the newspaper reported. She’s accused of stabbing two people in the 5000 block of Reynolds Way, according to a Grovetown police incident report obtained by the Chronicle. >> On MyAJC.com: Who’s driving? Uber, Lyft drivers accused of violent crimes Grovetown is in Columbia County, about 140 miles east of downtown Atlanta and about 12 miles west of Augusta.  >> Read more trending news  The victims were taken to an area hospital, and police searched for a 2012 silver Hyundai Sonata, the report said. The vehicle was later found, and Brown was arrested at an AM/PM gas station, the report said. No bond has been set. Police did not release a motive for the alleged attack. >> On AJC.com: Uber app now includes 911 button, emergency features Uber sent the newspaper a statement on the incident that said: “What the police reported is appalling and not tolerated on the Uber app. This driver no longer has access to the app and we will work with law enforcement to assist with their investigation.”
  • Update 2:02 p.m. EST Sept. 23: Emergency responders are continuing the massive search at a Gastonia park Sunday for a 6-year-old boy with special needs. Original report: Emergency responders began a massive search at a North Carolina park Saturday afternoon for a 6-year-old boy with special needs. The search continued Sunday morning. >> Watch the news report here Maddox Ritch was last seen at Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Search and rescue boats were sent to the lake at the park. >> On WSOCTV.com: PHOTOS: Search for boy with special needs at Gastonia park Authorities said he was wearing an orange shirt with “I’m the man” on the front. Maddox is 4 feet tall and weighs 45 pounds. He has blond hair and blue eyes. Maddox was seen with his father and another adult, authorities said. 'They were walking around the lake,” Gastonia spokeswoman Rachel Bagley said. “They got around to the backside of the lake. He started running, according to the parents, and when they started running after him, they lost sight of him, and no one has seen him ever since.' The Charlotte Fire Department is assisting with the search. CMPD's helicopter suspended its search after sunset.  >> Read more trending news  The city confirmed crews are reviewing surveillance video at the park, and Gastonia police will be working overnight following leads. The ground search will continue at first daylight Sunday.  All activities at Rankin Lake Park have been canceled for Sunday. The park will be closed until further notice. Please call police at 704-866-3300 if you have any information on Maddox’s whereabouts.
  • After days of behind the scenes wrangling, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced on Sunday afternoon that the panel will hold a hearing on Thursday to take public testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct at a high school party in the early 1980’s. The panel had originally set a Monday morning vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, but after a weekend of talks – which still hasn’t resolved all the details for the hearing – committee Republicans agreed to allow Ford to present her case in a public hearing, posting a new hearing notice on the committee’s website. “Dr. Ford believes it is important for Senators hear directly from her about the sexual assault committed against her,” Ford’s legal team told reporters in a statement, adding that a ‘number of important procedural and logistical issues remain unresolved.’ Ford’s lawyers said the committee had rejected a request to invite other witnesses, specifically naming Mark Judge, a high school classmate of Kavanaugh; Ford says Judge was a direct witness to her assault. The current committee plan is for only two witnesses – one would be Ford, to be followed then by Judge Kavanaugh, who has sternly denied any wrongdoing involving Ford. GOP Senators and the White House said Ford has offered no corroborating evidence to back up her allegations. “Dr. Christine Ford claimed she was assaulted at a house party attended by four others,” said White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec. “Since then, all four of these individuals have provided statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee denying any knowledge of the incident or even having attended such a party.” “These official letters from the 4 named by Dr Ford — denying any knowledge of what Dr Ford has alleged — serve the same purpose as sworn testimony,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). NEWS: Attorney for Leland Keyser, who Dr Ford says was at the party where the alleged incident with Kavanaugh occurred says “Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford.” pic.twitter.com/l2F0s396IK — Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) September 23, 2018 The Thursday hearing would be a high stakes political event, drawing immediate comparisons to the extra hearings held for the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas, when he defended himself against public accusations of sexual harassment by law professor Anita Hill. Unlike that hearing in October of 1991, neither Kavanaugh nor Ford is currently expected to have testimony from additional witnesses.

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