News To Me Blog 

Interesting news breaking on the Internet from the AJC

Red Cross storm response called ‘secret disaster’

  • 4:54 pm Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by George Mathis

Volunteer organizations do a world of good, but the largest one in the U.S. — the American Red Cross — is more concerned with looking good than doing good, according to a critical report published Wednesday.

“The Red Cross’ Secret Disaster,” a joint effort by non-profits NPR and ProPublica, says the humanitarian organization “botched key elements of its mission … leaving behind a trail of unmet needs and acrimony” after Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Isaac struck the U.S. in 2012.

Superstorm Sandy, the second-costliest storm in U.S. history, resulted in massive damage in New York and New Jersey in November. Earlier [More]

‘Deadbeat dad’ cleared by DNA still faces jail

  • 5:50 pm Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 by George Mathis
Carnell Alexander (Image from WXYZ in Detroit)

If police find DNA evidence linking you to a crime you can kiss your future goodbye.

If you provide DNA evidence proving your innocence you may still have to pay a hefty fine or serve time behind bars.

WXYZ in Detroit brings us the sad tale of Carnell Alexander, who is being ordered by the state to pay $30,000 in back child support or go to jail despite DNA evidence showing he is not related to the child.

In 1991, Alexander was pulled over for a traffic violation and told there was a warrant for his arrest because he had ignored a [More]

Ga. man texts probation officer for weed

  • 3:42 pm Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by George Mathis

You don’t have to be stupid to go to prison, but it helps.

A few news articles I read today prove that maxim.

In Albany, Georgia, a man who texted “You have some weed?” to his probation officer will soon be a lot closer to drug dealers.

Alvin Cross, Jr., will spend another year in prison for violating terms of his probation and another year for having a “bag” of cocaine in his house when the probation officer he texted came knocking with drug agents and a search warrant, writes

The WALB article doesn’t tell us why Cross was on probation, how [More]

Button camera spies on, coaches the obese

  • 6:05 pm Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 by George Mathis

If you are like me you wake up every morning hoping the U.S. government will find a new way to get involved in your business.

Prayer answered.

According to one report, the U.S. has awarded $2.1 million in grants to two companies to develop technologies that will monitor Americans’ “lifestyle behavior” and encourage them to not be so fat.

The creepiest of the technologies has a cute name — the eButton — but it will allegedly yell “No way!”at you if you pick up some McNuggets after downing a Big Mac or two.

That’s not cute at all.

But, one must assume the government [More]

Judge orders pastor with AIDS to leave church

  • 6:02 pm Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 by George Mathis
Juan Demetrius McFarland (Image from

UPDATE: A judge ordered pastor Juan D. McFarland Thursday to turn over keys and bank accounts belonging to Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Montgomery, reports WSFA.

A video of the pastor shoving at a female reporter’s face as he walks out of court pretty much says it all.

McFarland was also ordered to return the church Mercedes and was told to stay off church property. The pastor had no lawyer and chose to represent himself in a lawsuit brought by church deacons, who had voted to remove him after he admitted having sex with females congregants on church property without [More]

Georgia prisoners may replace county firemen

  • 3:58 pm Friday, October 10th, 2014 by George Mathis

Firefighters typically wait for disasters to happen.

In south Georgia’s Camden County, where firefighters may soon be required to oversee state prisoners as they fight fires, an entirely new kind of disaster is waiting to happen.

The Florida Times-Union tells us the rural county, home to Cumberland Island, a nuclear submarine base and the lovely St. Marys, is trying to improve its insurance rating to save money on insurance costs.

One of the plans being considered is called the “inmate-to-firefighter” program, which would place two prisoners in each of the county’s three fire stations. The paid firefighters would be required to monitor [More]

Alabama pastor admits sex in church, AIDS, drug use

  • 4:51 pm Thursday, October 9th, 2014 by George Mathis

Police were called to an Alabama church soon after its longtime pastor told parishioners he has AIDS and had had sex with members of the congregation at church. He also admitted to doing drugs and misusing church funds, according to

Juan McFarland, pastor of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Montgomery since 1990, was removed from office Oct. 5 after adding to revelations he began during earlier sermons.

Police were called to the church Sunday because “members were feuding with each other,” said Montgomery Police Sgt. Denise Barnes in the article.

McFarland confirmed the allegations when interviewed by a [More]

DEA uses woman’s seized phone photos on Facebook

  • 6:14 pm Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 by George Mathis

When you go online, your personal data is being mined. Your name, search history, location, the words you type and the images you post are all being scanned and collected.

Curiously, those doing the most to defend privacy rights in the U.S. may be the corporations doing the scanning and collecting. Apple and Google, for instance, have angered law enforcement by saying they will make it easy for users to encrypt cellphone data. Hardware companies are creating hard drives that self-destruct if you send a text message.

A BuzzFeed article brings us the curious tale of Sondra Arquiett, who, [More]

Man killed by cops after car thief alleges meth find

  • 6:21 pm Friday, October 3rd, 2014 by George Mathis

A Georgia man was killed by police executing a search warrant obtained after a car thief told police he stole methamphetamine from the dead man’s vehicle, media reports say.

According to WMAZ in Macon, the car thief broke into a pickup truck in Laurens County, near Dublin, and stole some items on the night of Sept. 22 or the predawn hours of Sept. 23.

The thief then stole an SUV from the home, a Lincoln Aviator, and drove to Dublin, according to police.

The homeowner, David Hooks, a 59-year-old grandfather and businessman, reported the missing SUV.

At about 3:45 p.m. on Sept. [More]

Democracies abandon hosting of 2022 Olympics

  • 6:04 pm Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 by George Mathis
Good times in the ATL (AJC file photo)

Atlanta hosted the Summer Olympics less than 20 years ago.

Long before and after the Sept. 18, 1990, announcement awarding Atlanta the 1996 Olympic Games, it was stressed that hosting the global sporting competition would provide the city permanent benefits.

Turner Field, originally built as Centennial Olympic Stadium, will be abandoned by the Atlanta Braves in 2016. It may be destroyed soon afterwards.

Along with Centennial Olympic Park downtown, the baseball stadium is among the last vestiges of games.

Were the games worth it? I think most in Atlanta would say yes.

Centennial Olympic Park helped spur nearby development. The Georgia Aquarium, the World [More]