TIME Crime

Student Killed in Shooting at Savannah State University

The victim died from gunshot wounds sustained during an altercation at the student union

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Authorities are investigating after a shooting at Savannah State University killed a student and prompted a lockdown at the Georgia school.

A statement posted on the university’s website identified the victim as Christopher Starks, a junior from the Atlanta area. The statement says he died at a hospital from gunshot wounds sustained during an altercation at the student union Thursday evening.

Loretta Heyward, a spokeswoman for the university, told The Associated Press the campus lockdown was lifted around midnight Thursday.

The school’s statement says no arrests have been made and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is handling the investigation with assistance from campus police.

The university says classes will be delayed Friday until 10 a.m. and grief counselors will be available on campus.

TIME georgia

Georgia Police Reserve Parking Spots for Safe Craigslist Transactions

Liz Reeder—Douglas County Sheriff's Office

Douglas County Sheriff's Office has reserved parking spots for people to safely make online transactions

A Georgia county sheriff’s office has set aside four parking spots for residents who want to make safe online sales.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia announced on Tuesday that they have reserved the parking spots—right outside the police force’s office—for people who are worried about safety when they meet someone that they are buying things from or selling things to online.

The officers recommend that meetings are made during daylight hours. People can also call the police communications division and request that a deputy be present during the transaction.

The Georgia officers are not the first to create a safe place for residents to meet buyers and sellers from online marketplaces. Cops in the Philadelphia suburb of Conshohocken began offering locations in their parking lot and lobby for such business in October 2014. Similar measures have been taken in other cities.

TIME georgia

Confederate Flag Supporters Rally in North Carolina and Georgia

“We’re not here to promote racism. That’s not what the flag is about"

About 150 Confederate flag supporters rallied in North Carolina on Saturday, the latest challenge to the growing numbers of elected officials and public figures who want to consign the flag to history as they consider it a symbol of slavery and segregation.

Cars, pickups and even a sheriff’s cruiser streamed through Stokes County carrying Confederate, Christian and American flags in celebration of the Confederate Pride Rally and Ride, the Winston-Salem Journal reports. Attendees were showing support for their Southern roots, rally organizer Cody Hall explained, and not for the flag’s appropriation as a “symbol of hate.”

“People want to ban the flag, vandalizing Confederate monuments,” Hall said. “We’re here to stand up and say, ‘This is our heritage. You have a right to hate it, but we have a right to respect it and love it.'”

A similar rally also took place on Saturday in Georgia, attracting hundreds of attendees to Stone Mountain Park, where a giant mountain carving commemorates Confederate leaders.

The debate over the Confederate flag exploded in June after nine black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., were allegedly shot to death by a white gunman, Dylann Roof. The alleged shooter had posed with the Confederate flag in photos taken before the shooting, which had still been flying on the grounds of the South Carolina State Capitol in the days after the massacre.

[Winston-Salem Journal]

TIME Florida

Families of Missing Florida Teens Plead for Help

Perry Cohen (L) and Austin Stephanos, both 14 years old.
U.S. Coast Guard—AP Perry Cohen (L) and Austin Stephanos, both 14 years old.

Overturned boat was found Sunday, two days after 14-year-olds took it out

The families of two teenage boys who went missing while fishing off the coast of Florida pleaded for help Monday, asking people to scour the shores for debris or any clues that might lead to their sons.

The 19-foot white single-engine boat that Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14, took out off the coast of Jupiter late last week was found Sunday, roughly 67 miles off the shore of Daytona Beach. There was no sign of the teens in the boat, according to the Coast Guard.

“We want everybody, once again, from Palm Beach all the way up the coast of…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME georgia

This Adorable Photo of Two Dogs ‘Hugging’ Saved Their Lives

An anonymous vet saved the day

Puppy pals Kala and Keira were going to be put down if they weren’t rescued by the end of the day on Tuesday. Then Angels Among Us, a Georgia pet rescue charity, posted a photo of the two in an embrace.

“We’re so scared in here,” the post said, taking the voice of Kala, who is seen clinging to Keira, a boxer mix. “The people working in the shelters see how scared we are but just told each other that today is our deadline. We have to have someone rescue us or we’ll be ‘next.'”

Two hours and six minutes later, the two were adopted by an unnamed vet, the shelter said.

TIME LGBT

See Some of the First Same-Sex Marriages in States That Didn’t Previously Recognize Them

The Supreme Court on Friday struck down the ban on same-sex marriages in all 50 states. These images show some of the first gay marriages Friday in states like Texas, Nebraska and Georgia, where same-sex marriages previously weren't recognized

TIME georgia

Escaped Tiger From Georgia Zoo Kills Man and Is Put Down

White tiger georgia tbilisi
Reuters A white tiger, that had escaped from its enclosure during flooding, lies on the stretchers after it was killed by police in Tbilisi, Georgia, June 17, 2015.

Flooding in the country of Georgia that began last Saturday has killed at least 12 people

A tiger that escaped from a zoo in Tbilisi, Georgia during extreme flooding was shot and killed Wednesday after it took the life of relief worker.

“The tiger is liquidated,” interior ministry spokeswoman Nino Giorgobiani told the Washington Post.

The tiger had escaped captivity over the weekend along with a slew of other zoo animals. Before the attack, zoo officials had said that the tiger, along with eight lions and seven other tigers, had been found dead, according to the Guardian.

Flooding in Georgia began last Saturday and has killed at least 12 people, including three zoo workers.

[Washington Post]

 

TIME Television

First Transgender Contestant to Appear on the U.S. Version of Big Brother

"I'm the Beyoncé of my life story"

The American version of Big Brother will welcome its first transgender “houseguest” on the upcoming 17th season, following in the footsteps of its British cousin.

Transgender contestant Nadia Almada won the fifth season of the U.K. show and now Audrey Middleton, a digital media consultant from a small town in Georgia, will aim to repeat that feat on the American version, Variety reports.

Born Adam, the 25-year-old Middleton applied to be on the show on the CBS website as a loyal “superfan” and was open about her transgender identity in her application.

In her bio on CBS, she says that she “loves to get dressed up and look fabulous head-to-toe, but also isn’t afraid to get dirty.” She also says that she enjoys “fabulous hair, lashes, makeup,” and is “the Beyoncé of her life story.”

Middleton plans on discussing her transition throughout the show and on the premiere episode of the season, Variety says. “I think there’s a chance I could be a misunderstood hero, but I’m going to be a hero,” she said in her introduction video.

[Variety]

TIME animals

See the Zoo Animals That Escaped in Georgia

Hippos and bears, among other animals, escaped from a Tbilisi zoo this weekend after heavy flooding. At least a dozen people, and several animals, have died in the floods

TIME Behind the Photos

Southern Rites: The Heartbreaking Story of Justin Patterson’s Death

In HBO's Southern Rites, photographer Gillian Laub goes to Mount Vernon, Ga., a racially divided town

When Gillian Laub started photographing the racially divided town of Mount Vernon, Ga. — with its segregated homecomings and proms — she stumbled onto the story of Justin Patterson, a 22-year-old black man who was killed, on Jan. 29, 2011, by Norman Neesmith, a 62-year-old white man.

Patterson’s story, which further divided Mount Vernon, is the subject of Southern Rites, a HBO documentary premiering on May 18.

Dedee Clarke, Justin’s mother, spoke to TIME.

Gillian LaubSha’von, Justin and Santa, 2012

“When I got the call, it was around 3.45 in the morning and my youngest son, Sha’von, said that Justin had been shot and he was dead… For a long time, Sha’von wouldn’t talk about it, he would only tell me things in bits and pieces. It wasn’t until 2013 that he told me the whole story. I think that the thing that bothered him the most was that the gun was actually aimed at him. Justin looked back, saw that and pushed Sha’von out of the way and took the shot himself. It’s something I don’t think he’ll really recover from. He just has to learn to live with it. It’s a day-by-day process, but I don’t think anybody can ever be the same.

The first time I met Gillian was in 2010. My youngest son, Sha’von, was attending the prom that year, and she was photographing it. I thought the work she was doing was great. But I didn’t know that much about her, I just knew that the pictures that she was taking were important. I didn’t get to know her on a deeper level until my son, Justin, died.

[When Gillian shifted her focus to what had happened to Justin], I was, at first, a little reluctant. But I could just see her passion and drive as she talked to me and I knew at that point that she really cared. I was more relaxed around her and I began to open up. But I just remember saying that it wasn’t going to be pretty sight because I was just not in the right state of mind, and she understood that.

You have to feel some kind of compassion when you do this. And Gillian had that; she felt it. And because she felt it, I believed that shows in her work.

Of course, it was very difficult to see Norman Neesmith in Gillian’s film. I had always made it a point not to really look directly at him. And to see him up close and personal in the film, it was very hard. It was hard to watch some of the things that he said. It’s just hard to hear that he never really acknowledged that his daughter invited them into his home. I felt that he thought he was a victim. I don’t think he understands that Justin had a life. He had a daughter. And she will never have her father.

Gillian’s work makes me feel that my son’s death was not in vain. That’s the one thing that I can hope for. I’m hoping that it will help someone. It’s too late for my son, but maybe it can help somebody else.

I’m hoping it will help other mothers to see that you can still survive that kind of pain and. I’m a survivor because God says I am. Everything that I believe in is because of God. He’s the reason that I’m here because there’s no way I could have done any of this by myself. I felt like nobody really cared because the story wasn’t out. It was a while before it was even in a paper. To see it now and to know that people really care, it does make me feel supported. It definitely does. I’m thinking that everyone will have an idea of what happened. This is real life. These people are real people; they feel that pain continuously every day.

My goal here is for people to know and understand that there’s still, very much so, a lot of injustice in this world and something has to be done about it.”

Southern Rites by Gillian Laub premieres on HBO on May 18. A book, published by Damiani, will be released in June.

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