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  • Showers and storms are moving across parts of metro Atlanta right now.  A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for Stephens, Habersham, Rabun and Oconee counties until 4:45 p.m. Severe Weather Team 2 is tracking the timing of rain in your neighborhood, on Channel 2 Action News at 6 p.m. Storms will increase across north Georgia later Saturday morning and into the afternoon.  A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect for northeast Georgia until 4 p.m. Saturday. SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH: A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until 4pm for northwest Georgia as a cluster of strong storms moves in out of Alabama. We'll be watching it closely through the afternoon. @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/SoKhpozYro — Brian Monahan, WSB (@BMonahanWSB) June 23, 2018 The main risks are heavy rain, frequent lightning, and strong 40 to 60 mph wind gusts, Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Monahan said. Showers and storms will be widespread today across north GA -- here's hoping we can find some windows to get the game in today @SunTrustPark! First place @Braves and @Orioles at 4:10pm. #ChopOn pic.twitter.com/TKtDp3hYBC — Brian Monahan, WSB (@BMonahanWSB) June 23, 2018 [DOWNLOAD: WSB-TV's Weather App for alerts on severe weather] “After storms move through today, we’ll get into a drier weather pattern as a ridge of high pressure builds aloft,” Monahan said. “That will shift the greatest chance of storms tomorrow toward the north Georgia mountains.”  This pattern will continue into Wednesday, with a 20 to 30 percent chance of storms each day.  With drier weather moving in, temperatures will push into the low to mid 90s. What can you get only by watching Channel 2 Action News?  1. Updated hour-by-hour cloud and rain forecast showing the timeline of evening showers and storms and the preferred location for storms Sunday into early this week. 2. Updated severe weather outlook for Saturday evening. 3. A specific breakdown of where the highest chance of rain is Sunday.    Powerful storms downed trees and power lines across the Atlanta metro Friday evening and more are possible throughout the weekend.  One of the giant trees in Colette Inomata’s East Cobb backyard came crashing to the ground during the storms.  “I jumped up, looked in my backyard and the trees were sideways, and I’ve never seen anything like this in my entire life,” Inomata told Channel 2’s Justin Wilfon .  Inomata and her son told Wilfon they were inside their home when the storm blew through.  “All of a sudden the sound just shifted dramatically, and I heard this whish, whish sound or something.  I don’t know what it was,” Inomata said.  That’s when she said they headed for a downstairs closet.  “I’m more of the panicker, so I was screaming for them to come downstairs and take cover immediately. I think they sensed from my voice tone that something was really wrong,” Inomata told Wilfon. TRENDING STORIES: SWAT team called to home after man shoots mother, police say Georgia teachers can get free school supplies from Kroger 4 Wendy's employees accused of dealing meth at restaurant Then the family noticed the large tree laying across their backyard. “I was really shook up. You keep thinking of the what ifs and what it could have been,” Inomata said. “I’m grateful. Feeling blessed that it wasn’t the house or the kids or anything like that.” The storms weakened throughout the evening Friday as they moved east out of Georgia. The threat of severe weather will pick back up with the heating of the day on Saturday. “As we head into the afternoon there are better rain chances,” said Severe Weather Team 2’s Brad Nitz.  Nitz said another round of possible severe storms will move into north Georgia after 6 p.m. Saturday.  “These storms could have heavy rain, gusty wind, lightning and even some small hail,” Nitz said.  Highs Saturday will reach the high 80s, close to 90 throughout the metro.  Things will heat up a bit Sunday, with temperatures in the low 90s. Rain chances are expected to increase by midweek.   A Minute-by-Minute look at the storms: 10 p.m.: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for Floyd and Bartow counties until 10:30 p.m. 7:02 p.m.: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for Spalding, Meriwether, Fayette, Pike, Heard, Coweta and Lamar counties until 7:30 p.m. 6:37 p.m.: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for Heard and Coweta counties until 7p.m. 6:36 p.m.: Storms have downed a number of trees across Milton Weather/Traffic Alert: Evening storms have downed a number of trees across #MiltonGa. 14660 Freemanville Road completely blocked. Hope to have road reopened in 2-2.5 hrs. Drivers navigate carefully--trees & road crews in the roadway. Please RT.— City of Milton (@cityofmiltonga) June 22, 2018 6:16 p.m.: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for Meriwether, Troup and Coweta counties until 7 p.m. New severe thunderstorm warning until 7pm for this storm moving into LaGrange with 60+ mph gusts possible. pic.twitter.com/IHxvo9E5gg — Brad Nitz (@BradNitzWSB) June 22, 2018 6:13 p.m.: Georgia Power is reporting about 4,100 customers are currently without power across metro: Per @GeorgiaPower 4,100 customers are in the dark in the Metro due to storms. #StormWatchOn2 — Katie Walls (@KatieWallsWSB) June 22, 2018 6:10 p.m. A viewer sent in a picture of a tree down across the road along Whitlock Avenue in Marietta: We just got in this photo of a tree down on Whitlock Ave. in Marietta. We're tracking the storms NOW on Channel 2: https://t.co/WRRkDYmnJn pic.twitter.com/2f29JqAdS9 — WSB-TV (@wsbtv) June 22, 2018 6:06 p.m. Channel 2's Lauren Pozen just tweeted this video of heavy rain in Buckhead Total downpour right now in Buckhead. Wind,rain and thunder. Low visibility. Rain coming down in sheets. #StormWatchOn2 pic.twitter.com/6uuPx059An — Lauren Pozen WSB (@LaurenPozenWSB) June 22, 2018 6:04 p.m. a Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for DeKalb, Douglas, Clayton and Fulton counties until 6:45 p.m. 6:01 p.m.: The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office is warning about fallen trees and powerlines: ***WEATHER/TRAFFIC ALERT*** FCSO has trees and power lines down on the following roadways in southwest Forsyth. Valley Stream Drive Post Road at Derby Trail is CLOSED Majors Road near Castleberry Road Use extreme caution while driving.— ForsythCountySO (@ForsythCountySO) June 22, 2018 5:58 p.m.: Channel 2's Richard Elliot is reporting that a tree has fallen across Interstate 20.  Ugh. Tree down on I-20WB about two miles west of Lee Rd. It's affecting traffic all the way back past Thornton Rd. pic.twitter.com/zunLK8D8Al — Richard Elliot (@RElliotWSB) June 22, 2018
  • Two sinkholes have opened on Venture Drive near Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth, a county spokesman said. The road is closed between Steve Reynolds Boulevard and Pleasant Hill Road, a block from the mall’s entrance. The holes, which closed the road right in front of a Sam’s Club, are related to privately owned pipes which were not draining properly, according to spokesman Joe Sorenson. The road is also privately owned. READ | Study: Here’s how much you have to make to afford to live in Gwinnett One of the sinkholes could be seen just beyond caution tape. It was wider and longer than a car and at least five feet deep. The orange helmet of a construction worker peeked out from the hole at the edge of the cratered pavement. County workers from the water, transportation and police departments have responded to the sinkholes and are monitoring the situation, Sorenson said. The county is working to remedy the situation and re-open the road as soon as it is safe. The sinkholes do not block access to the mall, which is on the other side of Pleasant Hill Drive. Like Gwinnett County News on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Stay up to the minute with breaking news on Channel 2 Action News This Morning
  • Single, divorced and widowed individuals may have a higher risk of developing heart disease, stroke and associated risks of death compared to married individuals. >> Read more trending news  That’s according to new research published this week in the journal Heart, for which scientists trawled research databases to understand how marital status may influence risk of cardiovascular disease. Their pooled analysis included 34 studies (1963 to 2015), the largest study to date on the subject, and involved more than 2 million people aged between 42-77 from multiple regions of the globe, including from North America, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Scandinavia. >> Related: Heart attack sufferers more likely to survive if doctor is away, study says Compared to married individuals, those who were never married, or are divorced/widowed, had a 42 percent higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and 16 percent higher risk of developing coronary artery heart disease. Those who had never been married had a heightened risk of dying from both heart disease (42 percent) and stroke (55 percent). >> Related: You may be able to better avoid heart attacks with this common snack, study says Divorce was associated with a 35 percent higher risk of developing heart disease for both men and women. And widowed individuals were 16 percent more likely than married men or women to have a stroke, likely a result of stress-related theory, which suggests that losing a partner may have a negative impact on the emotional, behavioral and economic well-being of an individual. >> Related: Got heart disease? You may have a better chance of survival if married Researchers reported no difference in the risk of death following a stroke between married and unmarried individuals. However, risk of death after a heart attack was significantly higher (42 percent) among those who had never married.“Social causation theory suggests that individuals benefit from spousal support,” study authors wrote. “For example, living with another person allows earlier recognition and response to warning symptoms, especially if a myocardial infarction becomes instantly disabling.” >> Related: Women less likely than men to get CPR from bystanders - and more likely to die - study suggests Studies have shown that unmarried patients had longer delays when seeking help, authors wrote in the report. These individuals are also twice as likely not to take prescribed medications, the strongest predictor of better outcomes. Furthermore, greater financial resources from homes with dual incomes make quality healthcare more accessible. The researchers note that there was no information on same sex partnerships or marriage quality in their report. The meta-analysis didn’t explore unmarried individuals living with someone, either. >> Related: Do heart stents even work? New study finds they fail to ease chest pain Future work, the authors suggest, should focus on whether being married is a “surrogate marker” of other health conditions or whether marital status should be considered a risk factor alone.Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately 610,000 people die of heart disease in the country every year–that's 1 in every 4 deaths. >> Related: Common painkillers increase risk of heart attack by one-third, new study finds More than 350,000 Americans who may or may not have diagnosed heart disease suffer a cardiac arrest each year in areas other than a hospital. And about 90 percent of them die.
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who has accused China of 'intimidation and coercion' in the South China Sea, is visiting Beijing this week as the countries increasingly spar over U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and Beijing's expanding military presence overseas. Mattis will be the first defense secretary in President Donald Trump's administration to visit China. His trip highlights the need for the U.S. and its chief rival in East Asia to engage each other despite increasingly stark differences and mutual suspicion. Mattis' mission comes at a difficult time as the Trump administration is set to start taxing $34 billion in Chinese goods in two weeks while Beijing has vowed to retaliate with its own tariffs on U.S. products. The U.S. appears likely to rely on China for help getting North Korea to deliver on denuclearization promises made at a summit in Singapore between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Below are some of the thorny issues: ___ SOUTH CHINA SEA SPARRING The South China Sea will likely be near the top of the agenda in discussions between Mattis and Chinese officials, with the U.S. issuing threats against Beijing for its continued militarization of the waters. 'There are consequences that will continue to come home to roost, so to speak, with China, if they don't find a way to work more collaboratively with all of the nations who have interests,' Mattis said earlier this month. He said China's weapons were placed in the region for 'intimidation and coercion.' The Pentagon last month withdrew its invitation for China to participate in a large-scale multinational naval exercise in what it called 'an initial response' to the militarization of the South China Sea. ___ KOREAN PENINSULA China was seen as taking home a major win when Trump announced at the summit with Kim that the U.S. would suspend joint U.S.-South Korea war games that North Korea and China have long opposed. Both Mattis and South Korea were seen as caught off-guard by the decision. U.S. and South Korean officials now see the pledge as helping advance nuclear negotiations with North Korea. China welcomed the move, and Kim met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing last week but no new measures toward denuclearization have been announced. Trump said last week that 'total denuclearization' has 'already started taking place.' Mattis, however, was asked Wednesday whether he had seen any sign that North Korea had begun steps toward denuclearization and replied: 'I'm not aware of any. Obviously, we're at the very front end of the process.' ___ TANGLING OVER TAIWAN China's complaints about U.S. contacts with Taiwan have grown louder as the U.S. has sought to increase exchanges with the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its territory, and sells more weapons to it. Mattis will likely hear those arguments made even more forcibly after Trump this year signed the Taiwan Travel Act encouraging high-level visits between the two sides, and the Department of Defense agreed to give American contractors marketing licenses for diesel-electric submarine technology sought by Taiwan's armed forces. The U.S. government also approved a $1.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan last year, although in an effort to mollify Beijing, has been reluctant to supply everything the island's leadership wants. ___ TRUMP'S 'SPACE FORCE' CALL Trump's announcement last week that he was directing the Pentagon to create a new 'Space Force' drew attention in China and may be among the items for discussion in Beijing. Trump framed space as a national security issue, saying he does not want 'China and Russia and other countries leading us.' While the U.S. has dominated in space since its 1969 moon landing, China is making strong headway, while Russia is in decline. China says it opposes the militarization of outer space, but demonstrated its growing prowess in the field in 2007 when it fired a missile that destroyed a defunct Chinese satellite, creating an enormous debris field and drawing concerns from the U.S. and others. ___ PLA'S OVERSEAS EXPANSION In addition to its increased presence in the South China Sea, the People's Liberation Army is expanding its footprint in areas where the U.S. and its allies have traditionally held sway. Most strikingly, China opened its first foreign military base in Djibouti last year, joining the U.S. and a number of other countries with military installations in the Horn of Africa nation. Operating in closer proximity has at times created friction — the U.S. issued a formal complaint to Beijing over the use of lasers that targeted U.S. aircraft in Djibouti on several occasions. The U.S. has also complained about dangerous maneuvers by Chinese military aircraft tailing U.S. surveillance planes in the South and East China seas. ___ CHINA'S TECHNOLOGICAL THREAT Department of Defense officials last week warned lawmakers that China and other countries were threatening America's 'technological and military dominance.' Michael D. Griffin, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, told the House Armed Services Committee's Military Personnel Subcommittee that China was stealing technology and intellectual property in a way that was 'significant and intentional.
  • The son of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is accused of sexually assaulting a woman on a flight Wednesday, but no charges have been filed in the case. >> Read more trending news    The incident reportedly happened on a JetBlue flight when Baker’s son, Andrew Baker, known as A.J., was flying from Washington, D.C. to Boston. Sources told Boston 25 News a female passenger accused A.J. of groping her breast on the flight. 'This is a personal matter for the Baker Family and A.J. will cooperate with any request from authorities,' Baker’s office said in a statement. JetBlue responded to requests for confirmation with a statement. 'On June 20, the crew of flight 1345 were notified of an incident between customers shortly before landing in Boston,' the statement read. 'The aircraft landed at approximately 11 p.m. local time where it was met by local authorities.” Massachusetts State Police say charges have not been filed, and they are not investigating since it is not in the department's jurisdiction. >> Trending: Death of Memphis soldier at Florida training camp is suspicious, family says A.J. Baker's attorney, Roberto Braceras, released a statement on the allegations. 'A.J. is fully cooperating and looks forward to a resolution of this matter,' Braceras said. 
  • Funeral services for four Orlando children killed during a 21-hour police standoff  with their mother’s boyfriend were held Saturday.  >> Read more trending news  The services, which were open to the public, took place at St. James Catholic Cathedral in Orlando, according to an attorney representing the family. The funeral marked a difficult day for the family of Dove Lindsey, 1, Aiden Lindsey, 6, Lillia Pluth, 10, and Irayan Pluth, 12. The day also proved too emotional for the children's mother, Ciara Lopez.  'I remain stuck in that one night, that one night where everything changed, standing outside that apartment, waiting for different news,' she said in a statement.  Detectives believe Gary Lindsey, 35, shot the children either shortly before or after police officers came to the door of his apartment June 10 in response to a domestic battery call from Lopez. She had escaped the apartment. Lindsey fired at the responding officers, seriously wounding Officer Kevin Valencia, who remains in a coma. Lindsey was then holed up in the apartment for almost a full day. Officers found him dead in a closet when they entered the apartment the following day. >>Related: Wife of Orlando officer in coma: ‘My kids need a daddy. This community needs a real hero' The children were found in their beds, police said.  Some of the officers who worked during the standoff went to the service.  'It's heartbreaking to see, obviously a small casket, with an infant inside,' said Orlando Police Chief John Mina.  Lindsey was Lopez’s boyfriend and the mother of all four children. Lindsey was the father of two of the children.