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1 victim ID'd in Ball Ground house explosion

BALL GROUND, Ga. -- Three bodies were recovered from the scene of a house fire in Cherokee County last Wednesday.

Cherokee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Jay Baker confirmed Monday that investigators used dental records to positively identify one of the victims as 46-year-old Darlene Norrell.

Officials responded to the fire on Spriggs Trail in Ball Ground at around 3:35 a.m. Wednesday, according to Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services spokesman Tim Cavender. Neighbors called 911 after hearing an explosion at the house.

Cherokee County Fire Lt. Wesley Densmore said the split-level house had already burned to the ground by the time crews arrived.

Wait times improving for driver's license renewal


Twenty days after tougher, federally mandated ID requirements to renew a GA driver's license kicked in, excruciating wait times seem to be improving.

In the first week and a half, some drivers reported waiting up to five hours to have their paperwork processed. But now it seems, both drivers and DDS employees are becoming more acquainted with the new list of required documents. 

One reported snag, however, is the requirement for women with different names on their birth certificate and driver's license due to marriage, to present an original marriage certificate. 

If you were married in Georgia, and you need to obtain an original marriage certificate, click here.


Gov. Deal swears in Ga. Supreme Court justice

Gov. Deal swears in Ga. Supreme Court justice

ATLANTA (AP) - Gov. Nathan Deal has sworn in the newest justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Keith Blackwell was sworn in Thursday morning in the House Chamber of the State Capitol.

Deal last month appointed the 37-year-old Blackwell to fill a vacancy left by Chief Justice George Carley. Carley's resignation as chief justice was effective Tuesday.

Blackwell had served on the Court of Appeals since he was appointed in 2010 by former Gov. Sonny Perdue. He is the 92nd justice since the court's creation in 1845.

Blackwell previously practiced civil and criminal law. He will serve on the court until 2014, when voters will decide whether to keep him on the bench for a six-year term.

Atlanta family realizes dream of home ownership

ATLANTA -- Volunteers from five metro Atlanta churches put the finishing touches on Portia Davis' new home in Southwest Atlanta on Saturday.

Davis, a single mother of three children, helped build the home through Habitat for Humanity.

Dunwoody United Methodist Church provided volunteers and the funding for the home.

Other volunteers from Hickory Flat UMC in Canton, Northbrook UMC in Roswell, Winters Chapel UMC in Atlanta and Simpsonwood UMC also joined on the build.

Woman's murder leads to boyfriend's arrest

CANTON, Ga. -- A Cherokee County man has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of his girlfriend.

Cherokee County Sheriff's deputies answered a person shot call on Pea Ridge Road around 1 a.m. Sunday, where they found a woman with five gunshot wounds.

The victim, 19-year-old Dejanirra Elrod, was rushed to WellStar Kennestone Hospital where she later died from her injuries.

According to Cherokee County Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Jay Baker, investigators were able to piece together witness accounts and initiate a search for Elrod's boyfriend, 21-year-old Trevor Nuckles of Canton.

A Canton police officer spotted Nuckles walking near the River Ridge Apartments, where he lived with the victim. Cherokee Sheriff's deputies took him into custody.

Investigators and a canine unit recovered a 9mm pistol when they arrested Nuckles.

Transportation Tax Debate On 11Alive

ATLANTA, Ga. -- A supporter and opponent of the July 31st transportation tax referendum debated the issues on 11Alive Weekend Morning News Saturday.

State Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers has broken ranks with fellow Republicans Governor Nathan Deal and Lt. Governor Casey Cagle in opposing the measure.   Democratic State Senator Curt Thompson says what's on the ballot is not perfect, but says the state in general, and metro Atlanta specifically, must do something now to ease gridlock.

Senator Thompson says if the measure fails, businesses will bypass Georgia and go elsewhere.  Majority Leader Rogers dismissed that claim, saying that businesses in states with more developed mass transit than Atlanta have already come to Georgia and will continue doing so.

Many of the questions asked arose from questions viewers have posed to 11Alive via e-mail or postings on our Facebook page.



State's net revenue up 4.8 percent in fiscal 2012

State's net revenue up 4.8 percent in fiscal 2012

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia's state government ended the fiscal year of 2012 with $16.1 billion in net revenues, a 4.8 percent increase compared to fiscal year 2011.

Republican Gov. Nathan Deal said in a statement Friday that "positive year-over-year growth continued for the eighth consecutive quarter" as net revenues reached $4.3 billion for the fourth quarter compared to $4.1 billion last year.

Those collections are viewed as a rough measure of economic health. The government collects more tax money as people get jobs, earn better pay and make purchases.

Net revenues in June totaled $1.54 billion, a 2.6 percent increase compared to June 2011.

Individual income tax collections dropped 0.2 percent from June 2011 to $780.75 million last month, but corporate income tax collections rose 38.7 percent through the end of fiscal 2012.