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Cold case unit receives federal grant

Cold case unit receives federal grant

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- The Cobb County Cold Case Unit has been awarded a $246,814 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

District attorney Vic Reynolds applied for the grant in May, and will use the money to test DNA evidence and put part-time investigators to work on cold cases.

Cobb County has 400 unsolved murder and sexual assault cases dating back to 1985.

"We are firmly committed to achieving justice for these victims and holding accountable the criminals who preyed on them," Reynolds said in a statement. "That's why creating this unit has been among my priorities, and we are so thankful for this grant to help us."

Reynolds' office said a case grows "cold" when the investigation has stalled for at least 12 months.

Cobb County's cold case tip line number is 770-528-3032.

Pike Nurseries to host Gardenfest event

Pike Nurseries to host Gardenfest event

ATLANTA –- As an official kickoff to the fall season, Pike Nurseries is hosting its annual Gardenfest event on Thursday, Sept. 25 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at all garden center locations.

While stocking up on autumn essentials, guests can take advantage of store-wide specials throughout the evening! All regular price items (excluding grills, propane, sod, pine straw, gift cards and services) will be 20 percent off. Customers can also enjoy complimentary wine tastings and appetizers.

Please visit www.pikenursery.com for local store information.

Unemployment up slightly in August

Unemployment up slightly in August

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate climbed again in August.

The rate was 8.0 percent, up slightly from July's 7.9 percent. It was also 7.9 percent in August 2013.

Cobb County's preliminary unemployment rate was 7.4 percent last month.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said despite the rate increase, metro Atlanta added nearly 6,000 jobs in August, mostly in government; education and health services; manufacturing; and construction. Fewer Atlanta-area residents also filed for unemployment insurance in August than in July.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest August unemployment rate at 6.4 percent. Metro Dalton's was the highest at 10.7 percent.

Bystander helps police catch robbery suspects

ACWORTH, Ga. -- A Cobb County man may be up for a commendation after helping police catch two robbery suspects. Police said the man called 911 after witnessing the robbery and followed the suspects.

Steve Larramore told 11Alive News that he simply reacted on instincts when he saw a suspicious person outside the Zaxby's restaurant on Park Forrest Drive.

"He looked so incredibly out of place," Larramore said. "It's 10:30 in the morning and it's probably 80 degrees and he had a hoodie pulled up tight."

Acworth Police said the suspect was dressed in black and wore sunglasses when he jumped an employee who was carrying a bank bag into the restaurant. Larramore said he heard the woman scream.

"She was obviously in distress, yelling for help," he said.

Woman arrested for eating deli food without paying

ACWORTH, Ga. (WXIA) -- Cobb County Police arrested a homeless woman who they said wandered through a Publix store, eating food while on the move.

Police said at about 11:30 on Friday, September 19, they responded to reports of a theft in progress at a Publix store on Mars Hill Road in Acworth. Before they arrived, dispatchers told them the suspect had left the store and gone to a nail salon nearby.

Officers found 33-year-old Elaina Clark and took her back to the supermarket. Employees there identified Clark as the woman that they said had picked up several items from the deli section of the store and walked off, entering the restroom. When the employees had gone into the restroom behind her, they said she was in a stall. They left her there, then waited for her to emerge.

Salon owner sentenced for videotaping clients

Salon owner sentenced for videotaping clients

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- A Cobb County man admitted in court that he videotaped women using the restroom in his two salons.

Mark Allan Storch, 56, pleaded guilty to 25 counts of invasion of privacy. A Cobb County judge sentenced him to 20 years -- five in prison and 15 on probation.

Storch owned Salon Avenue Suites, a body waxing business with locations in Kennesaw and East Cobb. Police said he installed hidden cameras throughout both salons and used them to record footage of women undressing.

Cobb development authority changes tax break policy to appease schools

Cobb development authority changes tax break policy to appease schools

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- Cobb County’s development authority has changed the way it will award tax incentives to companies that build in Cobb in an effort to get along better with the county’s school board.

Changes include that the development authority will notify school officials when a developer applies for tax incentives and plans to build in either the Marietta or Cobb school districts, and that each developer applying for tax incentives must pay for a cost benefit analysis to show the authority how many jobs are expected, as well as the development’s economic return, reports the Marietta Daily Journal.

The decision comes about five months after the development authority agreed to pay $17,000 in legal fees to the Cobb Board of Education’s law firm after the board challenged a tax break the authority granted a development in 2013, the MDJ adds.