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Ex-West Virginia football star cut by Falcons faces child sex charge

A former college football standout who briefly signed with the Atlanta Falcons was arrested Saturday by police in Columbus, Georgia, for allegedly having sex with a 12-year-old girl, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported.

Justin Crawford, 23, who played running back at Georgia's Hardaway High School and West Virginia University, faces charges of incest, sodomy and enticing a child for indecent purposes, according to Muscogee County Jail records.

At a preliminary hearing on Monday, Columbus Detective Mark Scruggs said Crawford’s wife, Chakeya, woke up Saturday around 5 a.m. and walked into her living room to find her husband with an erection as he stood over the child, the newspaper reported.

However, she told the Ledger-Enquirer she objected to Scruggs’ account, saying her husband’s penis was exposed but not erect. She said she confronted her husband about it, that he denied any wrongdoing and she decided to go back to bed.

>> Read more news stories 

She took the 12-year-old to the child’s mother later, and that’s when the girl said she had been asleep in the living room when Crawford came in and had her perform oral sex on him before they had intercourse, Scruggs said.

The newspaper reported that Scruggs said Crawford initially denied any sexual contact with the girl to police, but he later admitted to having oral sex and intercourse with her but claimed it was her idea.

Crawford remains in the Muscogee County Jail without bond, according to jail records.

As a senior in high school, Crawford rushed for 825 yards and seven touchdowns, the Ledger-Enquirer reported.

He spent two years at Northwest Mississippi Community College, where he rushed for over 3,000 yards and six touchdowns, putting him in the national spotlight. He then transferred to West Virginia, where he rushed for 2,237 yards and 11 touchdowns over two seasons.

Crawford signed with the Falcons as an undrafted free agent on May 1, but he was among 36 players released in September during the preseason.

He was on the roster for the Atlanta Legends in the new Alliance of American Football league but was suspended by the team after being arrested, according to The Associated Press.

Homeless man lands job, place to live after town rallies behind him

A Massachusetts community is pulling out all the stops to rally behind a homeless man after a good Samaritan paved the way.

>> Watch the news report here

Jimmy Daniel has been living in the woods for the past three years in a tent. Now, he has a place to live and a job thanks to complete strangers and one man who started it all. 

Tim Murdock was making a delivery when he spotted Daniel sitting on the side of the road with a sign and his puppy. Wanting to help out in any way, Murdock gave him a $20 Stop & Shop gift card and posted his encounter on "The Friends of Medway" Facebook page. 

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

"He stood up in tears and [said], 'Thank you so much' and immediately got off the corner and went to Stop & Shop to get food," Murdock told WFXT's Chris Flanagan. "It felt amazing." 

Murdock created a GoFundMe page for Daniel as well, titling it, "Let's Change a Life."

And that is exactly what happened.

After Murdock's Facebook post caught steam, the response from the community of Medway has been fast and furious. Strangers have donated food, clothes, bikes, a cellphone and even vaccinations for Daniel's puppy.

Someone also donated a trailer. 

Daniel is now living in the trailer, which is sitting in a woman's yard. Katherine Hanrahan-Tingley said she was so moved after reading about Daniel on the Facebook page that she offered to let him park the trailer on her property for free. 

>> Read more trending news 

"It was a lot different, a lot quieter. I didn't get the train waking me up," said Daniel about his new living situation. "I was comfortable, overwhelmed. Still I woke up and realized, 'Wow, I'm in a trailer. I'm not in a tent anymore.'"

Along with a place to live and food to eat, a local car dealership offered Daniel a job that he starts on Tuesday.

"There's so much stuff I'm constantly going through," said Daniel. "It's really overwhelming but really amazing at the same time." 

The town of Medway said they are providing Daniel with outreach services to help him get back on his feet, but the camper must be off the property by Dec. 1 because of a town ordinance violation.

Man stabs dad, hits ex for taking too long at Walmart, police say

A Georgia man is in jail on assault and battery charges after he allegedly stabbed his father and punched his ex-girlfriend in the face, police said.

Jonathan Allen Fain, 25, of Gwinnett County, has been charged with aggravated assault, aggravated battery, battery and possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of a felony.

>> On AJC.com: Georgia man accused of taking, posting pictures of sleeping girls in underwear

Fain got his ex-girlfriend to give him a ride to the Walmart on Rockbridge Road the morning of Oct. 11, according to a police report. He began yelling at her that she was taking too long shopping while they were inside, and the yelling continued while she was driving him home, the report said. She told him to get out of the car, but he wouldn’t, so she threw his wallet out the window, according to police. Fain punched the woman in the face and exited the car to get his wallet; the woman took that opportunity to drive away, the report said.

Soon after, Fain arrived at his father’s house in Lilburn. They got into an argument, and at some point, Fain stabbed his father, according to the police report. When an officer arrived around 11 a.m., Fain had fled on foot into some nearby woods, the report said. Fain’s father was lying on the ground with a stab wound to his stomach. The officer found a kitchen knife with its blade missing; the blade had broken off and was still inside Fain’s father, the report said. 

>> Read more trending news 

Shortly after, Fain reportedly returned to the house, entering the basement. Fain surrendered when officers entered the basement and was arrested, the report said.

The father was transported to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, according to the report.

Fain was taken to the Gwinnett County Detention Center, where he is being held without bond. 

Photos: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry begin royal tour of Australia

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex began their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific with a visit to Sydney’s Opera House and Taronga Zoo.

Former Atlanta Fire chief to receive $1.2 million settlement over firing

The City of Atlanta has agreed to a $1.2 million settlement with an ex-Atlanta Fire chief over his firing after he wrote a book that compared homosexuality to bestiality.

>> Read more trending news 

The city council approved the payout to Kelvin Cochran with a vote of 11-3, according to WSB Radio, which was at the city council meeting Monday.

>> Related: Former Atlanta fire chief files federal lawsuit against Reed, city

Cochran filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against former Mayor Kasim Reed and the city after his termination in January 2015, contending he was fired because of his religion. Reed said he fired Cochran during his initial 30-day suspension because of poor judgment and insubordination.

Cochran wrote a religion-themed book titled “Who Told You That You Are Naked?” which described homosexuality as “unclean” and grouped it with bestiality.

>> Related: Former Atlanta fire chief claims discrimination in civil rights suit

Attorneys with the faith-based nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom represented Cochran and filed the suit on Feb. 20, 2015. 

In a letter sent to his supporters, Reed defended the firing and said Cochran did not get the required clearance to write the book. He also said Cochran compromised his ability to oversee gay employees and put the city at risk of discrimination claims.

>> Related: Reed writes letter explaining fire chief firing

The city found no evidence during its investigation of Cochran that his beliefs had played a role in his leadership.

Man injured after accidentally springing his own booby trap

A man in Cleveland County, North Carolina, was seriously hurt after he was shot by his own booby trap.

>> Read more trending news 

Edwin Smith booby-trapped a back door with a shotgun and posted an abrasive warning sign for intruders.

>> Related: Business booming for man who invented booby-trap to detour package thieves

He opened the door at about 11:30 a.m. to feed squirrels. The trap was sprung and he was struck in the arm. He is recovering in a hospital.

Customs beagle named Hardy detects roasted pig’s head in luggage at Atlanta airport

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection beagle named Hardy detected a roasted pig’s head in checked luggage at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

>> Read more trending news 

Hardy, a six-year-old rescue beagle, alerted his handler to a bag belonging to a traveler from Ecuador. Inside was the pig’s head, which weighed nearly 2 pounds.

The director of the Port of Atlanta for Customs and Border Protection, Carey Davis, issued a statement saying the seizure demonstrates “the tremendous expertise of our four-legged K-9 partners in protecting the United States.”

>> Related: Beagle rescued from abuse now detects contraband at Hartsfield-Jackson

The agency seized the pig’s head and destroyed it, saying pork and pork products from other continents are prohibited from entering the United States to prevent the introduction of diseases like classical swine fever, foot and mouth disease and swine vesicular disease.

Travelers are supposed to declare fruit, vegetable and food products to Customs and present them for inspection.

Hardy, a member of the Customs and Border Protection “Beagle Brigade,” got his job in 2015 after training at the National Detectors Dog Training Center in Newnan, Georgia.

It’s not the first time a beagle has intercepted a pig at Hartsfield-Jackson.

In 2016, a K9 beagle named Joey detected a whole roasted pig in the baggage of a traveler from Peru.

Trump tells Warren he’ll honor $1 million bet on her Native ancestry if he ‘can test her personally’

Update 9:45 p.m. EDT Oct. 15: President Donald Trump responded to Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) announcement Monday that a DNA analysis proves she has Native American ancestry.

>> Read more trending news 

Trump has often taunted and mocked Warren using the term “Pocahantas” and has accused her of claiming a Native American ancestor to gain an advantage as a law professor. He vowed to contribute $1 million to her favorite charity if DNA analysis actually proved she had native ancestry.

He changed his mind while touring storm-damaged areas in Georgia, telling reporters he initially offered the donation only if she agreed to a DNA test during a debate as the Democrat’s nominee for president.

“I’ll only do it if I can test her personally, and that will not be something I will enjoy doing either,” he said, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported

Also Monday, the Cherokee Nation offered a rare rebuke of Warren.

"Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong," the tribe’s secretary of state, Chuck Hoskin Jr., said in a statement, according to OKNews.com.

"It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven,” Hoskin said.

Warren said earlier in the day that when “someone brings up my family story, I’ll use it to lift up the story of Native families and communities.”

She said it’s an opportunity to highlight the work of the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC).

“I'll use it today to lift up the NIWRC and their amazing work to protect Native women from violence,” she said.

Original story: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has released an analysis of her DNA showing that she has Native American ancestry.

An analysis of Warren's DNA sample showed she had a Native American ancestor in her family dating back six to 10 generations, according to WFXTThe release of the analysis comes after President Donald Trump has mocked her repeatedly for her claim that she has Native American blood, and repeatedly questioned her ancestry.

>> Read more trending news 

A Stanford professor, Carlos D. Bustamante, who was awarded a MacArthur genius grant for his work tracking population migration via DNA, performed the analysis of the DNA. His report says the majority of Warren's ancestry is European, but there is strong evidence to suggest that she has a Native American ancestor.

Warren's office also released a video to YouTube, "Elizabeth Warren's family story," which directly addresses the attacks on her heritage by the President and includes interviews with her family. A "Fact Squad" website with links to the DNA report and supporting documents was also launched.

>> Watch the video here

Last month, Warren spoke about her future during a town hall in western Massachusetts on Sept. 30. She said she'll take a "hard look at running for president" after the November elections.

Warren, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, is running for re-election in November against GOP state Rep. Geoff Diehl, who was co-chairman of Trump's 2016 Massachusetts campaign.

She has been at the center of speculation that she might take on Trump in 2020.

Trumps visit storm-ravaged Georgia, Florida Panhandle after Hurricane Michael

President Donald Trump and first lady, Melania, arrived at Robbins Air Force Base in Georgia Monday afternoon aboard Air Force One.

>> Read more trending news 

The first couple toured areas impacted by Hurricane Michael after first visiting the devastation in the Florida Panhandle.

The hurricane killed at least 18 people, knocked out power to millions, left a trail of destruction through four states and decimated Georgia’s agricultural industry.

During his first stop in Georgia at a Red Cross facility, the president said he would ask Congress for additional disaster aid funding. 

When he was asked about climate change and if he ever thought weather would occupy so much of his time during his presidency, he responded: “Weather has been a factor and yet, they say [the] worst hurricanes were 50 years ago.

“For a long period of time, we’ve had very few,” he said, according to reporters traveling with the president. “I have a home in Palm Beach Florida and frankly for years, we had none and then, the last couple of years we had more. Hopefully, we’ll go back to many years of having none. We’ve been hit by the weather, there is no doubt about it.” 

>> Related: Photos: Trumps tour hurricane-ravaged Florida Panhandle 

Gov. Nathan Deal greeted Trump at Robins. And U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, a former Georgia governor, and Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, accompanied Trump. 

Trump also weighed in on several other issues during his stop in Georgia, including the disappearance of a dissident Saudi journalist in Turkey. Trump said a lot of people in his administration are working on the case involving Jamal Khashoggi, the missing columnist for The Washington Post. He added he is sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with Saudi King Salman about it.

The president called the nation’s immigration laws the “dumbest in the history...and we are getting them changed one by one.” Further, he responded to the news that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren had released the results of a DNA test that she said indicated she had Native American ancestry. In releasing the results, the Massachusetts Democrat was responding to taunts from Trump and others, who have mocked her as “Pocahontas” and claimed she used her heritage to gain an advantage when she was a law professor. Trump had vowed to contribute $1 million to Warren’s favorite charity if she took a DNA test and it showed she had Native American roots.

“I’ll only do it if I can test her personally, and that will not be something I will enjoy doing either,” he said in Georgia Monday.

>> Related: Hurricane Michael aftermath: Waffle House opens food truck in Panama City 

Trump left the Red Cross building to visit a local farm, where he planned to meet cotton and pecan growers who have suffered storm-related losses. 

On Sunday, Trump issued a disaster declaration for Georgia and ordered federal aid for parts of the Peach State affected by the storm. The president's decision makes federal funding available to people in Baker, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Miller, and Seminole counties. That funding can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs.

Federal funding will also be made available to state and local government agencies and nonprofit groups on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in the the following counties: Baker, Bleckley, Burke, Calhoun, Colquitt, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Emanuel, Grady, Houston, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Laurens, Lee, Macon, Miller, Mitchell, Pulaski, Seminole, Sumter, Terrell, Thomas, Treutlen, Turner, Wilcox, and Worth.

Georgia residents and business owners can begin applying Monday for assistance by registering at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.

 More: President Trump issues disaster declaration for Georgia, orders federal aid for Peach State 

The president stopped in Georgia after surveying hurricane damage in Lynn Haven, Fla., where volunteers were registering storm victims. 

“These are some of the people who make it work, and they do it beautifully,” Trump said, according to reporters traveling with the president. 

“Somebody said it was like a very wide, extremely wide, tornado,” Trump said, standing next to Florida Gov. Rick Scott. “This was beyond any winds they’ve seen for — I guess — 50 years. Nobody has seen anything like it.” 

Scott thanked Trump for the federal response. 

“I want to thank the president for always taking my call — and for showing up. And I want to thank the First Lady,” he said. 

Georgia Power said that as of noon Monday it had restored power to 97 percent of its customers impacted by the storm. 

Candace Reese, spokeswoman for Dougherty County, said Sunday that about 14,000 people were without power in the Albany area but officials expected power to be back by midweek. Churches and Tyson Foods were offering hot meals as 10 extra chainsaw crews headed down to cut the city out from under the many trees that fell.

Phil Buckhalter, an Early County farmer near the Alabama border, said Saturday that conditions were getting worse and would continue that way, with farmers and residents alike running out of gas to power generators. With no clear answer to when power will return, Buckhalter and other farmers have been sharing the precious fuel they have on their farms with desperate residents, who don’t have the means to get their own. The farmers want to help less fortunate residents who aren’t as well off, and certainly not after an unprecedented hurricane. 

But that means the farmers can’t use the gas to power machinery for saving the few crops they have left in their battered, soggy fields. 

“It’ll run out directly,” Buckhalter said. 

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said his office is scrambling to get generators up and running and to reopen sites where peanuts can be graded and dried.

“One of the things we are working on right now is bringing things back on line,” he said as he awaited Trump in Macon. “There are so many places and people that are still without power. And our team has been working together on some of those priority places to get plants back open.”

>> Related: Hurricane Michael: Neighbors come together to donate supplies for hurricane victims

The hurricane has also whipped up the race for Georgia governor. Republican Brian Kemp traveled to southwest Georgia on Saturday to help local officials prepare for the start of early voting and returned to the area on Monday. His campaign organized a disaster relief drive and briefed supporters from a distribution center in Bainbridge. 

“The response on the ground, while there is much to do, has been unbelievable from the federal, state and friends and neighbors who are helping men and women indeed,” Kemp said. “It makes you proud to be in Georgia.” 

His rival, Democrat Stacey Abrams, ticked through the spate of hurricanes that ravaged her hometown of Gulfport, Miss., to a crowd in Macon as she outlined how she would handle disaster recovery if elected. 

“It’s about immediate response and also about long-term planning,” she said. “And I’m running for governor because I believe in making sure that we have a leader who sees these communities not only in the moment of devastation and the immediate aftermath, but a year out when folks have walked away and supplies have dwindled. “ 

The New York Times, the Associated Press, The Washington Post and AJC staff writers Ben Brasch, Greg Bluestein and Joshua Sharpe contributed to this report.

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