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  • The man whose toddler granddaughter plummeted from a cruise ship window in Puerto Rico this summer appeared in court Wednesday with an attorney and translator present. According to CBS News, no evidence was released. The court is expected to pick a trial date on Dec. 17.  >> Read more trending news  Puerto Rican authorities charged Salvatore Anello, 50, was charged in October with negligent homicide in the July 7 death of 18-month-old Chloe Wiegand of Granger, Indiana. A judge set Anello's bond at $80,000. Chloe and her family were aboard Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas when Anello placed her on a railing by an 11th-floor window, believing glass would be behind her, he told authorities. But the window was open, and Chloe fell through, the Sun Sentinel reported. The girl struck a concrete dock and died, officials said. The Wiegand family's attorney, Michael Winkleman, blasted the charges and said Royal Caribbean should have 'followed proper safety guidelines for windows,' NBC News reported. 'These criminal charges are pouring salt on the open wounds of this grieving family,' he told the news outlet. 'Clearly, this was a tragic accident, and the family's singular goal remains for something like this to never happen again.' In a July 22 interview with 'Today,' Chloe's mother, Kimberly Wiegand, said she and her husband, South Bend police Officer Alan Wiegand, believed that Royal Caribbean had put their safety at risk. 'We obviously blame them for not having a safer situation on the 11th floor of that cruise ship,' she said at the time. 'There are a million things that could've been done to make that safer.' The family also was pursuing legal action against the cruise line, 'Today' reported. Royal Caribbean released a statement in July saying the company was 'deeply saddened by this incident, and our hearts go out to the family,' according to 'Today.
  • Taco Bell has developed a new product and is seriously considering jumping into the fried-chicken-strips game, and will make its decision based in large part on what its customers think of its new offering. >> Read more trending news  Dayton, Ohio, is one of just two cities in the U.S. chosen by Taco Bell to test-market Crispy Tortilla Chicken, which is being rolled out Thursday, in Dayton and in Houston, according to Nation’s Restaurant News, an industry website and publication. Jeff Stone, director of Fiesta Holdings, which oversees Taco Bell restaurants in the Dayton area, confirmed that Crispy Tortilla Chicken would be available at all Dayton-area Taco Bells Thursday.  In August, the Popeyes Classic Chicken Sandwich made its debut, and quickly sparked a viral Twitter feud between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A over which chain’s chicken sandwich was superior. In just two weeks, the Popeyes menu item sold out completely and was pulled off the chain’s menu. It was reintroduced three weeks ago. This is the first time Taco Bell has tested its own fried chicken strips with a dipping sauce, NRN reported. The price will be $1.99 for a soft flour tortilla taco with one chicken strip, and $3.99 for three strips served with the new dipping sauce, NRN reported. “After testing, the brand hopes to launch the strips nationwide by summer 2020 — a relatively quick turnaround for a chain of nearly 7,000 restaurants,” the NRN.com story said.  The industry publication reported that Taco Bell's food innovation team has been working on perfecting a fried chicken recipe for eight to nine month, and tested about 100 versions before deciding on a recipe that fits Taco Bell’s playful Mexican-inspired flavor profiles.  “The all-white meat chicken is marinated in tangy jalapeno buttermilk and then rolled in a blend of panko bread crumbs and crushed white tortilla chips,” NRN reported. “The chip-flavored coating combined with the buttermilk brine and the new Creamy Chilli Pepper dipping sauce creates the Taco Bell twist that the test kitchen strives for ... .”  Taco Bell has tested chicken before, NRN reported. Its restaurants featured a red chili-flavored strip in 2015, but it did not come with a dipping sauce. The Naked Chicken Chalupa, which features a taco shell made of fried chicken, has been an on-again, off-again menu item since early 2017, the industry publication reported.
  • A Commerce, Georgia, man who was being held in jail on 17 child molestation charges now faces more than 60 charges after prosecutors discovered more victims, the Athens Banner-Herald reported. >> Read more trending news  Steven Michael Blackmon, 55, was arrested last month on a 17-count indictment after he allegedly molested and photographed a boy who was younger than 11 years old, the newspaper reported at the time. On Tuesday, Blackmon was denied bond in Jackson County after prosecutors announced there were three more victims, all young boys. The discovery of more victims led to 47 more child molestation and exploitation of children charges being filed against Blackmon, the Banner-Herald reported. Commerce police obtained the additional warrants Nov. 12. Blackmon is accused of preying on young boys, with police seizing numerous photos and videos of the victims participating in sexual acts and posing nude, the newspaper reported. The amount of images led to the large amount of exploitation charges. Police told the Banner-Herald that Blackmon volunteered for a baseball team, indicating it was one way he had access to the boys. Among the warrants, one alleged that Blackmon lured a boy into his home for a hunting trip, but he instead attempted to molest the child. The alleged crimes date to March 2011 and continued through 2016, the newspaper reported. After having his bond denied, he was transferred to the Gwinnett County Detention Center, where he remains. Jackson Blackmon Sheriff Janis Mangum told the Banner-Herald that Blackmon was moved “out of an abundance of caution.” Anyone with information regarding Blackmon is asked to contact the Commerce Police Department at 706-335-3200.
  • Police are looking for the men who allegedly carjacked a college student and robbed her at gunpoint in northeast Atlanta, Channel 2 Action News reported.  Austin Scott, 17, was arrested in connection with the incident, which happened Saturday night on Edgewood Avenue in the Inman Park neighborhood. Police are still looking for two other suspects.  The 22-year-old student told Channel 2 she had spent the day at the Beltline when the incident occurred.  She returned to Edgewood Avenue where her SUV was parked about 9 p.m., she said.  That’s when three men spotted her alone, robbed her, demanded her keys and drove off in her vehicle, Channel 2 reported.  “I was just like, ‘I can’t believe they didn’t kill me,’” she told the news station.  Her car was found in Cobb County on Tuesday after police saw two men running away from it. One of the suspects got away, but Scott was taken into custody.  Scott was booked in the Cobb County Adult Detention Center, where he remains on a $16,720 bond, according to jail records. He is charged with willful obstruction of a law enforcement officer and felony theft by receiving stolen property.  Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact CrimeStoppers at 404-577-8477 or online at www.StopCrimeATL.com. Tips can be sent anonymously and information that leads to an arrest and indictment in this investigation can earn tipsters up to $2,000. In other news: 
  • Police are searching for the man who fired a gunshot in the air after robbing a runner in East Point. On Monday about 6:30 p.m., a woman was running along Norman Berry Drive as part of her marathon training, she told Channel 2 Action News. She spotted a man running toward her, and the next thing she knew, she was staring down the barrel of a gun. “The individual ran across four lanes to get to me, so I thought that was a little bold,” the woman, who asked Channel 2 to remain anonymous, said. “It was very frightening. It caught me off guard.” The man stole her phone and some cash before firing a gunshot in the air as he ran into some woods with a group of other people, the news station reported. The woman, who was training for a Thanksgiving Day marathon, ran inside the nearby WellStar Atlanta Medical Center South hospital to get help and call 911. East Point police have opened an investigation into the case, but no suspects have been arrested. The woman was not able to get a good description of the robber, who was wearing a beanie at the time of the incident, Channel 2 reported. She is now warning others to be more careful when jogging nearby. “There are other runners in the area ... I’d like to let them know to be more vigilant,” she said. Anyone with information about Monday’s robbery is asked to contact East Point police at 404-559-6226.
  • ATHENS — A faint, round, red spot just above his shirt collar is the only obvious physical evidence that something happened to Tate Prezzano nearly seven months ago. However, inside the University of Georgia student’s body a bullet fragment remains lodged just one millimeter from his spinal cord after he was shot multiple times near campus.  “One millimeter. One ‘mm.’ It is the smallest measurement you can get in the metric system,” his father, Dobbin Prezzano, said. To Prezzano and his father, the abbreviation “1 mm” has taken on a new meaning: “One man’s mission,” the tagline for the new foundation and scholarship program Tate Prezzano created in the wake of the shooting.  Prezzano introduced the foundation Wednesday morning at a news conference at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center, the hospital where he underwent his medical treatment after the shooting. It was the 22-year-old’s first public appearance since the April 22 incident. Prezzano said the focus of his foundation, named the TateTough Foundation after the social media hashtag that began trending during his recovery, is to effect safety and security on college campuses.  RELATED: UGA victim ID’d as lacrosse player; police release sketch of alleged shooter Prezzano is part of UGA’s club lacrosse team and played lacrosse and football at Cambridge High School in Milton.  As the junior communications major was waiting at an Athens bus stop, a man approached him, robbed him and shot him multiple times in the upper part of his body. “Few incidents are more concerning than a young man standing at the bus stop, waiting to go to college, that is accosted by an armed assailant, robbed and shot,” Athens-Clarke County police Chief Cleveland Spruill said in a news conference after the shooting.  It happened about 7:15 a.m. the Monday after Easter, Prezzano said. His bus was scheduled to arrive at 7:18 a.m.  He said he saw something move out of the corner of his eye, and when he looked up a man was pointing a gun at him.  Prezzano was hit in the shoulder, in the neck and in the back of the head. He laid bleeding on the sidewalk, watching cars go by and hoping one would stop.  “I actually saw my bus go by,” he said.  One man pulled over. Phil Haymore, who manages the intensive care unit at Piedmont Athens, was on his way to work when he saw Prezzano on the ground.  “I have a son at UGA. He’s right around Tate’s age,” Haymore said. “As far as I’m concerned, my son was laying on the sidewalk.”  Haymore provided care for Prezzano until emergency medical services arrived and took him to the hospital. He remained there for six days.   A second UGA student was also robbed at gunpoint near the bus stop, which is just south of campus and the Athens Perimeter. That student was not hurt in the incident, which occurred moments before Prezzano was shot. He was able to give police a description of the suspect, which was used to create a sketch. It depicted a man with medium-length braids or dreads. Not long after the sketch was released, GBI special agent Mike Ayers said tips started pouring in from community members. MORE: Gwinnett man arrested in shooting of UGA lacrosse player from metro Atlanta Zarren Garner, 20, of Grayson, was arrested in Gwinnett County the next morning. Spruill said they were able to identify Garner through a number of citizen tips and because of the man’s prior “low-level criminal background.”  Thus began Tate Prezzano’s recovery process. He said he spent about five days a week in physical therapy over the summer. He wasn’t able to take summer classes for his major.  “His typical regimen over the summer of academics and athletics ... was going to be replaced by physical therapy, occupational therapy, aquatic therapy,” his father said.  The foundation is part of Prezzano’s recovery process. The first pillar of its three-part mission is to support Prezzano throughout his doctor visits, therapy sessions and various treatments.  The second part, Prezzano said, is to encourage other athletes.  “Our goal is to promote funding for scholarships at two schools that have been an integral part of and made an impression on Tate: The University of Georgia and Cambridge High School,” the TateTough website said. “The Foundation will award a $1,000 scholarship to one University of Georgia lacrosse player and one Cambridge High School athlete each year that the Foundation can support the effort.”  “This scholarship is going to go to the person (we) feel exemplifies what the ultimate teammate would be,” Prezzano said. “The ultimate teammate, in my opinion, is not necessarily the ‘rah-rah’ guy. It’s not necessarily the all-star or the best player. He’s the kind of person that would come off the field if he needs to, he would go on the field and play a different position, or just kind of do whatever is asked and be reliable.”  But invaluable to the TateTough Foundation is the need to augment campus safety, Prezzano said. The foundation is working with UGA to explore options to make the campus safer, such as improved kiosks and phone apps that would allow for a more immediate response in the case of an emergency. Campus safety is at the top of his mind now that Prezzano has resumed taking classes at UGA.   He is still undergoing physical therapy three times a week. However, he is taking 16 credit hours this semester, he said. After 15 more in the spring and one hour during a May semester, Prezzano will walk with his graduating class, he said.  Prezzano said he hopes the foundation’s mission of encouraging campus safety can reach other colleges. He wants his story to help other students be cognizant of their surroundings.  “We are still figuring the world out,” he said. “We don’t know what to look for.”