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T.MAC raises money for Christopher Sparkman

T.MAC raises money for Christopher Sparkman

(WXIA) -- All 22 Atlanta-area T.MAC restaurants will raise money for Christopher Sparkman this week.

Sparkman was working as a security guard at a Kennesaw FedEx facility last April when he was shot in the abdomen. Since the shooting, Sparkman has undergone more than 30 surgeries. His wife Jamie Lynn quit her job to help take care of him.

Read more about Chris Sparkman's recovery

The Sparkman family faces enormous medical bills; Jamie Lynn has spoken publicly about the need for financial assistance.

T.MAC customers who want to help Sparkman pay for his treatment can do so on Thursday, Apr. 2. Diners can drop their receipts in designated collection boxes; 10 percent of their bills will be donated to the Sparkman family.

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Overturned tank backs up traffic on Buford Connector

Overturned tank backs up traffic on Buford Connector

ATLANTA – An overturned tank backed up traffic on the Buford-Spring Connector in Atlanta on Tuesday afternoon.

Investigators say a semi-truck hit an overpass just south of Monroe Drive causing the tank it was carrying to come loose. The tank wound up in the southbound lanes.

Georgia Department of Transportation workers say the bridge has been hit several times before by oversized loads. They say there doesn't appear to be any damage to the bridge, which supports two MARTA rail lines.

Natalie Dale of GDOT said that the driver of the tractor-trailer was off the approved route. Dale said that according to his permit, he was supposed to be on I-85 but mistakenly got off on the connector.

Man enters home to beg for money

Man enters home to beg for money

ATLANTA -- A 51-year-old man was charged with criminal trespass for entering a home through an unlocked door and asking the resident for money.

Andre Thomas was taken into custody Saturday night after walking into a house in the 380 block of 6th Street in Midtown Atlanta without permission.

The victim told police he was inside the house with six of his friends when Thomas entered. Thomas told the homeowner he was from Detroit and needed money for gas.

Thomas refused to leave the house, so the victim called 911 and chased him to the intersection of Penn and Ponce de Leon avenues, where he was taken into custody.

According to a police report, Thomas told investigators he thought the victim's home was a restaurant, and he entered because he was hungry.

Fox Theatre revamps Friend of the Fox program

Fox Theatre revamps Friend of the Fox program

ATLANTA -- The Fox Theatre's Friend of the Fox program has extended its reach to help other Georgia theaters in need.

A nonprofit Fox Theatre Institute was founded in 2008 after a successful campaign to save Atlanta's iconic Fox Theatre from the wrecking ball. Now, FTI organizers want to pay the efforts forward.

"Because we at the Fox have been privileged to witness firsthand the enduring bond between a community and its historic landmarks, we knew we had to act," Fox Theatre community engagement manager Carmie McDonald said in a statement.

FTI is now working to restore the theater organ at the Grand Theatre in Fitzgerald, the lobby at the DeSoto Theatre in Rome, and the marquee at the Holly Theatre in Dahlonega, among other projects.

Fox Theatre president and CEO Allan C. Vella said Friend of the Fox works hard to save historic theaters that time and technology have forgotten.

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Blimpie offering 51¢ subs on Apr. 2

Blimpie offering 51¢ subs on Apr. 2

(WXIA) -- To celebrate its 51st birthday, Blimpie is offering 51¢ sandwiches this week.

The first 100 customers to visit any Blimpie location nationwide on Thursday, Apr. 2 will be able to order a regular-sized Blimpie Best sub for only 51¢. The promotion is limited to one sandwich per person.

Blimpie also plans to bring back its Hoboken Hero, an Italian sub created especially for last year's 50th anniversary celebration, in May.

Visit blimpie.com to find your nearest location.

Fulton County Police Chief to retire after 35 years of service

Fulton County Police Chief to retire after 35 years of service

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Fulton County Police Chief Cassandra Jones has announced her retirement effective April 7, 2015. 

“Chief Jones will be greatly missed. Her work was a key part of our crime prevention efforts in this county,” says Chairman John H. Eaves.  “Due to her emphasis on community oriented policing, burglaries in our unincorporated area decreased by more than 22 percent during her tenure.”

Chief Jones has served with the Fulton County Police Department since December 17, 1979. She has served as Police Chief since October 9, 2007.  She is the only female to serve as Fulton County Police Chief.

“We thank Chief Jones for her 35 years of service to the citizens of Fulton County, and extend best wishes to her on her retirement,” said County Manager Dick Anderson.

Assistant Police Chief Gary D. Stiles will serve as Interim Chief until a permanent replacement is named.

Thieves swipe keys, cars from restaurant valet lot

Thieves swipe keys, cars from restaurant valet lot

ATLANTA (WXIA) – Two cars and three sets of car keys were stolen from the parking lot of a popular midtown Atlanta restaurant Thursday night. But what makes it so unusual is that it happened after the diners gave their keys to the valet.

Every day we put our trust in others to do the right thing – including with our cars. We trust each other to be safe drivers on the road, we trust mechanics to take good care of our cars – and if you go to certain restaurants, you trust that when you give your car keys to the valet, they, and your car, will be safe.

You certainly do not expect what happened Thursday night.

Midtown restaurant Ecco is a trendy spot for dining and occasional celebrity spotting. But Thursday night, Ecco played host to grand theft auto.

"The first thing was the key was missing," said Prineet Ramakur, one of the victims.