ATLANTA - The parents of the Valdosta teen who was found dead, rolled up inside a wrestling mat at a high school spoke exclusively to 11Alive's Karyn Greer - plus day 14 of the government shutdown top our list of the 11 Things You Need to Know for Monday, October 14.
The parents of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson, along with their attorney, C.B. King, sat down with Karyn Greer Monday morning. They said that contrary to the initial investigation into the teen's death, they believe his death was not an accident. According to initial reports, Kendrick dove into the rolled up mat to retrieve a lost shoe, got stuck upside down and died of asphyxiation. A second autopsy ordered by Kendrick's parents indicated the teen was killed by blunt force trauma to the neck. Watch Karyn's full interview here: http://on.11alive.com/1geUWSQ
A number of federal parks and monuments - most notably the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore - have reopened over the past few days, thanks to deals between individual states and the federal government. Under the deals, the state governments will pay the costs associated with the opening of the federal parks. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal says no such deal will be put in place for national parks in the state of Georgia. More details here: http://on.11alive.com/1fxkqd4
Macy's is planning to open their stores on Thanksgiving Day - a first-ever move in the retail giant's 150-plus year history. http://on.11alive.com/192pnWd
Early statewide voting begins today in advance of next month's general election. Four sites are open in Fulton County, while single sites are being opened in some other Metro counties. http://on.11alive.com/192prFj
The annual Pride Parade was a big weekend highlight for many in-town visitors this past weekend. We've got video of the entire parade along with plenty of photos in our gallery. http://on.11alive.com/192pvF0
Veterans all over the nation protested loudly over the weekend, in a massive show of solidarity against the ongoing federal shutdown. Many who protested talked about the reports of the World War II Memorial in Washington being barricaded, followed by delays in death benefits for families of soldiers killed in action, and even reports of VA benefits possibly being affected if the shutdown continues. One supporter pointed out, "Benefits should never be cut off. And these memorials were built for veterans and paid for with their blood, sweat and tears." http://on.11alive.com/192pyRh
Electronic Benefit Transfer cards in 17 states, including Georgia, are working again this morning after the verification system used for them went offline Saturday. Xerox, the company behind the verification system, said a power failure in a processing center caused the disruption. The system was back online and working by late in the day Saturday in most locations. The cards are used to provide government food assistance to families receiving welfare benefits. http://on.11alive.com/1fxkSbi
A stolen car was pulled out of the Chattahoochee River at the Fulton-Douglas county line early Sunday. Thankfully, no one was inside the car. Police said the car was stolen in Fairburn in early October. http://on.11alive.com/192pOQg
Netflix is talking to Comcast and other cable companies, according to the Wall Street Journal, about launching a Netflix app for cable boxes. The service is already available through web-connected television sets, video game consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and set-top media players like the Roku and Apple TV. The programmer has made significant moves into providing original programming like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. http://on.11alive.com/1geVHvd
NBC's Bob Costas waded into the ongoing controversy over the Washington Redskins' name Sunday evening. Costas said the team's name was an insult to Native Americans. He also said that while offense is not intended, offense can be taken from the name. More than 1,000 11Alive viewers voted in a text-to-vote poll Sunday night, with 84 percent of them disagreeing with the sportscaster's comments.
Another casualty of the federal shutdown is that the federal E-Verify system. The system is used to verify the citizenship of employees at US firms, and has been offline for the 14 days since the shutdown began. Many companies affected are simply moving ahead with hiring and employing new folks, with the promise of running their credentials through the system once it comes back online.