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Local students in finals of homemade prom outfit contest


ATLANTA – Two metro Atlanta students are hoping to get "Stuck at Prom."

Ella Coleman, 16, and Jarron Jones, 17, of Lithonia, Georgia, made it to the top 10 in the duct tape contest.

The pair created their red, black and gold formal wear with 70 rolls of tape and 198 hours of work.

Now they are in the running for the grand prize: a $10,000 Scholarship.

Vote for them here: http://stuckatprom.com/

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Stabbing suspect in custody after SWAT standoff


DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- A stabbing suspect has been taken into custody after a SWAT standoff on Wednesday.

Authorities responded to the stabbing, which took place at the Memorial Inn on Memorial Drive, just after 9 a.m. Wednesday.

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As officers arrived, the suspect ran into the Willow Run Apartments. The area was secured and SWAT responded to the scene. Around 1:30 p.m., the suspect surrendered to authorities.

The victim is reportedly in critical condition.

Brother charged after 10-year-old boy shot in head


DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- Police have charged a man in the accidental shooting of a 10-year-old boy in Lithonia on Monday.

The incident happened on Embarcadero Dr. in Lithonia around 1 p.m. The boy, identified by family members as Deshawn Beddles, was reportedly with his 24-year-old brother and a 7-year-old family member at their apartment complex when the shooting happened.

The brother, Tyderris Cash, was handling the weapon when it discharged and struck Beddles, according to DeKalb County Police Capt. Steven Fore.

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How do you know if the hydrants in your community are working?


STONE MOUNTAIN, GA (WXIA) -- Fire hydrants in your neighborhood working properly? It's something you might not think about, until there's a fire.

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That's what happened on Wednesday in DeKalb County.

Firefighters were called to a Stone Mountain house fire, only to discover the hydrants in the area were not working. Officials said the hydrant was fixed by Thursday afternoon, and color-coded as part of a new initiative with local watershed management officials.

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Man sentenced in MARTA murder, multiple rapes


DECATUR, Ga. -- A DeKalb County man was recently sentenced to life without parole for murdering a woman at a MARTA bus stop and raping three others.

Christopher Merritt decided to plead guilty in lieu of facing the death penalty.

According to the murder indictment, Merritt, 18, approached Marcaysia Dawkins at a Fairington Road MARTA stop on Nov. 23, 2014. While waiting at the bus stop, Merrit approached Dawkins and attempted to steal her handbag.

During the struggle, Merritt fatally shot Dawkins twice with a 9mm handgun and fled the scene with the victim's belongings.

Merrit faced two additional indictments for crimes including three rape charges and two armed robbery charges from 2013. All of Merritt's indictments were included in the recent plea before DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gail Flake.

Bus stop killer sentenced to life


DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- The man accused of gunning down a woman at a MARTA bus stop last year pleaded guilty to the crime.

Christopher Merritt faced the death penalty for the murder of 19-year-old Marcaysia Dawkins. After he entered his plea Tuesday morning, a DeKalb County Superior Court judge dropped the death penalty and sentenced him to life in prison without parole.

Dawkins died Nov. 23, 2014 as she waited at the MARTA bus stop on Fairington Road in Lithonia. Prosecutors said Merritt approached her and tried to steal her purse. When she fought back, he shot her twice.

"It's truly a disturbing thought that Ms. Dawkins could have been anyone on any given day," DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said in a statement. "The life of a vibrant, young and hardworking 19-year-old woman was taken away in broad daylight."

Child nearly drowns at DeKalb Co. YMCA


DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- A young girl was transported to the hospital after nearly drowning at a YMCA in DeKalb County Tuesday morning, fire officials said.

According to Captain Eric Jackson of the DeKalb County Fire Department, the incident happened at the Wade Walker Park Family YMCA located at 5605 Rockbridge Road. A lifeguard was able to revive the child with CPR.

The child was taken to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. She was said to be alert while being transported.