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News Nearby: Elderly Woman Struck by SUV; Tracen Franklin Murder Trial Underway

Here are some of the top headlines from around metro Atlanta.

Elderly Woman Struck in Great Sky

Authorities have identified the woman who was flown to Grady Hospital in Atlanta after she was struck by her own vehicle.

Mary Cantrell, 69, was injured at about 2:20 p.m. Wednesday in the 200 block of Towering Peaks, which is in Canton's Great Sky subdivision, Det. Candy Worthy of the  said this afternoon.

Cantrell's Jeep Liberty "had some issue with the emergency break not turning off when she was trying to turn it off," Worthy said. "The vehicle later rolled down her driveway and struck her causing her injuries."

Read more on Canton-Sixes Patch.

Tracen Franklin Murder Trial Underway 

Testimony began Wednesday in Tracen Franklin's capital murder trial, WSB-TV reported.

Franklin is accused -- along with three others -- of stomping to death Bobby Tillman, a Douglas County teenager, outside a house party in November 2010. One suspect has already pleaded guilty and the other two will as well, WSB's report said. 

Read more on Douglasville Patch.  

Virginia Highlands Residents Nab Burglar

Thanks to the vigilance of Virginia Highland residents, an accused burglar is now behind bars.

Charles Echols, 54, is in the Fulton County Jail on 14 charges related to burglary, according to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office website.

“We believe he is responsible for 13 burglaries in Morningside, Midtown, Virginia Highland, North Highland, Amsterdam and Monroe,” said Atlanta Police Department spokesman Carlos Campos.

Last week, police asked people to be on the lookout for Echols. He was wanted for suspected parole violation in connection with burglary. As the word spread on a Yahoo Group message board, VHlist, neighbors started reporting sightings of Echols.

Read more on Midtown Patch.

Former Canton Assistant Police Chief Denied Hearing

Canton City Manager Scott Wood said there's no basis to change Chief Robert Merchant's decision to fire assistant police chief Todd Vande Zande.

In an Aug. 15 letter to Vande Zande, Wood wrote that he'd reviewed the matter "in accordance with the City of Canton Personnel Policy," and saw "no reason to overturn or modify his decision in the matter." 

Previously, Todd Vande Zande asked that the  assign a hearing officer "who does not report to the City Manager" to oversee the appellate process.

Vande Zande believes Wood was behind his firing.

Read more on Canton-Sixes Patch.  

Georgia Tech Partners With NASA Jet Propulsion Lab

 and the California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) formed a partnership Wednesday to promote and encourage collaboration in space science and technology between the two institutions.

Georgia Tech President G.P. "Bud" Peterson and JPL Director Charles Elachi signed a memorandum of understanding that outlines how the two organizations will work together to identify and enhance research and educational opportunities in space systems and instrument definition and design.

The agreement also promotes personnel exchanges between Georgia Tech and JPL to encourage participation of students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty in JPL research, as well as involve JPL engineers in research and teaching at Georgia Tech.

Read more on Midtown Patch. 

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