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Cat reunited with owner 14 years after hurricane disappearance

Perry Martin probably can’t stop pondering about his cat.

>> See the Facebook post here

In 2004, the orange tabby Thomas 2, or simply just “T2,” disappeared.

It happened when the Fort Pierce man moved into a friend’s house in Stuart after Hurricane Jeanne stormed through the area, according to TCPalm.

>> Delta under fire after flying a puppy to the wrong airport

The retired K-9 officer grieved, but then came to terms with the idea that his cat had moved on to other ventures, or to that great catnap in the sky. 

That all changed on March 9 with a phone call.

“Someone said, 'What if we told you T2 was alive?' I figured it was a mistake," Martin told TCPalm. "It was too crazy to believe."

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Worn and weary, the fiery feline was found wandering the streets of Palm City.

He was brought into the shelter, where a scan of his skinny shoulder detected a microchip, which eventually led him back to Martin. 

Next thing you know, the tabby, now 18 years old, is back snuggling on his owner’s lap

>> Read more trending news 

The cat is content, but Martin’s questioning persists.

"Could you imagine if he could talk for just 15 minutes to tell us what he's been through?" Martin told TCPalm. "He'd probably say, 'Why did you keep the door shut, Dad?'"

Read more at TCPalm.

Storms, possible tornado ravage parts of metro Atlanta

A powerful storm system swept through north Georgia overnight, sending trees into roads, damaging homes and businesses, knocking out power to thousands and leaving south Fulton County a disaster zone.

>> Watch the news report here

>> PHOTOS: Storms blow through the South, leave damage in wake

More than 130 severe weather reports of large hail, damaging wind and possible tornadoes came in Monday, according to WSB-TV in Atlanta.

>> Tornado facts and safety: Everything you need to know

“The severe thunderstorm and tornado threat is over in north Georgia,” WSB-TV meteorologist Brian Monahan said. “But the cleanup is about to get underway.”

In Cobb County, a tree crashed into a home on Glenroy Place. Lightning hit a home in Gwinnett County. And in Clayton County, a fire damaged an eight-unit apartment in the 7200 block of Tara Boulevard.

>> These are the safest places in your home during a tornado

Food, shelter and other essentials were provided for 17 people affected by the fire, American Red Cross of Georgia spokeswoman Sherry Nicholson said.

But the most severe damage was reported in south Fulton and Haralson counties.

>> What's the difference between tornado watch and warning?

Storms ravaged homes and cars in a subdivision off Campbellton Fairburn Road.

“We expect a busy day ahead as daylight approaches, increasing visibility in hard-hit areas,” Nicholson said. “Currently, a team is on the ground in Fairburn, where homes in the Jumpers Trail neighborhood suffered significant damage.”

>> For complete coverage of the storms’ aftermath, head to and

The Haralson County School District canceled school and activities Tuesday “due to storm damage throughout our community that may make bus service impossible,” the district said on Facebook.

Georgia Power reported 273 outages affecting 10,025 customers.

“The electric membership cooperatives were hit hard as severe weather, and possible tornadoes, pounded many parts of Georgia last night, interrupting power to 13,000 customers, primarily in the west part of the state,” Georgia EMC spokeswoman Terri Statham said.

>> Read more trending news 

Ontario Alvarez was at his mother’s home in the 7100 block of Jumpers Trail with his 13-year-old brother when the storm moved in late Monday.

To protect the family, he dragged a mattress in a bathroom, where everyone hid to avoid the storm’s path.

“We’re from Florida, so we’re used to hurricanes,” Alvarez said. “But this was different. We didn’t see it coming. We didn’t know what to do.”

Spring 2018: 5 things to know about the vernal equinox

Spring is finally here with the arrival of the vernal equinox, as determined by people who base their seasons on the Earth’s position relative to the sun and stars. Here are five things to know:

1. What is it? During the vernal equinox, the sun shines directly on the equator, and the northern and southern hemispheres get exactly the same amount of rays. Night and day are almost equal length.

>> Spring 2018: What’s the difference between meteorological spring and astronomical spring?

2. What does equinox mean? The Earth spins on a tilted axis, which means its northern and southern hemispheres trade places in receiving more light as it orbits the sun. The axis is not inclined toward or away from the sun at the equinox, which is derived from the Latin words for equal (aequus) and night (nox).

3. Why is it important? For ancient societies, the vernal and autumnal equinoxes marked when winter turned to spring and when summer turned to fall, respectively, and helped people track time-sensitive things, such as when to plant crops.

>> Read more trending news 

4. Didn’t spring start already? Meteorological spring started March 1. Forecasters like to start the season on the first day of March because they prefer a calendar in which each season starts on the same day every year. It helps with record keeping, among other reasons. But the Earth, sun and stars don’t quite conform to the Gregorian calendar – thus the vernal equinox doesn’t fall on the same day every year.

5. What's next? The summer solstice is June 21, but meteorological summer begins a few weeks earlier on June 1.

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Seasonal allergies could be affecting your pets

The weather in some parts of the country is not helping people with allergies, and your pets could also be feeling the effects of the high pollen (and other allergens) count. 

>> Read more trending news 

Pets are often sniffling grass, other pets and the ground. They are also much closer to where the allergens can sit, so they could be more exposed to more allergens, such as pollen. 

>> On More weather facts and hacks

Just like humans, dogs and cats can sneeze, get watery eyes and runny noses. Allergies can make these symptoms worse. According to the Humane Society, dogs often express pollen allergy symptoms by itching. The pollen gets on their fur, makes its way down to their skin and irritates it. 

>> On Interactive: Common medications used to treat your cough

Here are some ways to help your pet cope with seasonal allergies:

  • Consult your veterinarian to make sure the irritation on the skin is not something worse. Your veterinarian can prescribe allergy medicine if needed. 
  • Try to limit activities outdoors, especially in the morning, when pollen levels are the highest.
  • After a walk, wash or wipe your pet's face and paws a wet towel. Just like in humans, the pollen can be washed out. 
  • When you bathe your pets, use warm water when applying shampoo and cool water to wash it off. Cold water helps with the itching. 

NASA Warns a Solar Storm is On Track to Hit Earth

NASA Warns a Solar Storm is On Track to Hit Earth

Tsunami warning sent from Texas to New York was a test, NWS says

People along the East and Gulf coasts took to social media Tuesday morning after a test tsunami warning was apparently confused for the real thing, prompting at least one company to send alerts to residents from Texas to New York City.

>> Read more trending news

The National Weather Service’s National Tsunami Warning Center sent out a monthly tsunami warning test around 8:30 a.m., according to officials.

“We have been notified that some users received this test messages as an actual tsunami warning,” officials with the NWS regional office in Caribou, Maine, said on Twitter. “A tsunami warning is not in effect. Repeat, a tsunami warning is not in effect.”

What You Need to Know: Tsunamis

What You Need to Know: Tsunamis

Must see: Europeans battle deadly winds in Germany, Netherlands

At least eight people have died after deadly winds blew through Europe.

Two firefighters are among the victims of the hurricane-strength winds that damaged buildings and tore trees from the ground, the BBC reported.

Travel was delayed due to the storm.

>> Read more trending news 

Germany’s Deutsche Bahn stopped running trains on Thursday, but restarted long-distance runs on Friday, according to media reports.

The storm is being considered one of the strongest storms to hit the country in 11 years, CNN reported.

Amsterdam’s air traffic was shut down after two of three terminals were closed when roof plates were blown off the building, CNN reported.

In other parts of Europe, users posted photos of damage to social media. 

Police use Facebook to help man get off work during icy weather

Police in Texas used social media to offer a helping hand to a man who was trying to get off work as roads across the region began to ice over earlier this week.

>> Read more trending news

Police posted a warning on their Facebook page at 6:37 a.m. Tuesday telling citizens that all city offices would be closed. They urged area residents to stay inside and do their best to keep warm.

One man needed more help and turned to the Seguin Police Department. Justin Garcia, who is listed on Facebook as a resident of San Marcos, asked police for a note for work.

>> Photos: Snow blankets the South

Deputy Chief Bruce Ure delivered:

“Dear Justin’s Boss,” Ure wrote, “The roads are bad and are going to get worse. Much worse. Please let him stay home, warm and safe and enjoy some Hulu or some cool shows on Netflix. And, he needs a raise. He rocks. Respectfully ~ Deputy Chief Ure.”

Garcia left a comment on the police Facebook page the next day, saying he had gotten the day off. 

Super blue blood moon eclipse: What you need to know

super blue blood moon? Yes!

It is happening on the last day of this month. A blue moon typically gets its name when it occurs as the second of two full moons in one calendar month.

>> ‘Potentially hazardous' monster asteroid will fly close to Earth

But something very special will happen to the moon on this date. The full moon will pass through the Earth’s shadow during the early morning of Jan. 31 to give us a total lunar eclipse. During the time of the total eclipse, the moon will appear reddish in color, which is where it gets to be called a “blood moon.” Totality, when the moon will be entirely inside the Earth’s dark umbral shadow, will last a bit more than 1 1/4 hours.

The Jan. 31 full moon is also the third in a series of three straight full moon supermoons – that is, super-close full moons. It’s the first of two blue moons in 2018. So it’s not just a lunar eclipse, or a blue moon, or a supermoon. It’s all three – a super blue moon eclipse.

Is it the first blue moon total eclipse in 150 years in America.

>> Read more trending news 

The eclipse will get underway at 6:48 a.m. EST/3:48 a.m. PST Jan. 31. You’ll have to be up high with a good view of the western horizon to see the eclipse when it is total, as the moon will be setting as the eclipse reaches totality.

Those in the western United States will be able to view the full eclipse. But don’t let the setting moon stop you from getting to see a good part of the eclipse. It still should be a neat sight early in the morning if skies are clear and it is not too cold.

– Eric Elwell is WHIO-TV's chief meteorologist. Contact him at or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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