ICYMI: Three big stories that metro Atlantans were checking out this week

Suicide rates on the rise The national suicide rate increased nearly 30 percent between 1999-2016, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report  There was a 16 percent increase in Georgia. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death and is one of just three leading causes that are increasing It’s the second leading cause of death for 10- to 19-year-olds, data from the CDC shows In Georgia, it’s also the second leading cause of death for 15- to 17-year-olds. In 2016, nearly 45,0

A SOMBER SPOTLIGHT: Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and one of three leading causes that are on the rise, according to a new report from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those findings, released Thursday, came into sharp focus in a week that brought the deaths of fashion designer Kate Spade and author/chef Anthony Bourdain. Spade, 55, was found Tuesday in her Manhattan home, where she died of an apparent suicide. Bourdain, 61, who was discovered unresponsive at a hotel in France on Friday, was also reported as a suicide. While the high-profile deaths brought more attention to the growing concern of suicide nationwide, Georgia has also had its share of reported suicides in recent weeks. In late April, a man died by suicide at a bridge on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. A few weeks later, a woman died by suicide outside a Walmart in South Fulton. In late May, the widely reported death of CDC researcher Timothy Cunningham was ruled suicide by drowning. Nearly twice as many people in Georgia die by suicide each year than by homicide. "Georgia mirrors what is happening nationally," said Chris Owens, area director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in Georgia.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day. Call 1-800-273-8255 

» National and local deaths bring attention to suicide concerns

» No easy answers to explain suicides

Cameron Smith (left) and Bryant Wade Photo: Channel 2 Action News


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HEROIC EFFORT TURNS TRAGIC: The two teens didn't know each other, but when one young man fell into the rushing water, another jumped in to try to save him. Five days later, their bodies were found. The recent high school graduates, Bryant Wade and Cameron Smith, were the subject of a massive search in a northeast Georgia creek and were found dead Tuesday, officials said. One body was under logs, and the other was 100 yards away, partially buried under an unknown object. Witnesses said Wade, 18, of Oconee County, was walking on the dam overlooking flood-swollen Barber Creek when he fell in. Smith, 18, of Madison County, jumped in to try to rescue him.

» Search comes to an end

GUBERNATORIAL RACE: Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle told a former rival in a secretly recorded conversation that he engineered the passage of a bill he described as bad "a thousand different ways" because it would deprive another opponent in the race for governor of millions of dollars in support.  Cagle told Clay Tippins in the recording that he circumvented the state Senate's top education leader and swallowed his own misgivings over the bill, which raised the cap on tax credits for private school scholarships to $100 million, purely to prevent Hunter Hill from receiving financial help from a super PAC. After news of the recording surfaced, Cagle tried to limit the fallout as his political opponents seized on the audio to cast him as an opportunist who crossed legal and ethical lines. In an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News, Cagle called his remarks panning the school tax credit measure a purely "political exchange." He said, "In terms of the importance of doing something good for Georgia, we did. And I'm proud of what we accomplished. Just like President Trump didn't get everything he wanted on the budget deal or the tax cut, it was certainly for the greater good. My record speaks for itself."

» News of the secret recording