Georgia News Roundup
May 02, 2013 05:20 PM | 366 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gunshot at rattlesnake leads to school lock down

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — A gunshot intended for a rattlesnake led authorities to briefly lock down an elementary school in northeast Georgia.

Hall County school officials say gunfire was heard Wednesday afternoon near Mount Vernon Elementary School in the Gainesville area, leading them to lock down the school.

School district spokesman Gordon Higgins said law officers determined that the shots came from a resident next to the school who was shooting a rattlesnake on his property.

The Times of Gainesville reports that the school was locked down for about 10 minutes before sheriff's officials determined the source of the gunfire.

Hall County sheriff's Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks said there's no indication that the shots were fired toward the school. He said the incident was still under investigation.

Information from: The Times, http://www.gainesvilletimes.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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4 students, teacher hurt in ocean on field trip 

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Four elementary school students and a teacher on a field trip to the Georgia coast were hospitalized after being caught up in a rip current in the Atlantic Ocean.

Clarke County Schools spokeswoman Anisa Sullivan Jimenez said the fifth-grade students had gone to Tybee Island for a field trip. She said they were playing in the ocean Wednesday when they were knocked down by the rip current off Tybee Island.

The four Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary students and the teacher were admitted to a hospital for observation, Jimenez said.

"Since they were submitted for observation, we are hoping they will make full recoveries," she said.

The Athens Banner-Herald reported that Clarke County Schools planned to send additional support staff to Tybee Island Thursday. They also planned to provide transportation for parents of the injured students to Tybee Island.

"There will also be staff at the school (Thursday) morning to answer any questions," Jimenez said.

The northeast Georgia school system is about a 250-mile drive from Tybee Island.

Information from: Athens Banner-Herald, http://www.onlineathens.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Georgia tightens reins on distribution of pain drugs 

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia will no longer be a haven for pain clinics that authorities say are fronts for illegal distribution of prescription pain medication.

Gov. Nathan Deal has signed into law new regulations that require all pain clinics to get licenses from the state medical board. The new law also tightens regulations of the physicians who own and work in the clinics.

Many of the businesses are legitimate, but some operators have been prosecuted for forging prescriptions. The number of clinics in Georgia has ballooned as surrounding states tightened their regulations. Many new clinics have owners who live out-of-state and are not physicians. Authorities say they've also tracked clinics where many patients come from other states.

Attorney General Sam Olens and law enforcement agencies asked lawmakers to tighten the Georgia laws.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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New chief justice elected for Georgia Supreme Court 

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Supreme Court Presiding Justice Hugh Thompson has been unanimously elected the new chief justice.

Thompson succeeds Chief Justice Carol Hunstein, who will remain on the court. The court also unanimously elected Justice Harris Hines to be the new presiding justice. Both justices are set to be sworn into their new positions Aug. 15.

The chief justice serves a single four-year term and oversees the state's judicial branch and is the main spokesperson for the court and the entire judiciary. The chief justice also chairs the Georgia Judicial Council, which governs all the state's courts.

The presiding justice serves in leadership roles when the chief justice is absent.

Thompson and Hines were both appointed to the high court by then Gov. Zell Miller, Thompson in 1994 and Hines in 1995.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Driver killed by falling tree in Carroll County

CARROLLTON, Ga. (AP) — Georgia State Patrol officials say a driver in Carroll County has been killed by a falling tree.

The accident happened Thursday morning on Highway 113 in an area of western Georgia about 50 miles west of downtown Atlanta.

The driver's identity has not been released.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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14 students awarded Gates Millennium scholarships 

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Public Schools officials say 14 students have each been awarded Gates Millennium Scholarships.

The scholarship program is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and selects 1,000 high school students from minority backgrounds annually to receive scholarships to fund their undergraduate education.

In a statement, schools Superintendent Erroll Davis says it's reassuring to see Atlanta students competing for prestigious academic awards despite the district's reputation suffering after 35 former educators were accused conspiring to cheat, conceal cheating or retaliate against whistleblowers.

Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school systems in the state and serves about 50,000 students.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Man convicted in fatal Atlanta drive-in shooting 

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — A man has been convicted in a fatal 2012 shooting at an Atlanta drive-in movie theater.

Quentric Williams was found guilty Thursday in the death of Mitt Lenix. The man was found guilty of 8 of 10 counts including malice murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Prosecutors say 32-year-old Williams shot Lenix at the Starlight Drive-in Theater when Lenix was having car trouble and approached him for help. Williams has said he thought the man was about to pull a gun on him.

Williams fled the scene after the shooting and later crashed.

Williams is scheduled to be sentenced May 8.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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