Georgia News Roundup
December 13, 2013 02:45 PM | 408 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fatal fire in Georgia ruled accidental

CORDELE, Ga. (AP) — State fire officials say a blaze that tore through a Crisp County home and killed a 76-year-old man has been ruled accidental.

State Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens says Moses Jimmerson was killed in a fire Wednesday afternoon that was caused by unattended food left cooking on the stove.

Hudgens say the man's Cordele home was destroyed in the blaze. Cordele is about 40 miles northeast of Albany. Officials say the man was home alone at the time, and his house had no working smoke detectors.

Hudgens says Jimmerson's death is the 114th fire-related fatality to be recorded in Georgia this year. Of that number, Hudgens says 16 have been directly linked to food left unattended on kitchen stoves.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Georgia police department given public safety grant

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta police say the department has been given a grant of nearly $60,000 to enforce DUI laws and bolster other public safety initiatives.

Department spokeswoman Beth Espy says the Governor's Office of Highway Safety has given the Atlanta Police Department $57,000 from its Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic program, also known as HEAT.

Espy says the HEAT program was launched to reduce the number of crashes linked to impaired driving, reduce excessive speeding, increase the use of safety belts, and educate the public on traffic safety.

The program is intended to serve jurisdictions in Georgia that see the highest number of crashes, injuries and traffic fatalities. Espy says 22 Georgia counties are included in the program.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Police continue search for Sandy Springs man

ROSWELL, Ga. (AP) — Authorities in suburban Atlanta are preparing to lower the water level of a reservoir to continue searching for a man who has been reported missing.

A Mattie's Call was issued last week for 71-year-old Gary Morris of Sandy Springs. Investigators have said the man has a history of depression and other medical needs.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Georgia Power is planning to release water from the Morgan Falls Dam on Friday to lower the water levels at Bull Sluice Lake and a nearby river to search for him.

Authorities have said his car was found at the Don White Park Extension on Dec. 4 in Roswell.

Roswell Police spokeswoman, Lisa Holland, says the department has used search dogs among other methods to try finding the man.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Dragon Con figure wants house arrest rules eased

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — The co-founder of a science fiction convention who pleaded guilty to multiple counts of child molestation now wants the rules of his house arrest to be eased.

The 52-year-old Dragon Con co-founder, Edward Kramer, was sentenced to house arrest this month as part of a plea agreement.

Kramer's attorney filed an emergency request this week seeking to allow Kramer more flexibility when he wants to leave his home for shopping or other trips.

Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said such leeway shouldn't be allowed. Porter said it's a "basic tenant" of incarceration that convicts do not have the ability to come and go as they please.

As part of the plea agreement, Kramer was ordered to serve the remaining 34 months of a five-year sentence under house arrest.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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1 person killed in Locus Grove house fire

LOCUST GROVE, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say one person was killed when a fire engulfed a home in Henry County.

Fire officials say crews were called to a home on Rose Lane, east of downtown Locust Grove, around 11 p.m. Thursday. They said the home was engulfed with flames, preventing firefighters from entering the structure when they arrived.

Firefighters found the body of a resident in what was left of the home. The victim has not been identified.

WSB-TV reports that investigators are working to determine the cause and origin of the fire.

Information from: WSB-TV.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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3 young pandas at Atlanta zoo are girls, not boys

ATLANTA (AP) — Genetic testing has revealed that three young giant pandas born at Atlanta's zoo that were thought to be males are actually females.

Zoo Atlanta spokeswoman Keisha Hines says an examination that was part of the preparation to send Po to China revealed the 3-year-old panda is female.

Hines said the zoo then decided to do DNA testing on Po and on twin cubs Mei Lun (may loon) and Mei Huan (may hwaan). That revealed those cubs were also females, rather than males.

This isn't the first case of mistaken gender for a panda born at Zoo Atlanta. Researchers in China determined in September 2011 that Atlanta-born Mei Lan (may lahn) who had been thought to be female was actually male.

Hines says gender is difficult to determine in young pandas.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Report: Settlement in Georgia, paving company suits

ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia Department of Transportation has reached a settlement in lawsuits filed by a south Georgia paving company.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Friday that a $120,000 settlement was recently reached with Douglas Asphalt, which had claimed the department used faulty tests to discredit his work, cancel his paving contract and put the company out of business. The settlement is pending approval by a federal court judge overseeing the company's bankruptcy.

The state had argued the company's work was shoddy and it was justified in firing the company.

The newspaper says the lawsuits have dragged on for nearly a decade and have cost the state more than $6 million in legal fees. The newspaper says attorneys for the company had initially sought $10 million.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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