Georgia News Roundup
August 15, 2013 11:45 AM | 442 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
New Georgia Supreme Court chief justice to be sworn in

ATLANTA (AP) — A new chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court is set to be sworn in.

Georgia Supreme Court Presiding Justice Hugh Thompson is set to take his new role during a ceremony Thursday.

Thompson, of Milledgeville, will be sworn in by former Gov. Zell Miller. Before being appointed to the state Supreme Court in 1994, Thompson served as superior court judge in the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit, which spans eight counties. He was appointed to that position in 1979.

Justice P. Harris Hines is set to be sworn in as the state Supreme Court's new presiding justice. The presiding justice serves in leadership roles when the chief justice is absent.

Former Gov. Zell Miller, who appointed both Thompson and Hines, is set to administer the oath of office to both men.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Savannah-area sheriff starting gun safety classes 

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Residents of the Savannah area will soon be able to sign up for gun safety classes being offered by the Chatham County Sheriff's Office.

Officials say the monthly, three-hour courses will focus on teaching basic firearm skills and safety procedures. The classes are for both civilian gun owners and those planning to buy their first guns.

The sheriff's office says the gun courses will be scheduled for the third Saturday of each month. Enrollment costs $25 per person.

Officials say they plan to keep class sizes small, with no more than 10 people in each month's course.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Deadline for dove quota hunt in Georgia nears

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia wildlife officials say Thursday is the deadline for those planning to apply for a dove quota hunt at one of the state's public dove fields.

Public dove fields are located on wildlife management areas across the state. According to the 2013 Georgia dove field forecast, excellent conditions will exist on opening day at the Clybel area in west-central Georgia and the Albany Nursery area in southwest Georgia.

A quota hunt is a hunt that allows a predetermined number of hunters to participate. Wildlife officials say a quota is used to conserve wildlife and their habitats, while providing a high-quality hunting experience and maintaining a high level of safety.

Those interested in applying, can find more information at

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Fire crews monitor Valdosta chemical plant blast

VALDOSTA, Ga. (AP) — Authorities in south Georgia say fire crews were continuing to monitor the scene of a chemical explosion that rocked an industrial complex, injuring three people.

Valdosta city officials said in a statement that firefighters remained at the scene Wednesday night until an investigation could begin Thursday.

Officials said several agencies are evaluating the safety of the area. They include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the Georgia Environmental Protection Division; and the Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency Director.

Valdosta fire officials say more than 40 firefighters responded to the Wednesday afternoon blaze at Perma-Fix of South Georgia. Police say the fire and explosions appeared to be coming from a facility that processes hazardous and non-hazardous waste materials.

Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress said the three people were severely burned, The Valdosta Daily Times reported. Their conditions were not available.

The American Red Cross was providing assistance to people in the area of the fire, WALB-TV reported. Perma-Fix of South Georgia is a waste treatment facility that processes and disposes of hazardous and non-hazardous waste liquid, solids and sludges, the Albany television station reported.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


2 shrimp boats grounded at Hilton Head Island

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — Two shrimp boats have run aground north of Hilton Head Island.

The Island Packet of Hilton Head reported Beaufort County sheriff's deputies say a trawler based at Port Royal came into Jarvis creek around 7 a.m. Wednesday to tow another trawler.

Sixty-nine-year-old James Murray of Savannah, Ga., is captain of the Lady Essie, which was trying to tow the Dianie.

Murray said he was not familiar with the creek and ran aground. The Lady Essie turned on its side and partially filled with water.

Sgt. Robin McIntosh says Murray was not hurt. A sheriff's boat helped remove him and his equipment.

McIntosh says the Lady Essie is not leaking. Officers determined the Dianie is securely moored.

McIntosh says Murray is making working get the Lady Essie afloat again.

Information from: The Island Packet,

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Sneiderman won't testify in perjury trial 

By Kate Brumback, Associated Press

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — Andrea Sneiderman told a judge she does not wish to testify in her perjury trial.

As the defense prepared to rest its case Thursday morning, Judge Gregory Adams asked Sneiderman if she wished to testify. She said she did not.

The defense rested its case. Closing arguments are expected to follow.

Andrea Sneiderman's husband Rusty Sneiderman was shot in November 2010 outside a suburban Atlanta preschool. Her former boss Hemy Neuman was convicted in the killing in March 2012, but was found mentally ill.

Prosecutors say Sneiderman lied to police investigating her husband's death and lied under oath during Neuman's trial. She faces charges of making false statements, hindering an investigation and perjury.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


FAMU band will return to field Sept. 1

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida A&M University's Marching 100 will return to the field Sept. 1 in Orlando, nearly two years after it was suspended because of a hazing-related death.

New band director Sylvester Young made the announcement Thursday as the band practiced.

FAMU lifted the famed band's suspension in June, but Young was unsure at the time when it would be ready to perform again. He now says it will play at halftime when the university opens its football season against Mississippi Valley State during the MEAC-SWAC Challenge.

The band was suspended in November 2011 following the death of drum major Robert Champion.

Since Champion's death the school has enacted anti-hazing policies and put in restrictions on band membership.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Georgia law officers off job due to paperwork glitches

ATLANTA (AP) — More than 10 percent of the sworn officers with the Georgia Department of Public Safety are off the job until administrative glitches involving their certification can be worked out, authorities said.

State officials say 121 Georgia State Patrol troopers, Capitol Police, and motor division compliance officers are affected.

Documentation was missing for the required training needed for certification, WSB Radio reported.

Ken Vance, director of the Georgia Peace Officers' Standards and Training Council, says the problems arose as the agency began transitioning from paper files to a new computer system. He believes some of the names appeared on the list due to a clerical error. Documentation for others may have been lost as they transitioned from one department to another.

"This is kind of an administrative flu that we're going to work through very diligently to make sure we've got it right," said Col. Mark McDonough, the Georgia Department of Public Safety's chief executive.

Information from: WSB-AM,

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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