Georgia News Roundup
October 17, 2013 04:45 PM | 751 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Event to highlight prevention of drug abuse in Georgia 

ATLANTA (AP) — The state Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities is gearing up for Georgia Red Ribbon Week — which encourages drug-free lifestyles.

State officials say the event is a national anti-drug initiative held in late October that focuses on educating children and adults on the dangers associated with drug and alcohol abuse.

The department is hosting a kick-off event for Red Ribbon Week Friday in the ballroom of the Omni Hotel in downtown Atlanta.

Department spokeswoman Angelyn Dionysatos says more than 1,500 schools across Georgia are expected to participate in the event.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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UGA seeks VP for development and alumni relations

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — The University of Georgia is seeking a new vice president for development and alumni relations.

The school says University President Jere Morehead has appointed a committee to coordinate a national search. The committee will recommend finalists.

Tom Landrum, who currently fills the position, is set to retire on June 30, at the end of the academic year. He has worked for UGA for nearly four decades.

J. Griffin Doyle, vice president for government relations, will chair the 19-member committee which is made up of faculty, staff, students and alumni representatives.

The university plans to use an executive search firm to help fill the position.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Fewer workers filing for unemployment in Georgia

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia state labor officials say the number of laid-off workers filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits was down by 3.4 percent in September.

Officials say the last time initial claims were below that level was in September 2007.

State labor officials say 34,293 laid-off workers filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits in September, down from August when 35,503 claims were filed.

The Georgia Department of Labor announced the numbers early Thursday.

Typically, the state agency also releases Georgia's new unemployment rate during this time of the month. However, that data wasn't released because it requires approval from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, where employees have been furloughed due to the government shutdown.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Dozens of cars scratched at Georgia auto dealerships 

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Law officers in northeast Georgia say a vandalism spree that damaged dozens of cars is the worst they've ever seen.

Chris Ellison, operations manager for the Carriage Automotive Group in Gainesville, said more than 32 cars were keyed at the Nissan dealership.

Ellison tells The Times of Gainesville that a man walked onto the lot at 1:22 a.m. Sunday and scratched up the trunks and sides of the cars. He estimates the damage at his dealership alone at $20,000.

Authorities say damage also was done at Milton Martin Toyota and at Milton Martin Honda, where four cars were keyed.

Gainesville police spokesman Cpl. Kevin Holbrook said the extent of vandalism at the lots is unprecedented.

Authorities are studying video surveillance of the crime as they search for a suspect.

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

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Woman killed in head-on crash with logging truck 

PHENIX CITY, Ala. (AP) — Authorities say a 43-year-old Phenix City woman was killed when she crashed head-on into a logging truck on an eastern Alabama highway.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that Stephanie Cooper died in the early Wednesday wreck on U.S. 431 in Russell County.

Russell County Coroner Arthur Sumbry Jr. said Cooper was pronounced dead at 7:41 a.m. at Midtown Medical Center in Columbus.

Sumbry said Cooper was driving a 2010 Toyota Camry in the wrong direction in the southbound lane of the highway and struck a logging truck head on.

Information from: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, http://ledger-enquirer.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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EEOC files discrimination suit against Georgia county 

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. (AP) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed an age discrimination lawsuit against a north Georgia county, claiming older employees were targeted during layoffs.

In a statement Thursday, the commission said Fannin County violated federal laws by laying off older employees from its Road Department in November 2011.

EEOC officials say seven of the 11 people laid off were over 60 and the county rehired the four younger workers, but didn't rehire any employees over the age of 60.

The EEOC filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia after trying to reach settlement. Federal officials say they're seeking back pay and damages for older employees, and an injunction to prevent future age discrimination.

A call to the county's attorney was not immediately returned.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Jekyll oversight chair supports change to park law 

By Russ Bynum, Associated Press

JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — A state senator says he's confident Georgia lawmakers will approve a regulation guiding conservation and development at Jekyll Island that has support from the state park's managers and conservationists.

Republican Sen. Ross Tolleson of Perry leads oversight for Jekyll Island and said Thursday that he's among those in favor of abolishing the 1971 law that limits development to 35 percent of its land area and replacing it with a fixed number of acres that are open to construction.

Tolleson chairs the Jekyll Island Legislative Oversight Committee.

The Jekyll Island Authority and conservation groups have been debating how the park should be measured, which led to questions over whether its development limit had been exceeded. Their compromise to set a fixed acreage requires changing state law.

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

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