Georgia News Roundup
January 08, 2014 01:00 PM | 448 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Georgia man sentenced in trade embargo conspiracy

ROME, Ga. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a metro Atlanta man has been sentenced for conspiring to violate a trade embargo with Iran.

Authorities say 53-year-old Mark Mason Alexander, of Roswell, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for trying to send water-jet cutting machines to the Middle Eastern nation.

U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates says the man, who also goes by the name Musa Mahmood Ahmed, conspired with two Iranian businessmen to sell Hydrajet water-jet cutting systems to customers in Iran.

The machines are used for the precision cutting of aluminum, glass, granite and steel.

Alexander is ordered to spend three years on supervised release after his sentence.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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Informant to testify in Georgia militia plot trial

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — A law enforcement informant is expected to take the stand Wednesday morning when the trial for two Georgia men accused in a militia plot resumes.

Prosecutors say Samuel Crump and Ray Adams plotted to make a poison to use against government officials and federal buildings. Wednesday will be the second day of testimony in their trial before U.S. District Judge Richard Story in Gainesville.

The two were among four men arrested in November 2011 after surveillance by an undercover informant who infiltrated their meetings. They face charges of conspiring and attempting to make ricin.

Two other men, Frederick Thomas and Dan Roberts, pleaded guilty in April 2012 to conspiring to get an unregistered explosive and an illegal gun silencer. Story sentenced each of them to five years in prison.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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Georgia banker accused of stealing millions seeks bond

STATESBORO, Ga. (AP) — A judge must decide if a former Georgia banker accused of stealing millions from investors should be freed on bond after he spent the past 18 months eluding authorities.

Aubrey Lee Price is scheduled to appear Wednesday for a bond hearing before a federal magistrate judge in Statesboro. Authorities say the 47-year-old Price misspent, embezzled and lost $21 million before he vanished in June 2012, leaving letters that indicated he planned to commit suicide.

A Florida judge declared Price dead a year ago, but he was arrested last week during a traffic stop in south Georgia.

Price has been indicted in Georgia and New York on bank fraud charges. The bank where Price served as a director, the Montgomery Bank & Trust near Vidalia, closed after its assets were depleted.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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Band films Alabama video as part of Civil War series

KINSTON, Ala. (AP) — A band producing music videos at Civil War battlefields and historic sites across the country has released a video filmed at an Alabama gravesite.

Granville Automatic's song "Grancer Harrison" is part of an effort to raise awareness about Civil War battlefields and efforts to preserve them. The video, filmed at Harrison's grave near the southern Alabama town of Kinston, was released this week.

The song recounts the life of Harrison, who lost several sons in the Civil War.

Granville Automatic earlier filmed a video about the 1864 Battle of Atlanta; and at Glorieta Pass, a Civil War battlefield in New Mexico.

The band's music and video project, "An Army Without Music: Civil War Stories from Hallowed Ground," includes songs based on events in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and several other states.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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Robbers spray gas station clerks with tear gas

CONYERS, Ga. (AP) — Law officers southeast of Atlanta are on the lookout for robbery suspects who are attacking female gas station attendants with tear gas. The suspects also threaten the clerks with a machete.

Investigators have video of one of the two crimes in Rockdale County. They're hoping the images will lead to arrests.

Video aired by WSB-TV shows two men rushing the female employee at a Kangaroo station. One of the men sprays tear gas in her face while the other throws her to the ground. They then order her back into the store and tell her to empty the cash register.

Rockdale County sheriff's Chief Deputy Scott Freeman says authorities are very concerned the crimes will escalate, and the suspects will use the machete or a handgun in another robbery.

Information from: WSB-TV, http://www.wsbtv.com/index.html 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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Occupy Athens blasts election fee requirements

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — After criticism from Occupy Athens members, Athens-Clarke County commissioners decided not to increase the fees required to run for political office.

The Athens Banner-Herald reports that the cost to appear on the ballot for local offices can run from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Georgia law states filing fees amount to 3 percent of the position's annual salary, though low-income candidates can file for a Pauper's Affidavit, where a judge determines if they must pay the qualifying fees.

In Clarke County, the costs that will remain the same include $450 to run for commissioner; $1,350 to run for mayor; and $3,431 for solicitor-general. Candidates for local office must file with the board of elections between March 3 and 7 to qualify for the May 20 election.

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

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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Georgia attorney to lead Office of Child Advocate

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Nathan Deal has appointed attorney Ashley Willcott the new director of the Office of Child Advocate, the official watchdog of the state's child welfare system.

Willcott replaces Tonya Boga, who resigned in November. Officials with the state Division of Family and Children Services have been under scrutiny for the handling of cases involving two children who later died.

The governor's office says Willcott is a certified child welfare law specialist with lengthy experience in the juvenile justice system. Willcott has her own practice and is a special assistant attorney general for the Rockdale and Dawson County Department of Family and Children Services.

She was appointed DeKalb County Juvenile Court Judge Pro Tem and served as Fulton County Juvenile Court Judge Pro Tem.

Willcott's appointment is effective Feb. 1. 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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