Georgia News Roundup
February 24, 2014 04:05 PM | 1167 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Georgia Junior Leadership Conference set for Saturday

ATLANTA (AP) — The United Way of Greater Atlanta is planning to host 100 high school juniors and seniors for a college and career preparation conference with help from the Young Professional Leaders organization.

The program on Saturday includes several guest speakers, and will be hosted at the Georgia Power Headquarters in downtown Atlanta.

YPL chairwoman Katerina Taylor says the Junior Leadership Conference is one tool the United Way uses to increase the number of at-risk Georgia students succeeding in college or working toward meaningful careers.

Participants in the program will be matched with YPL mentors. United Way officials say the number of mentors participating in the conference has doubled each year since 2012.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Motorcycle skills course to be offered in Perry

PERRY, Ga. (AP) — The Georgia Department of Driver Services is offering motorcyclists a chance to polish their riding skills this weekend.

Officials said in a release that the Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program will host an Experienced Rider Course at the department's service center on Larry Walker Parkway in Perry on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The course is a one-day workshop meant to improve skills in braking, evasive maneuvering and turning.

To be eligible for participation in the course, licensed riders must have six months or 500 miles of riding experience, provide a signed waiver, have a street legal motorcycle, insurance, proof of ownership and safety equipment.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Bibb authorities investigate toddler's death

MACON, Ga. (AP) — Authorities in Bibb County are investigating the death of a 17-month-old girl.

The Telegraph newspaper reports the girl was playing in a relative's apartment in Macon when her father heard a loud noise.

The sheriff's office says the man rushed into the room where his daughter was and discovered a television and the dresser it had been sitting on had fallen onto the girl.

The man rushed his daughter to a hospital where she was declared dead.

Bibb County sheriff's Lt. Randy Gonzales said investigators and the coroner believe the death was accidental.

An autopsy is expected.

Information from: The Macon Telegraph, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Savannah police investigate downtown shooting

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Police are investigating a shooting in downtown Savannah.

Police say a 25-year-old man and 19-year-old woman were shot shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday. Police say their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Patrol officers had been called to break up a fight at a club when they heard gunshots nearby. Multiple officers responded to the scene and found the two gunshot victims running away.

Police heard multiple shots moments later. Bystanders directed officers to a car with four men inside. Police detained the men but had not determined whether the men were involved in the shooting.

The investigation is ongoing.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


St. Simons Island beach to get more lifeguards

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — New safety measures are planned for the St. Simons Island beach.

The Florida Times-Union reports that the Glynn County commission has approved a plan to more than double the number of lifeguards and extend their coverage area.

The county plans to add nine new lifeguards to the eight it already has and will buy a personal watercraft, two ATVs and other equipment. The new safety measures will cost $116,000.

The additional lifeguards will allow the county to expand beach coverage to a stretch from the Fifth Street seawall to the southern end of East Beach.

The commission started looking into improving beach safety last summer after a 16-year-old drowned outside the area of beach that was guarded at the time.

Information from: The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union,

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


DeKalb police investigate child's death

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. (AP) — DeKalb County police say a woman faces felony murder charges in the death of her young child.

WSB-TV reports Meriel Bemis has been arrested. She was being held in the DeKalb County jail. It was not immediately clear whether she had a lawyer.

Police say Bemis' boyfriend called 911 around 11:30 p.m. Sunday after finding the 3-year-old child lifeless in the apartment near Stone Mountain.

The child, whose name and gender weren't immediately released, was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Information from: WSB-TV, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Effort to build gay marriage support heads South

By Christina A. Cassidy, Associated Press 

ATLANTA (AP) — A new effort is underway in the South to ride the momentum of recent moves elsewhere in favor of same-sex marriage, hoping to build wider acceptance that will eventually overturn gay marriage bans in the region.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was among those kicking off the "Southerners for the Freedom to Marry" campaign Monday, saying he believes that gay marriage supporters are on the "right side of history." The $1 million effort will be focused on field organizing and sharing the stories of gay couples through local community and business events as well as social media in 14 Southern states.

Georgia and the other states either have a constitutional or statutory provision defining marriage as between a man and a woman, and conservative Republicans still hold considerable sway in those states.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Georgia man killed in landscaping accident

WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Coroner's officials in middle Georgia say a man doing landscaping work on a family farm was killed when a tree fell on top of him.

Johnson County Coroner Kenny Jones tells WMAZ-TV that 40-year-old Shay Moorman was cutting down trees Saturday afternoon when a large pine tree fell on him. Authorities say the man was working with his father at the time of the accident.

Johnson says Moorman was pronounced dead on the scene.

Information from: WMAZ-TV, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Bill sets new water spill rules for Georgia officials

By Ray Henry, Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Environmental regulators in Georgia would work with local responders on how to handle toxic spills under legislation being debated by House lawmakers.

The legislation approved by a House committee on Monday would make it tough for state officials to trim funding for the emergency response wing of the Environmental Protection Division by writing its duties into law.

Environmental groups began pushing for the law after a series of spills revealed problems in emergency response.

For example, firefighters poured water on a chemical plant to put out a blaze in 2010, inadvertently washing formaldehyde and other chemicals from the factory into a nearby creek. An estimated 15,000 fish later died.

If a spill threatened downstream health or safety, environmental officials would have to consult with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Georgia girl killed when TV, dresser fall on her

MACON, Ga. (AP) — Bibb County sheriff's officials say a 17-month-old girl was killed when a television and the dresser it was placed on fell onto her.

Investigators say the girl was playing in a relative's apartment on Saturday afternoon when her father heard a noise and rushed into the room.

The girl was taken to a local hospital and was pronounced dead. Lt. Randy Gonzales tells the Telegraph of Macon that the girl's death appears to be accidental.

Information from: The Macon Telegraph, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Georgia men sentenced in emissions fraud scheme

ATLANTA (AP) — Three men have been sentenced for selling fraudulent motor vehicle emission certificates and test results to drivers who wouldn't have passed the tests otherwise.

State Attorney General's spokeswoman Lauren Kane says Nathaniel Johnson and Daniel Lawson, of Atlanta, and Shelton Ray, of Decatur, ran the scheme at Cobb and Fulton County emission stations between January 2009 and March 2012.

Prosecutors say the men would enter identifying information for one vehicle into an emissions analyzer and connect the equipment to another car that could pass the inspection. Officials say they typically charged more for fraudulent inspections than for legitimate ones.

Johnson has been sentenced to two years of prison and eight years of probation. Ray was sentenced to a year in prison. Lawson was sentenced to five years of probation.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


State Senate passes income tax cap resolution

ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia state Senate has approved a resolution to cap the state's income tax at its current rate.

Georgia senators voted 42-11 Monday to prohibit the General Assembly from increasing the state's income tax above its current rate.

The legislation is sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore David Shafer, a Duluth Republican. The resolution would also block state lawmakers from imposing any new state income taxes.

Shafer told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he'd like to see the state income tax reduced to keep Georgia competitive with neighboring states.

Senate Resolution 415 must pass the House before being presented to voters for a statewide ballot referendum.

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

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