Georgia News Roundup
March 28, 2014 12:45 PM | 981 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Atlanta leaders push for development near airport

ATLANTA (AP) — Metro Atlanta leaders hope a new effort to improve development around the world's busiest airport will benefit the entire region.

Business and elected officials plan to officially launch the Atlanta Aerotropolis Alliance on Friday.

According to a news release, the organization will bring together industry and government to encourage more economic development in communities around Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

More than 250,000 passengers pass through Hartsfield-Jackson on an average day.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Chief prosecutor for int'l court to speak at Emory

ATLANTA (AP) — The chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court is set to give a lecture at Emory University's law school.

The school says Fatou Bensouda is set to deliver the annual David J. Bederman lecture on April 9. Her talk will be titled "Fostering the Promise of the Rome Statute: A Prosecutor's Perspective."

The Rome Statute established the International Criminal Court in 1998.

Bensouda was born in the Gambia and has been the lead prosecutor of the International Criminal Court since June 2012. She had previously served as deputy prosecutor in charge of the prosecutions division of the court since 2004.

A Q&A session and reception will follow the lecture. The event is free and open to the public, but attendees must register online.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. 

King Center hosts women's empowerment program

ATLANTA (AP) — The King Center in Atlanta is hosting a girls and women's empowerment event in honor of CEO Bernice King's 51st birthday Friday.

King Center officials say the organization is hosting a special screening of excerpts from "Girl Rising," a documentary focused on empowering girls and young women. The film is based on the stories of several girls who overcome significant obstacles to pursue their dreams.

King Center officials say about 220 Atlanta-area girls and women between the ages of 10 and 21 will be on hand for the screening, which will be followed by a discussion with a local news anchor.

King Center officials say the event is meant to increase girls' awareness that they are global citizens, and to provide girls with a forum to share their life experiences.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Hearing set for airline passenger in Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A preliminary court hearing has been set for an airline passenger accused of using false names to fly and trying to enter a secure area of Birmingham's airport.

The hearing for 30-year-old Robert Quran Hick is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday at the federal courthouse in Birmingham.

Hick is accused of flying from Atlanta to Birmingham in one person's name, then obtaining boarding passes in someone else's name for more flights to Colorado. He's also accused of trying to enter a secured area of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport by going up a downward escalator on March 16.

Assistant Federal Defender Melanie Keiper has told a federal judge that Hick has been afraid for his life in the Jefferson County Jail and wants to be moved to a psychiatric facility.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Crews dig up old well in search for missing teen

DACULA, Ga. (AP) — Sheriff's deputies northeast of Atlanta are digging up an old well, following a lead in the disappearance of a teenager more than six years ago.

Investigators tell WSB-TV that deputies who spent Thursday at the well near Dacula say they're following up on a tip in the disappearance of Justin Gaines. He was last seen leaving a nightclub in Duluth in November 2007.

Several searches and a $50,000 reward have failed to turn up any sign of Gaines.

Gaines, who was a student at Gainesville College, came home the night he disappeared and told his mother he was going out with friends. He was dropped off at Wild Bill's nightclub. Later that night, he called a friend to pick him up, but his friend told him that he could not.

Information from: WSB-TV.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Macon development group to buy historic theater

MACON, Ga. (AP) — Macon's urban development authority is buying the historic Cox Capitol Theatre in the central Georgia city.

The Telegraph reports that authority members agreed Thursday to purchase the theater with the aim of ensuring that it remains an important downtown entrainment venue.

The authority plans to buy the Capitol for a maximum price of $480,000, subject to terms and conditions to be finalized by authority Chairman Chris Sheridan and Morrison.

The theater property has been for sale since the fall, and in recent years it has undergone several management changes and faced some financial difficulties. A partnership called Capitol Theatre Fund LP currently owns the property.

Information from: The Macon Telegraph, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Woman gets life prison sentence in carjacking

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. (AP) — A woman will spend life in prison for her role in a deadly carjacking in central Georgia.

The Telegraph reports that 22-year-old Alexandria Renee Scott on Thursday was ordered to serve the life sentence plus 10 years after she pleaded guilty to murder and armed robbery.

Another suspect, 23-year-old Terrell Grable, pleaded guilty but mentally disabled to his part in the killing last year and was sentenced to life in prison.

Prosecutors say Kimberly McKenzie was idling at a stop sign in Warner Robins three years ago, when Scott came to her window and asked for a cigarette. They say she and Grable used a gun to force their way into the Centerville woman's Honda Accord, and that Scott later shot her and left her to die in a pecan orchard.

Information from: The Macon Telegraph, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

New development to mean Jasper County jobs

HARDEEVILLE, S.C. (AP) — A large new development on the South Carolina side of the Savannah River near Savannah, Ga., is expected to mean thousands of jobs for Jasper County.

The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports ground was broken Thursday on the 5,000-acre development called Riverport that borders both the river and Interstate 95.

The project is joint public-private development. Developers expect it will attract $875 million in investment and create more than 10,000 new jobs.

Riverport will include a 170-acre industrial park as well as additional space for distribution and warehouse facilities. There also are plans for a retail shopping district, homes, schools and a public safety building.

The property is next to the site where South Carolina and Georgia are working to build a new container ship terminal.

Information from: The Island Packet, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

US Rep. Rogers' radio show to be with Cumulus

DETROIT (AP) — Seven-term Republican Congressman Mike Rogers of Michigan's new radio show will be with Atlanta-based Cumulus Media.

Rogers on Friday morning said he won't seek re-election after his term ends this year. He announced it on the Paul W. Smith Show on WJR-AM, a Cumulus station. The 50-year-old former FBI agent plans to focus the show after his term ends on national security and other issues.

Cumulus Media also provides programing to thousands of stations through its WestwoodOne subsidiary.

Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey said in a statement that Rogers has been "instrumental helping to shape many of the most important issues and events of our time." Dickey says Rogers "will play a significant role in our expanding content platform" in his new role.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Ex-FAMU band member facing jail in hazing death

By Kyle Hightower, Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A former Florida A&M band member could become the first to be sentenced to jail time for his role in the hazing death of a drum major.

Jessie Baskin faces nine years when sentenced Friday for participating in the beating death of Robert Champion in November 2011 during a hazing ritual aboard a bus parked outside an Orlando hotel.

Champion — originally from Decatur, Ga. — collapsed and died after prosecutors said he walked down the aisle of a bus as other band members beat him with fists and instruments.

Prosecutor Jeff Ashton described the 22-year-old Baskin as being "most-consistently identified as the most enthusiastic" band member in the hazing ritual.

Baskin pleaded no contest to manslaughter, though his attorneys can argue for a lighter punishment.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Construction, rain could slow Atlanta traffic

ATLANTA (AP) — Construction work and rainy weather as motorists head south for spring break could create weekend slowdowns on metro Atlanta freeways.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that multiple lane closures are planned on Interstate 85 this weekend.

The Georgia Department of Transportation said up to four southbound lanes on I-85 near Georgia 400 would be closed during parts of the weekend as crews work to put up new signs.

GDOT Commissioner Keith Golden said that if weather permits, the work will occur on I-85 southbound from a half-mile north of Clairmont Road to North Druid Hills Road. Rain expected on Saturday could change those plans.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Police ID men killed in plane crash near Georgia coast

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Authorities identified the two people killed in a plane crash near the Georgia coastline as a Florida man and an Alabama man.

Glynn County police identified them as Andres Santiago Lopez, 28; and Adam Christopher Griffis, 31.

Lopez was a resident of Jacksonville, Fla.; and Griffis lived in Prattville, Ala., The Brunswick News reported.

The Piper aircraft was flying from Concord, N.C. to Jacksonville when it went missing from radar Monday in an area known as Wally's Leg. Etcher says the plane was registered to ATP flight school and the journey from North Carolina to Florida was part of its training program.

Griffis was raised in Prattville and graduated from Prattville High School, his relatives told Alabama television station WSFA-TV. He had dual citizenship in the United States and Chile and had a love of flying, they said.

"He had his single-prop license and wanted to upgrade it to a dual-prop license," said his sister-in-law, Jennifer Griffis. "A lot of people in Prattville and this area knew him and loved him."

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

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

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