Georgia News Roundup
April 22, 2014 10:45 AM | 868 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Developer plans $88M for new Jekyll Island hotels

JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — After years spent waiting on an economic turnaround, a developer says it's ready to spend $88 million building three new hotels on Jekyll Island.

The Trammell Crow Company announced its plans Monday at a meeting of the island state park's governing board. Company officials say they plan to open new Courtyard Marriott and SpringHill Suites hotels by June 2016 with a third, as yet unnamed property to open in 2017.

In all, the three hotels would add 535 rooms to Jekyll Island, which has been seeing a resurgence of visitors since its new convention center opened in 2012.

The hotels will be constructed on beachfront property where two older lodgings were demolished six years ago. Trammell Crow has paid to lease the land while waiting for the economy to improve.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Communities seeking sustainability designation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Thirteen communities in the Southeast are hoping to be designated as sustainable communities by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

TVA designated 13 locations as Valley Sustainable Communities last year and says 13 more are about to begin the review process. TVA executive John Bradley says the idea is to help communities be prepared when companies look for a site for their business.

Bradley says corporate executives report sustainability is increasingly important in locating a site.

The communities beginning the process in 2014 are Blount County, Tenn.; Crossville/Cumberland County, Tenn.; Florence, Ala.; Glasgow, Ky.; Huntsville, Ala.; Logan County, Ky.; Maury County, Tenn.; Memphis/Shelby County, Tenn.; Morristown/Hamblen County, Tenn.; Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Scottsboro, Ala.; Starkville, Miss.; and Tupelo, Miss.

TVA, the nation's largest public utility, serves about 9 million people in seven southeastern states.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Atlanta hosts summit on prescription drug abuse

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta is set to host a national summit on prescription drug abuse.

Organizers from the Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence say Gov. Nathan Deal is expected to deliver opening remarks at the group's summit Tuesday at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in downtown Atlanta.

Organizers say the conference is expected to feature officials from state and federal agencies, treatment providers, educators and more.

The summit runs from Tuesday through Thursday and comes days before National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which is Saturday.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Atlanta launches communication partnership

ATLANTA (AP) — City of Atlanta officials say public workers in more than 20 departments have been trained to receive and place calls using a program to help them communicate with the deaf and hard of hearing.

Officials say the city joined the Georgia Relay Partner Program in 2013 and all non-profit organizations that apply for city funding will be required to also become Georgia Relay partners.

The free program helps the deaf, hard of hearing and people who have difficulties communicating place and receive telephone calls.

City officials say employees being trained to use the program was also an important component of the city being in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Atlanta officials takes steps to sell civic center

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta city officials are moving toward selling a major event venue — the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that City Councilman Kwanza Hall introduced legislation Monday that could pave the way for the city to sell the aging performing arts center to a developer.

Under the proposal, the city would transfer the property to Invest Atlanta, the city's economic development arm, which would design a bid process and request proposals from developers to revitalize the site.

The plan would have to be approved by the City Council in coming weeks.

The civic center, built in 1967, includes a 4,600-seat theater.

Major touring shows often bypass the center for the Fox Theatre and others. A 2012 city analysis projected the center would lose $400,000 per year through 2017.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Body of missing Georgia woman found in car in creek

LINCOLNTON, Ga. (AP) — The body of a missing east Georgia woman has been recovered inside her vehicle in a creek.

The Augusta Chronicle reports that 72-year-old Shirley Lavender's body was found Monday evening in the waters of Fishing Creek just off Elberton Highway in Lincoln County.

Lincoln County Sheriff Bruce Beggs said the cause and time of Lavender's death are unknown, but no foul play is suspected.

The sheriff said Lavender was last been seen by family members leaving her Lincoln County residence on April 13.

Information from: The Augusta Chronicle , 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Sheriff: 2 inmates captured after jail escape

BLAKELY, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say two inmates accused of escaping from a county jail in south Georgia been captured.

Early County Sheriff William Price tells WALB-TV that the two prisoners got away from the Early County Jail in Blakely shortly after 5:30 p.m. Monday.

Price said the two were captured within two hours of the jail break.

The names of the two inmates were not immediately available.

Information from: WALB-TV, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Suit challenging Georgia gay marriage ban to be filed

By Kate Brumback, Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — A gay rights group says it plans to file a federal lawsuit in Atlanta to challenge the state of Georgia's constitutional ban on same-sex marriages.

Lambda Legal plans to file the lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of seven people and seeks class action status. They plan to sue the state registrar and clerks of the Gwinnett and Fulton county probate courts.

Georgia voters in 2004 overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on gay marriage. The ban was challenged in courts by gay rights groups who targeted the wording of the ballot question, but the state Supreme Court ultimately ruled in 2006 that the vote was valid.

The state constitution prohibits same-sex marriage and says such marriages performed in other states aren't legally recognized in Georgia.

Gay marriage is legal in 17 states.

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

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