Georgia News Roundup
July 09, 2014 02:45 PM | 2074 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Usher's foundation celebrates 15 years this month

ATLANTA (AP) — A nonprofit organization founded by singer Usher will celebrate its 15th anniversary in Atlanta this month.

The Grammy Award-winning singer said in a statement Wednesday his New Look Foundation will hold its President's Circle Awards luncheon July 31 in downtown Atlanta.

Rapper Ludacris is expected to host the event. Soulful rocker Josh Kaufman, the season six winner of NBC's "The Voice," will perform.

The foundation will present Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed with an award for his support of youth education. Two other New Look youth leaders will each be honored with a leadership award.

The goal of New Look has been to educate and empower young people to speak in public, make presentations, develop their talents and build their own brands.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Macon cat rescue group will soon be homeless

MACON, Ga. (AP) — The cat rescue group Anne Brennaman runs in Macon is about to become as homeless as the strays it saves from the streets.

The Macon Telegraph reports the shopping center that Macon Purrs N' Paws has called home since 2011 has a new owner. And Brennaman says the landlord told her Monday that her lease won't be renewed and she will have to move out by Oct. 15.

Brennaman says she's not sure what will happen to her rescue or the 105 cats in its care now. She says so far other commercial spaces have been too expensive or don't allow animals.

She says if she has to close down the rescue, any cats she has will probably be euthanized because the local animal shelter is always nearly full.

Information from: The Macon Telegraph, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Columbus misses summer guests: Jehovah's Witnesses

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Columbus tourism officials are missing a few thousand of their most lucrative summertime guests: Jehovah's Witnesses who have opted to skip their convention in the west Georgia city this year.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports about 7,500 members of the religious denomination for years have been arriving in Columbus for conventions spanning two weekends in July. The Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the back-to-back gatherings have a combined impact of $2.6 million.

No Columbus convention has been scheduled this summer because there's an International Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses being held this month in downtown Atlanta.

Columbus CVB President Peter Bowden says the group's absence will cost his city "a pretty significant piece of business." But he says he's been told the Jehovah's Witnesses will return to Columbus next year.

Information from: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Police probe attacks at Atlanta shopping center

ATLANTA (AP) — Police are investigating the beating and robbery of a woman in the middle of the day in the parking deck of an Atlanta shopping center.

Atlanta police say the attack, which included the theft of the woman's car, is the second violent robbery in nine days at the Edgewood Retail District on Atlanta's east side.

The woman told police she parked her Mercedes Benz in a parking deck near the Target store at the complex, where a man punched her in the head around noon Saturday, took her purse and car keys and then threatened to kill her.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the woman told investigators she had to roll out of the way so she wouldn't be run over as the suspect drove off with her car.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Push continues for convention of states

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A group pushing for a convention of the states to amend the U.S. Constitution hopes to have resolutions before at least 24 state legislatures next year.

Jordan Sillars is a spokesman for the Convention of the States Project. He says three states have passed resolutions calling for a constitutional convention: Alaska, Florida and Georgia.

They call for proposed constitutional amendments that would impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the government's power and jurisdiction and impose term limits.

Two-thirds of states, or 34, would have to pass such measures.

Supporters see it as a way to push back on a federal government they see as out of control. Critics have questioned the issues singled out for consideration and worry such a convention would devolve into chaos.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Police probe 22 car break-ins at apartment complex

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta police are investigating a series of car break-ins in a neighborhood just southeast of downtown.

Police told WSB-TV that thieves broke into 22 cars in one night recently at the Roosevelt Apartments on Hansell Street in the Grant Park neighborhood.

Residents say they woke up Monday morning to find a large amount of broken glass and damaged vehicles throughout the gated parking lot.

Resident Joseph Lenton said thieves broke into two of his vehicles. He said items that were stolen include vehicle registration documents.

Information from: WSB-TV.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Police: Man hurt after crashing stolen bicycle

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — A man is hospitalized with severe injuries after police say he stole a bicycle in Athens, then crashed it moments later as he tried to make a getaway.

Athens-Clarke County police say the man took the bicycle from the pickup truck of a man who had brought it in for repairs at a shop on Baxter Street Monday. An employee told police that he yelled at the man that the bike didn't belong to him, and the suspect replied, "I know."

The employee told police the suspect tried to ride off with the bike but struck a curb, causing him to do a "face plant" into the road.

A police officer said the man was "gravely" injured. The Athens Banner-Herald reports that he was taken to Athens Regional Medical Center.

Information from: Athens Banner-Herald, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Pedestrian killed in central Georgia crash

MACON, Ga. (AP) — Authorities in central Georgia are investigating a crash that claimed the life of a pedestrian.

Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones says 63-year-old Amos Harris died after the accident in northern Bibb County.

The Bibb County Sheriff's Office said the crash happened Tuesday evening on Riverside Drive, near the intersection of Hudson Street. Jones tells WMAZ-TV that Harris was pronounced dead on the scene.

Few other details were available early Wednesday.

Information from: WMAZ-TV.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Clemency hearing set for Georgia death row inmate

ATLANTA (AP) — A clemency hearing is set for Wednesday for a Georgia death row inmate convicted of murder in the slaying of a store clerk who was scheduled to testify against his son.

Tommy Lee Waldrip, who's 68, is set to die Thursday evening at the state prison in Jackson. He was convicted and sentenced to death in the April 1991 slaying of 23-year-old Keith Evans in Dawson County.

Evans was a store clerk in Forsyth County and had testified in the 1990 armed robbery trial of Waldrip's son, John Mark Waldrip. The younger Waldrip was convicted, but he was granted a new trial and released on bond, according to Georgia Supreme Court records from Tommy Lee Waldrip's case. Evans was set to testify in the retrial.

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

Road sign pointing to college spelled incorrectly

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — A road sign pointing the way to a Georgia college is misspelled, and state transportation officials are vowing to fix the error.

The large green and white sign in the Lawrenceville area northeast of Atlanta includes an arrow leading to "Georgia Gwinett College." The school's name is "Georgia Gwinnett College."

Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Natalie Dale tells WXIA-TV that human error led to the incorrect spelling. She said other signs in the area pointing to the college are spelled correctly.

Dale said the incorrect sign will be taken down and re-lettered, or a new sign will be put up. She said that if the old sign is replaced, it will be recycled.

College spokeswoman Sally Ramey said the school wasn't involved in the mishap.

Information from: WXIA-TV.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Critical habitat designated for loggerhead turtles

By Janet McConnaughey, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Federal agencies say 685 miles of beaches and nearly 200,000 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico are critical habitat for threatened loggerhead sea turtles.

Conservation groups say it's the largest such designation ever.

It includes 88 nesting beaches from North Carolina through Mississippi, plus waters just off of those beaches, floating algae mats where baby turtles live and other marine areas.

The beaches were listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the marine habitats by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's fisheries service.

A federal agency that names a critical habitat must be consulted before federal permits or contracts are issued there. It does not affect ownership or create wildlife preserves or refuges.

Loggerheads are vulnerable to boat collisions, fishing nets and beach alterations.

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

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