Georgia News Roundup
May 27, 2013 12:05 PM | 908 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nice weather expected for Memorial Day holiday

ATLANTA (AP) — Sunny, dry weather is expected through Memorial Day.

The high for Memorial Day will reach 85 degrees, Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad Nitz tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The nice weather comes after four consecutive weekends with rain. Atlanta's official rainfall totals the past four weekends, beginning with the last weekend in April, were 1.73 inches, 4.24 inches, .03 inches and .54 inches.

Sunny skies and highs in the low 80s are expected along the Georgia coast as well the beaches of the Florida panhandle.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Universities show low classroom utilization rate

ATLANTA (AP) — A two-year study by the University System of Georgia shows classrooms are empty during most of the week.

The Athens Banner-Herald reports that of the 440 classrooms at the University of Georgia, the average is used just 18.5 hours per 40-hour work week. When the classrooms are used, just two-thirds of the seats are full. That is a 31 percent utilization rate.

At most schools, the results show capacity for additional courses and for some bigger classes. System administrators say each school in the system has individual characteristics that affect utilization. There's a limit to how crowded a classroom can be.

Administrators will use the data to help evaluate requests for more space. Renovation, better scheduling or changing the purpose of existing buildings will be options to new construction.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Some Georgia parks move to private management

ATLANTA (AP) — Five Georgia state parks will be soon be completely managed by private, for-profit firms.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Florida-based Coral Hospitality manage the properties. The state will still own the parks, which are now run by the Department of Natural Resources.

Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawsonville leads the list of privatized properties. It attracts more than 500,000 visitors a year to an 829-acre forest and the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi River.

The other parks are North Georgia's Unicoi, George T. Bagby in Fort Gaines, Little Ocmulgee in Helena and Georgia Veterans in Cordele, where a state-owned resort and golf club was already privately managed.

State officials say the move is a financial necessity. The plan may involve charging for services that are now free.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Mixed reaction in Georgia to calls for lower DUI limit

ATLANTA (AP) — There's mixed reaction in Georgia to a proposal from a federal agency's call for states to lower their blood-alcohol limits from drivers.

The National Transportation and Safety Board made waves with its call for a 0.05 limit, down from the 0.08 that has become standard.

Georgia's chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving doesn't oppose the idea. But executive director Barry Martin told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it's not politically feasible. Martin said the focus should be on initiatives that require drivers convicted of DUI to use automobile devices that test their blood-alcohol levels. The units prevent an ignition from working when a driver is over the legal limit.

Leaders of the Georgia Restaurant Association, meanwhile, say strict enforcement of existing laws is the best way to ensure public safety.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Georgia film alliance wants to attract movie makers

ST. MARYS, Ga. (AP) — Three Georgia counties have joined a growing partnership that officials in southeast Georgia say will attract more film and television projects to the region.

The Brunwsick News reports that Libert, McInstosh and Charlton counties will join the Coastal Georgia Film Alliance. They will join Camden and Glynn counties in the partnership.

Barbara Ryan is an executive at the alliance. She highlighted the USA Network's TV series "Royal Pains" recent venture into the region. The show filmed two episodes last year on Camden and Glynn locations. The new counties, she said, will expand the venues that the alliance can offer producers.

Georgia is among several states that have adopted generous tax credits to attract the television and film industry.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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