Georgia News Roundup
June 21, 2013 10:45 AM | 1097 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Georgia state archives to be moved July 1

ATLANTA (AP) — University System of Georgia officials say the state's archive collection is being moved and a funding increase is expected to translate to an increase in service.

Officials said Thursday that the archives will be moved from the Secretary of State's office July 1 to the Board of Regents office, and the move comes with a $300,000 budget increase.

The state archives were established in 1918 and are currently housed in Morrow. They hold more than 80,000 cubic feet of state records.

The increased funding is expected to help expand access to the archives and increase staffing. That will help state officials keep the archives open two more days a week — Wednesdays and Thursdays — from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning July 21.

Online: Georgia Archives.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Georgia to target drunk driving over Fourth of July

ATLANTA (AP) — Law enforcement agencies in Georgia are joining a nationwide crackdown on drunk driving over the Fourth of July holiday.

The Governor's Office of Highway Safety says the national celebration is one of the most dangerous holidays on Georgia roads. In the past two years, the state has averaged 88 alcohol-impaired crashes during the period from July 3-5.

Law enforcement agencies across the state are partnering to launch their annual Operation Zero Tolerance campaign.

As of Thursday, the state had seen 520 traffic fatalities this year. That's up 4 percent from 499 last year on June 20.

This year's Operation Zero Tolerance campaign starts Friday and runs through July 7.

Online: Georgia Highway Safety.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Fort Stewart families brace for furlough impacts

FORT STEWART, Ga. (AP) — Commanders at Fort Stewart are trying to prepare Army families for a blow to services with more than 2,800 civilian workers expected to begin taking furlough days next month.

Brig. Gen. John Hort and other leaders planned a town hall meeting Friday for those who live and work on Fort Stewart, the largest Army post east of the Mississippi River.

The automatic federal budget cuts that kicked in months ago are forcing most military civilian workers to take off one day a week for a nearly three months from July 8 through the end of September. That will affect everything from the commissary where Army families buy groceries to the office that issues ID badges.

Even schools on Fort Stewart are planning four-day weeks once classes resume in August.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Historic church rejects offer for NFL stadium site

ATLANTA (AP) — One of two historic Atlanta churches near the site of a proposed new NFL stadium has rejected the city's initial offer for its land.

The city offered $13.5 million, but Friendship Baptist Church countered with $24.5 million, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in an interview with WXIA-TV.

Reed said the city couldn't afford that, but is now offering $15.5 million.

Church leaders declined to talk about the negotiations.

The state is handling negotiations with Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, across the street from Friendship and closer to the site of the proposed stadium. The new home for the Atlanta Falcons would be built south of the Georgia Dome if the churches agree.

Officials have said that if they can't reach agreements with the churches, the $1 billion, retractable-roof stadium would be built on another site, north of the Georgia Dome.

Friendship is just across Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, which would have to be rerouted through the church's property to make way for the new stadium.

Fulton County tax records show Friendship's property is worth more than $1.2 million and Mount Vernon's tops $1 million, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The late Mayor Maynard Jackson's father once preached at Friendship Baptist, a congregation whose history dates to the early days of the American Civil War.

When Friendship Baptist formally organized in 1866, members say it became Atlanta's first independent black Baptist congregation. Without any property of their own, congregants initially worshipped in a train boxcar shipped in from Tennessee.

Morehouse College housed classes in the congregation in 1879 and Spelman began in the church's basement two years later.

Mt. Vernon, which began as a storefront church in 1915, moved several times before landing at the property near the Georgia Dome, including a 1955 move because of road expansion.

Earlier this year, Reed and Falcons owner Arthur Blank agreed to financing terms for a new stadium to replace the 20-year-old Georgia Dome.

Reed and Blank have both said they prefer the site near the churches, but were holding an option for the site north of the Dome if negotiations with the churches fail.

Information from: WXIA-TV.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Searchers find body of teen who drowned in river

COVINGTON, Ga. (AP) — Authorities have recovered the body of 14-year-old boy who drowned in the Alcovy River in Covington.

The Covington News reports that Brandon Talley drowned Thursday afternoon at Factory Shoals Park. His body was recovered after a two-hour search.

Newton County sheriff's investigator Michael Cunningham said his office received a report of a child jumping into the river, going under and never resurfacing shortly before 4 p.m. Thursday.

Newton County Coroner Tommy Davis said it appears to have been an accidental drowning.

Covington is about 35 miles southeast of Atlanta.

Information from: The Covington News, http://www.covnews.com/gbase/expedite/index.html

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Gwinnett County school board approves tax increase 

SUWANEE, Ga. (AP) — The school board for Georgia's largest school system has voted to increase taxes for homeowners in the suburban area northeast of Atlanta.

The Gwinnett County School Board approved the measure at its meeting Thursday night.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the increase will mean an additional $101.80 in property tax on a $200,000 house and $75.80 extra on a $150,000 house.

The board also approved a deal to pay $52 million to regain title to its headquarters building in Suwanee.

The district bought the property in 2004 for $12.5 million. The district then sold the land a year later to private investors for $17 million. The investment group converted the former manufacturing plant into a headquarters for the school system and has been leasing it to the system since then.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Shelter client from SC treated for TB in Georgia

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — A person who once stayed at a Myrtle Beach homeless shelter is being treated for tuberculosis in Georgia.

Health officials are checking whether the patient came into contact with others.

The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reported the patient could have come into contact with others either in Georgia or while traveling there.

Testing for TB continues Friday at the Street Reach shelter after another former resident was admitted to the hospital with the infectious respiratory disease last month and was released about a week later.

More than 100 people were tested Thursday.

Kathy Jenkins with the shelter's operator says the shelter is reaching out to those who may have stayed there and is posting fliers at agencies where they may have received services.

Information from: The Sun News, http://www.thesunnews.com/

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Agency to keep sanctions against Georgia college

ATLANTA (AP) — An accrediting agency had decided to continue with its sanctions against Georgia Perimeter College over concerns about the school's financial stability and financial controls.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools voted Thursday to keep the metro Atlanta college in "warning" status.

Association spokeswoman Pamela Cravey said the organization plans to review the situation in 12 months.

Georgia Perimeter remains accredited and is on the less serious of two possible sanctions.

The group sanctioned Georgia Perimeter in December due to the school's recent $25 million budget shortfall.

Georgia Perimeter interim President Rob Watts said in a statement that the college has taken steps to address the situation. He said there is "every indication" that the school's financial issues have been addressed.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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