Georgia News Roundup
July 25, 2013 04:50 PM | 1166 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Georgia Trust plans green upgrades to historic HQ

ATLANTA (AP) — A nonprofit group dedicated to protecting Georgia's historic places says it's planning upgrades to its Atlanta headquarters that will make the nearly century-old mansion more environmentally efficient without sacrificing its historic integrity.

The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta to help pay for a new heating and air conditioning system, new basement and attic insulation and other improvements at Rhodes Hall.

The 1904 mansion serves as Georgia Trust's headquarters and a public museum.

Georgia Trust President Mark McDonald says the upgrades and the care taken to install them will prove "the greenest building is the one that is already built."

For 40 years the Georgia Trust has helped save endangered historic properties and revitalize downtown areas across Georgia.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Eastern black rhinoceros at Atlanta's zoo pregnant

ATLANTA (AP) — Zoo officials say a 6-year-old eastern black rhinoceros at Atlanta's zoo is pregnant.

Zoo Atlanta said in a statement that Andazi has entered her birth window, which began Tuesday and runs through late November. Zoo officials say it's most likely she'll give birth in August or September.

The baby will be the first of its species ever born at Atlanta's zoo. Andazi weights more than 2,400 pounds. Officials say her calf will likely weigh between 55 and 90 pounds and will be born without horns.

The calf's father is Andazi's 8-year-old mate Utenzi.

Eastern black rhinos are critically endangered in the wild because of poaching for their horns and other body parts, which are believed to have healing properties in some cultures.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Woman killed while walking near power lines

ELLIJAY, Ga. (AP) — Authorities in north Georgia are investigating the death of a woman who was apparently electrocuted by downed power lines after a storm.

Police say 19-year-old Stephanie Diaz of Ellijay walked outside after electricity went out at the home where she was babysitting on Wednesday afternoon.

Ellijay Police Chief Edward Lacey tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that a storm had toppled a tree, which caused power lines to fall. Investigators believe that the woman was electrocuted while walking on the wet ground, about 25 feet from downed power lines. A neighbor called 911 after seeing the woman on the ground.

Gilmer County Coroner Jerry Hensley said an autopsy will be conducted, but electrocution is believed to be the cause of death.

Ellijay is about 75 miles north of Atlanta.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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AGL seeking $275M for pipeline replacement

ATLANTA (AP) — State officials are considering whether AGL Resources Inc. can collect $275 million from customers to replace plastic pipelines.

The Public Service Commission on Thursday is expected to discuss an agreement that would let the utility start replacing some 756 miles of the oldest plastic pipeline in its system. Natural gas customers would finance the effort by paying $1.29 per month.

A vote is expected in August.

Regulators say those pipelines have a tendency to become brittle and crack. Ultimately, the utility wants to replace 3,320 miles of plastic piping installed from the mid-1960s until 1983.

AGL says replacing those pipes gradually saves money and reduces the risk of a larger failure. One critic has faulted AGL for charging a flat fee rather than a fee based on gas usage.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Police apprehend suspects after teen killed

FOREST PARK, Ga. (AP) — Police have apprehended two suspects in connection with the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy who was gunned down during an armed robbery and attempted carjacking outside Atlanta.

Gilberto Gomez Jr. of Forest Park and Sergio Reyes Alvear of Atlanta, both 18, were in custody Thursday. Both men face murder charges, according to Clayton County Jail records.

Two men in an SUV approached Steven Galindo as he was putting air in the tire of his sister's Chevy truck Monday night in Forest Park — just south of Atlanta — authorities said. They demanded the keys to the woman's truck and their other belongings.

Police tell WXIA-TV that both suspects said the motive was to steal the truck because of its specialized doors, which are a similar style to a Lamborghini. The so-called butterfly doors swing up to open rather than out.

However, police said that one of the suspects put the key in the ignition and it would not start. One suspect then used a baseball bat to bash the vehicle's hood, authorities said.

"They were upset because the vehicle would not start," Clayton County Police Maj. Johnny Robinson told WSB Radio. "And if they couldn't get it, they made the decision that no one else would have it either."

One of the suspects used a bat to bash the truck, while the other suspect was firing a gun into the truck, Robinson said.

Steven's sister, 22-year-old Samaria Diaz, said that although she'd had the truck for a while, she had just gotten the tricked-out Chevrolet Silverado registered and insured earlier that day.

Diaz said she and her brother had been backing away from the gunman when Steven was hit by gunfire.

"He shouted, 'I've been shot,'" Diaz said. "I was holding him in my arms when he died."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Report: Teen HPV vaccination rate still lagging

By Mike Stobbe, AP Medical Writer

ATLANTA (AP) — Disappointed health officials say only about half of teenage girls have gotten a controversial vaccine against cervical cancer — a rate that's changed little in three years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that about 54 percent of teenage girls have received at least one dose of the expensive three-shot vaccine. The shots protect against human papilloma virus, or HPV. The sexually transmitted bug can cause cervical cancer and genital warts.

The vaccine was introduced in 2006, and is recommended at ages 11 and 12. Some experts think parents are uneasy with the sexual issues it raises, and doctors and states have hesitated to promote it or require it for school attendance.

The new report is based on a telephone survey.

Online: CDC report

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Woman, 57, struck by falling tree branch, killed 

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say a Columbus woman has died after she was struck by a falling tree limb.

Deputy Coroner Charles Newton said a tree limb had fallen on the home of 57-year-old Barbara McWorther. He said it appears that she was outside checking on it when another limb broke free and struck her in the head.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that a fierce storm that rolled through the west Georgia city Wednesday afternoon led to fallen trees and branches in several neighborhoods.

Information from: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, http://ledger-enquirer.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Coastal Georgia waitress returns lost money to customer 

WILMINGTON ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — The owner of a coastal Georgia restaurant says a waitress found an envelope stuffed with $5,000 and returned the money to the customer who lost it.

Jennifer Shaw, a waitress at Mercer's Steak and Seafood on Wilmington Island, told WTOC-TV Wednesday that she found the envelope after a group of men left the table they had been sitting at.

Shaw says when she realized how much money was in the envelope, her knees started shaking and she stuffed it into her apron before moving on to the next table. Shaw says she immediately knew who the money belonged to.

Restaurant owner Mark Egan told the television station the customer rewarded Shaw with $100 for returning the money. Egan says he's proud to employ such a trustworthy worker.

Information from: WTOC-TV, http://www.wtoctv.com/

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Bomb kills 3 Fort Stewart soldiers in Afghanistan 

FORT STEWART, Ga. (AP) — U.S. military officials say three Fort Stewart Soldiers have been killed by a bomb blast in Afghanistan.

The Defense Department on Thursday identified the slain soldiers as 25-year-old 1st Lt. Jonam Russell of Cornville, Ariz.; 24-year-old Sgt. Stefan M. Smith of Glenville, Ga.; and 24-year-old Spc. Rob L. Nichols of Colorado Springs, Colo.

Military officials say all three were killed Tuesday by a roadside bomb in the town of Soltan Kheyl.

The soldiers were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment of Fort Stewart's 4th Infantry Brigade. The brigade is part of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division.

Fort Stewart officials say the soldiers' unit deployed in March and is due to return to the U.S. in November.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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