Georgia News Roundup
August 16, 2013 11:30 AM | 762 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Loggerhead sea turtles nesting in Georgia increase

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — State officials say that loggerhead sea turtles nesting in Georgia have topped last year's record.

Mark Dodd is the sea turtle program coordinator with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Dodd said this week that nesting on barrier island beaches have already reached 2,243, which is more than the 2,141 nests last year.

Dodd says it's a new record for the fourth straight year. Nest totals for the federally threatened reptiles have been climbing steadily since 2009.

Dodd credits the recovery to conservation measures but adds the current numbers are still short of federal recovery benchmarks, which is a 2 percent annual increase for 50 years resulting in a statewide total of 2,800 nests annually.

Nesting season is nearly over and the final numbers will be available in the fall.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Jury in Sneiderman case to resume deliberations

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — The jury in Andrea Sneiderman's trial on charges of perjury and making false statements is expected to continue deliberating Friday.

The case went to the jury at the end of the day Thursday after the defense and prosecution gave their closing arguments. Andrea Sneiderman did not take the stand during the trial.

Rusty Sneiderman, was shot in November 2010 outside a suburban Atlanta preschool. Andrea Sneiderman's former boss Hemy Neuman was convicted in the killing in March 2012, but was found mentally ill.

Sneiderman faces charges of making false statements, hindering an investigation and perjury.

Prosecutors have alleged Andrea Sneiderman was having an affair with Neuman. She has denied any romantic relationship.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Car strikes 3 children in Gwinnett County

ATLANTA (AP) — Three children were injured when they were struck by a car on a dark road in Gwinnett County.

Police told WSB-TV that the Volkswagen hit the children late Thursday as they walked to a store.

A 4-year-old suffered head injuries, lacerations and abrasions. Two older children suffered cuts and bruises.

Police said they do not expect to charge the driver.

Information from: WSB-TV, http://www.wsbtv.com/index.html

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Man found dead in Jonesboro fire

JONESBORO, Ga. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the cause of death of a man found in a burned Jonesboro home.

Firefighters found the man after responding to the scene of a fire late Thursday morning.

Capt. Walter Barber said that the cause of death has not yet been determined.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that authorities say the fire in the two-story townhome was apparently caused by an electrical problem.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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New rule bans Georgia toll booth charity

ATLANTA (AP) — No more paying the toll for the motorist behind you on Georgia Highway 400.

A new rule from the State Road and Tollway Authority has ended a tradition stretching back two decades where some drivers will pay the 50-cent toll for the next motorist in a charitable gesture.

"In what sort of world do we live?" said Rick Sanderson, 58, who learned of the policy last week when a cashier would not allow him to pay for the next driver. "We can't even do a random act of kindness?"

The authority banned the charitable payments because some drivers had complained that cashiers were pocketing the extra change rather than using it pay for the next driver, Bert Brantley, the authority's deputy executive director, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

At least six such complaints were received in the last few months. As a result, state officials ended the practice in a move meant to protect drivers and toll workers.

"When it's only one complaint every once in a while, it's not a big deal," Brantley said. "But we had repeat incidences of customers not believing that their pay-it-forward gesture was actually making it forward."

It is not clear that any money was actually stolen. Brantley said a driver might not see the extra 50 cents being thrown into the change basket for the next driver because the next motorist sometimes declines the money, allowing it to be passed onto another driver.

The toll collections are scheduled to end Nov. 21.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Gainesville approves private jail expansion

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — The Gainesville City Council will allow a private jail to expand.

City authorities gave their approval Thursday to a plan by Corrections Corporation of America to house more federal prisoners at its detention center.

The company is seeking to modify its agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement so it can begin housing prisoners held by the U.S. Marshals Service.

CCA representative Tommy Alsup said the facility has 189 prisoners but it wants to house more. It currently holds people detained for immigration violations. The firm hopes to add another 150 to 200 prisoners held by the U.S. Marshals Service.

The Times reports Gainesville authorities bought the facility a year ago and have a 14-year lease agreement with CCA. The council had to approve the proposed change.

Information from: The Times, http://www.gainesvilletimes.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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TVA lowers fuel adjustment charge for September

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A cool, wet summer continues to benefit TVA power customers in the seven-state region.

Tennessee Valley Authority spokesman Scott Brooks said Friday that the utility is reducing its fuel adjustment charge in September to the lowest level since March 2012. The levy will fall from the current 2.22 cents per kilowatt hour to 1.96 cents. That's 20 percent lower than the charge was at this time last year.

Brooks told the Chattanooga Times Free Press TVA is generating 44 percent more electricity at its 29 hydroelectric dams now than it was a year ago. Hydro is the cheapest generation source. Rainfall across the region is 35 percent more than at this time 2012.

The adjustment charge reflects the cost of fuel, including coal and natural gas.

Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Change of command for 224th Battalion 

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A new leader is taking command of the 224th Military Intelligence Battalion based near Savannah.

Lt. Col. Daniel Mettling will hand over command Friday to Lt. Col Richard Melnyk.

WTOC-TV reports that the battalion intercepts communications and electronic intelligence for the U.S. Army.

It's based at Hunter Army Airfield.

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

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Lockdown lifted at Warner Robins school 

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. (AP) — A lockdown prompted by a report of a suspicious man has been lifted at a Warner Robins elementary school.

The security lockdown occurred at Russell Elementary School on Friday morning after staff reported seeing a suspicious man inside the building.

WMAZ-TV reports that local police searched the school and surrounding neighborhoods. Authorities said the school building is clear.

School district spokeswoman Beth McLaughlin said students were being allowed inside.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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