Georgia News Roundup
September 12, 2013 11:00 AM | 747 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
'Threatened' status sought for Georgia and Alabama plant

ATLANTA (AP) — Federal wildlife officials want a plant they say is found only in Georgia and Alabama to be classified as "threatened."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is seeking the designation for the Georgia rockcress. The plant has been a candidate for listing as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since 2000.

Wildlife officials also want about 786 acres of river bluff habitat designated as the plant's critical habitat. That land includes parts of six counties in Georgia and parts of seven counties in Alabama.

The wildlife officials say only about 5,000 individual plants still exist. Georgia rockcress generally lives on steep river bluffs with shallow soil on rock or with exposed rock outcroppings.

Habitat degradation and the invasion of exotic species are the greatest threats.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Georgia congressmen seek to keep commissary open

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's congressional delegation is urging the Defense Department not to close the commissary at Fort McPherson in Atlanta before a new one is built at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta.

The letter was sent Wednesday to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. The commissary at Fort McPherson serves military families and retirees and offers discounted groceries. It's scheduled to close at the end of the month.

The letter, sent by U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, says the commissary serves thousands of veterans and service members across northeast Georgia.

Officials say the nearest commissary is at Fort Benning in Columbus, which can be a two-hour drive for those in the metro Atlanta area.

The proposed commissary at Dobbins has been delayed and it's not clear when it might open.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Georgia students in trouble could do service projects

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Some students who get in trouble in an east Georgia school system will be doing community service projects instead of being suspended.

The Augusta Chronicle reports that Richmond County students can choose to clean gum off desks, dust trophy cases, pick up trash or other projects instead of receiving an in-or out-of school suspension of less than 10 days.

Richmond County's school board approved the program this week. It gives principals the option of assigning community service projects to students instead of short-term suspension for discipline issues.

Under the program, parents and students have to agree to the alternative discipline and adhere to certain rules. All community service projects would take place at the school.

Information from: The Augusta Chronicle, http://www.augustachronicle.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Braves to honor students, staff at McNair Academy 

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Braves will host students, parents and employees from a Decatur school where police say a bookkeeper in the front office talked a suspect into surrendering after a gun battle.

Braves spokesman Derek Schiller says everyone at McNair Discovery Learning Academy has been through so much that the team wanted them to relax at Turner Field while they were honored for their courage.

Police say a 20-year-old man carrying an assault rifle walked into the school Aug. 20 and exchanged shots with police. Bookkeeper Antoinette Tuff convinced him to surrender, and no one was hurt.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Tuff and other staff members will be recognized at Sunday's game with the San Diego Padres in Atlanta. The newspaper reports that Tuff will not be in attendance.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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'Walking Dead' actor struck by military vehicle

SENOIA, Ga. (AP) — An actor playing a zombie on the set of the hit cable show "The Walking Dead" is recovering after reports that he was struck by a military vehicle during filming in Georgia.

A police report states that 20-year-old actor Garrett Zane Orr was hit by the vehicle when its brakes didn't function properly. Police say the 2.5-ton truck rolled over his stomach.

A spokesperson for the AMC show told WXIA-TV that Orr was flown to Atlanta Medical Center.

Authorities released few details of the Friday night accident shortly after it happened, but WXIA-TV obtained the police report and a 911 tape that reveals the new details.

"Someone was run over by a truck on set," a caller told a Coweta County 911 operator after the accident.

"He is breathing and conscious," another caller tells the 911 operator. "Our medic is taking care of him right now."

Filming was temporarily halted after the accident, but has since resumed.

The Atlanta station reports that Orr's injuries were not considered life-threatening, and he was released from the hospital Monday.

Information from: WXIA-TV.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Blood collections suspended due to dengue fever

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A blood collection agency is suspending its blood donation program in Martin and St. Lucie counties due to the risk of a dengue fever outbreak.

In a news release on Wednesday, OneBlood officials said they won't collect blood in the region until further notice. The company provides blood to 200 hospitals in Florida, Alabama and Georgia.

The Palm Beach Post reports the company's decision came after 15 cases of dengue fever have been diagnosed in the region.

Dengue fever is spread by mosquitoes. Symptoms include fever, headache and severe muscle and joint soreness. Some people get a measles-like rash. Health officials say it can be a risk to blood supplies because the viral disease is rare and tests aren't done at the time of blood collection.

Information from: The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post, http://www.pbpost.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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