Georgia News Roundup
June 25, 2014 03:10 PM | 1745 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Judge to head Judicial Qualifications Commission

ATLANTA (AP) — The state agency charged with investigating judicial misconduct will be headed by a judge for the first time in its 42-year history.

Judicial Qualifications Commission Chairman Robert Ingram tells the Daily Report Pataula Circuit Superior Court Judge Ronnie Joe Lane was named this week as the agency's director.

Lane, who will be the commission's fourth director, replaces attorney Jeff Davis who has led the agency since 2010. Davis is leaving to become executive director of the State Bar of Georgia.

Lane, who's 67, has been a member of the Judicial Council of Georgia for six years and served on the executive committee of the state Council of Superior Court Judges.

Ingram says Lane will retire from his job as a superior court judge before he starts at the commission.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Drunk drivers to be targeted during holiday travel

ATLANTA (AP) — The Governor's Office of Highway Safety says law enforcement agencies will be targeting suspected drunk drivers during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Officials say law enforcement agencies throughout Georgia will be aggressively targeting those suspected of driving drunk during the holiday next week.

Governor's Office of Highway Safety Director Harris Blackwood said in a statement that one driver is typically killed every five hours in Georgia during the Fourth of July holiday travel period.

Officials say 179 people were killed in crashes during the Independence Day travel period in 2012 and 44 percent of those crashes were linked to drunk drivers.

Officials say the holiday travel period runs for 78 hours between July 3 and July 6.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Georgia awarded unemployment, job training grant

ATLANTA (AP) — Federal labor officials have awarded more than $300,000 to fund re-employment programs and eligibility assessments for the unemployed in Georgia.

The U.S. Department of Labor said Tuesday that the money awarded to Georgia is part of more than $68 million that was awarded to 37 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez said in a statement the grants will help states offer training to the jobless and will help Unemployment Insurance agencies ensure that payments are being made to people who actually need the help.

Officials say the funding will support in-person assessments at job centers where unemployment claimants will develop individual re-employment plans and more.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Teenager shot to death south of Atlanta

RIVERDALE, Ga. (AP) — Police in Atlanta's southern suburbs are investigating a shooting that claimed the life of an 18-year-old man.

Clayton County police Officer Ashanti Marbury tells WXIA-TV that the man was shot in the chest Tuesday night on Clara Drive in Riverdale. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police have not yet provided any information about a suspect or motive.

Riverdale is about 15 miles south of downtown Atlanta.

Information from: WXIA-TV.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Child, 5, found unconscious in swimming pool

JONESBORO, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say a 5-year-old boy was in critical condition Tuesday night after he was found unconscious in a swimming pool south of Atlanta.

Clayton County police tell The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the incident happened shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday at an apartment complex on Mount Zion Road.

Clayton County police Officer Ashanti Marbury said the first officer to reach the scene assisted a man who was already performing CPR on the boy. She said emergency responders took the boy to a hospital in critical condition.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Bowling alley fire considered suspicious

ST. MARYS, Ga. (AP) — A fire official says a blaze that destroyed a bowling alley in the coastal Georgia town of St. Marys is considered suspicious.

St. Marys police detectives are trying to determine the cause of the Monday fire that destroyed the bowling alley, which has been vacant for several years.

St. Marys Fire Department Assistant Chief Tom Lackner said the building was already engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. He said the roof began collapsing within five minutes of fire crews responding.

The Florida Times-Union reports that the nearly 17,000-square-foot building was once home to TNT Bowling Lanes. The structure was listed for sale for $250,000.

Information from: The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Georgia teen charged in burglary, attempted sex assault

HULL, Ga. (AP) — Sheriff's officials in northeastern Georgia say a 14-year-old boy has been charged in the attempted rape of a 70-year-old woman.

The Athens Banner-Herald reported Wednesday that the boy is being held in the Regional Youth Detention Center in Gainesville.

Madison County Sheriff Kip Thomas says the boy is also charged with aggravated assault and burglary.

Authorities say the teen broke into the woman's home Friday night and was armed with a knife when he tried assaulting her. The teen was arrested based on a description the woman gave authorities.

Information from: Athens Banner-Herald, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Panel: Flu spray better than shots for young kids

By Mike Stobbe, AP Medical Writer

ATLANTA (AP) — When it comes to flu vaccines, a federal panel says a squirt in the nose is better than a shot in the arm for young children.

The advisory panel agreed Wednesday to tell doctors that FluMist nasal spray is a bit better at preventing flu in healthy young kids. The advice is specific to children ages 2 through 8.

Federal health officials usually adopt the panel's recommendations and ask doctors and patients to follow them.

A pediatricians' group, however, opposes the move. The group says FluMist is more expensive and doctors have already ordered their vaccine doses for the fall flu season.

The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over 6 months old. The nasal spray version is approved only for ages 2 to 49.

Online: Vaccine panel: 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Carter seeks new probe of Deal ethics complaints

ATLANTA (AP) — Democrat Jason Carter is calling for an independent investigator to review the handling of ethics complaints against Gov. Nathan Deal that were at the center of three lawsuits filed against the state ethics commission.

Carter, who is running against Deal in November, made the request in a letter Wednesday to Attorney General Sam Olens. The complaints date back to the 2010 campaign, and Deal was cleared of any major violations by the commission.

Since then four former commission employees have claimed retaliation for work investigating the Deal complaints, and a jury sided with one of them in April. The state has decided to settle with the other three.

Deal's spokeswoman Jen Talaber says there is no connection to the governor's office and Carter is "playing politics" with the letter.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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