Georgia News Roundup
April 24, 2013 03:11 PM | 825 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print

California judge says combat school must name trainees 

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The federal government must disclose the names of Latin American military leaders who attended a Defense Department school, a federal judge in California has ruled.

Protesters claim the U.S. has trained officials at the facility who later committed human rights abuses.

In making her ruling, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland said the Freedom of Information Act "mandates a strong policy in favor of disclosure," the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Wednesday.

Hamilton issued her decision on Monday. The names had been sought by members of SOA Watch, which has protested at the school in Fort Benning, Ga., formerly called the School of the Americas, for more than two decades.

In the past, the federal government disclosed the names of attendees, who included Roberto d'Aubuisson, a Salvadoran politician accused by opponents of promoting death squads, the Chronicle reported.

Other attendees were implicated in the 1989 killings of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her 16-year-old daughter in El Salvador, according to the Chronicle.

But disclosure of the names ended during the George W. Bush administration.

The Obama administration defended that secrecy, saying release of the records could expose trainees to violence and harassment.

It also said Congress had access to attendance records and had the authority to oversee the performance of the school, now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.

Additionally, government lawyers argued that the State Department could screen out potential trainees with records of past abuses through the visa process.

Hamilton said there was no evidence that any of the trainees had been promised anonymity or been harmed by the pre-2004 practice of releasing the names. Officials have also not shown that the attendees' military status is a secret in their home countries, she said.

The administration could appeal the decision.

Judith Liteky, a plaintiff in the suit, said if the ruling stands, it will restore an important public safeguard.

Information from: San Francisco Chronicle,

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Lee County selects Georgia educator for superintendent 

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — The Lee County school system has selected a Georgia educator as its new superintendent.

James "Mac" McCoy was selected for the post Tuesday night by the Lee County Board of Education, The Opelika-Auburn News reported. The board voted 4-3 for McCoy.

McCoy has served as superintendent for Commerce City Schools in Georgia since 2005. He was previously principal for Georgia's Buford City Schools, Gainesville City Schools, Carrollton City Schools and Henry County Schools.

"I was impressed with his honesty, his straight-forwardness and his answers seemed to come from the heart," said board member Larry Boswell. "His mentioning being very concerned about jobs also was another strength in my eyes."

Education board member Milford Burkhalter said he was impressed by how prepared McCoy was and pointed out McCoy was the only candidate who didn't need notes with his answers.

"One of the things that really impressed me what when he said every decision he makes is with respect for the students," said board member Fred Copeland. "That's what we're all about and every decision we make should be for students as well."

Information from: Opelika-Auburn News,

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Report: Motorcycle deaths decline slightly in Georgia

ATLANTA (AP) — New numbers show that Georgia has seen a slight drop in the number of motorcycle fatalities.

The Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety reported that new data made available Wednesday shows that the state had slightly fewer deadly motorcycle wrecks in 2012 than during 2011.

The statistics show that the majority of motorcycle fatalities occurred in urban areas and in the foothills of the north Georgia mountains.

Authorities say Fulton County saw the greatest number of motorcyclist fatalities statewide.

Also, DeKalb County saw a significant increase in the number of motorcyclist fatalities from 2011 to 2012.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Atlanta flight with problem lands OK at Sea-Tac

SEATTLE (AP) — A Delta Air Lines Boeing 757 from Atlanta landed safely early Wednesday at Sea-Tac Airport after reporting a problem with the wing flaps.

Airline spokesman Michael Thomas says the crew followed procedures for an indicator warning related to the flap system and requested expedited handling by air traffic controllers.

Delta Flight 2329 landed at 12:48 a.m. It had 184 passengers and a crew of six on board.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Aloia named president of College of Coastal Georgia

ATLANTA (AP) — The Board of Regents has named Gregory Aloia as the next president of the College of Coastal Georgia.

Aloia is expected to start July 1. He is currently president of Concord University in Athens, W. Va., and is a former dean and professor of special education at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

University Chancellor Hank Huckaby praised Aloia's leadership skills during Wednesday's announcement.

A national search was launched to replace current President Valerie Hepburn, who will be stepping down in June.

The college, located in Brunswick, is in the middle of an expansion plan that aims to enroll some 6,000 students by 2020.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. 


Toddler dies in dog attack

ATLANTA (AP) — Police say a metro Atlanta toddler has been killed in a dog attack.

Scott McBride, of the Fulton County police department, says the unidentified 2-year-old was attacked Wednesday afternoon and police are on the scene gathering details on the incident. Authorities say the toddler was attacked in an unincorporated area in south Fulton County near Union City — which is about 20 miles southwest of downtown Atlanta.

Additional information on the dog and its owner was not immediately available.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. 


3 Macon students awarded $250,000 scholarship 

MACON, Ga. (AP) — Three seniors at Central High School in Macon have each been awarded a $250,000 scholarship from the Gates Millennium Scholars program.

The Telegraph of Macon Wednesday reported Kaya Andrews, Christine Okaro and Ashley Washington recently learned they were among this year's scholarship winners.

School counselor Dorothy Krakow says she was dizzy when she learned three of her students had won the scholarships.

The Gates Millennium Scholars program is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and covers undergraduate education expenses for 1,000 students from minority backgrounds with financial need. Scholarship recipients must have a minimum 3.3 grade point average and participate in community service and extracurricular activities.

Information from: The Macon Telegraph,

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


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