Georgia News Roundup
May 20, 2013 03:25 PM | 1308 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Athens businessman becomes Republican chairman

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — The new chairman of the Georgia Republican Party says the party won't twiddle its thumbs under his leadership.

John Padgett says he plans to take it to Democrats during his two-year term. The Athens businessman defeated two others during a party gathering this weekend in Athens. He replaces sue Everhart, who was prohibited from running after serving six terms.

The Athens Banner-Herald reports that Padgett has been active in Republican politics for 35 years and most recently served as party secretary.

Information from: Athens Banner-Herald,

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Jekyll breaking ground on overdue convention hotel

JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — Developers are set to start construction on a new convention hotel for Jekyll Island after long delays that largely resulted from difficulties getting a bank loan for the $41 million project.

Members of the state park's governing board were scheduled attend a ground-breaking ceremony Monday for the 200-room Westin hotel. It's a key piece of the Jekyll Island Authority's plans to turn around years of sagging tourism and convention business. A new convention center that opened a year ago and other improvements cost Georgia taxpayers $50 million.

Meeting planners have complained about the delays in building the convention hotels. Jekyll Island officials last fall agreed to put up about $6 million to help the private hotel developer qualify for financing.

The Westin is scheduled to open by September 2014.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


E. coli cases reported in Stephens County

ATLANTA (AP) — State health officials say E. coli has made at least seven people ill in Stephens County.

Public health spokesman Dave Palmer told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that no source has been identified. He said some of those who became ill had to be hospitalized, but all are recovering.

The state is interviewing them to track what and where they've eaten in an attempt to find common patterns.

Health officials say preventive measures include practicing good hand-washing and hygiene, washing raw vegetables, and cooking meat properly.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Fog blankets much of Georgia in wake of storms

ATLANTA (AP) — Fog blanketed much of Georgia in the wake of storms that washed out roads in the northeast part of the state and led to rising streams and rivers.

Forecasters said a dense fog advisory was in effect through 10 a.m. Monday in north and central Georgia. It covered all of metro Atlanta and several Georgia cities including Athens, Blairsville, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon and Rome.

The National Weather Service said more than five inches of rain fell in some parts of north and central Georgia.

Officials in Hall County reported that several roads in the Flowery Branch area were flooded and impassable Sunday after seven inches of rain.

The rain was so heavy and constant that Lake Lanier's water level rose a foot overnight.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


West Georgia school board to vote on school closings

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — A west Georgia school system is set to vote on a package of cuts that includes closing an elementary school and a middle school.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that the Muscogee County School Board is scheduled to vote on the plan Monday night.

The recommendation by interim Superintendent John Phillips includes closing Edgewood Elementary School and Marshall Middle School.

At-large school board member Cathy Williams called the decision the toughest vote she will cast in six years on the board.

Information from: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer,

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Atlanta council considers 20-story Ferris wheel

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta City Council is expected to consider a request to construct a Ferris wheel once used in Paris that would soar 20 stories over downtown Atlanta.

The council is set to vote on the request Monday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Skyview Atlanta would be the latest tourist attraction near Centennial Olympic Park, joining the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, CNN Center and other attractions.

Two St. Louis businessmen are behind the idea of bringing the Ferris wheel to Atlanta. Skyview Atlanta spokesman Jason Evans says the partners, Todd Schneider and Al Mers, plan to set it up next to The Tabernacle, a century-old former church building now used as a concert hall.

If the council approves the plan, the ride could be ready for rides this summer, Evans said.

"It will be a unique, affordable experience," said Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall, who represents the district where the Ferris wheel will operate. "And while Ferris wheels have been around for years, it is still a very innovative idea."

The ride will last about 15 minutes — four rotations of the wheel — and is expected to cost between $12 and $13 to ride, Evans said.

Susan Roe, president of the Atlanta Downtown Neighborhood Association, said she's hopeful that the wheel would spur tourism along the Luckie Street side of Centennial Olympic Park.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Andrea Sneiderman to be re-arraigned in husband's death

ATLANTA (AP) — A woman accused of arranging for her husband to be killed outside a suburban Atlanta preschool is set to be arraigned for a third time.

Andrea Sneiderman is scheduled to appear before a DeKalb County Superior Court judge Tuesday. She is being arraigned again after prosecutors filed a revised indictment.

Sneiderman is accused of arranging for her former boss, Hemy Neuman, to kill her husband, Russell Sneiderman, outside a Dunwoody preschool in 2010. A jury last year found Neuman guilty but mentally ill of killing Rusty Sneiderman.

Andrea Sneiderman has repeatedly said she was not involved in her husband's death.

The revised indictment clarifies some of the language in the charges against her.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Georgia Democratic chair faces discipline by state bar

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Democratic Party Chair Mike Berlon is being disciplined by the State Bar of Georgia after he acknowledged violating rules in his private work as an attorney.

The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday issued an order agreeing a "Review Panel reprimand" was an appropriate sanction. The maximum sanctions had been disbarment or public reprimand. A "Review Panel reprimand" is considered a lesser punishment with no suspension and no fines ordered.

Court records show Berlon, who took over as state Democratic chair in 2011, filed a petition for voluntary discipline after the complaint was filed. The client had claimed Berlon failed to file paperwork as requested and paid an investigator without permission.

Berlon tells The Associated Press he takes responsibility for the miscommunication with the client on legal strategy.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Woman shot on coastal Georgia golf course, hospitalized

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — Police in Glynn County say a man has been charged with reckless conduct in an accidental shooting at a coastal Georgia golf course.

Police say a 70-year-old Sea Island woman was shot in her stomach Sunday morning and is hospitalized in stable condition. Authorities say 65-year-old Edward Johnson called emergency dispatchers saying he was shooting at squirrels and accidentally wounded someone.

Authorities say the woman is recovering from surgery and is in stable condition.

It's unclear if Johnson has a lawyer and police say the shooting is under investigation.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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