Georgia News Roundup
May 30, 2013 01:25 PM | 1712 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Georgia health officials investigate suspicious calls

ATLANTA (AP) — Health officials in Georgia are warning people to be cautious when participating in health-related phone surveys.

The state Department of Public Health says several residents have reported suspicious phone calls. The agency says that in at least five cases the caller claimed to be "from the health department."

The caller asks about ethnicity and religion, among other questions. The agency's inspector general, Kenneth Bramlett, is investigating whether the calls are related to fraud. He says the calls are not coming from the Department of Public Health.

The agency says it does sometimes use phone surveys to get information on health trends. But the agency says it will never: ask for religious information; ask for credit card information; or try to sell goods or services.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Interim dean named for UGA college of business

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — University of Georgia President-elect Jere Morehead has announced a former UGA president has been appointed to serve as interim dean of the Terry College of Business.

In a statement Wednesday, Morehead announced that Charles B. Knapp, former University of Georgia president and economics professor, will serve as interim dean of the university's business school between July 1 and June 30, 2014.

Knapp served as UGA president between 1987 and 1997 and serves on several business, education and community redevelopment boards.

A national search for a permanent dean was halted earlier this month, and Morehead says the search will resume this fall.

University of Georgia officials say the Terry College of Business enrolls more than 3,200 students in undergraduate, masters and doctoral programs.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Georgia exhibit features historic copy of Constitution

ATLANTA (AP) — The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum is set to display George Washington's personal copy of the Constitution.

National Archives spokesman Tony Clark says the museum will display the document along with Georgia Washington's handwritten notes between June 7 and June 24.

Clark says the exhibit is one of the most significant pieces of intellectual property Washington owned, and shows the first president's role in the drafting, ratification and interpretation of the Constitution.

Online: Jimmy Carter Library.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Motorists complain about removal of Georgia 400 tolls

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. (AP) — Some metro Atlanta commuters are upset that tolls on Georgia Highway 400 are going away Nov. 20.

WSB-TV reports that many motorists fear that removing the .50-cent tolls will lead to traffic jams as more drivers use the road after it's free.

The State Road and Tollway Authority said it has received several emails from concerned drivers.

Agency officials have said they anticipate an 18 percent increase in traffic volume once the tolls are removed.

In 2012, Gov. Nathan Deal announced the toll booths would be removed by the end of 2013.

Deal said Wednesday that he made a promise to Georgians that the toll would be removed, and he intends to keep that pledge.

Information from: WSB-TV.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Judge sets tentative date in baby killing trial

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A judge has set a tentative trial date for two teenagers facing charges in the killing of a baby near the Georgia coast.

Brunswick Judicial Circuit Judge Stephen Kelley tentatively scheduled an Aug. 19 trial date in the slaying of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago.

The Brunswick News reports that the date was set during a status conference hearing Wednesday.

De'Marquise Elkins and Dominique Lang face murder charges in the March 21 killing. Both suspects have pleaded not guilty.

Authorities say Elkins shot the child in the face as he sat in his stroller. The boys are accused of trying to rob the child's mother on the street a few blocks from her Brunswick apartment. The mother, Sherry West, was wounded by gunfire but survived.

Information from: The Brunswick News,

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Camp at Fort Benning trimmed to cut 75 students

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say federal budget cuts have trimmed about 75 slots from the JROTC Cadet Challenge Camp at Fort Benning in west Georgia, but 310 students will still take part in the week-long event.

Lt. Col. Robert Koester, senior Army instructor at Dooly County High School, said the Army required high schools to trim about $100,000 from the June 10-14 camp under the sequester cuts that went into effect March 1.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that students from about 30 schools will take part in events which include rappelling, water safety, obstacle courses and jumping from the 34-foot tower at Eubanks Field.

Students with the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps live in dorms at Columbus State University during the camp. Buses transport them to Fort Benning daily for activities.

Information from: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer,

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


State Rep. Tyrone Brooks to hold news conference

MONROE, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia state lawmaker facing federal charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and filing false tax returns plans to hold a news conference at the site of an unsolved lynching.

A federal grand jury earlier this month handed down a 30-count indictment against Rep. Tyrone Brooks.

The indictment alleges the longtime Democratic lawmaker solicited more than $1 million in contributions from the mid-1990s to 2012 to fight illiteracy in underserved communities and other causes. Prosecutors say he used the money for personal and family expenses.

Brooks last week pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The news conference Thursday afternoon will be held at Moore's Ford Bridge in Monroe. Two black couples were lynched at the site in July 1946. Brooks has long championed the effort for justice in the case.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Effort seeks to halt public money for Falcons stadium

By Christina A. Cassidy, Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — A watchdog group is launching an effort to place a ballot measure before Atlanta voters calling for the repeal of public financing for a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons.

William Perry of Common Cause Georgia said Thursday it'll be a "monumental task" to get the 35,000 signatures needed to quality for the November ballot. But Perry says the effort is worth it so the public can have a say in the process.

State and city officials have signed off on the $1 billion stadium in downtown Atlanta. Officials estimate $200 million from public bonds will be used to build the new, retractable-roof stadium. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has said the stadium is a key project that will create jobs and revitalize downtown neighborhoods.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Car stolen with child inside in Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta police say a thief who stole a vehicle with a 4-year-old child in a back seat abandoned the GMC Terrain nearby after realizing the child was inside. The child wasn't hurt.

Police were searching for the suspect in the car theft, which happened shortly before 8 a.m. Thursday at a gas station near Marietta Boulevard and Bolton Road in northwest Atlanta.

Hilary Grotewold told police she pulled up at an air pump and got out to put air in a tire when the suspect drove off. She said as soon as she bent down, the SUV sped off.

Grotewold told WSB-TV that she jumped on the hood and yelled at the suspect that her son was in the car. She was thrown from the vehicle but continued chasing after it on foot, she said.

"The witnesses stated that a white female was chasing her gray GMC Terrain down the street screaming 'My baby is inside the vehicle that just got stolen,'" Atlanta police said in a statement.

Police said the suspect abandoned the vehicle at a CVS pharmacy down the street, and the child, Jarren Griffin, was found unharmed.

Construction workers in the area said the car thief was last seen running down Marietta Boulevard toward La Dawn Lane.

It was the second time in less than 10 days that a vehicle with a child inside has been stolen in metro Atlanta.

On May 22, police south of Atlanta issued an alert as they searched for a car stolen from a daycare center with a 1-year-old girl in the back seat.

That child's mother, Victoria Buchannon, was picking her daughter up from the 24-hour daycare facility. Buchannon then went back into the daycare to get an older sibling, and the suspect jumped into the car and drove off, authorities said.

Police found the missing car and the girl, asleep inside the vehicle in a Clayton County neighborhood a few hours after the car was stolen. The child was unharmed.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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