Georgia News Roundup
July 11, 2013 07:00 AM | 580 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Students gather in Valdosta for Georgia honors program

VALDOSTA, Ga. (AP) — Nearly 700 gifted high school students from around Georgia are spending four weeks of their summer at Valdosta State University as part of a state-sponsored enrichment program.

State officials said this week that it's the 50th anniversary of the Governor's Honors Program. Gov. Nathan Deal says the students selected for the program are "among the best and brightest of our state."

Some 3,000 students are nominated each year by their schools and are chosen after an intensive interview process.

Students spend six days a week in classes focused around a topic of their choosing, ranging from theater to mathematics.

Funds for each student's tuition and room and board are appropriated by the General Assembly as part of the state education budget. Students are responsible for their own travel expenses.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Vote set on Georgia solar power expansion

ATLANTA (AP) — Utility regulators will vote on whether to force Georgia Power to add more solar energy to its system.

The elected members of the Public Service Commission are scheduled to vote Thursday on a proposal that would require Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power to add 525 megawatts of solar energy to its network.

The utility did not propose adding any additional solar energy when it put forward its plan for meeting the state's energy needs for the next 20 years.

Commissioner Lauren "Bubba" McDonald made the proposal to require more solar energy use. He said solar energy costs have come down, making the technology more competitive.

His critics say adding more solar energy will raise costs in the long run.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Georgia college partners with Chinese University

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Georgia Regents University has partnered with a Chinese university to create an institute focused on advancing Chinese language studies and enhancing multicultural awareness.

Georgia Regents University officials said Wednesday the Confucius Institute is a partnership between GRU and Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine that aims to provide language and culture instruction to health professionals.

GRU Vice Provost Roman Cibirka says the institute is aligned with the Board of Regents' plan to globalize education, and will help the school gain international recognition in education and research fields.

University officials say the institute is slated to open in six months, and the partnership will also feature a museum showcasing exhibits focused on traditional Chinese medicine.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


MARTA recognized by TSA

ATLANTA (AP) — The Transportation Security Administration has praised Atlanta's public transit system for achieving the agency's highest security level.

TSA officials said Wednesday that the Metropolitan Atlanta Regional Transportation Authority earned TSA's gold standard in a security assessment.

The TSA's Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement is a voluntary comprehensive review of transportation agencies' security programs, which includes security training drills, background checks, public outreach initiatives and more.

MARTA was one of 16 agencies in the country to be recognized for achieving the TSA gold standard.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Boat races canceled because of high floodwaters

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — An upcoming dragboat racing event in Augusta has been canceled because of rising floodwaters along the Savannah River.

The Augusta Chronicle reports that the Augusta Southern Nationals dragboat races were canceled. The races were scheduled to be held July 19-21.

Race chairman Dayton Sherrouse says it's the first time in the event's 28-year history that it's been canceled. He says recent excessive rainfall has caused upstream reservoirs to exceed full pool, causing flows in the river that are too high and fast.

Sherrouse says the river's flow is generally about 7,000 cubic feet per second when the race is held, but the flows are currently about 40,000 cubic feet per second.

Sherrouse says the Army Corps of Engineers said the conditions were unlikely to subside in coming weeks.

Information from: The Augusta Chronicle,

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Lone survivor in south Georgia crash leaves hospital 

QUITMAN, Ga. (AP) — The lone survivor in a south Georgia crash that killed three high school football players has returned home.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that De'Vron Whitfield left a Florida hospital Wednesday evening. The rising junior at Brooks County High School had been airlifted from the scene of the accident around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

His mother Tisha Waters-Whitfield says her son is recovering very quickly.

Whitfield was one of four high school football players in an SUV that slammed into a tree near Quitman. The other three teens — Jicarre Watkins, Johnie Parker and Shawn Waters — died in the crash.

The Georgia State Patrol has said the driver of the SUV lost control of the vehicle, veered off the road and hit a tree.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


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