Georgia News Roundup
August 29, 2013 04:45 PM | 956 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Crews search for man missing in Chattahoochee

NORCROSS, Ga. (AP) — Rescue crews are searching for a man who is believed to be missing in the Chattahoochee River just northeast of Atlanta.

Gwinnett County Fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge says a swift water rescue unit is searching an area of the river near Jones Bridge Park in Norcross.

Few other details were immediately available.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Atlanta fast food workers demanding higher wages

ATLANTA (AP) — A group of fast food workers in Atlanta has walked off the job to push for better wages.

Atlanta Jobs with Justice Officials say employees at several chain restaurants in the city left work Thursday to push for unionization and hourly pay of $15.

Organizers say Atlanta is home to more than 77,000 fast food workers who earn median wages of about $8.50 to $10.70.

Organizers say the walk-out is inspired by seven similar strikes across the country that took place earlier this summer. Organizers have said local clergy, elected officials and community supporters were expected to join the strike.

Demonstrations have been planned at the Five Points MARTA station in downtown Atlanta, and at a McDonald's and Church's Chicken in southeast Atlanta.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Slide shuts down Rt. 64 in Ocoee gorge

BENTON, Tenn. (AP) — A rockslide in the Ocoee (oh-KOH'-ee) River gorge has shut town Highway 64, disrupting commercial rafting on the river.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has initially estimated the highway would be open by 6 p.m. Thursday. However, the slide is in the same place where a huge rockslide occurred in January 2010.

After the earlier incident, TDOT installed a catch fence and agency spokeswoman Jennifer Flynn said the mesh held back most of the new slide. However, the containment area is in danger of overflowing the fence and the rock must be removed.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported motorist using U.S. 64 face an 81-mile detour around the rockslide.

Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Biden plans port visits to Savannah, Charleston 

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is planning September visits to the ports of Savannah and Charleston, S.C., which are seeking federal funds to deepen their harbors.

The White House announced Thursday that Biden plans to stop at both seaports Sept. 16 in advance of a trip to the Panama Canal, where a major expansion scheduled to wrap up in 2015 is expected to send larger cargo ships to the East Coast.

Like other East Coast ports, Savannah and Charleston are scrambling for funding to deepen their harbors in order to accommodate the supersized ships.

President Barack Obama included both cities last year on a list of port projects deemed worthy of expediting. But Washington has had trouble finding money for such projects amid budget battles focused on cutbacks and deficit reduction.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Georgia regulators to vote on nuclear plant agreement

ATLANTA (AP) — The debate over the rising cost of building a new nuclear power plant in eastern Georgia would be deferred several years under a deal that Georgia regulators will consider Tuesday.

The members of the Public Service Commission decided Thursday to consider the preliminary agreement between agency regulators and Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power at the PSC's meeting next week.

Under the proposed deal, Southern Co. would withdraw its request to increase its budget to build two more nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle (VOH'-gohl), southeast of Augusta. The power company had previously asked to increase its budget by $737 million to $6.85 billion.

Instead, the debate over whether to formally raise the construction budget would not happen until the first of the two reactors comes online, probably January 2018 at the earliest, according to the latest timelines from a state monitor.

The deal shifts some financial risk onto Southern Co. If the utility exceeds its budget, then the burden would be on Georgia Power to persuade regulators that the excess spending should be passed along to its customers. But if the PSC votes to raise the project budget, then the law would assume Georgia Power was entitled to collect all of its budgeted costs from customers, so long as regulators couldn't prove the spending was imprudent, reckless or somehow criminal.

The preliminary agreement also helps Southern Co. avoid a politically charged fight over project spending while it deals with a separate rate case in Georgia and an over-budget coal gasification plant in Mississippi.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Carpet manufacturer planning expansion in Georgia

ADAIRSVILLE, Ga. (AP) — State officials have announced that a carpet manufacturing company is planning to add 500 new jobs in northwest Georgia.

Gov. Nathan Deal said Thursday that Shaw Industries Group. Inc. is expecting to invest $85 million to build a carpet tile facility in Adairsville — which is about 20 miles northeast of Rome.

Adairsville was struck by an EF3 tornado in late January. State insurance officials said the twister caused an estimated $75 million in damage and decimated a steel manufacturing facility.

Deal says construction on the facility is expected to begin in 2014, and the plant will sit on a more than 117-acre plot of land.

State officials say Shaw Industries Group is Bartow County's largest employer and currently operates six facilities there.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Georgia charity leaders sentenced in money laundering

MONROE, Ga. (AP) — A federal judge has sentenced the founder of a food ministry service, his wife and their son to seven years in federal prison.

Officials say Angel Food Ministries founder Wesley Joseph Wingo, his wife — and the organization's co-founder — Linda Wingo, and their son, Andrew, were sentenced on money laundering and conspiracy charges Thursday in U.S. District Court.

The tax-exempt ministry in Monroe was supposed to provide food to the poor at discounted prices. Investigators have said Wingo used millions of the charity's money to buy jewelry, cars and gambling trips.

Joseph and Andrew Wingo pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to commit money laundering. Linda Wingo pleaded guilty to concealing criminal activity. A former employee, Harry Michaels, has also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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