Georgia News Roundup
February 25, 2014 05:30 PM | 2536 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ex-Georgia teacher sentenced for sexual abuse

FOLKSTON, Ga. (AP) — A former high school teacher has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for having sex with multiple students.

Morris News Service reports 33-year-old DaNita Wilson appeared in court Monday and pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual assault. Wilson, a former south Georgia math teacher, has been ordered to spend 15 years on probation after her sentence. She's also barred from having contact with minors, other than her children.

Wilson was arrested in 2013 and was removed from her job teaching ninth grade students after she posted her $35,000 bond.

Six students Wilson had sex with were 16 or older. Although the age of consent is 16 in Georgia, state law prohibits teachers from having sex with students.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Georgia politicians fault national education standards

By Ray Henry. Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Conservatives are making an election-year attack on national curriculum standards used by Georgia's schools, though it appears unlikely to change much inside classrooms.

The state Senate was scheduled to vote Tuesday on legislation that would in theory ban Georgia's state officials from adopting national education standards proposed by the U.S. government or other coalitions.

Even if it became law, it's questionable whether the legislation would change much. Georgia's Board of Education in 2010 adopted the Common Core standards for English and math, effectively making those guidelines the state's own.

The Common Core standards set benchmarks for reading and math, replacing education goals that varied widely among states. Tea party activists and other conservatives denounce the guidelines developed by states as a federal encroachment into education.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Bill backing amnesty in drug overdoses advances

ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia House has approved a bill granting amnesty in some cases to those who seek medical attention in the event of a drug overdose.

Lawmakers passed the bill 144-20 on Tuesday, and it now heads to the Georgia Senate for consideration.

Republican Rep. Sharon Cooper of Marietta says she sponsored the "Georgia 911 Medical Amnesty Law" after hearing from parents of several young adults that had died of drug overdoses. At least 14 other states have adopted similar laws, which grant amnesty from drug possession charges when amounts are small.

Several parents attended Tuesday's vote. Holly Springs Police Lt. Tanya Smith says her 20-year-old daughter, Taylor, died last year because people were too afraid to call 911. She says the bill is "taking that fear out of it."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Georgia man sentenced to probation in fatal shooting

FOLKSTON, Ga. (AP) — A 19-year-old south Georgia man who fatally shot his 11-year-old brother has been sentenced to two years of probation.

James Tyler Sweatt appeared in court on Monday and pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

Sweatt was 15-years old when he pulled the trigger of a shotgun he thought was unloaded at his family's house in 2009. Sweatt was initially charged with felony murder and told prosecutors that he didn't mean to kill his younger brother.

The Florida Times-Union reports that Sweatt told the judge he earned a GED certificate and has a job working with his father. The judge made full-time employment a condition of Sweatt's probation.

Information from: The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Man questioned in death of 3-year-old Georgia boy

CUMMING, Ga. (AP) — Sheriff's officials say a man is being questioned in the death of a 3-year-old boy he was supposed to be babysitting.

Forsyth County sheriff's spokesman Doug Rainwater tells the Forsyth News the boy's mother found him unconscious Tuesday afternoon and called 911. Rainwater says the boy's mother was questioned, but her boyfriend is considered a suspect since he fled the scene.

The man's identity hasn't been released and details on the boy's cause of death weren't immediately available.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Human remains recovered in Banks County

BANKS CROSSING, Ga. (AP) — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says human skeletal remains have been found in a wooded area of northeast Georgia.

GBI spokeswoman Sherry Lang says agents and Banks County Sheriff's deputies found remains and other items in an area in Banks Crossing near the intersection of Highway 441 and Interstate 85 Monday evening. Banks Crossing is about 24 miles north of Athens.

Lang says a University of Georgia anthropologist examined the remains and determined that they were human.

The person's identity and cause of death are unclear.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


2 teens arrested in fatal Macon shooting

MACON, Ga. (AP) — Bibb County sheriff's officials have arrested two teenagers in the shooting death of a 16-year-old boy.

Authorities say a 17-year-old boy was arrested at school Monday morning and a 15-year-old boy was arrested at his home. The two are charged in the death of Damian Bernard Clayton, who was found dead on the Macon Little League baseball field over the weekend.

Sheriff's officials have said the victim was shot in his head, torso and one of his arms.

The motive that led to the shooting is unclear.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Tip leads Georgia police to remains under vacant house

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Police in coastal Georgia say a Crimestoppers tip led authorities to a house where they discovered human remains.

Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police spokesman Julian Miller says police found human remains beneath an abandoned house in Savannah on Tuesday. Miller says the remains may have been beneath the house for years.

Details on the person's identity and cause of death weren't immediately available. The remains have been taken to the Georgia State Crime Lab for identification.

Miller is asking anyone with information on the remains to call Crimestoppers at 912-243-2020.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Georgia drug dealer sentenced to 12 years in prison

ATLANTA (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a convicted drug dealer has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison.

Authorities say 29-year-old Joshua Smith, of Monroe, was sentenced Tuesday to 151 months in prison for distributing oxycodone.

Prosecutors say Smith pleaded guilty to drug charges in early September and admitted to selling drugs to an undercover detective.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Man accused of bomb threat gets a year in prison

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — An Arkansas man has been sentenced to a year in federal prison after prosecutors say he called in bomb threats to the Carmike Cinemas' headquarters in Georgia.

Prosecutors say 59-year-old Keith Bowers of Jessieville, Ark., was sentenced Tuesday to serve a year and a day in prison for making a bomb threat. Bowers pleaded guilty in December to making two calls from Longview, Texas, in August 2012 to Carmike's headquarters in Columbus.

Prosecutors say he used a "Hispanic accent" and said he was unhappy that Carmike underpaid immigrant workers for cleaning. He said he would detonate a bomb during a screening of "The Expendables."

Prosecutors say Bowers provided cleaning services to businesses, including Carmike, and was angry about rivals he said used immigrant labor and could undercut his bids.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


2 Florida men sentenced in drug trafficking scheme

ROME, Ga. (AP) — Two Florida men have been sentenced to federal prison for their involvement in a drug trafficking conspiracy prosecutors say spanned at least five states.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that 69-year-old Gerald Young of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. was sentenced to 10 years and 58-year-old Rodney Strachan, of Pompano Beach, Fla., was sentenced to nine years in the scheme.

Authorities say the Rossville, Ga.-based drug trafficking operation was centered on recruited runners making monthly trips to Florida to pick up oxycodone pills from Young and Strachan.

Authorities say the drug ring extended to Tennessee, West Virginia and Kentucky and the two were responsible for trafficking hundreds of thousands of oxycodone pills.

Prosecutors say Young and Strachan are the last of 13 people involved in the scheme to be sentenced.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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