Georgia News Roundup
March 18, 2014 01:50 PM | 2149 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Atlanta groups to outline development projects

ATLANTA (AP) — Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District are hosting an annual meeting outlining the progress of several development projects in the area.

Organizers say Mayor Kasim Reed is expected to give a speech at the event on Wednesday and honor the achievements of Phil Kent, CEO of the Turner Broadcasting System and Dr. Charles Gardner, senior pastor at Atlanta First United Methodist Church.

The meeting is being hosted at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Deal, Black to host Georgia Ag Day celebration

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's governor and agriculture commissioner plan to host the annual Ag Day celebration.

Gov. Nathan Deal and Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black plan to host the event Tuesday at the Freight Depot in Atlanta.

The governor's office says Ag Day is the kickoff for Agriculture Week and provides an opportunity to promote and raise awareness of the state's largest industry. The governor's office says agriculture contributes $76.9 billion annually to the state's economy.

Deal and Black plan to announce the winners of the UGA College of Agriculture and Environmental Science's Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest at the event.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Henry County schools hosting recruitment event

MCDONOUGH, Ga. (AP) — Henry County schools officials say they're preparing to host a recruitment fair for new teachers.

District officials say they're excited to host the recruitment event after years of being unable to do so. The district is hosting the job fair Friday 9 a.m. to noon in the gymnasium of the McDonough First Presbyterian Church.

Officials say participants should either hold or be eligible for a Georgia Educator Certificate by the start of the 2014-15 school year. Officials say they're expecting to fill nearly 350 teaching positions because of attrition and several new positions becoming available.

Participants are encouraged to dress for interviews and bring copies of their resumes.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Woman struck and killed on I-285 near Atlanta

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. (AP) — Police in an Atlanta suburb are investigating the death of a woman who was struck and killed by a semitrailer after authorities said she walked into a lane of Interstate 285.

Sandy Springs police identified the woman as 37-year-old Zaka Marie Bleicher of Sandy Springs. They say she was killed shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday on the interstate at Roswell Road.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the driver of the semi pulled over and called 911, police said. No immediate charges were filed against the truck driver.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Traffic picks up on Georgia 400 after end of tolls

ATLANTA (AP) — Traffic congestion on Georgia 400 has gotten worse some since the end of tolls on the highway, but some drivers say the increase hasn't been enough for them to notice.

Georgia Department of Transportation numbers shows that average daily traffic on the route has increased by 2 to 7 percent, depending on the segment.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that rush-hour speeds are down from 2 to 5.7 mph in many places.

Drivers interviewed by the newspaper say they haven't noticed a difference.

In 2012, Gov. Nathan Deal announced the end of the .50-cent tolls on the highway that connects Atlanta with many of its northern suburbs.

Transportation officials projected a traffic increase once the tolls were removed, and more drivers opted for the route now that it was free.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Some passengers back in Georgia after Virginia bus crash

DORAVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Some passengers aboard a Georgia-bound bus that crashed in northern Virginia have arrived back in the Atlanta area and recall horrifying moments before the wreck.

Passenger Shanora Moore of Lawrenceville, Ga., said the impact was "terrible." She tells WSB-TV that all she could hear were screams after the bus crashed and flipped onto its side.

The bus was en route from New York to Doraville, Ga. -- just outside Atlanta -- when it ran off snowy Interstate 95 in northern Virginia and overturned early Monday.

State police say four passengers were seriously injured. None of the injuries was considered life-threatening.

Virginia state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said the driver, 50-year-old Qilong Xiao of Flushing, N.Y., was charged with reckless driving. Jail officials said Xiao had not secured an attorney.

Information from: WSB-TV.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Haley, attorney general to hold news conference

By Meg Kinnard, Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Gov. Nikki Haley and Attorney General Alan Wilson are holding a news conference at the Statehouse.

Haley says the Tuesday event will also be attended by U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson and Aiken-area state representatives.

Haley gave no reason for the news conference. Last week, Congressman Wilson and both of South Carolina's U.S. senators asked the Republican governor to "explore any legal avenues" to avoid the closure of a multi-billion dollar Savannah River Site project to turn weapons-grade plutonium into commercial nuclear reactor fuel.

The effort known as MOX is intended to help the United States fulfill an agreement with Russia to dispose of at least 34 metric tons apiece of weapons-grade plutonium.

The Obama administration says it wants to mothball the project, which is billions over budget.

Kinnard can be reached at 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Girl, 16, killed in eastern Alabama highway crash

SEALE, Ala. (AP) — Authorities in eastern Alabama are investigating a vehicle crash that claimed the life of a 16-year-old Russell County High School student.

Russell County Coroner Arthur Sumbry Jr. said the girl's Mitsubishi Eclipse and a pickup truck collided on U.S. 431 in the Seale area.

The girl, Jana Hobbs of Fort Mitchell, was taken to Midtown Medical Center after the truck struck her vehicle around 8:15 a.m. Monday. She was pronounced dead less than an hour later.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that Alabama State Troopers are investigating the crash.

Information from: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

South Carolina sues US Energy Department over MOX plan

By Meg Kinnard, Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The state of South Carolina is suing the U.S. Energy Department and others over federal plans to shut down a proposed plant to turn nuclear weapons material into fuel for commercial nuclear reactors.

Gov. Nikki Haley and South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the lawsuit at a news conference in Columbia on Tuesday afternoon.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Aiken names the Energy Department, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and the National Nuclear Security Administration as defendants.

The lawsuit accuses the agency of using money Congress ordered to be used to build the project to shut it down. The project to turn weapons-grade plutonium into commercial reactor fuel is billions over budget.

An Energy Department spokesman did not immediately respond to telephone and email messages Tuesday afternoon.

Kinnard can be reached at 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

FBI: Jet passenger tried to fly with false name

By Jeff Martin, Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — A Delta Air Lines passenger is accused of flying from Atlanta to Birmingham in one person's name, then obtaining boarding passes in someone else's name for two more flights on United Airlines.

Robert Quran Hick also is accused of twice trying to enter a secured area of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport by going up a downward escalator after arriving on the flight from Atlanta on Sunday.

Hick was able to get a United Airlines representative at the Alabama airport to book him on two other flights with that airline to Chicago and Colorado Springs, FBI Special Agent Adam Hutzell wrote in a sworn affidavit.

Hick, 30, faces federal charges of fraud in connection with identification documents — a felony — and a misdemeanor charge of entry by false pretenses.

Kevin Butler of the federal public defender's office, which is representing Hick, didn't immediately return a phone call Tuesday.

Hick is accused of flying from Atlanta to Birmingham on Delta using the name of U.W., Hutzell wrote in the affidavit, which uses initials for most of the names involved. After arriving in Birmingham, he told a United representative that he was M.M. to obtain boarding passes for the Chicago and Colorado Springs flights on that airline, court documents state.

It was not immediately clear how Hick would have been able to obtain the boarding passes from the United agent. Phone and email messages to United Airlines' Chicago headquarters were not immediately returned Tuesday.

When Hick approached the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at the Birmingham airport, the FBI says, he presented the United boarding passes and told a TSA agent that "M.M." was his father. But he was unable to provide any supporting documentation to verify his identify, Hutzell wrote in the affidavit.

"Upon being interviewed by an FBI agent, Hick provided a false name and date of birth to the FBI agent," Hutzell wrote. "Subsequent investigation revealed that Hick had, in fact, provided a false name and date of birth to the FBI agent and his actual identity was confirmed to be Robert Quran Hick."

At Hick's initial court appearance on Monday, where prosecutors requested that he remain in jail, bond was denied, court records show. A detention hearing is set for 1 p.m. Friday.

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

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