Georgia News Roundup
March 25, 2014 10:20 AM | 2064 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Authorities urging spring break traffic safety

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Law enforcement officials say they're keeping an eye out for speeding and other traffic violations as drivers head to the beaches and other destinations for spring break.

Columbus police Lt. Tony Danford tells the Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus that authorities will be also be watching for narcotics and alcohol.

Alabama Department of Public Safety officials say they're also encouraging teen drivers to make safe driving a priority.

In a statement Alabama Public Safety Director Col. Hugh McCall says parents should take a few minutes to review traffic laws with their children, especially if they'll be traveling with teenage friends.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Georgia law firm hosts digital privacy panel discussion

ATLANTA (AP) — The American Constitutional Society and the Georgia State Bar are hosting a panel discussion on data collection and digital privacy.

Organizers say a group of panelists including officials from the Federal Trade Commission, Georgia Tech, Emory University and other institutions are expected to discuss data collection and storage issues Tuesday evening at Atlanta law firm Alston & Bird LLP.

Organizers say the panelists will discuss how governments and businesses collect personal information and how that information is analyzed and used.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Watts Bar nuclear reactor has scheduled outage

SPRING CITY, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority's Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 1 reactor in Spring City is undergoing a scheduled outage for refueling.

According to TVA, outages typically last around a month. During that time workers will replace 88 fuel assemblies and perform other maintenance that cannot be done while the unit is online. More than 800 contractor workers will supplement the work of the Watts Bar employees.

At full capacity, Watts Bar Unit 1 produces 1,100 megawatts of electricity. That's enough to power about 650,000 average Tennessee Valley homes. This will be the 12th refueling outage for the unit, which came online in 1996.

Construction on Watts Bar Unit 2 will continue during the Unit 1 refueling and remains on track for a most likely completion date of December 2015.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. 

Johns Creek selects new city manager

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. (AP) — The city manager of one Atlanta suburb has been named to the same position in a nearby community.

Officials announced that Dunwoody City Manager Warren Hutmacher will be the city manager in Johns Creek. His appointment will be effective April 28.

Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker said in a statement that Hutmacher has a broad understanding of the north Fulton County city's culture and unique insight into its foundation and goals.

Hutmacher has also been a city manager in Norcross and Avondale Estates.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. 

Search for plane off Georgia coast to resume Wednesday

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — U.S. Coast Guard officials plan to resume searching Tuesday for two people aboard a plane that went missing in the St. Simons Island area near Georgia's coastline.

Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Jorgensen told The Associated Press early Tuesday morning that a helicopter and a boat crew are planning to resume searching at sunrise Tuesday.

The twin-engine plane disappeared from radar Monday evening. Residents in the area heard "crash-like noises" near Grant Creek on Mackay River, east of Golden Isles Aviation in St. Simons Island.

The Coast Guard, local sheriff's officials and crews from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources reported "multiple debris fields consistent with a small plane crash" but have not yet located the passengers.

Coast Guard officials have suspended their search until Tuesday morning.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Police arrest man after deadly shooting on I-20

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta police say they've taken a man into custody after a woman was fatally shot just before the start of the evening rush hour on Interstate 20.

Police said 25-year-old Tyana Boyd of Atlanta was shot at least once in her torso Monday afternoon and died at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Authorities say the people involved were in a car that was pulled over on the freeway shoulder.

Atlanta police Officer John Chafee said a passenger in the car -- 28-year-old Corey Jones -- was taken into custody. Jones faces charges of felony murder and aggravated assault. It wasn't known early Tuesday whether Jones has an attorney.

Investigators say the shooting was neither random, nor an act of road rage. Details on what led to the shooting weren't immediately available.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Medal of Honor recipients to be recognized

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgians who were awarded the Medal of Honor for their service during Vietnam will be honored at a ceremony at the State Capitol.

The ceremony is planned for 11 a.m. Tuesday in the North Wing of the State Capitol in Atlanta.

The Georgia Department of Veterans Services plans to individually recognize each of the state's 12 native sons who were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.

State officials say an estimated 254,000 Georgia residents - about one-third of the state's total veteran population - are Vietnam veterans.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

City considers $244,000 project to build restroom

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Columbus officials are considering a plan to build a public restroom beneath a bridge that would cost more than the value of many Georgia homes.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that the project is estimated to cost $244,000, with almost $160,000 for the restroom itself.

The city Planning Department is expected to bring the proposal before the Columbus City Council Tuesday night.

If approved, the restroom would be beneath the Frank Martin Memorial Bridge.

Of the $243,861, the state Department of Transportation would pay 80 percent, or about $195,000. The city's portion would be about $49,000.

At least one city councilor has raised concerns about the price. Rick Jones, director of the city's planning department, said the difficult location and special materials to be used contribute to the cost.

Information from: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. 

Haywood County teen accused of killing her father

MAGGIE VALLEY, N.C. (AP) — A Haywood County teen has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in her father's death.

Officials said the teen was arrested Sunday in Richmond County, Ga., and initially charged with concealing her father's death.

An autopsy showed that Michael Joseph Howell, 50, died from a single gunshot wound to the head. Officials say Howell's body was found Saturday afternoon by people interested in renting property from him near Maggie Valley.

"This tragic event appears to have been an isolated incident," Sheriff Greg Christopher said.

The teen is being held in Georgia awaiting extradition to North Carolina.

The Waynesville Police Department, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the District Attorney's Office, the Maggie Valley Fire Department and authorities in Richmond and Columbia counties in Georgia assisted in the investigation.

Sheriff's deputies said there was no record of a dispute between the father and daughter.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. 

Hearing set for airline passenger in Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A preliminary court hearing has been set for an airline passenger accused of using false names to fly and trying to enter a secure area of Birmingham's airport.

The hearing for 30-year-old Robert Quran Hick is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday at the federal courthouse in Birmingham.

Hick is accused of flying from Atlanta to Birmingham in one person's name, then obtaining boarding passes in someone else's name for more flights to Colorado. He's also accused of trying to enter a secured area of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport by going up a downward escalator on March 16.

Assistant Federal Defender Melanie Keiper has told a federal judge that Hick has been afraid for his life in the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham and wants to be moved to a psychiatric facility.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Trial resumes for soldier charged in wife's death

FORT STEWART, Ga. (AP) — Testimony has resumed in the court-martial of a Georgia Army soldier charged with killing his pregnant wife for $500,000 in life insurance and benefit money.

Pvt. Isaac Aguigui (AH-gee-gee) faces an automatic life sentence if a military judge convicts him of murder in the July 2011 death of his wife, Sgt. Deirdre Aguigui. A former Army buddy at Fort Stewart testified Monday that Aguigui confessed to handcuffing his wife during sex and suffocating her with a plastic bag pulled over her head.

Prosecutors told the judge upcoming witnesses Tuesday include Army investigators.

Aguigui of Cashmere, Wash., has pleaded not guilty. He is already serving a life sentence at a Georgia prison after pleading guilty last summer to a double slaying that occurred about five months after his wife's death.

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

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