Georgia News Roundup
June 03, 2014 01:15 PM | 2568 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
UGA museum to host exhibition of American art

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — The art museum at the University of Georgia plans to host an exhibition featuring works that span 200 years of American art.

The exhibition, "Picturing America: Signature Works from the Westmoreland Museum of American Art," is set to run from June 14 to Aug. 24 at the Georgia Museum of Art.

Curator Laura Valeri says the exhibition brings together paintings and sculpture ranging from colonial times through the mid-20th century. It will place particular emphasis on portraits, landscapes and still-lifes.

The 56 works in the exhibition include oil and tempera paintings and bronze sculptures.

Valeri says she wants to avoid labels on gallery walls for the exhibition and hopes to use iPads instead. Visitors would be able to check them out for free from security guards.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Program to provide meals to low-income Georgia children

ATLANTA (AP) — State officials say free meals will be available to eligible children throughout the state over the summer.

Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning spokesman Reg Griffin says free meals will be available for children and some adults as part of the Summer Food Service Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The program provides meals in low-income areas over the summer while students are out of school. Griffin says more than 60 percent of the state's students are eligible for free or reduced lunch. The department's Nutrition Services Director Falita Flowers says the program helps address nutritional needs of children whose families would struggle to provide meals children would usually get at school.

Officials say a list of distribution sites may be found online.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

GBI director honored with national award

ATLANTA (AP) — The director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is set to receive a national award for his contributions to the Criminal Intelligence field.

GBI spokeswoman Sherry Lang says agency Director Vernon Keenan is a recipient of the 2014 Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Units Distinguished Service Award.

Keenan, of Waycross, began his law enforcement career with the DeKalb County Police Department in 1972 and was appointed to serve as director of the GBI in January 2003. Aside from leading the GBI, Keenan is also chair of the Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council, a national criminal intelligence sharing network.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Pedestrian killed by government van near Atlanta

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Police in Atlanta's northeastern suburbs are investigating the death of a pedestrian who was struck and killed by a Gwinnett County government van.

Lawrenceville police Capt. Jeff Smith said 66-year-old Rama Sriram of Tucker was walking when she was hit by the van shortly before noon on Monday. Gwinnett fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge said firefighters found the woman unresponsive and unconscious.

Smith tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the intersection is a four-way stop, but it was not known if Sriram was in a crosswalk when she was hit.

Smith said the van belongs to the county's technical services department. He said it was driven by a county employee, who stopped at the scene.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Governor awaiting probe on boy hurt in police raid

CORNELIA, Ga. (AP) — Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said he's awaiting results of an investigation into a botched drug raid that left a toddler severely injured before deciding whether any executive action or state legislation is needed.

Deal tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it's the type of case that requires a thorough investigation.

Habersham County District Attorney Brian Rickman said he is investigating the actions of officers involved in the raid that left 19-month-old Bounkham Phonesavanh severely injured by a flash grenade thrown in his playpen on May 28.

The family's attorney, Mawuli Mel Davis, said the district attorney collected no evidence at the home, so the family has hired an investigator to do so.

Police have said officers were searching for a potentially armed drug suspect and didn't know children were inside.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

1 man killed, at least 3 others wounded in gunfire

ATLANTA (AP) — One man was killed and at least three others wounded in a shooting in Atlanta's historic Auburn Avenue district, authorities said. A fifth person later showed up at Grady Memorial Hospital, and police believe he was also at the scene of the gunfire around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday.

It happened in the street near the intersection of Auburn Avenue and Bell Street, just east of downtown Atlanta.

"An officer on patrol was flagged down in regards to some people that had been shot," Atlanta police Capt. Paul Guerrucci said.

The shooting was touched off by an argument over gambling taking place in the area that morning, Atlanta police spokeswoman Kim Jones told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

One of the wounded men was critically injured, and two others are expected to survive, police told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"A fifth subject walked to Grady and was also believed to be at the scene at 240 Auburn Ave.," Jones said in an email. "That male had a gunshot wound to the hand."

Police identified the man who was killed as 27-year-old Selemon A. Belai of Atlanta.

All of the people shot were men in their mid-20s or older, said Atlanta police Capt. Paul Guerrucci, head of the department's homicide unit. He said "various victims" were in surgery early Tuesday.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Nunn offers wait-and-see on Obama's emission plan

ATLANTA (AP) — Democrat Michelle Nunn is affirming her support for reducing carbon emissions but says she has questions about the Obama administration's plans to reduce them and how that would affect Georgia.

Nunn will face off against either Republican Rep. Jack Kingston or ex-Dollar General CEO David Perdue in Georgia's nationally watched Senate race. Kingston and Perdue meet in a runoff July 22, and Republicans need to keep the seat as they make a push to take control of the Senate.

Under guidelines issued this week, Georgia would need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 44 percent by 2030.

Nunn said in a statement Tuesday her support would "rest heavily on whether Georgia will get credit for the progress we have already made."

Kingston and Perdue have said they oppose the plan.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Plea deal awaits Ga. banker who lost clients' $21M

By Russ Bynum, Associated Press

STATESBORO, Ga. (AP) — A former southeast Georgia banker accused of embezzling and losing $21 million of investors' money, then vanishing for 18 months before he was arrested in a traffic stop, has agreed to settle his case with a plea deal, a federal prosecutor said Tuesday.

Aubrey Lee Price, 47, of Valdosta left suicide letters when he went missing in June 2012 and was later declared dead by a Florida judge. His time as a fugitive ended on New Year's Eve when a sheriff's deputy in coastal Georgia pulled over a pickup truck and found Price behind the wheel, alive and well.

Price has been jailed in Statesboro since then and was scheduled to stand trial June 23 in U.S. District Court on bank fraud charges. But during a pre-trial hearing Tuesday, prosecutors told a judge that Price has agreed to a plea deal. They expect it to be finalized in court Thursday.

"We have a plea agreement in place," said Brian Rafferty, an assistant U.S. attorney who's the lead prosecutor on the case.

Price's defense attorney, Joshua Lowther, declined to comment. Price previously pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say Price misspent, embezzled and lost $21 million and faked financial records to try to cover his tracks before he disappeared two years ago. He sent letters to his family and acquaintances saying he was "incapable of continuing in this life." The Montgomery Bank & Trust, a rural southeast Georgia bank at which Price served as a director since 2010, closed a few weeks after Price vanished. Its assets and reserves were depleted.

Price became a bank director in December 2010 when a company he controlled bought a controlling portion of the bank's stock, according to federal prosecutors. Price then opened brokerage accounts through a firm in New York and told bank managers he would invest in U.S. Treasury securities.

Instead of investing the bank's money, authorities say Price wired the funds into accounts he controlled at other financial institutions and provided bank managers with fraudulent documents.

In the rambling letter he left, Price denied stealing his clients' money, saying he lost it all through bad investments. "I created false statements, covered up my losses and deceived and hurt the very people I was trying to help," the letter said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Ministry to remove billboard with Hitler quote

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — The founder of a children's ministry in eastern Alabama says that a billboard featuring a quote from Adolf Hitler will be removed.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports ( that the billboard at the Village Mall in Auburn, Alabama, features five smiling children beneath a quote from Hitler in a 1935 speech on the Nazi youth movement: "He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future."

It was displayed on the sign with a Bible verse from Proverbs: "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."

Lamar Advertising officials say the billboard was rented by Opelika, Alabama-based Life Savers Ministries.

Live Savers Ministries founder James Anderegg said, "We are pulling the billboard and certainly never intended to cause confusion."

He said that former U.S. President Herbert Hoover's quote about children being society's most valuable resource would have been a better choice.

"We are a children's organization and had honorable intentions and nothing less," he said.

The billboard was installed Friday and immediately sparked comments on social media.

Information from: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, 

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

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