Georgia News Roundup
July 28, 2014 12:25 PM | 1263 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
About 84,000 Georgia children to begin pre-school

ATLANTA (AP) — Department of Early Care and Learning officials say about 84,000 children are expected to enroll in Georgia's pre-kindergarten program this year.

Department spokesman Reg Griffin says during the 2013-14 school year, the state's voluntary pre-kindergarten program served 66 percent of 4-year-old children in the state. Griffin says nearly 82,000 children were enrolled in the program last year. The programs are offered through school districts and childcare centers. Griffin says pre-school start dates depend on the calendars for local school systems and daycare centers hosting the programs.

The department's Interim Commissioner Amy Jacobs says Georgia's pre-kindergarten program helps children build a solid educational foundation and has impacts on school readiness in language, literacy and math.

The state's pre-kindergarten program is funded by the Georgia Lottery.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Trial in salmonella outbreak set to begin in Georgia

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — The trial for three people charged in a deadly salmonella outbreak traced to a southwest Georgia peanut plant five years ago is set to begin.

Jury selection starts Monday in federal court in Albany in the trial of former Peanut Company of America owner Stewart Parnell; his brother and food broker, Michael Parnell; and the peanut plant's quality control manager, Mary Wilkerson.

The Parnell brothers and Wilkerson were indicted last year on 76 criminal counts that accused them of shipping tainted peanuts to industrial food customers and covering up lab tests that showed some batches of nuts tested positive for salmonella. Stewart Parnell and Wilkerson were also charged with obstruction of justice.

Georgia plant manager Samuel Lightsey was also charged and pleaded guilty in May to seven criminal counts.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


4 kids hurt when car rolls down driveway

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Four children were hospitalized after a car came out of gear, rolled backward and struck the kids as they played in a neighbor's yard.

Authorities said two of the children sustained critical injuries in the accident Sunday afternoon in north Hall County.

The Times reports that 8-year-old Julian Rangeo; and 5-year-old Sebastian Rangeo were flown by helicopter to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, where they were in stable condition late Sunday night.

One-year-olds Emilee Guerra and Savannah Brown were taken by ambulance to Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

Guerra was later discharged, and Brown was transferred to Children's Healthcare.

Georgia State Patrol Trooper 1st Class Brodie Forrester said all of the children who were injured live in the neighborhood, and had gathered in the yard to play.

Information from: The Times, http://www.gainesvilletimes.com 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Pilot killed in NE Georgia plane crash identified

CLAYTON, Ga. (AP) — The Rabun County coroner has identified the pilot killed when his small plane crashed in northeast Georgia as 62-year-old Ernest Merkelis of Clayton.

Merkelis was the lone occupant on the plane. The director of Rabun County's Emergency Management Agency, Mike Mazarky, said the plane crashed Saturday morning after taking off from a private airport west of Clayton.

Investigators at the Federal Aviation Administration were planning to visit the crash site.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


3 wounded by gunfire in Savannah shooting

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Police in Savannah are investigating a shooting that wounded three people.

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police spokesman Julian Miller said the gunfire happened Sunday night on East 55th Street.

Police tell The Savannah Morning News that all three victims were taken to Memorial University Medical Center.

Miller said one victim had non-life threatening injuries. He said he was unsure of the condition of the other two victims.

Few other details were immediately available early Monday.

Information from: Savannah Morning News, http://www.savannahnow.com 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Small plane crash on Florida beach; 2 on ground hit

VENICE, Fla. (AP) — A small plane crash-landed on a remote Florida Gulf Coast beach, killing a Georgia man and critically injuring his 9-year-old daughter as they walked along the shore.

The 1972 Piper Cherokee lost a wheel, damaged a wing and smashed its propeller shortly after making a distress call about 2:45 p.m. Sunday to Venice Municipal Airport. Caspersen Beach is just south of the airport, at the southern tip of the island of Venice.

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office identified the victims as 36-year-old Ommy Irizarry and his daughter Oceana. They said a woman who was with the group was treated for cardiac arrest at Venice Regional Bayfront Health. They did not release her name or relationship to Irizarry and his daughter.

Officials told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune the victims were either hit by the plane or its debris.

Irizarry died at the scene. His daughter was airlifted to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. Officials have not released further information about the victims, including the city in Georgia where they lived.

Sheriff's officials say the pilot radioed the airport that he was having trouble with the plane and was planning to land on the beach because he could not make it to the airport.

"He landed on the edge of the water," said Wendy Rose, a sheriff's office spokeswoman.

Officials say the pilot was Karl Kokomoor, 57, and the passenger was David Theen, 60, both of nearby Englewood, were not injured.

National Transportation and Safety Board investigators were headed to the site.

Information from: Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune, http://www.heraldtribune.com 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Atlanta federal building reopens

ATLANTA (AP) — A federal building in Atlanta has reopened after being closed last week because of an issue impacting the building's electrical system.

General Services Administration spokeswoman Saudia Muwwakkil said Monday morning that the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center was again open for business.

Muwwakkil said previously that crews had installed replacement parts to damaged sections of the building's electrical system that prompted the closure, and the GSA cleared the building to reopen after a thorough systems and safety check.

The building was closed when a duct malfunctioned and cut power to several critical components of the building.

Officials say the building houses 21 federal agencies, nearly 5000 employees and a federal child care facility.

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



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