Georgia News Roundup
August 20, 2014 11:20 AM | 1831 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gucci Mane to be sentenced on federal gun charge

ATLANTA (AP) — Rapper Gucci Mane, who pleaded guilty to a federal firearms charge several months ago, is set to be sentenced.

The 34-year-old, whose real name is Radric Davis, pleaded guilty in May to a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after reaching an agreement with prosecutors. He is to be sentenced Wednesday.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $250,000. Prosecutors recommended that Davis be sentenced to serve three years and three months in prison.

A police report says a friend of Davis called police early on Sept. 14 to report the rapper was walking down the street behaving violently. Police say Davis threatened them, and when they arrested him they found he had a loaded handgun.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Georgia communities get $39.7 million in federal grants

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Nathan Deal says 82 Georgia communities will receive nearly $40 million in grant funding to work on local economic growth projects.

Deal says the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded $39.7 million to 82 Georgia communities through its Community Development Block Grant program.

Deal says 71 communities are being given $35.8 million in grant funding for infrastructure improvements, neighborhood revitalization and services to help the needy. Deal says 11 communities are being given $3.9 million to invest in economic redevelopment projects that are expected create jobs and spur private investment.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Southwestern Georgia university president to retire

ATLANTA (AP) — University System of Georgia officials say the president of Georgia Southwestern State University is planning to retire at the end of the year.

Kendall A. Blanchard says that his retirement will be effective Dec. 31.

Officials say Blanchard was chosen as interim leader of the university in Statesboro in January 2007 and was asked to begin serving as university president in June of that year.

Officials say Blanchard and South Georgia Technical College president Sparky Reeves in 2008 created a campaign that has raised nearly $100,000 for local higher education efforts.

University system officials say information on the search for Blanchard's replacement will be announced at a later date.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

New Red Cross disaster warehouse in Texas ready

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — An American Red Cross disaster supplies warehouse in North Texas has the distinction of being the group's biggest facility to serve the most people.

Spokeswoman Anita Foster says the site in Arlington being dedicated Wednesday has 174,000 square feet of space.

The location, capable of serving up to 100,000 people, has a larger supply of products that any other Red Cross location.

The Disaster Field Supply Center has cots, blankets, personal hygiene items, cleanup kits, coolers and cooking supplies stacked on towering shelves.

Similar centers are in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Missouri and Nevada. The new site between Dallas and Fort Worth replaces a smaller facility in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Officials cite convenience and cost savings for the move to North Texas with its extensive highway system and vast availability of trucks.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Rocks tossed from bridge strike vehicles on I-985

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Gainesville police say they suspect that men on a freeway overpass tossed rocks weighing up to 25 pounds onto cars traveling on Interstate 985, severely damaging at least two vehicles.

Police say the rocks were dropped over the railing of the Athens Street Bridge at least twice between 1:30 a.m. and 2:15 a.m. Tuesday.

A police report lists the suspects as four men ranging in age from 18 to 21. No arrests were made.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that potential charges include criminal damage to property and terroristic acts.

The first rock broke the driver's side window of a van driven by a Duluth man. The second one ripped a hole in the roof and shattered the back window of a Honda Accord driven by a Demorest man.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

6 Tuskegee students finally home from Liberia

TUSKEGEE, Ala. (AP) — Six Tuskegee University students are home after being stranded in Liberia for weeks because of the Ebola outbreak.

The school issued a statement Tuesday night saying the students arrived at the Atlanta airport. They are all healthy with no quarantine restrictions.

Most of the students went home with relatives since they missed the start of the fall semester. They're excused from classes for now.

The school says the students will be monitored for three weeks when they return to campus to make sure they're not showing signs of illness.

The six students went to Africa as part of a summer program to study abroad. Their return to the United States was delayed because of travel restrictions linked to the outbreak of the deadly disease in West Africa.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Georgia Aquarium continues effort to import whales

ATLANTA (AP) — In an upcoming court hearing, Georgia Aquarium officials are expected to continue their efforts to acquire 18 beluga whales that were captured in seas off the Russian coast.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that aquarium officials plan to attend a hearing Wednesday in U.S. District Court to seek documents regarding the denial of its application to import the beluga whales from Russia.

In September, the aquarium filed a complaint in federal court in Atlanta seeking to overturn the denial by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries.

The agency had expressed concern about the circumstances of the whales' capture when they denied the permit.

The 18 belugas originate from the Sea of Okhotsk in northern Russia. If the permit is granted, they would be brought to zoos and aquariums in the U.S.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Authorities ID 2 people killed in helicopter crash

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Authorities identified two people killed when a helicopter crashed in western Alabama as David Carson, 63, of Tuscaloosa; and Matthew Wallace, 51, of Hiram, Georgia.

Wallace worked for a private company contracted to work with Alabama Power, said Sgt. Dale Phillips, commander of the Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit.

Wallace, a pilot, worked at WSB-TV in Atlanta as a helicopter operator from 1997 to 2003, the television station reported.

Wallace was an "excellent pilot and an even better man," WSB reporter Jason Durden said.

Carson was an Alabama Power employee, The Tuscaloosa News reported.

Carson had worked for the company for 44 years, Joseph Brown, the area manager of Alabama Power's Western Division, told

"The Alabama Power family is saddened by the death of David Carson," Brown said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to David's family during this difficult time."

Phillips said the men were conducting maintenance on a high-voltage power line when the crash happened around 10:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the chopper went down about 20 miles northeast of Tuscaloosa. Tuscaloosa County Chief Deputy Ron Abernathy said the crash site was in a heavily wooded area.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Fiery crash shuts down westbound lanes of I-20

VILLA RICA, Ga. (AP) — Authorities shut down all of the westbound lanes on Interstate 20 west of Atlanta after a fiery crash involving a FedEx semitrailer and a bus.

The crash happened during the early part of Wednesday's morning rush period in Carroll County, and closed all westbound lanes of I-20 for about three hours. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that one westbound lane reopened to traffic shortly before 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

There was no immediate information on any injuries.

Video from WSB-TV showed a large burned area and two FedEx trailers on their sides, with a medical helicopter and fire trucks on the roadway.

The Georgia State Patrol said that some type of bus was also involved in the crash.

WXIA-TV reports that the wreck happened on I-20 in the Villa Rica area.

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

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