Georgia News Roundup
April 30, 2013 04:05 PM | 318 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
UGA: Backpacks won't be allowed at graduation 

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — The University of Georgia will ban backpacks in the school's football stadium during its commencement ceremony on May 10.

University officials said that due to the recent events in Boston, they are asking all media and photographers to wear credentials approved by the president's office. Other than certain bags carried by credentialed media, no bags larger than a cubic foot will be allowed inside Sanford Stadium.

The Athens Banner-Herald reports that UGA's spring undergraduate ceremony typically draws tens of thousands of spectators.

The April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon killed three people, injured more than 260 and virtually shut down the city during an intense manhunt.

Information from: Athens Banner-Herald, http://www.onlineathens.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Reward rises for leads on Savannah student slaying 

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A reward of up to $12,500 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of whoever killed Savannah State University student Rebecca Foley.

The 21-year-old student was gunned down in a parking lot outside her apartment complex on Savannah's south side on Jan. 21. She had just driven her Volkswagen Beetle back to the apartments when she was shot that night around 7 p.m.

The Savannah Morning News reports that Foley's family donated $10,000 to the CrimeStoppers reward fund to be used specifically in the case.

Savannah-Chatham police have not released information about suspects or motives in the case. Investigators have asked the public to call in information.

All information provided to CrimeStoppers is anonymous and can be reported 24/7.

Foley had transferred to Savannah State from Armstrong Atlantic State University after the spring 2012 semester in order to change majors, according to university officials.

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

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Court won't reinstate 5 counts against Clayton sheriff 

ATLANTA (AP) — A state appeals court has rejected an appeal by prosecutors to reinstate five racketeering counts against a Georgia sheriff.

Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Billy Ray writes in an opinion published Tuesday that the appeals court dismissed the appeal because it lacks jurisdiction and therefore couldn't reach the merits of the case.

Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill was indicted in February 2012 on 37 charges. A judge in October dropped the five charges in question, but Hill still faces 32 charges stemming from his first term as the county's sheriff from 2005 to 2008.

The state Court of Appeals decision clears the way for Hill's case to go to trial.

Despite an indictment stemming from his first term as sheriff, Hill was elected to return to the job last year.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Deal seeks effort to help inmates leaving prison 

By Christina A. Cassidy, Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Nathan Deal says he's going to ask the state's criminal justice reform commission to continue its work and focus on what happens when inmates leave the state's correctional system.

During a speech at the Atlanta Press Club Tuesday, Deal said he believes inmates willing to work hard and become productive members of society deserve that chance. Deal choked up as he told of how he has gotten to know inmates who work at the governor's mansion and has helped some find work after leaving prison.

Last year, the commission worked on sweeping reforms aimed at reducing costs and repeat offender rates, while also offering greater flexibility to judges on sentencing. This year, Deal is expected to sign a bill with similar goals for the juvenile justice system.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Ex-probation officer sentenced in fatal shooting 

PERRY, Ga. (AP) — A former probation officer in Middle Georgia has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty in his girlfriend's death.

Russell Holt, of Warner Robins, pleaded guilty Monday to voluntary manslaughter in the March 2012 death of 27-year-old Jessica Wolfe.

Prosecutors say 29-year-old Holt shot and killed his Wolfe at his home. She worked as a legal assistant for the Houston County District Attorney. Houston County judges and prosecutors recused themselves from the case.

Holt was also sentenced to five years in prison for possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Bibb County Superior Court Judge Tillman Self told Holt he ruined his reputation, shattered the lives of Wolfe's family and the district attorney's office.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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