Georgia News Roundup
May 31, 2013 03:45 PM | 709 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chatham County bomb-sniffing dog gets honored before retiring

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The Chatham County Sheriff's Office is wishing a long and happy retirement to one of its bomb-sniffing dogs.

A ceremony in honor of the 8-year-old black Labrador retriever named Corporal Aldo is scheduled for Friday. Sheriff's officials say a joint injury is forcing the dog to retire after more than six years on the job.

Officials say Corporal Aldo has performed more than 3,200 searches while working for the sheriff's department. Those included security sweeps for VIPs including Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as at major sporting events including the Daytona 500, the World Series and two Super Bowls.

Sheriff's officials say Corporal Aldo will retire from duty in within the next two weeks.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Safety training to highlight heat-related injuries

ATLANTA (AP) — Construction work may be temporarily halted early next week while workers are educated on heat-related illnesses and injuries.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, is planning a "safety stand-down" at construction sites throughout the southeast June 4 to raise awareness of the dangers of working in the summer heat.

Department spokesman Michael D'Aquino says workers will voluntarily stop work between 7 and 8 a.m. to conduct safety training focused on heat-related illnesses. He says heat exhaustion can lead to heat strokes if symptoms aren't addressed quickly, and heat strokes have killed an average of 30 workers annually since 2003.

The safety trainings are scheduled in Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Lawmakers to get larger spaces in new parking deck

ATLANTA (AP) — State officials building a new parking deck at the Georgia Capitol are designing special parking spaces for lawmakers to give them more room for their vehicles.

Design plans indicate that standard spots will be 8 feet, 6 inches wide. The "legislative" spots will be 10 feet wide.

Plans for the new $24.4 million South Parking Deck, expected to open in the fall, were obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (http://bit.ly/15gi6je). The newspaper reports that if all spaces were the standard size, an additional 42 vehicles could park in the garage.

Most of Georgia's 236 lawmakers will park in the new garage, though a few top leaders have spaces along the Capitol's curb.

Georgia Building Authority spokesman Paul Melvin said there are different sizes of parking spaces in other state garages.

The nearby Butler Parking Deck has a mix of unreserved spots and reserved spots that are wider. The practice will continue at the South Parking Deck, he said.

"I really don't know why that was done, but I do know with folks from all over the state, we do have men and women from agricultural areas who drive pretty darn big trucks, so that could possibly have something to do with it, and if so, it's probably a good idea," said state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Man hospitalized after shooting in midtown Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) — Police were investigating after an off-duty officer shot and wounded and man at a popular entertainment district in Atlanta's Midtown area.

CBS Atlanta reports that the gunfire around 3 a.m. Friday involved at least one police officer, but no officers were injured.

Police say a man was in critical condition at Grady Memorial Hospital after the shooting near 13th Street and Crescent Drive, an area that's home to several restaurants and nightspots.

WAGA-TV reports that the ordeal began when a large fight broke out behind the Sutra Lounge. Police say two off-duty police officers were working security and tried to break up the fight, and one of the men involved brandished a gun.

"Witnesses confirmed that the officers gave that individual several verbal commands to drop the weapon," Atlanta police said in a statement. "The individual, however, did not comply and turned on the officers. Rounds were fired and the subject was struck at least one time."

Witnesses tell WSB-TV that they heard 10-15 gunshots.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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DeKalb County eyes sites for new animal shelter

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — Georgia's third-largest county is selecting a site for a new animal shelter.

DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis is expected to recommend a site for the new shelter to the county board of commissioners next week.

Officials say Ellis is using recommendations from a county committee that evaluated 11 potential sites for the new shelter.

Ellis said in a statement that opening a new animal shelter is one of his priorities this year.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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State Patrol chopper damaged in training flight

JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — Federal investigators say a Georgia State Patrol helicopter sustained substantial damage during a simulated forced landing on Jekyll Island earlier this month.

A recent report from the National Transportation Safety Board states that neither the pilot nor the certificated flight instructor was injured during the May 9 instructional flight.

The State Patrol's chief pilot told investigators that the pilot on board was a State Patrol officer, and the flight was part of the officer's mandatory annual training.

Authorities say the helicopter landed "hard" at Jekyll Island Airport and the main rotor struck the tailboom, severing the tail rotor driveshaft.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Cab driver found shot to death east of Atlanta

AVONDALE ESTATES, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say a cab driver was shot to death in the Avondale Estates area just east of Atlanta.

WSB-TV reports (http://bit.ly/11sRfvq) that the victim was found slumped over the steering wheel of a Checker Cab minivan at the Oak Creek apartments on Northern Avenue in DeKalb County.

Authorities say the shooting happened around 3 a.m. Friday.

The cab driver's identity was not immediately released, and few other details were available early Friday morning.

Information from: WSB-TV.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Panel to weigh whether Brooks should be suspended

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's governor will convene a panel to determine whether an indicted state lawmaker should be suspended.

Gov. Nathan Deal's office said Friday Attorney General Sam Olens had given the governor a certified copy of the federal indictment charging Rep. Tyrone Brooks with wire fraud, mail fraud and filing false tax returns.

That sets in motion a 14-day waiting period after which Deal plans to appoint a panel that includes Olens, a senator and a representative. The panel will decide whether the Atlanta Democrat should be suspended from office. The governor's office says the panel's decision is final.

If Brooks is suspended, his seat will be vacant until the next regular election or until the case is decided in his favor.

Brooks has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Georgia man charged with impersonating South Carolina officer

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — A Georgia man has been arrested and accused of impersonating a police officer in South Carolina.

The Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office has charged 24-year-old Christopher Brandon King of Ringgold, Ga., with impersonating a law enforcement officer.

A couple told deputies they were stopped in Duncan on May 8 by a driver who began flashing his vehicle's lights and trying to pull them over.

The couple says the driver of the car got out and yelled that they were speeding. They say they questioned him since he was in an unmarked vehicle and was not wearing a uniform and he told them he was a police officer.

King was arrested Thursday at the BMW plant near Greer.

It was not clear if he has a lawyer.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Death of Georgia waitress investigated as homicide

WATKINSVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of a 38-year-old waitress as a homicide after her body was found on the side of a road in northeast Georgia.

Misty Michelle Myrick's death was deemed a homicide after a medical exam, The Athens Banner-Herald reported.

The woman, from the small town of Lexington, was found dead Wednesday afternoon on the shoulder of Simonton Bridge Road after a passing motorist spotted her body

Oconee County sheriff's officials would not disclose how she was killed.

The cause of death "is crucial to the investigation," which is why it was being withheld, Oconee County sheriff's Chief Deputy Lee Weems said.

The woman carried no identification when she was found, and an emergency medical technician already on the scene told a responding deputy that she was dead, according to the sheriff's report.

Myrick has apparently worked at Waffle House restaurants in and around Athens.

Weems would not comment on her occupation, as he said that it could have a bearing on the investigation. He also declined to elaborate on possible suspects.

"We're continuing to track leads," Weems said. "We have to get some evidence into our possession before we can do anything else further with what we release publicly."

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

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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US education secretary to visit Georgia, discuss pre-K

By Christina A. Cassidy, Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says the Obama administration is committed to finding the money to fund a national expansion of early learning programs.

Duncan said during a Friday visit to an Atlanta elementary school that the administration was looking at all options — not just the president's proposal to spend $75 billion over the next decade with the help of higher cigarette taxes.

Gov. Nathan Deal joined Duncan during a town hall meeting and suggested the Obama administration consider using block grants, saying he was opposed to any increase in taxes.

Duncan later said "for me, the goal is to get this done," reiterating the president's commitment to find creative ways to fund the massive expansion.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Sheriff: Man killed South Carolina woman, fled to Georgia

By Bruce Smith, Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say a man accused of killing two women in a South Carolina crime rampage is wanted for questioning in the disappearance of a third woman.

Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon says 31-year-old Jeffery Eady is charged with murder in the death of Chrystal Johnson. The 37-year-old mother of three was shot and killed Thursday in the convenience store where she worked part time. Cannon says state and federal authorities are looking for Eady in Georgia.

Clarendon County Sheriff Randy Garrett says Eady is also charged with murder in Thursday's shooting of a 65-year-old Clarendon County woman at a recycling center. It's believed Eady is linked to the disappearance of a third woman.

Prison officials say Eady was released last year after serving more than a decade for armed robbery.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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