Georgia News Roundup
May 01, 2013 05:00 PM | 486 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bike ride honors officers killed in line of duty

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A few dozen people are riding bicycles from coastal Georgia to the nation's capital to raise awareness and money for groups supporting police officers killed in the line of duty.

Organizers of the bike ride to Washington expect 35 law enforcement officers and family members of fallen police officers to make the first leg of the ride Wednesday from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick to Savannah about 60 miles to the north.

Savannah-Chatham County police plan to escort the procession through the county.

Organizers expect more riders to join the group along the route, with about 350 cyclists peddling into Washington on the final leg May 12.

The riders' goal is to raise $250,000 for the Officer Down Memorial Page and the group Concerns of Police Survivors.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Georgia child care workers to face more checks

MACON, Ga. (AP) — Gov. Nathan Deal is expected to sign a bill that would bring major changes to child care centers across Georgia designed to improve child safety.

Legislation passed by the General Assembly calls for every employee of the state's roughly 6,300 licensed child care facilities to undergo a comprehensive, fingerprint-based background check. The bill is aimed at preventing those with a prior felony conviction from working around children.

Deal was scheduled to sign the bill at an event at a Macon school Wednesday afternoon.

Current law requires only the director of a child care facility to pass the more comprehensive check.

Under the legislation, all employees will have to pass the check before being eligible to work at a licensed child care facility in the state.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Georgia teen accused in child sex sting faked death 

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors in Panama City are seeking to revoke the bond of a Georgia teen who officials believe faked his death and traveled to Denver.

According to court records in Bay County, on April 22, a fisherman found a pile of clothes and a suicide note along the bank of the Little River in Brooks County, Ga., which is on the Florida-Georgia line. Investigators say Nathan Wilkins, 19, turned up in Aurora, Colo., three days later.

The News Herald of Panama City reported that Wilkins was due in court on Monday from charges stemming from his arrest on sex charges in June. It is unclear whether Wilkins has returned from Colorado.

Assistant State Attorney Christa Diviney said that Wilkins violated his bond by leaving his home without notifying the court or his bondsman.

Wilkins was charged with traveling to meet a minor for sex, computer pornography and child exploitation. He was arrested during Operation Riptide, a multi-agency sting operation that officials say was designed to lure men interested in having sex with children.

Wilkins responded to a Craigslist ad from a man looking for someone to help his 11-year-old daughter lose her virginity, according to court records. The person Wilkins exchanged emails with asked him to bring a slushy for the child.

Police said Wilkins arrived at the predetermined location with a slushy. But the father and child weren't waiting for him. Instead, officers representing the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force were waiting. Wilkins and 11 other men were arrested as part of the sex sting.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Grocery store worker wins big on her lunch hour 

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. (AP) — A grocery store worker near Atlanta made more money on her lunch break than many people earn in a lifetime.

Angelia Salas, who works at a Publix store in Sandy Springs, purchased her lucky ticket while on her break at the store.

It turned out to be a lucrative lunch break: She won the top prize playing the instant game $550,000 Grand Money.

The 50-year-old Smyrna woman has big plans for the winnings. Salas said she plans to put an end to some bills — her car note, her father's car note and her father's mortgage.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Facebook tips, cellphone trace nail bank suspect 

BROWN CITY, Mich. (AP) — Police investigating a string of bank robberies across Michigan say Facebook users helped them identify a suspect, who killed himself in Georgia as officers closed in.

The Sanilac County sheriff's office says investigators got matching descriptions of suspects in robberies in Brown City and Yale. A Croswell and Marlette Police Department Facebook post drew tips that made 53-year-old Jack D. Kaiser a suspect.

The sheriff's office says it learned Kaiser had fled the state.

In the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta, police Sgt. George Gordon says authorities used the suspect's cellphone signal to track him and began pursuing him.

The Sanilac sheriff's office says Kaiser shot himself Tuesday before he could be arrested. It says evidence of the robberies was in his car.

The robberies extended as far west as Kalamazoo.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Fire guts middle Georgia packaging plant 

MACON, Ga. (AP) — Fire officials in middle Georgia say a blaze has destroyed a packaging plant in south Bibb County.

Macon-Bibb Fire Chief Marvin Riggins says a fire Wednesday morning led to several explosions inside the Pactiv plant near the Middle Georgia Regional Airport. The blaze tore through the building and firefighters were forced to retreat because the building was in danger of collapsing.

Officials are unsure of the cause of the fire and no injuries have been reported.

Pactiv, based in Lake Forest Ill., manufactures disposable food packaging products and operates 55 plants in seven countries.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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New law opens Georgia licenses to certain noncitizens

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has signed two bills into law making it easier for certain noncitizens to get Georgia driver's licenses.

Deal signed House Bill 475 at the Kia Motors plant in West Point Wednesday. The bill allows Georgia to enter into reciprocal agreements with foreign countries so that each government would recognize valid driver's licenses from the other for anyone who is a lawful immigrant.

For Georgia, that would mean giving certain noncitizens temporary Georgia licenses without those drivers passing the usual exams. Supporters pitched the measure as business friendly, given that foreign firms often send employees and executives to Georgia for extended stays.

Deal also signed Senate Bill 122, which allows noncitizens to apply to extend their Georgia licenses within a certain time frame.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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