Georgia News Roundup
October 16, 2013 01:40 PM | 801 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Free wireless available in 2 major Atlanta parks

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta city officials say visitors to two of the city's largest and most-visited parks can take advantage of free wireless internet hotspots.

Mayor Kasim Reed announced Tuesday that free Wi-Fi is now available in Piedmont and Grant parks. Reed's office says the initiative is in line with the mayor's goals of making Atlanta a leading technology city and improving the city's public spaces.

City officials say the hotspots will allow park visitors to remain connected at all times.

The hotspot zones in Piedmont Park are the Greystone Pavilion, Tennis Center, Greensward Pavilion, Legacy Fountain area, the Visitor Center, Noguchi Playground, the Meadows and Park Tavern.

The hotspot zones in Grant Park are the Grant Recreation Basketball and Tennis Courts, the pool and playground, the Cyclorama and picnic pavilions.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Abigail Breslin honored at Savannah Film Festival

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Organizers of the Savannah Film Festival say teen actress Abigail Breslin will be honored with a Discovery Award during the closing night of the event.

Officials say Breslin will be presented with the award Nov. 2 before the screening of the film "August: Osage County." The film is based on a 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tracy Letts, and features Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and Ewan McGregor.

In 2007, Breslin was nominated for an Academy Award at the age of 10 for her role in "Little Miss Sunshine."

Aside from special film screenings, nearly 60 films are competing for awards for best narrative feature, documentary, professional student and animated short films, and more.

The annual festival is hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Online: www.savannahfilmfestival.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Atlanta firefighter hurt at house fire 

ATLANTA (AP) — An Atlanta firefighter has been burned while battling an early morning blaze.

Authorities say the fire broke out around 3:40 a.m. Wednesday at a home on Joseph E. Boone Boulevard Northwest at Sunset Avenue Northwest. The fire spread to the home next door.

CBS Atlanta reports that the injured firefighter sustained second-degree burns on his shoulder. Authorities say the firefighter was being treated at the scene and did not go to a hospital.

There were no other reports of injuries.

Information from: WGCL-TV.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Deal selects panel to weigh suspension of lawmaker 

ATLANTA (AP) — Two Republican state lawmakers and a retired Georgia Supreme Court chief justice will decide whether to suspend Sen. Don Balfour from office while he faces charges stemming from an investigation into his legislative pay and expenses.

Gov. Nathan Deal announced Wednesday that he has appointed House Majority Leader Larry O'Neal, Senate Majority Leader Ronnie Chance and former Chief Justice George Carley, who retired last year. The panel has until Nov. 15 to make a decision.

Balfour was indicted last month after prosecutors alleged he falsified reports to claim pay and travel expenses from the General Assembly. Prosecutors say on days when Balfour claimed state pay, lobbyists reported entertaining the lawmaker outside of Georgia.

Balfour's attorney has said Balfour may have made inadvertent mistakes but didn't intentionally misappropriate state funds.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Passengers: Explosion, flames seen on Spirit jet 

GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) — Passengers aboard a Spirit Airlines jet en route to Atlanta say they heard an explosion and saw flames before the plane safely returned to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Passenger Fred Edwards told WGCL-TV in Atlanta that following the explosion flames came up the side of the plane, lighting up the interior of the Airbus A319.

Spirit spokeswoman Misty Pinson says the captain received an indication of a "possible mechanical issue" shortly after takeoff from DFW airport Tuesday. Pinson says there was smoke in the cabin and one engine shut down. She said by email Wednesday that there was no fire.

She says no one on Flight 165 was injured.

The 145 passengers were placed on another Spirit jet for Atlanta later Tuesday.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Lawyer: police who shot man used excessive force 

WAYCROSS, Ga. (AP) — An Atlanta lawyer who says he's representing the family of a south Georgia man shot to death by police inside his home says officers used excessive force.

Christopher Chestnut said Wednesday he's representing the family of Jack Lamar Roberson. The 45-year-old's mother has said her son was unarmed and wasn't warned by police before officers fired.

Waycross police have said officers shot Roberson to protect themselves. A police report says officers fired on Roberson after he lunged at them with a large meat fork and what appeared to be a knife.

Roberson's fiancee can be heard in a 911 recording asking for an ambulance. She told an operator Roberson had consumed pills and alcohol and said he wanted to die. But she said he wasn't threatening anyone in the house.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Judge won't let Georgia keep federal primary in July 

ATLANTA (AP) — A federal judge has rejected Georgia's request to keep the state's federal primary election in July of next year while it appeals his ruling setting the primary two months earlier.

U.S. District Judge Steve Jones in Atlanta issued his order Tuesday.

Jones in July set a new election calendar for Georgia after the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit saying Georgia wasn't allowing enough time for military members and others living overseas to return absentee ballots in federal runoff elections.

The state last month appealed Jones' order to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The new calendar affects only federal elections. Unless the Legislature changes the state election calendar in the upcoming session, there will be different schedules for state and federal races in 2014.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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