Georgia News Roundup
November 21, 2013 11:50 AM | 612 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Georgia soldiers to return to Augusta Saturday

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — The Georgia Army National Guard is gearing up to welcome soldiers back from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.

Army officials say the 170 members of the 878th Engineer Battalion will return to the National Guard Armory in Augusta on Saturday morning.

Officials say the battalion's soldiers are from throughout Georgia. Army officials say while they were in Afghanistan, the soldiers protected forces and Afghan civilians by identifying and disarming potentially explosive devices.

Officials say the Georgia Army National Guard is comprised of more than 11,000 citizen-soldiers who train in more than 57 armories and regional facilities throughout the state.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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New member joins Georgia parole board

ATLANTA (AP) — The newest member of the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles has taken his position.

Board spokesman Steve Hays says Braxton T. Cotton joined the board Friday. Gov. Nathan Deal had announced Cotton's appointment to the board on Nov. 1.

Cotton is the former director of the Governor's Office of Transition, Support and Re-entry. Prior to that, he was executive director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.

He also served in the Georgia State Patrol for five years and was a deputy sheriff and detective in the Baldwin County Sheriff's Department.

The parole board has five voting members who are full-time employees. The board is authorized to grant paroles, pardons and reprieves. It's the only entity in the state that can commute a death sentence.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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US Secretary of Transportation to speak in Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) — United States Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is visiting Atlanta to speak about a Georgia Department of Transportation project and the Affordable Care Act.

Officials say Foxx will make a Georgia Department of Transportation funding announcement Thursday afternoon and will later speak at an Affordable Care Act outreach event at the Atlanta Fulton County Public Library.

In August, Foxx gave a keynote speech in Atlanta during a national gathering of state lawmakers on ways to fund and maintain local transportation initiatives.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Ex-Georgia police officers sentenced on theft charges

MACON, Ga. (AP) — Prosecutors say two ex-Macon police officers convicted of theft have been sentenced to prison.

The Telegraph of Macon reports 33-year-old Jon Adam Wantz and Troy Everett Guidry were sentenced Wednesday. The two stole a $25,000 Kubota tractor and trailer, a heavy-duty lawnmower, laptops and a television.

A GPS monitor was mounted to the tractor and the plumbing company the officers stole the tractor from traced the equipment to Guidry's house.

Bibb County District Attorney David Cooke said surveillance cameras at another business recorded Wantz's patrol car following a truck that was hauling the tractor.

Authorities have also said Guidry sold the stolen lawnmower to his father in Louisiana for $1,000.

Prosecutors say Guidry has been sentenced to five years in prison and Wantz has been sentenced to four years.

Information from: The Macon Telegraph, http://www.macontelegraph.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Georgia Tech responds to suspected meningitis case 

ATLANTA (AP) — Health officials at Georgia Tech say a student is being treated for a suspected case of bacterial meningitis.

Dr. Gregory Moore told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that a female undergraduate student is expected to recover. Officials have said about 100 students have seen campus doctors as a precaution.

Officials have said the student's housemates have also been given preventative medication.

Moore says outbreaks of bacterial meningitis are not uncommon on college campuses. Bacterial meningitis is transmitted by close personal contact involving the exchange of saliva. The disease can spread by kissing and sharing eating utensils.

Symptoms of meningitis typically include a severe headache and a stiff neck.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Police officer shot in southwest Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) — A DeKalb County police officer working with the U.S. Marshals is recovering after being shot in his left leg while serving a drug warrant in southwest Atlanta, authorities said Thursday.

The officer was shot on Diana Drive, about six miles south of downtown Atlanta, city police spokeswoman Kim Jones said. He was taken to the Atlanta Medical Center and is expected to recover.

A fugitive task force team was helping the Atlanta Police Department's gang unit serve warrants, said U.S. Marshals spokesman Gavin Duffy. The suspect, identified as Titus Bates, 40, was armed with a .45-caliber pistol when authorities came to the door.

Bates fired a shot through the door and was taken into custody soon afterward, Duffy said. Responding officers who were on the scene applied a tourniquet to the wounded marshal's leg and Duffy said the officer is in stable condition.

"While this is a worst-case scenario for any law enforcement agency, we dealt with the issue calmly and smoothly, focusing on getting our guy to the hospital without losing much blood and arresting the fugitive," Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Keith Booker said in a statement.

Booker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Bates' criminal history dates back to 1992, and includes more than a dozen drug arrests.

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

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