Georgia News Roundup
November 29, 2013 12:45 PM | 694 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Georgia veterans face backlog of claims

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia veterans filing disability claims often face longer delays than their counterparts in other states.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Atlanta's U.S. Veterans Affairs office has almost 21,000 claims that have been pending for longer than 125. That's the third highest total among 56 veterans benefits offices around the country. Only offices in St. Petersburg, Fla., and Winston-Salem, N.C. have more.

The Atlanta office also has 14,339 appeals pending, which ranks fourth highest in the country.

VA officials note that Atlanta has one of the largest regional offices in the country. The agency estimates that Georgia is home to 776,205 veterans, the eighth largest veteran population of any state.

The agency has announced a goal of eliminating backlogs across the country by 2015.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Tax officials sue over exemptions for Macon church

MACON, Ga. (AP) — Local tax assessors want a court to force a Macon church to pay more property taxes.

The Macon Telegraph reports that the Macon-Bibb County Board of Tax Assessors has filed two lawsuits against Tremont Temple Missionary Baptist Church.

The assessors want to reverse decisions by another government body — the Board of Equalization — to continue giving the church tax exemptions for property not currently in use.

One of the properties in question has been for sale for seven years and vacant for most of that time. The church wants to sell the building to a private developer.

The church is claiming property tax exemptions usually granted to religious organizations. The assessors say that exemption shouldn't apply to parcels or structures that aren't being used for religious activity.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Autopsy planned in shooting of Alzheimer's patient

CHICKAMAUGA, Ga. (AP) — An autopsy has been scheduled for a 72-year-old Alzheimer's patient who was shot after authorities say he wandered into a darkened yard in Georgia.

Sheriff's officials say Ronald Westbrook had walked about three miles in sub-freezing temperatures, then knocked on 34-year-old Joe Hendrix's door just before 4 a.m. Wednesday. They say Hendrix went into the backyard of the home he rented in the Chickamauga area, confronted Westbrook and fired his handgun four times at the man. No charges have been filed.

Walker County Coroner W. Dewayne Wilson said Friday in a statement to The Associated Press that the autopsy is scheduled for Saturday at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation lab in Atlanta.

Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson has said he had no doubts that Hendrix felt threatened during the encounter.

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

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