Georgia News Roundup
December 17, 2013 10:45 AM | 247 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Wireless Internet covering all DeKalb County schools

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. (AP) — DeKalb County schools officials say the district has met one of four major goals and has reached a technological milestone.

Superintendent Michael Thurmond says classrooms on all of the school district's campuses are now covered by wireless Internet.

District officials say they spent $4.5 million to expand Internet service, and the effort to offer coverage to every school began earlier this year.

Thurmond says wireless Internet access will improve productivity of teachers and administrators and bolster classroom learning.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Trial of state Sen. Don Balfour continues

ATLANTA (AP) — The trial of a suspended state lawmaker is expected to continue Tuesday in Atlanta.

Republican state Sen. Don Balfour is accused of illegally claiming legislative expense pay and double-billing the state and his private employer. Opening statements in the trial began Monday after a jury was selected.

Balfour's attorney Ken Hodges has said his client is a dedicated public servant who made mistakes and didn't intentionally file false reports.

Balfour, of Snellville, has been charged with 16 counts of making a false certificate, one count of theft by taking and one count of false statement and writing.

The trial in Fulton County Superior Court is expected to last between two and three days, and Balfour is expected to testify.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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2 more educators enter pleas in test-cheating case 

ATLANTA (AP) — Two more former teachers have pleaded guilty in connection with the test-cheating scandal in Atlanta Public Schools.

Monday's guilty pleas mean that four defendants have now acknowledged criminal wrongdoing, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The judge overseeing the case has set a Jan. 6 deadline for APS defendants to reach negotiated pleas with the prosecution. More are expected to plead guilty this week.

On Monday, former Dobbs Elementary School teacher Shayla Smith and former Benteen Elementary School teacher Sheila Evans both agreed to cooperate and testify for the prosecution in the trial scheduled next spring in exchange for their pleas. Prosecutors dismissed felony charges of racketeering against Smith and Evans, who both pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of obstruction.

Smith and Evans are among more than 30 former administrators and teachers to face criminal charges involving allegations of tampering with standardized test results. The charges stem from a 2011 state investigation, which concluded that cheating occurred at 44 Atlanta schools so educators could avoid losing their jobs and earn bonuses.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Teacher knocked unconscious at Atlanta high school 

ATLANTA (AP) — Three students are facing criminal charges after a teacher was knocked unconscious during a classroom disturbance at an Atlanta high school.

Atlanta police Officer John Chafee says the teacher was injured Monday at the New Schools at Carver. He said that several students started turning the lights on and off and throwing things, and the teacher was hit in the head. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. There was no immediate information on his condition.

Chafee tells WSB-TV that the students face charges of reckless conduct.

An Atlanta Public Schools official said the incident is a police matter and remains under investigation.

Information from: WSB-TV.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Police probe claim about odd calendar crime 

BUFORD, Ga. (AP) — Gwinnett County police say they're investigating a claim of responsibility for an unusual heist of $2,000 worth of 2014 calendars -- including many that featured scantily clad women -- from a Mall of Georgia kiosk.

Police tell WSB-TV that they believe whoever posted the account of the Nov. 30 theft and details on how it was carried out was involved in the crime. The account is posted online at a site for Jesus followers who are also anarchists.

Gwinnett police Cpl. Jake Smith says the posting includes details of how the crime was committed by a small team with designated roles such as distracting the clerk and being a "lookout" for security.

The 100 stolen calendars were replaced by signs, such as one proclaiming: "Women are people not fantasies."

Information from: WSB-TV.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Civil War-era rifles on display at Georgia state park 

LITHIA SPRINGS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia Department of Natural Resources officials say a collection of Civil War-era artifacts is on display at the Sweetwater Creek State Park.

Officials say a crate of rifles recovered from a Confederate shipwreck are being housed in an aquarium at the park in Lithia Springs.

The water is expected to slowly drain salt and other contaminants that could damage the rifles and the crate they're being stored in. The aquarium is in the lobby of the park's visitors' center.

Officials say the rifles have been traced to the CSS Stono, a ship that ran aground in 1863 and was lit on fire years later to prevent the weapons on board from being turned over to Union troops.

Officials say a team of archeologists found the rifles in the 1980s.

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

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