Georgia News Roundup
May 22, 2014 01:45 PM | 2646 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Georgia students, musicians team up for concert

ATLANTA (AP) — Student musicians and members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra are planning a joint concert at Atlanta's Woodruff Arts Center.

Members of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and Talent Development Program will join the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra June 14 for a concert at the Atlanta Symphony Hall.

The concert will be the culminating event in a weeklong orchestral workshop featuring nearly 30 hours of musical instruction and special coaching sessions with symphony musicians. Organizers say about 55 students will participate in the concert.

Applications to participate in the program are still available online and must be completed by Saturday.

Online: and

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

GDOT suspending lane closures for holiday travel

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Department of Transportation officials say they're restricting highway lane closures as the summer travel season begins.

Officials said in a statement Wednesday that the department is suspending construction-related lane closures on interstates and major state routes beginning at noon on Friday, ahead of the Memorial Day travel period.

Officials say the restriction will be in place through Tuesday evening to help accommodate drivers throughout the state.

GDOT officials say the American Automobile Association predicts that 31.8 million drivers will be traveling along roads across the country during the holiday weekend.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Georgia officials launching child car safety campaign

ATLANTA (AP) — State officials are planning to launch a campaign to remind parents, childcare workers and others of the dangers of leaving children in unattended vehicles.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal are launching the "Look Again" public awareness campaign at the state Capitol Tuesday morning along with Department of Early Care and Learning Commissioner Bobby Cagle.

Department officials say seven Georgia children have died of heat stroke after being left unattended in cars since 2010.

Earlier this week, a metro Atlanta daycare owner and her daughter were sentenced to jail time in the death of a 2-year-old girl who was left in a van on a hot day in June of 2011.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Metro Atlanta jobless rate drops to 6.5 percent

ATLANTA (AP) — State labor officials say metro Atlanta's unemployment rate declined to 6.5 percent in April.

That's down from 7.7 percent in April a year ago.

The new rate was announced early Thursday by the Georgia Department of Labor.

Officials said in a statement that the rate declined because metro Atlanta employers created about 18,000 more jobs.

Outside metro Atlanta, the metro Athens area had the state's lowest area jobless rate at 4.9 percent.

The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 8.8 percent.

The metro area jobless numbers are not seasonally adjusted.

Statewide, Georgia's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for April was 7.0 percent, unchanged from March. The rate was 8.3 percent in April a year ago.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Police seize $6 million in cocaine, weapons, cash

ATLANTA (AP) — Police say they confiscated more than $6 million worth of cocaine, weapons and cash during a pair of overnight raids southwest of Atlanta.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that a task force of narcotics officers from Fulton and DeKalb counties converged on a warehouse on Wendell Drive in south Fulton County, where they found a large amount of cocaine around 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Fulton County police Det. Melissa Parker said three suspects were taken into custody at the warehouse, and investigators then obtained a search warrant for another location connected to the warehouse. Police discovered cash and weapons at the second site early Thursday morning.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Rome man struck and killed by train

ROME, Ga. (AP) — Police in the northwest Georgia city of Rome are investigating the death of a pedestrian who was struck by a train.

Authorities said 54-year-old Ricky Barnettman was struck and killed Wednesday morning, under a bridge behind a Kroger store. Police said he was facing away from the approaching locomotive when he was struck.

Rome police say the train began blowing its horn before it reached Barnett, and tried to stop. The Rome News-Tribune reports that Barnett was moved about 40 yards when the train hit him, and the locomotive traveled about 1,000 feet after the collision before it could stop.

Floyd County Deputy Coroner Gene Proctor said Barnett lived underneath the bridge near the place of his death, and sometimes stayed in local shelters.

Information from: Rome News-Tribune, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Feds announce major tax fraud case in Alabama, Georgia

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Federal prosecutors have indicted 10 people from Alabama and Georgia on charges accusing them of conducting a $20 million tax fraud scheme using stolen identities.

U.S. Attorney George Beck says the group used identities obtained from the Fort Benning military hospital, a call center and the Alabama Department of Corrections to file fraudulent tax returns involving about 7,000 people's identities.

Beck said Thursday the charges were brought by a special federal grand jury that has been investigating identity theft.

In recent years Beck's office has prosecuted many cases involving fraudulent tax returns seeking millions in tax refunds. The cases have involved public and private employees who had access to identity information, tax preparation services that prepared the fraudulent returns, and even a postal employee who was picking up the refunds.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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