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Lawmakers face deadline in Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia lawmakers rushed to consider vast changes to the state's transportation network and a series of sweeping new tax plans as they faced the tightest of political deadlines on Friday, the chaotic last day of the legislative session.

The Georgia Legislature's sole obligation during the 40-day legislative session is to pass the $18.6 billion spending plan, which would make deep spending cuts amid the lagging economy.

April 03, 2009 | By Greg Bluestein Associated Press writer | State, National


More storms expected today

ATLANTA (AP) - The National Weather Service has placed Georgia under a high risk forecast.

Meteorologists warn Thursday could be a rough one.

April 02, 2009 | Associated Press | State, National


Governor's race crowded already

ATLANTA - Secretary of State Karen Handel has officially thrown her hat in the ring for governor in Georgia.

Handel, a Republican, said Friday she has filed the paperwork to enter the 2010 race to replace outgoing Gov. Sonny Perdue. Handel said in January she planned to run.

March 27, 2009 | Associated Press | State, National


Senate expected to nix transportation plan

ATLANTA - A compromise plan on transportation funding in Georgia is expected to receive a thumbs down from the state Senate.

Jeff Mullis, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, said his chamber would vote to disagree with the new House-sponsored plan when it comes up on Thursday.

March 26, 2009 | Associated Press | State, National


Corporations, not homeowners would get tax breaks

ATLANTA - House Democrats have again helped defeat a plan to double a tax break for homeowners. But Georgia-based businesses were big winners Wednesday in the state Senate, which voted to begin gradually wiping out the corporate income tax for companies with headquarters in the state.

The Republican-backed plan, which passed 43-7 in the Senate, would also give a tax break to businesses that hire jobless workers who are either collecting unemployment benefits or who have been out of work for 60 days or more.

March 26, 2009 | By Greg Bluestein Associated Press writer | State, National


Teen gets 10 years for stepdad's death

BRUNSWICK - A 15-year-old faces 10 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter in the December 2007 fatal shooting of his stepfather in Glynn County.

March 25, 2009 | Associated Press | State, National


Resolution on Obama splits General Assembly

ATLANTA - Frustrated black lawmakers staged a walkout Friday after the Georgia House decided to delay another vote on a resolution that would have honored President Barack Obama as a politician with an "unimpeachable reputation for integrity, vision and passion."

House Speaker Glenn Richardson vowed the decision to send the resolution to a committee did not "bury" the bill, but the move outraged black lawmakers, who stalked out of the chamber seconds later. They saw it as an effort to snub the nation's first black president by a group of white Republican legislators.

March 20, 2009 | By Greg Bluestein Associated Press writer | State, National


Savannah lures thousands for St. Paddy's

SAVANNAH - As bagpipers and shamrock-plastered floats passed the crowd, Nancy Cox raised a Bloody Mary and clicked the heels of her emerald slippers - one of the head-to-toe green accessories of her "Wizard of Oz" costume.

Each time her sparkling shoes touched, Cox repeated: "There's no place like Savannah."

March 17, 2009 | By Russ Bynum Associated Press writer | State, National


PSC OKs two new reactors near Augusta

ATLANTA - Georgia Power won approval Tuesday from the state Public Service Commission to build two new nuclear reactors near Augusta, which could be the first new nuclear project to break ground in the country in three decades.

The $14 billion expansion project at Plant Vogtle is set to begin construction in 2011 and is scheduled to be completed in 2017. The PSC voted 4-1 Tuesday to certify the proposal from Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Co. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission must also sign off.

March 17, 2009 | By Shannon McCaffrey Associated Press writer | State, National


Crowds gathering for Savannah parade

SAVANNAH - Thousands of gaudy green revelers are filling Savannah's downtown historic district for St. Patrick's Day - the coastal city's biggest celebration of the year.

Overnight rains had dispersed by Tuesday morning before the city's mammoth parade kicked off, as masses of residents and tourists clad head-to-toe in green crammed the sidewalks and the oak- shaded squares.

March 17, 2009 | Associated Press | State, National


Woman charged with shooting daughter

SAVANNAH - A Savannah woman was charged Monday with shooting and wounding her 11-year-old daughter as she slept in bed, just a few weeks after the mother's boyfriend reported to police she attacked him with a knife in her hand.

Mary Elizabeth Frazier, 35, was being held in the Chatham County jail on an aggravated assault charge. Police said she also underwent a mental evaluation because she has a history of mental illness.

March 17, 2009 | By Russ Bynum Associated Press writer | State, National


Benning soldier shot dead in Brunswick

BRUNSWICK - Brunswick police are investigating the shooting death of a Fort Benning soldier.

The body of 23-year-old Army Spc. Antonio L. Weems of Ventura, Calif., was found Saturday night in a car parked on a street corner. Police say Weems was killed by a gunshot to the head.

March 09, 2009 | Associated Press | State, National


Killer faces execution for island murder

ATLANTA - A man scheduled to be put to death Tuesday for the murder of a female neighbor who spurned his advances has asked a state panel to spare his life.

Robert Newland was convicted in 1987 and sentenced to die for the slaying of Carol Sanders Beatty, 27, a former state and national amateur diving champion who was killed in the garden of her St. Simons Island home.

March 09, 2009 | By Greg Bluestein Associated Press writer | State, National


Senate resolution targets tax-delinquent lawmakers

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia legislators who don't pay their taxes on time would face sanctions or ouster under a measure the state Senate could soon consider.

The proposal comes after a report by the Department of Revenue revealed 22 lawmakers from both chambers - about 10 percent of state legislators - are delinquent on their tax bills, some owing money from as far back as 2002. Sponsor Sen. Eric Johnson said the measure was meant to target the "serial abusers" who knowingly don't pay their taxes.

March 05, 2009 | By Greg Bluestein Associated Press writer | State, National


One Sunday-sales proposal dries up

ATLANTA (AP) - The sponsor of a bill that would open the door for Georgia stores to sell alcohol on Sundays withdrew the measure on Wednesday just before a state Senate panel vote.

State Sen. Seth Harp said he didn't have the votes to push his legislation in the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee.

March 05, 2009 | By Shannon McCaffrey Associated Press writer | State, National


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