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Georgians deciding congressional power today

ATLANTA - Georgia voters had their hands on the balance of power in the next U.S. Senate as polls opened Tuesday for a runoff election, one of two unresolved races that Democrats need to win to get a 60-seat majority impervious to GOP filibusters.

Republican U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss faces Democrat Jim Martin after a monthlong sprint of post-general election campaigning that drew national political heavyweights from both parties. Polls opened in Georgia at 7 a.m. and were scheduled to close 12 hours later.

December 17, 2008 | By Greg Bluestein Associated Press writer | State, National


Chambliss battles for political survival

GAINESVILLE -- Republican Saxby Chambliss likes to say he never expected to be at the "epicenter of the political world," but that's exactly where he finds himself as he battles for his political survival in the last big election of 2008.

As the man standing between Democrats and their long-sought 60-seat supermajority in the Senate, Chambliss heads into his Dec. 2 runoff against Democrat Jim Martin carrying the weight of the Republican establishment on his shoulders.

December 14, 2008 | By Shannon McCaffrey Associated Press writer | State, National


Martin looking to oust Chambliss

MILLEDGEVILLE -- Democrat Jim Martin has heard it before: he's too nice to win the big election. But the mild-mannered former state lawmaker has already surprised many by forcing his way into a runoff with Sen. Saxby Chambliss, an incumbent who once seemed invincible.

"I'm nice, but I am also tough," Martin said during a recent bus tour of middle Georgia. "I've proven that I can go toe-to-toe with Saxby."

December 14, 2008 | By Shannon McCaffrey Associated Press writer | State, National


Macon eyes consolidating with county

MACON -- Macon Mayor Robert Reichert plans to start talks with state and Bibb County officials about consolidating the city and county governments.

Reichert says he is encouraged by the election of a new county commission chairman, Sam Hart. The commission under incumbent chairman Charlie Bishop has not been willing to have consolidation talks.

December 11, 2008 | Associated Press | State, National


Palin to campaign for Chambliss in Savannah

ATLANTA -- Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is expected to campaign with Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss on the eve of his Dec. 2 runoff, the senator's campaign said Tuesday.

December 10, 2008 | By Shannon McCaffrey Associated Press writer | State, National


Savannah State student shot on campus

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) _ Authorities searched Friday for a gunman who wounded a student at Savannah State University and a SWAT team surrounded an apartment building on campus where the suspect lives, officials said.

Campus Police Chief Thomas Trawick said the wounded student knew the gunman, who is also enrolled at the school. The victim was shot once in the arm and once in the abdomen and was undergoing surgery, Trawick said.

December 06, 2008 | By Russ Bynum Associated Press writer | State, National


Freeze likely again

Call in the dogs, and cats, and cover up your plants.

December 04, 2008 | Staff report | State, National


Court: Law protects marsh only, not adjacent land

SAVANNAH - The Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday that a state law protecting coastal marshes doesn't extend to residential developments on dry land, handing a setback to environmentalists hoping for tougher construction standards along the state's 100-mile coast.

The court ruled 5-2 in favor of the developers of Cumberland Harbour, a 1,014-acre gated subdivision being built on a peninsula near the Georgia-Florida border. It was the first time the court has considered whether upland development is covered by the state Coastal Marshlands Protection Act.

December 03, 2008 | By Russ Bynum Associated Press writer | State, National


'Pre-filed' bills target tax assessements

ATLANTA (AP) _ Property taxes look like they will again be a hot topic for Georgia lawmakers when they return to the state Capitol.

Among the handful of early bills "pre-filed" Monday in the Georgia House were two looking to slow the rise of home assessments.

December 03, 2008 | Associated Press | State, National


Jury convicts man of killing federal agent

BRUNSWICK - It took a Glynn County Superior Court jury less than three hours to convict Harold Kinlaw of kidnapping his former wife and murdering her friend, a U.S. Customs and Enforcement agent.

The seven-day trial ended Monday night with the jury convicting Kinlaw of murder with malice, kidnapping, aggravated stalking, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime.

December 03, 2008 | Associated Press | State, National


Freeze hits much of state

ATLANTA - Freezing temperatures swept across much of Georgia Monday night-Tuesday morning as a blast of cold air from Canada made its way into the state and it will probably be colder tonight.

The National Weather Service says temperatures Tuesday night and early Wednesday are expected to range from the upper teens in far north Georgia to the upper 20s and mid 30s near the coast.

December 03, 2008 | Associated Press | State, National


State Senate gets new leader

ATLANTA -- The state Senate majority announced new leadership today during the Republican caucus elections today.

December 03, 2008 | Staff report | State, National


Gasoline price average drops below $2 in Georgia

ATLANTA - Gasoline prices across Georgia have fallen below the $2 a gallon mark.

December 02, 2008 | Associated Press | State, National


Right whales return to Georgia waters

BRUNSWICK -- It is seen from a research vessel lookout - a solitary V-shaped "blow" and then something dark on the water's surface. Often, the return of right whales to Georgia is as subtle as that. But this winter, thanks to a new ruling more of these mperiled whales will have a better chance at making the annual journey safely.

In October, the National Marine Fisheries Service established a rule that will implement speed restrictions for vessels 65 feet or longer. The restrictions call for a speed of no more than 10 knots during certain times of the year in areas ...

December 02, 2008 | Special to the Courier | State, National


Senate candidates looking to boost turnout

ATLANTA - U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin are searching for new ways to coax weary Georgia voters back to the polls next month to help decide one of the nation's most hotly contested Senate races.

The Dec. 2 runoff is a daunting challenge for resurgent Georgia Democrats eager to win back the seat they lost in 2002 - and a key litmus test for the state's dominant Republican base to flex its muscle.

November 30, 2008 | By Greg Bluestein Associated Press writer | State, National


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