ATLANTA - The Justice Department has rejected Georgia's system of checking whether prospective voters are citizens, a process that became the subject of a federal lawsuit in the weeks leading up to November's election.
In a letter released on Monday, the Justice Department said the state's voter verification program is frequently inaccurate and has a "discriminatory effect" on minority voters in Georgia.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A Puerto Rico judge sentenced the son of a convicted killer to 105 years in prison Monday for the kidnapping, rape and murder of a pregnant Georgia tourist who made a desperate phone call to her fiance from the trunk of her assailant's car.
The judge imposed the sentence on Eliezer Marquez Navedo in a courtroom in Fajardo, the eastern coastal city where he ambushed Sara Kuszak in February while she jogged alone along a remote road. She was about five months pregnant.
The Department of Natural Resources has named Fort Morris Historic Site in Sunbury to a list of state sites that will be forced to reduce hours and services because of a recent 39 percent reduction in state funds and a 24 percent projected loss of revenue.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The lawyer for a 26-year-old man accused of fatally shooting two young men in Georgia said Wednesday he will fight extradition because he believes his client will not receive a fair trial in the southern U.S. state.
Michael Registe is accused of the July 20, 2007 execution-style killings of two college students in Columbus, Georgia's third-largest city. His St. Maarten-based attorney, Remco Stomp, claims he would not be treated fairly in Georgia's courts because he is black.
ATLANTA - Georgia hopes to turn the old World of Coca-Cola building into a fancy new state history museum, but the dire economy has put those plans on hold.
The state bought the building for $1 million after Coca-Cola left for a new museum two years ago. Gov. Sonny Perdue had tapped $15 million in his budget to renovate the site, which sits just a stone's throw from the state Capitol.
ATLANTA - Georgia's parks are being hit with steep budget cuts that will hike fees and cause some sites to reduce their hours just as the summmer recreation season gets underway.
The plan includes keeping the colonial-era Fort Morris at Sunbury closed most days of the week. We'll have more on how the cuts will hit the east Liberty County attraction in Friday's Courier and on the Web after that.
Monday morning, Georgia DOT crews reopened the I-16 westbound travel lanes beginning at US 441 following damage to the State Route 257 bridge near Dublin.
DUBLIN - The Georgia State Patrol says a tractor-trailer hauling a piece of equipment damaged an overpass on Interstate 16 West at Exit 49, forcing traffic to be diverted.
The Patrol said large chunks of concrete covered all of the westbound lanes Tuesday and officials said it likely will be months before the bridge is repaired.
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - They've been rival Southern cities for 276 years, but Savannah and Charleston, S.C., aren't going to risk their courtly reputations by fighting over which one is "America's Most Mannerly City."
After a 12-year reign, Charleston officials have agreed with a survey's organizer that it has held the "Most Mannerly" title long enough, opting to cede it to its Colonial-era sister city on the Georgia coast.
ATLANTA - The State Patrol is predicting a 29 percent increase in fatal traffic accidents in Georgia during the Memorial Day holiday weekend from 6 p.m. Friday to midnight Monday.
Troopers estimate 18 people will die and another 875 will be injured in 2,725 crashes.
DARIEN - A Townsend man was wounded Tuesday night after leading police on a high-speed chase through two counties.
ATLANTA (AP) - The State Public Service Commission has defied a 16-year-old state law by voting 3-2 to increase the tenure of its chairman to two years instead of the year set by law.
It then chose Stan Wise to serve in the post for two years beginning in July and voted to replace a state-mandated rotation system with one in which the PSC elects it chairman.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A federal judge on Monday complained that a protracted battle over three states' claim to water flowing from a reservoir near Atlanta has been taking place in "never-never land."
U.S. District Judge Paul Manguson is attempting to unravel 19 years of litigation between Florida, Georgia and Alabama over water from Lake Lanier, Atlanta's water supply. Florida and Alabama want to increase the amount of water released from Lanier to benefit downstream power plants, farms and other businesses in their states.
ATLANTA - Georgia lawmakers who fail to pay taxes could soon face sanctions from a legislative ethics committee.
Gov. Sonny Perdue signed the ethics bill into law on Tuesday.
ATLANTA - Property assessments in Georgia cannot rise until 2011 under a bill signed into law on Wednesday by Gov. Sonny Perdue.
Supporters say the new law will prevent local governments from hiking assessments during an economic downturn that has driven many property values down. But critics say it could lead counties and cities to boost millage rates instead, meaning tax bills will rise either way.
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