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New hearing set for death row inmate

ATLANTA - The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a new hearing for death row inmate Troy Davis, giving the condemned killer a chance to present evidence his lawyers say could clear him in the murder of an off-duty police officer almost 20 years ago.

The court told a federal judge to hold a hearing to decide whether evidence "that could not have been obtained at the time of trial" could establish Davis' innocence. His case has become a rallying cry for death penalty opponents.

August 18, 2009 | Associated Press | State, National


Judge delays trial in boy's slaying

BRUNSWICK - Another delay is pushing back the death penalty trial of a man charged with sexual assault and murder in the 2007 slaying of a 6-year-old Brunswick boy.

Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett has ordered jury selection in the trial of David Edenfield to begin Sept. 21, nearly two weeks later than a date the judge scheduled months ago.

August 14, 2009 | Associated Press | State, National


Conservation program protects Altamaha forest

A Georgia Land Conservation Program project in Long and McIntosh counties to protect several miles of land along to the Altamaha River, an ancient forest containing champion trees, and rare and endangered species, was announced recently.

August 12, 2009 | Special to the Courier | State, National


Water use up slightly after restrictions lifted

ATLANTA - Water use in north Georgia has risen slightly since the state relaxed strict outdoor water restrictions put in place amid a historic drought - but remains far below the water use levels of two years ago - encouraging officials seeking to prove Georgia residents are not "water pigs."

The figures released Wednesday are the first snapshot since state officials lifted the restrictions last month and are considered an important test for a state locked in a legal battle with Alabama and Florida over federal water rights.

July 30, 2009 | By Greg Bluestein Associated Press writer | State, National


Texas mom was notified soldier son was AWOL

AUSTIN, Texas - An Austin woman found shot to death had been notified that her son was absent without leave from a Georgia base, even though he told her he was on leave.

Pvt. Travis Wayne Baczewski (buh-SHOO'-skee) of Austin is charged with capital murder for killing his mother, 54-year-old Violetta Baczewski. He remained in the Travis County Jail on Thursday on $1.1 million bail. Electronic court records did not indicate that he had an attorney.

July 30, 2009 | Associated Press | State, National


Alabama tells utility to butt out of water war

WASHINGTON (AP) - Alabama Gov. Bob Riley is warning utility giant Southern Co. to stay out of the region's tri-state water war.

In a letter to company CEO David Ratcliffe Wednesday, Riley said he was surprised to learn that the head of Southern subsidiary Georgia Power was leading a Georgia "impact team" formed by Gov. Sonny Perdue to work on the state's strategy in the dispute, including lobbying Congress.

July 30, 2009 | By Ben Evans Associated Press writer | State, National


All state workers being asked to sacrifice

Teachers are not the only victims to the furloughs and budget cuts plaguing the state.

July 27, 2009 | By Alena Parker Staff writer | State, National


I-95 work could cause delays

The Department of Transportation is warning that construction on I-95 in Liberty and McIntosh counties could cause major delays Friday night and Saturday morning.

July 23, 2009 | Staff report | State, National


Lawyers fight for Cox's $1M TV show prize

ATLANTA - A bankruptcy lawyer is fighting to get control of $1 million that the state's top educator won on a game show and planned to give to schools for deaf and blind students.

Georgia Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox had announced she was giving the money she received from her August appearance on Fox's "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?" to three public schools for the deaf and blind.

July 23, 2009 | By Dorie Turner Associated Press writer | State, National


Revenue collections continue falling

ATLANTA - Georgia's tax collections plummeted sharply again in June, leaving the state's bank account more than $1.9 billion below where it stood this time last year and forcing Gov. Sonny Perdue to dip even deeper into dwindling reserve funds.

July 13, 2009 | By Greg Bluestein Associated Press writer | State, National


Driver's licenses changing in fall

Beginning in September, licenses issued to drivers younger than 21 will no longer sport a noticeable red border. Instead, a new vertical license card will be used to identify underage motorists.

July 13, 2009 | By Alena Parker Staff writer | State, National


State changing driver's licenses

ATLANTA - Gov. Sonny Perdue Thursday announced that Georgia Department of Driver Services is preparing to issue redesigned driver's licenses and ID cards by fall 2009.

July 09, 2009 | Special to the Courier | State, National


Soldier charged with killing another in Savannah

SAVANNAH - Savannah-Chatham County police say an Army private has been charged with the slaying of a soldier whose body was found off a dirt road near the Savannah River.

Police Chief Michael Berkow said Thursday that 21-year-old Pvt. Sylvester Denmark Horton was charged with murder after police found the gun used in the killing in the soldier's car. Berko declined to give a motive.

July 09, 2009 | Associated Press | State, National


Lane closures slowing traffic on I-95

Road work on I-95 between the Riceboro and Midway exits is slowing traffic through the area. If you can, avoid it by using Highway 17.

July 07, 2009 | Staff report | State, National


New laws go into effect Wednesday

ATLANTA - The beginning of July ushers in a slew of new laws in Georgia, including a measure that seeks to celebrate the Confederacy while also honoring a civil rights leader, tighter rules targeting a long-time scourge of cotton farmers and a pair of new laws long sought by prosecutors as a way to strengthen victim's rights.

Those measures and dozens of others are set to take effect on Wednesday, the first day of July. And while many of the new laws aren't among the most high-profile legislation, many are the result of hard-fought legislative battles that could have ...

June 30, 2009 | By Greg Bluestein Associated Press writer | State, National


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