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PSC changes its rules

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.

May 12, 2009 | Associated Press | State, National


Three states face off in water war

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.

May 12, 2009 | By Ron Word Associated Press writer | State, National


New law targets tas scofflaws in legislature

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.

May 07, 2009 | Associated Press | State, National


Perdue signs tax assessment freeze

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.

May 07, 2009 | By Shannon McCaffrey Associated Press writer | State, National


14-year-old dies in Savannah shootout

SAVANNAH - Savannah-Chatham police are investigating the shooting death of a 14-year-old boy.

The unnamed teen died in a rolling shootout that involved two vehicles.

May 06, 2009 | Associated Press | State, National


Perdue signs health agencies

ATLANTA - Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has signed a bill that shakes up the state bureaucracy that oversees health and social service programs.

The new law restructures programs now handled by two state agencies, reshuffling them among three. The revamp includes a new Department of Behavioral Health to handle mental health and addictive disease programs.

May 05, 2009 | Associated Press | State, National


Perdue signs 'super speeder' bill

ATLANTA - Gov. Sonny Perdue is set to sign legislation that would slap Georgia drivers traveling well above the speed limit with stiff new fines.

The fines - expected to total about $23 million a year - are intended to help the state's cash-strapped network of trauma hospitals.

May 05, 2009 | Associated Press | State, National


Mosquito numbers prompt health emergency

ALBANY - Time to break out the bug spray and citronella candles across south Georgia counties.

Georgia health officials urged citizens Monday to take precautions because the mosquito population has grown dramatically in the wake of last month's heavy rainfall and flooding.

May 05, 2009 | Associated Press | State, National


Area senator running for governor

ATLANTA -- State Senator Eric Johnson of Savannah announced today that he will seek the Republican nomination for governor in 2010. Johnson intends to file paperwork for his candidacy tomorrow.

"As I traveled the state campaigning and visiting with Georgians from all walks of life, I was thrilled to see the support and encouragement we received in every corner of this state," said Johnson. "Georgians recognize that we need a steady, tested, and experienced leader to address the challenges we face as a state and to build on the progress we've made under Republican leadership. My vision for our future ...

April 27, 2009 | Special to the Courier | State, National


Vacant AG seat leads to frenzy

ATLANTA - The 2010 race for Georgia's attorney general is attracting almost as many candidates as the governor's contest - and for good reason. There hasn't been an open seat in the election for the state's top lawyer in more than 60 years.

That explains why what is normally considered a down-ticket race is already becoming one of the most hotly contested campaigns.

April 22, 2009 | By Greg Bluestein Associated Press writer | State, National


Bryan Co. teen gets 30 years for fatal wreck

Tam Duc Le has pleaded guilty to seven charges stemming from the March 21, 2007, deaths of three North Bryan teens in a car wreck,

April 22, 2009 | By Gina Sutherland Bryan County News | State, National


Sugar maker accuses whistleblower of faking warning

SAVANNAH - Attorneys for one of the nation's largest sugar producers accused a whistleblower Monday of faking a report that he says he sent to company executives warning them of the dust hazard at a Georgia refinery days before a blast there killed 14 workers.

Lawyers defending Imperial Sugar in more than 30 lawsuits filed a motion in Chatham County State Court asking a judge to throw out the report and all testimony by Graham H. Graham because he "knowingly provided false testimony." Graham was vice president of operations at the Texas company at the time of the explosion.

April 21, 2009 | By Russ Bynum Associated Press writer | State, National


GBI: Weapon examiner testing faulty

ATLANTA - The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says a state firearms examiner has resigned over faulty testing and dozens of criminal cases in the state could be in jeopardy.

GBI spokesman John Bankhead says Bernadette Davy admitted to not fully testing guns. She could not be reached for comment Monday after GBI announced she had resigned April 1. She had been an examiner since 1991.

April 21, 2009 | Associated Press | State, National


Cagle drops from governor's race

ATLANTA - Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle fought back tears Wednesday as he reluctantly dropped out of the race for governor, saying he has a degenerative spine condition that will require surgery.

The surprise announcement immediately scrambled the crowded contest to replace Gov. Sonny Perdue when his second term expires in 2010. Cagle was considered a front-runner for the Republican nomination with the primary still more than one year away. The 43-year-old Republican from Gainesville said he will seek re-election as lieutenant governor.

April 15, 2009 | By Shannon McCaffrey Associated Press writer | State, National


Organization seeks volunteer weather watchers

The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, better known as CoCoRaHS, is looking for volunteers to help collect rainfall data across Georgia.

April 15, 2009 | Special to the Courier | State, National


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Articles by Section - State, National


Officer who told student his parents died attends his graduation

ORANGE, Texas — On May 24, Lt. Eric Ellison had to tell 18-year-old Kazzie Porter that his parents were killed by a drunk driver less than a week before he was to graduate from high school.

June 09, 2015 | Tracie Knabe Snowder KSL | State, National


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