Police: Driver cited in circus trailer accident: SAVANNAH — Authorities in Savannah say a truck driver has been cited after a trailer containing eight circus animals became unhitched on a highway.
Authorities said late Monday that Michael K. Ramos of Riverview, Fla., was charged with driving too fast for conditions, failing to maintain his lane and having an improper class license after the accident on Interstate 516.
Police say Ramos hit a sign, which dislodged the trailer containing animals performing in the UniverSoul Circus. Police said medics treated two llamas for minor nose and foot injuries.
The eastbound lanes of the highway were closed for more than five hours after the 4 p.m. accident between the exit and entrance ramps to Veterans Parkway.
Firefighters helped transfer the llamas, two zebras, two ponies and two camels to another trailer.
Georgia traffic fatalities up from 2011
ATLANTA — The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reports that traffic fatalities in Georgia are higher in 2012 than they were at this point last year.
Authorities are urging drivers to use caution during holiday travel, and told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that police will be participating in the “Click-it or Ticket” campaign during the week’s holiday travel season.
Officials say 1,013 people have died in accidents through Nov. 15. Traffic fatalities decreased in the state from 1,745 in 2005 to 1,226 in 2011.
A spokeswoman for the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety told the newspaper that nearly half of the people killed in car accidents in the state were not wearing seatbelts.
Insurance chief warns consumers of breach
ATLANTA — Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens has confirmed that 28,467 households in the state could be affected by an online security breach involving Nationwide Insurance Co.
Hudgens said the company notified him that a portion of its computer network was accessed illegally. The hackers gained unauthorized access to personal information of policyholders and applicants for policies.
Nationwide has opened a toll-free hotline to field questions from anyone who might have been affected. The number is 1-800-760-1125.
Hudgens said the company also has committed to provide those people with free credit monitoring and identify theft protection from Equifax for at least one year.
Ga. hospital may lose $45M in federal funds
ATLANTA — Grady Memorial Hospital, one of the largest hospital systems in America, could lose up to $45 million in federal funding with the government looking to cut funding to hospitals caring for uninsured patients.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday that Grady could lose the funding when the federal budget cuts begin in 2014.
The Affordable Care Act was set to expand Medicaid and offset the budget cuts. However a June Supreme Court decision made expanding Medicaid programs optional for individual states, and Gov. Nathan Deal says Georgia cannot afford to.
The budget cuts are planned to take place over the course of five years. Funding for the $11 billion program helping hospitals care for uninsured patients nationwide could be cut in half.