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Boy, 12, charged with pizza robbery in Savannah

SAVANNAH (AP) — Savannah authorities have arrested a 12-year-old boy charged with robbing a pizza delivery driver at gunpoint.
Savannah-Chatham police spokeswoman Gena Moore says the unidentified boy was taken to the Savannah Regional Youth Detention Center on a robbery charge after a Thursday night incident.
Authorities say shortly before midnight, a Papa John’s driver reported he was trying to deliver a pizza at a house that looked vacant.
He says when he approached,, a suspect appeared wielding a shotgun and demanding the pizza.
Moore says the driver ran. Police say officers combing the area later found the juvenile and the gun.

Ga. Power asks for big raise in electric bills

ATLANTA (AP) — Electricity bills for Georgia residents would increase more than 10 percent next year under a proposal Georgia Power filed Thursday as the utility copes with slumping sales and the increased costs of upgrading plants in a recession.
The proposed increases are some of the largest the Southern Co. subsidiary has requested since two nuclear reactors that went badly over-budget began operating in eastern Georgia during the late 1980s. The new rates would take effect in January for 2.4 million customers if state regulators approve the plan.
Coming in the middle of a deep recession, the increases are sure to raise the ire of retirees and other payers. Georgia Power also wants the ability to increase its prices under a new system that would give state regulators less review time.
“We understand the significance of this case,” said Ann Daiss, Georgia Power’s comptroller and vice president. “It is a challenge in this economy.”
Under the plan, a typical residential customer would pay just under $11 a month in new costs starting next year. Those monthly bills would rise by another $7 through 2013 as Georgia Power recoups the cost of installing equipment meant to cut harmful emissions from its coal-fired power plants and builds new, natural gas generators at Plant McDonough.

Interim Ga. schools chief sworn into office

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s interim state schools superintendent took office Thursday, facing one of the worst fiscal crises in state history and with Georgia pursuing $400 million in competitive federal grants.
Brad Bryant, a former member of the state Board of Education, is replacing outgoing Superintendent Kathy Cox as she leaves to head up a national education nonprofit in Washington, D.C. Bryant will fill in the last six months of her term and plans to run as an independent candidate in the superintendent’s race this fall.
He said in an interview with The Associated Press after he was sworn in that his job will be to make more progress on the work Cox began in improving the state’s graduation rate and toughening curricula in each subject.
“I do not see this as coming in and putting out fires Kathy created,” said Bryant, who was one of Cox’s longtime supporters on the state school board. “I see this as moving in and continuing the work Kathy started.”
He said he also wants to reach out to the business and nonprofit community in Georgia to help bring in private money to alleviate some of the pain from $3 billion in state cuts for education over the last two years. Districts are facing thousands of layoffs, teacher furloughs and program cuts.

UGA athletic director arrested for DUI

ATLANTA (AP) — The University of Georgia athletic director who recently signed a five-year contract extension and campaigned against drunken driving will make a public statement Thursday about his arrest on charges of driving under the influence.
Athletic director Damon Evans was arrested late Wednesday night after he was pulled over in a 2009 BMW by a Georgia state trooper in north Atlanta and accused of driving erratically, Georgia State Patrol spokesman Gordy Wright said Thursday.
The 40-year-old former Georgia football player refused a breathalyzer test at the jail, Wright said. He was released early Thursday.
Courtney Fuhrmann, 28, was also in the car and was charged with disorderly conduct after repeatedly ignoring warnings to stay inside the BMW while the trooper was conducting a field sobriety test. Authorities did not know the relationship between Fuhrmann and Evans.

Maggots force plane back to gate in Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) — Maggots falling from an overhead bin from a spoiled container of meat forced a US Airways flight to return to the gate so the bin could be cleaned.
Passenger Donna Adamo said she noticed a couple of flies on the Monday flight when she got to her seat but didn’t think much of it. Then, as the plane was taxiing, she heard a passenger behind her causing a commotion and refusing to take her seat.
“Then I heard the word ‘maggot’ and that kind of got everybody creeped out,” she said. “All of a sudden, I felt somebody flick the back of my hair and on the front of me came a maggot, which I flicked off me.”
A passenger had the container in a carry-on bag and brought it on Monday’s flight heading from Atlanta to Charlotte, N.C., said US Airways spokesman Todd Lehmacher. The pilot announced that they were returning to the gate because of a “minor emergency on board” and the flight attendants told everyone to sit down and be calm, Adamo said.
Once the plane returned to the gate, the passengers were asked to get off, and a crew boarded to clean up the mess, Lehmacher said. The flight then continued on to Charlotte, where the plane was taken out of service and fumigated “out of an abundance of caution.”

Zoo Atlanta: Panda may be expecting cub

ATLANTA (AP) — Zoo Atlanta officials say early indications are that the zoo’s 12-year-old giant panda Lun Lun may be expecting her third cub.
Zoo spokeswoman Keisha Hines said Thursday that tests indicate the likelihood of pregnancy.
Artificial insemination was employed last month after Lun Lun and 12-year-old Yang Yang failed to mate during Lun Lun’s brief period of fertility.
Lun Lun would be in the earliest stages of pregnancy. Zoo officials say ultrasound will be used to track the progress of a developing fetus.
Hines says the gestation period for giant pandas averages 135 days.
Lun Lun and 12-year-old male Yang Yang have two offspring, female Mei Lan, age 3 and now a resident of Chengdu, China, and male Xi Lan, 1. Both were produced by artificial insemination.
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