Georgia News Roundup
May 14, 2014 01:30 PM | 1421 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Insurance commissioner offers camp, grilling tips

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is offering Georgians tips to stay safe while grilling and camping.

Hudgens says flammable materials should be kept far from the grill, and grills should be kept at a safe distance from homes and cars. Hudgens says grills should never be left unattended and children should also be kept at a safe distance. Hudgens says lighter fluid specifically meant to light charcoal — not gasoline — should be used to ignite a grill.

Hudgens says campers should always clear a 10-foot area around their campsite of material that may ignite near a campfire and campers should also make sure to douse a fire with water, mix ashes with soil and soak the mixture again to keep it from potentially igniting hours later.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Giant pandas resume trip to Chinese research base

ATLANTA (AP) — Zoo Atlanta officials say two giant pandas born in Atlanta are scheduled to leave South Korea and continue their journey to a Chinese research base.

Officials say 5-year-old Xi Lan and 3-year-old Po are scheduled to leave Incheon, South Korea Wednesday morning for Chengdu, China, where the pandas will be housed a research and breeding base.

Zoo officials say Associate Veterinarian Sam Rivera and lead Keeper of Carnivores Kenn Harwood accompanied the pandas for the flight. Officials say the two ate and drank normally and behaved themselves during the long trip.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

School stage collapse involved rebuilt extension

CONYERS, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia school system says an initial assessment of the collapse of a high school stage during a concert is that a temporary extension built onto the stage didn't have sufficient bracing.

The Rockdale County system said in a statement that students in the theater program recently added the temporary extension under the supervision of their teacher and a parent volunteer.

Authorities say the stage collapsed around 7 p.m. Monday at Salem High School, southeast of Atlanta.

Rockdale County sheriff's Cpl. Michael Camp said about 16 students were on the stage at the time.

Authorities say two students were taken to a hospital to be checked out.

Rockdale County school district spokeswoman Cindy Ball told WSB-TV ( that both students were treated and released with no broken bones.

Information from: WSB-TV, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Search for missing woman moves to vacant lots

EATONTON, Ga. (AP) — Law officers are planning to comb wooded, vacant lots in a subdivision on Lake Oconee in their continuing search for a missing woman.

Sheriff's officials have said they fear 87-year-old Shirley Dermond has been abducted.

Her husband, 88-year-old Russell Dermond, was found beheaded May 6 at the couple's home in the exclusive gated community on the lake.

The Telegraph newspaper reports that searchers plan to look in the wooded areas near the home on Wednesday.

Searchers have also been using sonar equipment to look under the water in Lake Oconee, and billboard messages around the state have been displaying Shirley Dermond's photo in hopes of generating leads.

Information from: The Macon Telegraph, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Macon tries to keep passenger airplane service

MACON, Ga. (AP) — Macon's mayor has asked federal lawmakers to help keep passenger airplane service at the city's airport.

The Telegraph of Macon reports that the federal government is considering pulling the subsidy that keeps Silver Airways flying in and out of Middle Georgia Regional Airport.

Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert has reached out to Georgia lawmakers in Washington, D.C., asking them to urge the federal Department of Transportation not to end its Essential Air Service subsidy to the airline.

The Macon newspaper reports that the government has tentatively decided to end the subsidy, which provides nearly $2 million to the airline.

Macon is one of 13 U.S. cities facing a loss of EAS eligibility. Athens is the only other Georgia city on the list.

Information from: The Macon Telegraph, 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

17-year-old arrested in shooting near Georgia school

ATLANTA (AP) — Police say a 17-year-old boy has been charged with aggravated assault after five people were shot near an Atlanta high school.

Atlanta police officer John Chafee said in a statement early Wednesday that Marcellus Brooks faces five counts of aggravated assault.

Atlanta Police Sgt. Greg Lyon says Brooks is being charged as an adult. It wasn't immediately known whether he is a student or whether he has an attorney.

Lyon says that the five were shot Tuesday afternoon near Therrell High School and that their injuries didn't appear to be life-threatening.

Chafee says that all five were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in stable condition and that four of them are students.

Police say the shooting didn't happen on school property.

Chafee says a motive hadn't been established.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

Former NW Georgia judge indicted on 6 counts

ROME, Ga. (AP) — A grand jury in northwest Georgia has indicted a former judge on criminal charges including witness tampering and conspiracy to distribute drugs.

The seven-page indictment accusing former Murray County Chief Magistrate Judge Bryant Cochran of the crimes was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in north Georgia.

A grand jury handed down the indictment, charging Cochran with a total of six counts. Along with the witness tampering and drug distribution allegations, the other counts accuse him of depriving someone's rights or conspiracy against rights.

Cochran's attorney did not immediately return a phone message Wednesday.

The indictment states that Georgia's Judicial Qualifications Commission began investigating allegations of judicial misconduct involving Cochran around July 19, 2012. He resigned as Murray County's chief magistrate on Aug. 15, 2012, which resolved the commission's investigation.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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