Georgia News Roundup
November 22, 2013 03:15 PM | 1059 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Islamic conference opening in Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) — A meeting aimed at discussing and ending fear over Islam is opening in Atlanta.

The Atlanta-based Islamic World International Conference is sponsoring the three-day event, which begins Friday at a downtown hotel. It's titled "Eradicating Islamophobia" and will feature discussions with Islamic women.

The director of the conference, Elijah Mukarram, says part of the reason for the gathering is to educate people about what is and isn't part of Islam.

Speakers include Islamic scholars and activists.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Tolls to end on Georgia 400 in metro Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) — Tolls are set to disappear Friday evening along Highway 400 in metro Atlanta.

Drivers will no longer have to pay the 50-cent toll after the Friday night commute, and state officials predict the highway could see a traffic increase of up to 18 percent. The toll plaza opened 20 years ago and state officials say it has collected $300 million in toll revenue and $11 million in fines.

Demolition of the toll plaza is scheduled to begin in January. Gov. Nathan Deal is expected to visit the toll plaza late Friday morning.

The demolition project is expected to cost $4.5 million and be completed by the fall of 2014.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Work to improve flow of Tennessee River water to Georgia

FORT OGLETHORPE, Ga. (AP) — Work is underway on two local projects to improve the flow of water from the Tennessee River into north Georgia.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports Friday the first project involves a new water main in Fort Oglethorpe built by the Catoosa Utility District Authority, which purchases water from Tennessee American Water, which gets its water from the Tennessee River.

Authority board Chairman Jerry Lee says the existing water main was prone to breaks and leaks and the larger replacement will have the capacity to deliver 2.5 million gallons a day if needed.

Meanwhile, Tennessee American Water is also installing a new water main under Interstate 75. Operations manager Kevin Rogers says the $1 million project will improve reliability and increase capacity for its north Georgia customers.

Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press,

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Portion of Georgia highway closed after deadly crash 

GUYTON, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say a portion of Highway 17 in Effingham County will be closed until Monday following a tanker truck crash that killed three people.

The Savannah Morning News reports the tanker, which was carrying thousands of gallons of gasoline, exploded in the accident Thursday afternoon.

Authorities say three people inside a pickup that collided with the truck died. Their names have not been released, and the truck driver wasn't injured. The Georgia State Patrol is investigating.

Effingham County Sheriff's Office spokesman David Ehsanipoor says damage from the fire, which burned off and on for several hours, caused severe structural damage to the highway. He says barricades will be put up between Blue Jay and Midland roads.

Information from: Savannah Morning News,

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Hotel seeks man who turned in guest's wallet 

By Kate Brumback, Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — A downtown Atlanta hotel wants to reward a homeless man who turned in a wallet stolen from one of its guests.

Omni Hotel managing director Scott Stuckey walked around downtown Atlanta for two hours Friday looking for the man in security camera footage. He said he'd like to give the man a reward and let him stay at the hotel on Thanksgiving.

A hotel guest from France told police a man grabbed her purse Nov. 7.

Later that day, a man who said he was homeless came to the Omni Hotel and said he was looking in a trash can for food when he found the wallet, which contained credit cards and identification. The hotel checked the woman's name and found that she was a guest.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


Georgia judge refuses to quit 'Stocking Strangler' case

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia judge is refusing to step down from an appeal filed by the man convicted in the "Stocking Strangler" killings in Columbus.

Georgia's attorney general asked Judge Frank Jordan Jr. to recuse himself from considering Carlton Gary's request for a new trial. A hearing is set for Dec. 3.

But the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that the judge has rejected the request.

The state argued that Jordan should step aside because he has a book critical of the police investigation in his office library.

In 1986 Gary was convicted in three of the seven brutal rapes and stranglings that terrorized Columbus in 1977 and 1978.

Gary contends DNA testing that wasn't available during his trial can now prove his innocence in the slayings.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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