Georgia News Roundup
November 27, 2013 10:45 AM | 694 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Georgia National Guard troops heading to Afghanistan

MACON, Ga. (AP) — Georgia Army National Guard officials say they're preparing to deploy more than 200 soldiers to Afghanistan.

Officials say the Macon-based 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team is being sent to Afghanistan and will participate in a departure ceremony Sunday. Officials say soldiers will help with training and security missions as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

National Guard officials say members of the brigade will help manage the Kabul Base Cluster, perform route security to and from camps, and do civil affairs work in areas where troops work and live.

Officials say the ceremony is being hosted at the Macon Marriott City Center. Organizers say the troops' buses will be led from the ceremony by the Georgia State Patrol and the Patriot Riders.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Georgia police department offers holiday shopping tips

TUCKER, Ga. (AP) — DeKalb County police say Georgians can take several steps to avoid becoming a crime victim during the holiday shopping season.

Police say consumers should avoid shopping alone and should make sure valuables left in their vehicles are stored out of sight.

Department spokeswoman Mekka Parish says shoppers should avoid talking on cellphones and sending text messages while walking to and from their vehicles. Shoppers should also be ready to immediately get into their vehicles instead of pausing to find the keys.

Parish says shoppers should avoid carrying large cash amounts and only carry credit cards they plan on using.

Parish says shoppers who leave a store to put gifts in their trunks and plan to continue shopping should move their cars to a different parking spot before going back inside.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Georgia authorities urge caution during holidays

ATLANTA (AP) — Authorities in Georgia are urging motorists to use caution during the busy holiday travel season.

The Governor's Office of Highway Safety and the Georgia State patrol are teaming up for a "Season for Safety" campaign. Law enforcement officers from all over the state are reminding drivers not to ride without a seatbelt or drive drunk.

The 2012 holiday season saw two-and-a-half times as many traffic deaths as the same period a year earlier. There were 20 fatalities on Georgia roads between Nov. 20 and Dec. 31 last year.

Governor's Office of Highway Safety Director Harris Blackwood and Department of Public Safety Commissioner Col. Mark McDonough of the Georgia State Patrol plan to begin a statewide media tour Nov. 26 to spread the holiday safety message.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Woman in pickup truck gunned down in Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta police are investigating the death of a woman who was gunned down in a pickup truck on the city's northwest side.

Police tell WSB-TV that the driver of the truck stopped to give a hitchhiker a ride near North Avenue and James P. Brawley Drive late Tuesday night. They say that when the driver stopped, another person walked up and fired into the truck.

Police said the driver drove to a nearby gas station for help. The woman was taken to a hospital, where she died of her injuries.

Neither the driver nor another passenger in the truck were able to offer a detailed description of the shooter.

Information from: WSB-TV.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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UGA to erase Social Security data in some records 

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — The University of Georgia intends to erase Social Security numbers from millions of computer records in a move aimed at protecting the personal information of employees.

The Athens Banner-Herald reports that the data will be deleted next month.

Brian Rivers, associate chief information officer for information security, says the action will eliminate a lot of information security risk at the university.

Stacy Boyles, information technology manager for identity management, says that Social Security numbers on more than 50 million computer records will be changed to UGA ID numbers in the school's human resources, payroll, administrative and central financial records.

Boyles said some records that now use Social Security numbers will be converted to other alternative ID forms, such as vendor numbers.

Information from: Athens Banner-Herald, http://www.onlineathens.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Coroner: Surgeon died of strangulation 

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — A surgeon found dead in an east Georgia creek died as a result of strangulation and blunt-force injuries, a coroner said.

Dr. Charles Mann III was last seen in Barnwell County, S.C., on Thursday evening. The 60-year-old doctor typically worked in Barnwell County during the week and returned home to the central Georgia town of Kathleen on the weekends, The Augusta Chronicle reported.

His blue Honda Civic was found Friday in a wooded area of Augusta, police said. Blood was discovered inside the car, Richmond County sheriff's Lt. Calvin Chew told The Telegraph newspaper of Macon.

The doctor's body was later recovered in Spirit Creek, less than a mile from the spot where his car had been found.

Authorities have charged 22-year-old Glenn Vincent Riggs II with murder and robbery. Jail records do not list an attorney for Riggs.

Investigators think Mann was killed at Riggs' home on Dublin Drive in Augusta, Chew said.

Chew declined to say how investigators think Mann came into contact with the suspect.

The doctor was last seen at a health fair in Williston, S.C., Thursday night, said Mary Valliant, the CEO of the hospital in Barnwell County where Mann worked during the week. It was his typical practice to drive home to Kathleen on Fridays, she said.

Williston is about 35 miles east of Augusta. Kathleen is another 140 miles southwest of Augusta. The most direct route from the South Carolina town to Kathleen is through the Augusta area.

An autopsy was unable to determine an approximate time of Mann's death, Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten said.

Mann was a specialist in general surgery and endoscopy at the hospital in Barnwell County, according to its Web site. Mann previously practiced in the Georgia towns of Perry, Eastman and Fort Valley.

"I thought the world of Dr. Mann," Valliant told The Telegraph. "He was a wonderful person. His patients loved him.

"Between patients, he had his Bible out reading it," Valliant added.

Information from: The Augusta Chronicle , http://www.augustachronicle.com

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

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