Georgia News Roundup
January 15, 2014 11:15 AM | 838 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
National parks to waive admission to honor MLK

ATLANTA (AP) — Admission to all 401 national parks, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Atlanta, will be free on Monday.

The National Park Service said in a release that admission to the parks will be waived in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Other parks directly associated with King include the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail in Alabama and the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C., which includes the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. King made his "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963.

Many national parks also plan to honor King by participating in a day of service that encourages people to come together to serve their neighborhoods and communities.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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Atlanta mayor traveling to Brazil on trade mission

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is expected to travel to Brazil for a trade mission in early April.

City officials say the trip is intended to encourage foreign investment in the metro Atlanta region, and help small and mid-size local businesses develop export opportunities in the South American nation.

City of Atlanta officials say Brazil is Georgia's eighth-largest export market and the state exported about $1.01 billion in goods to Brazil in 2012. The country ranks second among Latin American nations investing in Georgia based on total employment and the number of facilities operating in the state.

Reed is expected to visit Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. His agenda is being organized by several state agencies including Invest Atlanta, the Metro Atlanta Chamber and the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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MARTA suspends 500 riders for rule violations

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta's public transit system has suspended 500 passengers as part of its crackdown on unruly behavior.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the 500 people have been suspended from using the transit system since MARTA's new code of conduct went into effect Nov. 9.

In September, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority approved a plan to crack down on riders who bother other passengers by begging, listening to loud music and being unruly. The rules allow the transit system's police to suspend unruly passengers from using the system for offenses such as spitting, panhandling, soliciting, eating or drinking. Suspensions can range from one day to a year, and even a permanent ban in certain serious cases.

The effort is part of MARTA's "Ride with Respect" campaign.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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Atlanta airport plan for free Wi-Fi moves ahead

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta airport officials plan to seek approval for improvements that would pave the way for free Wi-Fi for travelers.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport plans to seek approval for a wireless Internet infrastructure upgrade contract.

The Atlanta City Council could approve the contract later this month. Reese McCranie said that if that happens, the free Wi-Fi could be ready to launch by the end of March.

Authorities say the airport could be able to support as many as 15,000 Wi-Fi users at once when the system is up and running. Currently only 4,000 can get on the paid Wi-Fi system. Hartsfield-Jackson, the world's busiest airport, serves as many as 250,000 passengers a day.

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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Alabama father faces murder charge in baby's death

PHENIX CITY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama father is facing a murder charge following the death of his 1-month-old son.

Phenix City police Capt. Frank Ivey says patrol officers and EMS workers were dispatched to the child's address between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m., after receiving reports that the child was having difficulty breathing. The child was taken to Midtown Medical Center in nearby Columbus, Ga., where he was pronounced dead on Jan. 7.

Ivey declined to release the name of the child and declined to release further details, such as the cause of death.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that the child's father, 30-year-old Eric Colby Burgess, was arrested Jan. 8 and charged with murder. It wasn't known early Wednesday whether Burgess has an attorney.

Information from: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, http://ledger-enquirer.com 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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Deal to propose increase in education spending

By Christina A. Cassidy, Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Nathan Deal is set to propose a nearly $547 million increase in state education funding when he submits his budget proposal to state lawmakers.

That's according to Deal's spokesman Brian Robinson. Deal is set outline his priorities and release key budget details during his annual State of the State address later Wednesday.

A large increase in education funding was expected amid growing state revenues and concerns that more than half of Georgia's school districts were not meeting a state minimum of 180 school days due to budget cuts.

In a morning speech, Deal said he would be adding $12 million to the budget to boost "life flights" in southwest Georgia for those seriously injured in road crashes. Deal's State of the State address is set for 11 a.m. at the Capitol. Later in the day, he will appear before a legislative committee to propose his budget.

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

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