Georgia News Roundup
February 26, 2014 11:00 AM | 1062 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
GDOT accident collections top $1 million

ATLANTA (AP) — State transportation officials say an initiative to recover money to pay for damage to state property in traffic accidents has netted the agency more than $1 million.

GDOT officials say annual damages to state property — such as signs, guardrails, bridge supports and more — can add up to more than $10 million. Deputy GDOT Commissioner Todd Long says he's pleased with collections results he's seen through a partnership with Claims Management Resources, Inc. The company negotiates with drivers and their insurance companies.

Long says the department is on track to recover between $3 and $4 million in the first year of the partnership.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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Lake Lanier seeking seasonal workers 

ATLANTA (AP) — Labor officials plan a monthlong recruitment effort to find seasonal workers at Lake Lanier.

The Department of Labor says its Gainesville Career Center will kick off the recruiting effort on Saturday. It aims to help Lake Lanier Islands Resort fill about 500 seasonal jobs.

The event Saturday will focus on hiring waiters, waitresses, bartenders and kitchen staff. An event on March 8 will focus on hiring admissions personnel and retail workers, as well as staff to work at the beach at the water park. A March 22 event will center on hiring lifeguards and water control workers at the water park.

Additional hiring events will be held throughout the month.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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Augusta Canal tour boats return to service 

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Two boats used for daily guided tours of the Augusta Canal have returned to the water.

The Augusta Chronicle reports that the boats are back in service after being on dry land for nearly a month for routine inspections. They're expected to resume daily tours Saturday.

The 65-foot vessels were out of service from Jan. 30 to Feb. 13, while they were inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard. Augusta Canal National Heritage Area Marketing Director Rebecca Rogers said the boats must undergo inspection every five years to make sure their hulls are fit for service.

The Chronicle reports that the vessels look like the boats that once traveled the canal transporting cotton and other items.

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

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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Paula Deen to open eatery in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. 

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Paula Deen's comeback trail is leading her to the Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee.

The Savannah, Ga.-based celebrity cook announced Wednesday she's opening a new restaurant, Paula Deen's Kitchen, in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. A hub for tourists visiting the Dollywood theme park and the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pigeon Forge draws about 10 million vacationers a year.

Paula Deen Ventures, a new company launched to manage Deen's comeback after she acknowledged past use of racial slurs in a lawsuit last year, said it's pouring $20 million into the 20,000-square-foot restaurant. Earlier this month, Deen's company announced it's getting at least $75 million from a private investment firm.

Deen lost four buffet restaurants in casinos operated by Caesars Entertainment last year during the fallout from the controversy.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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Police: No charges for singer Bieber's driver 

SANDY SPRINGS, Georgia (AP) — Police near Atlanta say they've decided not to charge a driver for Justin Bieber with any crimes after a photographer said his camera was stolen during a confrontation with the singer's entourage.

Sandy Springs police said Wednesday morning in a statement that detectives won't charge 49-year-old Terrance Johnson. They say he was driving one of three Cadillac Escalades that brought the pop star and his associates to the Sandy Springs Funhouse family entertainment complex Tuesday.

A bodyguard for Bieber faces a court date on a felony charge of entering the photographer's automobile. Fulton County sheriff's spokeswoman Tracy Flanagan says 32-year-old Hugo Hesny of Davie, Fla., is scheduled to make his first appearance at 11 a.m. Thursday in Atlanta.

Police on Tuesday said they had taken Hesny and Johnson into custody on felony theft charges.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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Georgia governor endorses Flint River water plan 

By Ray Henry, Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Nathan Deal says Georgia lawmakers need to pass a plan that could limit water withdrawals by farmers in the Flint River basin during droughts.

Deal endorsed legislation Wednesday that his administration says makes clear that state officials can restrict farmers from taking water when it's put into waterways to prevent threatened wildlife from perishing.

The Republican governor said that adding the water keeps federal officials from imposing even tougher water restrictions on farmers.

Opponents say the authority could be used for other purposes. For example, a group of lobbyists and developers earlier proposed building pumps that could send water from the Flint River to Florida, possibly easing a long-running water dispute with that state.

The legislation stalled last year in the House, and Deal wants it passed soon.

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

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