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Judge dismisses charges against 3 officers in stun gun death
SANDERSVILLE, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia prosecutor is appealing a judge’s decision that three white former sheriff’s deputies can’t be tried on murder charges in the death of a black man who was repeatedly shot with a stun gun. District Attorney Hayward Altman says the decision is wrong, and he expects it to be overturned. The officers were charged in the death of 58-year-old Eurie Martin, 58, who asked for water at a home and wound up dying after being shot repeatedly with a stun gun. The judge granted immunity to the three saying they thought they were using the right amount of force.
Georgia city urged to reject migrant children shelter
MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia pastor trying to open a shelter for unaccompanied migrant children in federal custody is getting pushback from people in an Atlanta suburb who call his efforts morally offensive. Stone Mountain pastor Michell Bryant got zoning board approval to use a former residential drug treatment center in Marietta to house up to 50 unaccompanied migrant children. Six area residents including a Unitarian minister wrote a letter saying separating children from their caregivers should offend the moral sensibility of every citizen of Marietta. The City Council is set to vote whether to approve the pastor’s request on Dec. 11.
Georgia high court justice announces plan to resign in March
ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham says he plans to leave the bench March 1. A statement from the high court says that’s before his current term ends a year from now. The statement says Gov. Brian Kemp will appoint Benham’s replacement. When tapped by then-Gov. Joe Frank Harris in December 1984, Benham was the first African American appointed to the high court. He’s been elected to six-year terms ever since and served as chief justice from 1995 to 2001.
Georgia GOP Rep Tom Graves to retire
WASHINGTON (AP) — Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Graves says he’ll retire after his current term in Congress. He joins a larger-than-typical group of lawmakers taking their leave from an increasingly partisan and unproductive Washington. The six-term congressman is the 21st House Republican to announce his retirement. He told his constituents in conservative northwest Georgia that he’s entering a new season in life and wants to spend time with his soon-to-retire wife Julie and adult children.
PEANUT WAREHOUSE FIRE
Firefighters battle hot spots at Georgia peanut warehouse
DOUGLAS, Ga. (AP) — The CEO for a Georgia cooperative that produces peanut oil says a fire at the cooperative’s Coffee County plant was contained to one warehouse and operations at the plant are being restarted. Karl Zimmer says in an email Thursday that the fire broke out late Tuesday at Premium Peanut in Douglas. Nobody was injured and the oil mill was not damaged. Coffee County Fire Chief Steve Carver told The Associated Press that firefighters worked to remove 11 million pounds of peanuts from the warehouse Thursday while still battling hot spots. The state fire marshal’s office is investigating.
Federal court considers bathroom use by transgender student
ATLANTA (AP) — A federal court in Atlanta is hearing a case involving bathroom access for a transgender student. A lawyer told the court Thursday that the right to use the bathroom that matches the student’s identify is about the right to equal dignity. But a Florida school district wants the court to overturn a lower judicial decision that granted the student access to the boys’ bathroom. The St. Johns County school district wants to return to restricting which bathrooms transgender students can use, saying it needs to protect other students’ privacy. The ruling by the 11th Circuit will apply to schools in Florida, Georgia and Alabama and could be an influential precedent for similar disputes nationwide.
Georgia ethics panel upholds inquiry into sheriff’s spending
ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s state ethics commission is upholding subpoenas in an investigation of campaign spending by Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren. The Georgia Government Transparency & Campaign Finance Commission voted unanimously on Wednesday to reject an attempt by Warren’s attorney to throw out the subpoenas. A formal complaint in October alleges the sheriff misspent nearly $20,000 in campaign funds. The Cobb Youth Museum and the county’s finance department earlier complied with subpoenas. Warren has held a yearly “Corn Boilin” campaign fundraiser in conjunction with the museum. Warren was not present Wednesday and has denied wrongdoing.
House passes bill to restore key parts of Voting Rights Act
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