ATLANTA – Georgia public-school students outperformed their counterparts in the nation’s public schools on the SAT this year for the sixth year in a row. The Georgia public-school Class of 2023 recorded a mean SAT score of 1045, 42 points above the national average for public-school students of 1003.

PLAINS, Ga. (AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, on Saturday made a surprise appearance at the Plains Peanut Festival in their Georgia hometown, the Carter Center wrote in a social media post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

ROME, Ga. (AP) — A judge dismissed a murder charge against a Georgia man who spent more than 20 years in prison, ending a decadeslong legal fight to exonerate him. The Floyd County judge dismissed the case at the request of the district attorney, who decided not to bring Joey Watkins to trial again after his initial conviction was vacated. The Georgia Innocence Project and other attorneys waged a lengthy fight to overturn the conviction.

Georgia lawmakers passed legislation on the last day of this year’s General Assembly session guaranteeing Georgians the right to fish in navigable portions of the state’s rivers and streams.

ATLANTA – Georgia’s mental health agency has broken ground on the state’s first crisis support center specifically designed for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Crisis Stabilization Diagnostic Center is expected to open at the beginning of 2025 in downtown Macon.

HIRAM, Georgia (AP) — A man and woman were shot and killed in an apparent murder-suicide Wednesday inside a Walmart in a Georgia town, police said. The shooting took place at about 7:30 p.m. in the Walmart Super Center in Hiram, a small town about 20 miles northwest of Atlanta, police said.

PERRY, Ga. (AP) — A 91-year-old Georgia sheriff has said he will hand in his badge after more than 50 years as the county's chief lawman. Houston County Sheriff Cullen Talton tells WMAZ-TV that he won't seek reelection in 2024 and will step down at the end of his term. “It’s time for me to hang it up, so I won’t run again,” Talton said.

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — The more than 50-year mystery of who killed a young Georgia girl has been solved, authorities said. Cobb County District Attorney Flynn D. Broady Jr., at a news conference Monday, confirmed the killer of 9-year-old Debbie Lynn Randall — whose body was found Jan. 29, 1972 — was William B. Rose, 24, of Mableton.

COLQUITT, Ga. (AP) — The death of a worker who suffocated in a Georgia grain silo could have been prevented had their employer not violated safety regulations, federal officials say. That finding results from a U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation into the April death of a 59-year-old worker in Colquitt, Georgia, about 210 miles southwest of Atlanta.

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Officials in Georgia's second-largest county could ask voters in 2024 to approve a tax increase for transit, but won't seek to join the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. Gwinnett County officials tell The Atlanta Journal-Constitution they're likely to ask voters in November 2024 to approve a 1-cent sales tax increase to expand transit in the county.

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